Experience to share working in tech (to high schoolers)

1–1 session with high schooler at Google  office

Previous weeks, I attended Geek Girls meet-up for the first time where there were a group of high schools girls and 20 mentors(us) mixed around to give them advices on girls in tech field on 1–1 in every 15 minutes interval.

Woah. big responsibility. Despite not knowing what to share, I went.

We were asked to introduce in front of them. The other mentors are from strong background like Googler in YouTube ads team, product managers from PWC, top scholarship owner of some awesome place (where some gasped when she introduced)etc. Looks like I am the only “traditional” software engineer in the room.

1. Tech overall industries

Student A: Hi, are you from Google?

Me: I’m not but I’m from a really awesome IT startup.

I asked them what’s their interests in tech and what do they think people in tech industry do, mostly would say coding. Some do not have any idea if she likes it or not because “tech” sounds too vague/far from her.

Before I projected alien technical word to her, I introduced some of the recent tech trending like Robotics, Virtual Reality, Web/Mobile tech field, difference between agency and product company, and jobs besides developer in tech based on her curiosity. There are roles like UX architect, product manager, security/networking researcher, tech recruiting..etc.

2. Why I’m(still) in tech industry

I talked about the difference of working in agency company and product company, working at (1–5 people)startup, multi-national startup and corporates in hopes that they know their options as they can choose other than big brand companies in their early career phase.

My daily routine in different phase of the project and how to work with different team (locally and remotely) and the possibilities of expanding to other roles from software engineer.

3. Misconception of tech industry

Some of the girls thought they are not good enough to learn coding (as they are not as good as the boys) while I shared my experience in learning Swift online. It’s ok to write code sucks at first, gradually you will improve. A girl shared her experience of creating a project with friends and she felt amazed to create something from nothing to something with technology.

It’s not hard to transition into tech industry, you just got to get your hands dirty at producing some sample works or even attend some tech events. I shared my insecurities in attending some tech events even though I need to go back and read more about the sharing.

A refreshing experience of sharing with a group of high schoolers and expose them to a wider view on tech industry. Not really the best person to give them advice but hopefully they grasp the idea of women in tech industry.