It all started in 2001 when 13-year-old Linda Liukas fell in love with Al Gore.

As a teenager growing up in Finland, she followed U.S. politics very closely. She couldn’t quite explain it, but for some reason she became fascinated with the former vice president of the United States. She thought he had a great belief system and values, not to mention she thought he was very handsome.

She wanted to find a way for him to notice her, and only one thing came to mind.

“I had all this passion and creativity within me that I wanted to make a website to show him how much he meant to me,” said Liukas.

Linda LiukasShe used a free platform site to create her first website dedicated to Gore, her hero.

But alas, Gore failed to notice Liukas, and she put programming on hold. For about 10 years she didn’t focus on technology at all. She went on to study philosophy, business, French and mechanical engineering. But the spark to get into programming never left her.

“Programming was, and still is, a means to an end to me,” said Liukas. “It is a way for me to express myself creatively.”

When the now 27-year-old was 23, she wanted to dip her toes into programming again and learn Ruby. She used websites like tryruby.org and codeacademy.com, read a bunch of books and tutorials, and ended up organizing a training workshop, which is now called Rails Girls.