Author Archives: zelda montes

zelda’s personal bio and contribution statement [02.21.2023]

Zelda Marcela Montes is a non-binary Latine software engineer and first-year M.A. student in Digital Humanities at the City University of New York Graduate Center. After learning how to code in a high school summer program, Zelda continued pursuing their interest in technology, ultimately graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Computer Science in May of 2022. Throughout their time at Yale, Zelda worked multiple part-time jobs and served in community roles advocating for underrepresented and marginalized folks in tech during the semester, and worked multiple Software Engineering and Data Science internships during the summers. Zelda’s research interests include urban, gender, and ethnic studies, and they are often looking for ways to bring these areas of passion into the work they do in technology.

Zelda joined More Than Surviving as Lead Developer and Data Management Designer. They are responsible for creating the web application in Python and Django, designing the API to handle PostgreSQL database management, and  constructing the interactive map of Wampanoag political events from 1830-1850, using MapBox GL JS and GeoJSON.

zelda’s reflections [02.07.2023]

I appreciated the readings assigned this week – it was a great way to learn and pre-reflect from the experiences of those who’ve embarked on similar journeys to the one we are starting. Reading the reflections from OWOT made me realize the importance of journaling throughout this semester with regards to our own projects. Be it for ourselves or for others, we partake in a process of reflective knowledge sharing when we journal about our experiences. Our journals can serve as a point of entry for others who join the Digital Humanities community in the future. I find it incredibly comforting and beautiful to be part of something that extends beyond myself.

I’ve been thinking a lot about More Than Surviving in the past week. I’m honored that Majel has invited others into a project that is so personal. After class last week, I couldn’t find the proper words to say how excited I am to be working on this project alongside Majel, Estefany, and Elizabeth. I’m hopeful that my past experiences with creating interactive map visualizations will be useful in our project, and that I can be proactive about using prior lessons learned to inform the long-term technical design and data infrastructure of More Than Surviving.

This past week, our group has emailed about communication preferences and roles. I’m looking forward to ironing out details for a revised group project proposal in class tomorrow!

zelda’s skills

Hi everyone! I’m Zelda (they/them) and I work as a software engineer. I graduated with a B.A. in computer science, but spent most of my time in college taking classes focusing on 1) women and gender sexuality studies, and 2) ethnicity, race, & migration. I’ll share some of my skills below:

Developer: I work primarily in Python and SQL. I have a lot of experience with data analysis and visualization. Some technologies especially relevant to Digital Humanities that I’ve worked with include D3.js, ArcGIS StoryMap, WordPress, Voyant, and R. I tend to pick up new technologies quickly. I have experience with web development in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. For my undergraduate thesis, I developed a web application to visualize climate change in the United States using HTML, CSS, Jinja, JavaScript, D3.js, Python, and Flask. I created 5 different visualizations measuring climate through the following aspects: 1) carbon dioxide emissions, 2) severe weather events, 3) global sea level, 4) global temperature, and 5) environmental bills.

Data manager: As part of my thesis work, I spent a lot of time searching for datasets relevant to my project. I’d like to further develop my skills creating, managing, and navigating databases, especially with regards to integrating and/or creating APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

Project manager: I tend to think thoroughly about the big picture. I am great at breaking down a large project into smaller, more manageable tasks that are delegated across a group of people. Deadlines tend to be difficult for me to realistically set, but it is a skill I hope to develop if given the opportunity to do so.

UX/Designer: I have a basic understanding of design concepts, which has proven useful in my experiences as a web developer. I have some experience with designing social media posts using Canva. I would love to shadow any designers interested in sharing their skills!