Tell us about yourself.
I am a computer science undergrad student at the University of New Mexico and an intern at a local non-profit organization called CodeClubs. After I graduate, my goal is to become a Front-End Developer.
Outside of my professional life, I am a huge Marvel fan-girl, love video games, and do a lot of drawing and graphic design.
How did you decide to get into technology?
I really loved doing freelance graphic design work in late high school/early college. In college, I had originally been studying pre-pharmacy when I realized I had a passion for organizing and designing systems. I wanted to be able to work in an industry where I could use my creativity and I found that in technology. I discovered how coding would allow me to work on projects where I could use both my organizational and design skills to help my community.
How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?
I love it! I feel like I finally found a place I belong with like-minded people who are passionate about solving problems, compassionate towards each other, and enjoy the same activities I do. I also love the work I do and feel like I am making a difference in the world.
"I feel like I finally found a place
I belong with like-minded people
who are passionate about solving
problems, compassionate towards
each other, and enjoy the same
activities I do."
What does a typical day in your job look like?
Typically, I work independently on weekly projects, tasks, and our social media pages. Since I started my current job during the pandemic, I have been participating in virtual meetings with my mentor to update her on my progress.
Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?
Not at all. I thought everybody I would meet would know everything there is to know about tech. We get a false perception of how computer science is from what we see in the media/movies. I have learned that everybody is constantly learning and improving and there are lots of areas, so you cannot possibly know everything. When I started my first job in IT a year and a half ago, I had the most basic computer knowledge and learned the rest on the job.
"We get a false perception of how
computer science is from what
we see in the media/movies."
How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?
I am fortunate that the men I work with are very aware of how women are often treated in the tech industry. As a result, they ensure my voice is heard, I am equipped with the resources and knowledge I need, and that my work is not undermined or underappreciated.
My advice is to make sure that you are working in an environment where you are appreciated, and you feel safe. If you don’t, then it’s not worth working there.
If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?
I wish that I spent more time focusing on projects and working on my portfolio to build my confidence. I also wish I found my mentors earlier because they have helped me navigate so much of the tech world so far.
What was the best professional advice you ever received?
Get your hands dirty.
This was said to me by my mentor Bresdin, who is also the current president at CodeClubs.
What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?
Don’t be hard on yourself. You will have good days and bad days and you will make a TON of mistakes. Just remember that as long as you are learning, you are not failing. Also, progress over perfection.
Any other comments?
The work I do at CodeClubs is also aimed at decreasing the gender gap in technology therefore I understand the importance of the work you are doing. We need more women like you making a difference in the world.
I am very happy our paths crossed. Thank you so much for the interview!
I would like to send a massive thanks to Samina for taking the time out to do this interview. I enjoyed learning about you and your journey into tech. I wish you all the best with completing your degree and venturing full time into the world of tech.
You can visit Samina's socials and websites and connect with her via the links listed above.
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