I loved how fun and edgy she was. I was in awe of her fearlessness in advancing her own ideas even when they flew in the face of conventional wisdom. Not only was she unapologetic for this, she clearly reveled in the idea. The mere thought of publicly standing up for my own ideas when they went against what others thought scared the hell out of me. But here she was – not only doing it but thriving from it. She was a huge influence in how I did The Hacker Chick Blog and I really tried to match her in both courage and style.
Later, while watching the early seasons of Criminal Minds, I became captivated by Penelope Garcia’s character. This crazy, edgy, ingenious hacker who was not only a girl (that parts okay) but she was downright flamboyant about it.
As someone who’d been coding and doing all sorts of other primarily male activities my entire life, I’d been a tomboy since I was a kid. I made it a point of pride that I personified J. Random Hacker – right down to my obsession with wearing hiking boots everywhere (you know, in case a mountain should suddenly spring up in the middle of the machine room).