Ari Lacenski: The Path to Programming Success

Ari Lacenski: The Path to Programming Success

Written by WWCode HQ

Member Reflections

ariLacenskiThe path to programming success is often fraught with challenges that can make you doubt your skills and abilities. Today Ari Lacenski is a successful Android engineer and the technical editor of three books about coding. Her journey was certainly not always easy, and the pitfalls of working in an aggressive and fast-paced industry have tested her confidence in a variety of ways. Despite this she has persevered, pursuing her dreams to achieve a position that she is proud of.

Ari first delved into the world of coding in 1997 when she started building websites on Geocities to impress and amuse her friends. Showing an early aptitude for the discipline, she continued her development by enrolling in the University of Washington, where she also worked as a research assistant in public health. After school she found employment as a software engineer for a number of prestigious companies, including Yahoo, Etsy, and Mango.

While she has had an accomplished career, along the way Ari had to overcome one particularly difficult challenge; her own lack of confidence. Believing that self-deprecation was tantamount to humility she often found herself putting down her own work in front of supervisors and co-workers. This self-criticism, at times, led to others also questioning her abilities.


One thing that helped her work through some of these issues were Women Who Code events. There, she was introduced to other talented women that inspired her with their drive and passion. She also improved her skill sets. With the help of friends experienced in public speaking, she gave a talk on API design patterns at PyCon Canada in 2013. Later that year, she attended the inaugural CodePath mobile bootcamp, which she found out about from WWCode’s weekly publication, “Code Review.” This helped to build her confidence and showed her that it was possible for her to achieve success in this field.

Today Ari is one of only two Android developers for Mango Health, where she develops their Android app. She is also the technical reviewer of several books on Python: the beginner’s cryptography guide ‘Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python’ (2013) and ‘Automate the Boring Stuff with Python’ (2015), both by Al Sweigart, and ‘Teach Your Kids to Code’ by Bryson Payne (2015). Additionally, she maintains her blog on Android development. In Ari’s spare time, she works as a technical teacher and mentor to young women who are just entering the field, trying to pass on the lessons that she has learned over the course of her career.

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