Founder & CEO at Microverse (YC S19), the global school for remote software developers.
Currently, women only represent 27.5% of software developers globally (source at bottom of article). The software developer community has a long way to go to reach gender equality and one of the ways to do this is to help highlight female developers.
So, we asked some female software developers to share their advice for others that are thinking about becoming a software developer or just starting out on their coding journeys. They thought about how they felt when just starting out, or when making the decision to become a developer and their responses were amazing.
These women shared great advice, inspiration, and tips, as well as their favorite things about programming, all to help make others journeys into software development a little easier. Without further ado, here’s some of the advice these female devs had to share.
Many shared the sentiment that you must go all in and believe that you can, in order to excel in software development.
Maria Reyes, from Mexico, said, “Everyone can learn to code. It might be easy for you or it might require a little more effort. In the end, you will get it. So don't give up and don't stop coding.”
Maria Cecilia Benitez Casaccia of Paraguay mentioned how it is a continuous learning process and that you should, ‘Always push yourself to become a better developer’.
Maria Eugenia Quemé Peña of Guatemala advised,
“Dedicate completely to it. Even if you only have a few hours during the week, really commit to using the time to learn - it will avoid lots of frustrations.”
Often times we are our biggest barriers, and many developers know that. Imposter Syndrome is something that affects us all, but we must face it head-on, and continue to push through.
On that note, Rahma Abdi Halane from Kenya shared this simple but essential piece of advice, “If you are thinking about it then, YES, you can!”
“You are your own biggest obstacle or your biggest motivator. If you believe you can do it, then, no one can stop you,” said Kitzia Paola Vidal Marroquin of Mexico.
One of the best ways to stay out of your own way is to not focus on what others are doing, but rather focus on yourself.
“Work very hard, believe in your dreams, and do not listen to others. Look at your objectives and have it in mind that you are capable of doing it,” suggests Kamwa Emmanuelle Alix of Cameroon.
Perseverance is a critical part of any learning experience, and essential to becoming a successful software developer. With new programming languages popping up often, and technology constantly evolving, you must continue to persevere and stay focused.
“We can do anything we set our minds to. We just have to make the decision to start today and then continue one day at a time,” said Jane Witah of Cameroon.
Araceli Camarillo of Mexico shared some great advice as well;
“Mastery comes after you have gained the basic knowledge. Be patient with yourself while learning. Enjoy your learning journey and set realistic goals. Don't expect to be the next ‘super hacker’. That will frustrate you and your progress, so try something more attainable.”
Another female developer from Africa shared her heartfelt advice, “You will encounter hurdles but don't look back. The engineering field is still male-dominated, but don't let that discourage you. It doesn't mean that women can't code. Remember there was a time when women weren't allowed to vote. There was a first female Formula 1 driver. If it's your passion, be patient with yourself - and others - and keep doing what you were meant to do.”
Mupa M'mbetsa Nzaphila from Kenya’s advice is incredibly inspiring too, “Have confidence and perseverance, believe in yourself. Sometimes, you might compare yourself to others and feel like you are not good enough. However, you should understand that it's ok to not to know everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lastly, never stop learning. It doesn't matter how slow it takes you to be the best, as long as you keep at it, you will achieve your dreams.”
When asked about their favorite part of the software developer journey so far, the answers varied.
“My favorite part is the challenge it poses to me. Every single day is a new opportunity to learn something and I believe nothing will stop me,” said Rahma
Kitzia said that conquering the challenges that coding represents, along with meeting new people that have other ways of thinking are her favorite things about being a developer, “Also, the popular belief in the [software developer] community that knowledge should be shared.”
Jane's response was clear and incredibly powerful, “The joy I get from learning new things every day, I feel like I am always growing.”
The women were quick to comment about the amazing support they feel from fellow developers and the greater programming community.
“I think the best thing about becoming a software developer is that I realized I am a smart woman surrounded by other smart women and men, and that together we can build things and support one another to be better,” - Maria Reyes
Mupa also said, “My favorite part is the fact that Software Developers have each others back. They are always ready to assist one another whenever you get stuck.” We couldn’t agree more as the software development community is incredibly supportive and encouraging.
Software development has no borders and with learning in a global environment and community, many of the women remarked on how that has helped them grow.
“I love that with programming it is absolutely possible for anyone to become a software developer, regardless of your background, education level, previous career field, age etc. It has given me the opportunity to connect with people around the world and learn about different cultures,” said Rahma.
Maria Peña echoed that as well,
“Everything you can learn from a person regardless of their background - I love the fact that this can be done remotely so there aren't borders to connect with people”.
Being able to learn with a global community of peers is one of the most amazing things about remote learning, hands down.
Finally, to help others thinking about becoming software developers, the women were kind enough to share some of their favorite resources and communities which included: WomenWhoCode, FreeCodeCamp, Microverse Student Articles, and RailsGirls.
Previously published at https://www.microverse.org/blog/10-female-software-developers-share-their-advice
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