Gets Your Heart Pumping
I listened to my first episode of the Forbes podcast The Limit Does Not Exist early in the morning on the treadmill, cranking up the volume to drown out the sound of my feet. By the time I walked out of the gym, the podcast still ringing in my ears, I felt my usual wave of endorphins wash over me but with an extra kick of The Limit Does Not Exist inspiration. As a non-coffee drinker, this quickly became my morning fix.
The first episode introduced Admiral Grace Hopper (pictured), pioneering computer scientist and U.S. Navy admiral known for creating one of the first compiler tools as a programmer at Harvard. Hopper is mentioned throughout the podcast, in future episodes, becoming something of a show exemplar.
Role models like Hopper motivated me to keep listening, and after meeting the co-hosts, Christina Wallace and Cate Scott Campbell, at a live show recording at Interlochen, they offered me a position as an intern. I accepted their offer and I am now happily working on the production team.
Closer proximity to the making of the podcast hasn't dimmed my fandom. Each episode gives me examples of how I could use my love of coding and technology to bring my other passions together into what Cate and Christina call a “Human Venn Diagram.” In fact, the show embraces listeners and guests who are “Human Venn Diagrams” — people who are unafraid to combine their interests using STEM and the arts to build their own custom career paths.
Technologists, Storytellers, and Other Geeks
Every week, the podcast’s guests join Cate and Christina in a conversation, trading insights to their lives and careers as self-identified human Venn diagrams. Mina Markham, for instance, shared her story in an episode titled "The Journey of a Sasstronaut," which explored her career path as a self-taught technologist and Senior Engineer at Slack. Markham talked about her experiences becoming a public speaker at conferences around the world, and the importance of hearing the voices and ideas of fellow women. She used her unique skillset in her job as a “front-end architect” at Hillary for America to design a UI pattern library that enabled fluid and responsive communication across their platform. Markham, who learned to code from websites like StackOverflow, written by predominantly white men, now works with organizations such as Black Girls Code that are working to close the gender and racial gap in tech.
Another standout episode, "Where The Light Resides," featured Danielle Feinberg (pictured). She started her journey in tech as one of the few female computer science majors at Harvard, and is now using computer algorithms to communicate visual storytelling at Pixar. She’s designed algorithms for movies including Finding Nemo, WALL-E, and Brave. On the podcast, Feinberg walks listeners through the experience of designing the main character Merida’s curly red hair. It was the first time the Pixar team was tasked with designing curly hair because the algorithm needed to design curls is much more complex than straight hair. Feinberg’s work designing the curls using physics and animation was an example of how diversity off the screen simultaneously helps to create diversity on the screen.
Podcast guest Heather Cabot told her story of capturing the stories of women in technology in an episode titled Let Your Inner Geek Flag Fly. She’s the co-author of Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech, and she spoke about how she combines her journalism skills with being an entrepreneur and angel investor. Her book explores women who have unashamedly expressed their inner-geek in the tech world and as entrepreneurs, engineers, and activists.
The episodes featuring complex and dynamic women in technology inspire all listeners, but particularly women and girls who may never have considered how they could use technology to bridge their passions together. Here is storytelling that breaks down the stereotypes of working in technology, through the voices of the women who have broken down these barriers themselves.
Jenna Zucker is a rising freshman at Barnard College where she plans to study creative writing and computer science. She is a recent graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and received the Roger E. and Mary Jacobi Citizenship Award and a national Gold Medal in creative nonfiction from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She is currently an intern for The Limit Does Not Exist podcast.