Asia Sharif - My personal journey into technology

"You are who you are in this world. You are either somebody or nobody."

So, every day, I choose to be "someone" who wants to make a difference in the world, not only in technology.

I am a self-taught Junior Software Engineer/Blockchain Developer, as well as the Co-Founder of TechNewbies, an educational technology platform. I am a finalist for the Rising Star in Tech Globant Awards 2021. I am a tech enthusiast who enjoys promoting women of colour and faith in the field.

From a non-technical background, I went into technology in January 2021. I've always been fascinated by the world, particularly technology and its implications for the future. So, I decided to take the leap earlier this year and become a software engineer. I spent late 2020 networking with developers on LinkedIn and thanks to networking with Xuntos’ CEO, Ola, he instilled confidence in me and I was able to apply to the SKY Software Engineering Academy, which was tailored to getting more women into tech.

This was the beginning of my technology career, and since graduating from the Software Engineering Academy, I have achieved many goals, including the following:

  • Landing my first Software Engineering role at a leading bank in the UK starting January 2022.
  • Being nominated for the Globant Awards and being a finalist for Rising Star In Tech 2021
  • Becoming a Tech Influencer for Code First Girls.
  • Becoming part of the Code First Girls fellowship programme.
  • I am volunteering as a workshop facilitator at SimplexCode.
  • Graduating from the Black Girls In Tech Mentee program.
  • Becoming a Software Engineering mentor for Black Girls In Tech. 
  • Landing a Blockchain Development Scholarship with Consensys.
  • Being accepted onto the Black Valley Mentorship programme.

My journey goes to show anything is possible if you set your mind to it and use failure as a learning curve and a motivator. I made sure to keep developing my mindset every day, through taking time out to watch Ted Talks, reading mindset books, and networking with the right people. In addition to that, I allocated time to develop my communication, technical and leadership skills so I am actually able to give back to others through mentorship and advice.I am very privileged to be surrounded by amazing communities that have helped me on my journey, and I recommend you all to join them, especially if you are breaking into tech. Here is a list of my recommendations:

  1. Black Valley: "Black Valley is a global community dedicated to increasing equity in tech by fostering an environment where talents from a black ethnic background can thrive.”
  1. Code First Girls: “Code First Girls is a Not for Profit Social Enterprise that trains women in IT skills and helps companies to develop more female‑friendly recruitment policies.”
  1. Black Girls In Tech: “A community for & by black women in tech to network, educate & celebrate each other”
  1. Coding Black Females: “Growing, Educating & Supporting the community of Black Women & Non-Binary people in Tech”
  1. Xuntos's: “A community of people that love tech, from a variety of industries that are always looking to support and help others.”

I am a woman who believes in change, so I aspire to launch my own blockchain tech startup in 2022 and focus on the recruitment of women and people from underrepresented backgrounds. Having an advocate's personality, I want to make sure tech becomes more diverse and inclusive, and hopefully my journey will impact others out there to have the courage to take the leap to move out of their comfort zone and join the change.

Finally, a thing to remember: "you are who you are in this world. You are either somebody or nobody." Your daily choices will reflect where you will be in the future. Make the right daily choices which will aid your growth and make an impact.

Asia Sharif

Junior Software Engineer/ Junior Blockchain Developer

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