Until grade twelve, I really had no interest in coding. Still I decided to pursue engineering and took up IT as my stream. During the first year, we had C programming as one of the subjects. Like many other engineers would remember, I too remember my first program,” Hello World!” When I attempted that program, and it got compiled successfully, I was very happy! Thus began my tryst with coding. I also decided to code for ethical hacking. During my second year, I started freelancing and built websites. I even assisted final-year students in their projects. My friend and I even began a YouTube channel, where we used to review and provide basic information about gadgets. During the lockdown, I started my podcast on automation, and it is streamed on Spotify. As I had developed this keen interest in coding, I even created a page to help others with the same.
I used to work for a company where they had certain misconceptions that women can’t code. Let me tell you an incident that I can never forget for life. I was a part of the project in which all the coding, including the intricacies, was written by me. We even had a client meeting scheduled for the same. I was completely prepared for the meeting and had even kept in mind the questions that might be asked by the clients. But much to my dismay, the presentation was handed over to one of the senior folks on my team. The most disappointing part was that he had no idea about how the application was developed, yet was selected for the occasion. That day, I was completely broken. Just because he was a senior employee, and a man, my manager considered him more eligible for the presentation. I immediately left from there and went out for a coffee break. I later got to know that during the presentation, that senior colleague was not able to handle the questions put up by the client, and it became a huge mess. Soon, my manager called me and said, “Neha, I think you can handle all of this much better, so let’s plan a demo next week. You can take it forward from there.” I thought, “Why wasn’t I given a chance earlier – is it because I’m a woman, or I don’t have experience?” But yes, I guess that mess was required for my team to know that I, deserve it.
Even on the page that I had created to help people with their technical projects, a random guy contacted me. After reading my code, he was shocked to know that I, being a woman, had written such a healthy code with best-case complexity. I don’t understand why anything and everything is linked to gender. I feel anybody can choose any profession of their choice, all we need is dedication, and the will to succeed!
This year in June ,2021, WIS India released a magazine which symbolizes some important faces of women who are doing excellent work in STEM. They got to know about my podcast, in which I talked about the cyber bullying people face all over social media, I talked about a product ‘ReThink’, which is very simple before clicking on post/submit button if you’re using any bad words It will remind you to rethink. Rethink is launched by Miss. Trisha Prabhu. The Android Application is free and can be found on the play store. After I aired my podcast ,a lot of girls approached me with snapshots of them getting bullied , together we tried to file a cyber crime compliant .I think the real power of ‘ReThink’ is not only that we’re stopping cyber bullying in the moment, but that we’re hopefully cultivating the next generation of responsible digital citizens who are not going to post that message.
In the end, I would like to say that, “It’s not about being a man or a woman, coder or homemaker, a regular employee or a CEO, it’s about being a human. I strongly believe everyone, irrespective of gender or profession, deserves the same respect in society. A degree doesn’t define you, what does define you is the amount of respect and love you give to someone. How you treat people, is where the essence of a true human being lies!”
Total Work Experience : 1 Year (National Stock Exchange of India, Conneqt Business Solution)
Click here for Neha’s Podcast on Anchor : ‘Technoweirds – The Codecast’