How community helped me from an introvert, to an technology evangelist.
With a head full of dreams of doing something different and a heart full of giving back to the society what it has given me, I started my journey as a volunteer for the community, even before I participated in the community events as a participant. Here’s a person I always thank for all these opportunities, Shrreya, who motivated me, inspired me and gave me a bundle of opportunities.
I was amongst the core organisers from Cummins College of Engineering for Women for the Google Students Club and I was nominated for the same after some serious round of interview. This was the time I was not so confident about my skills in technology. I helped majorly for logistics and infrastructure. I started taking efforts in contributing towards technology and slowly my journey towards technology started brightening. We as Google Students Club batch of 2014–15 organised couple of events together and my learnings about organisation, leadership and public speaking too had started to grow positively.
Every time I worked, Shrreya rewarded my hard work positively. This time she nominated as an organiser for PyLadies Pune, a global community for empowering more women towards Python and Open Source contribution. I was inspired by her love for Python and I too started learning Python language. Time had come to take a leap. I started giving talks on Python at institute level. Facing an audience of 200 people was not as challenging, coming from the organising background helped me a lot. I also started writing blogs to share my experience.
I got another opportunity to speak at a Co-ed institute. Coming from a women’s college background, I was scared to face men. Eventually, this fear too was swapped away. More events, I was more determined to be a part of communities like these. I can now confidently share my knowledge across a diverse crowd.
Another awesome senior of mine Radhika, appreciated my community contributions. We started promoting Google’s Women Techmakers Program, in Pune, together. She encouraged me a lot. Her belief that I can organise events independently, boosted my confidence at a top notch. I was flowing with the beauty of community with some major back bones like Shrreya and Radhika.
Meanwhile, I got a travel grant from Python Software Foundation(PSF) to attend PyCon, Seoul, South Korea in 2015. Communities have always rewarded my contributions that I can cherish for life. It was just 2 years that I spent with the community and I got a bag full of positive things.
It was not always smooth when I had to take higher roles. I faced a lot of criticism, discouragements and everything that could pull me apart from the community. The foundation laid in two years initially was stronger to not let me break. I learnt to fight for myself and stand for my thoughts. Initially this was a major disappointment to have to face all this in a community where I assumed you just have to be “selfless contributor”. I would not let this add to the negatives. Instead, I thank that I learnt to be strong.
Its been more than four years now that I have been contributing in the community by participating, organising and speaking at different events for different technologies. My current inspiration, Lakshya, who is a Program Manager for Women Techmakers, India showers a bundle of opportunities, learnings, support and positivity that keeps me going. I recently happened to organise one of India’s biggest developer fest, DevFest18 in Pune. More than 800 developers participated at the event. Being one of the lead organisers, I gained even more learnings, confidence and experience to cherish. Finding a venue to managing volunteers, to publicising the event, I got to learn a stack of things that counts to one of the most memorable experience.
I thank to Women Techmakers and PyLadies community for all the encouragement, opportunities that helped me build a better version of mine. No more I sit in the corner of the room, thinking maybe I can also perform well when it comes to technology. With the experience of organising more than 50 events and speaking at 15 plus events, I have found my skills in leadership, organising and programming.