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Emma Donery
Emma Donery

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Being a Woman in Tech: My Journey πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

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Tech has always been a male-dominated field, and although over the recent past, this notion has taken another course, there are women who still cling to it. We are at an inflection point, and there is a lot of awareness about diversity. Take this chance and stand out. As a tech advocate and a woman in tech, writing this article has brought a lot of fulfillment to me as it serves as an inspiration to help as many women as possible to follow the same path.

Firsts things first: Getting to know me

Hi,πŸ‘‹ I'm Emma! I'm a Software engineer and Technical writer who is passionate about building solutions and building the community both online and offline. Outside work, i am the founder of CodeHer Mentorship program(I always wished I had more female mentors and support and leaders, I felt it was time for me to give back with a bigger impact) where i enjoy helping women transition to tech and promote gender divesrity and inclusion. I am also building Acute Labs Inc., a data-driven company that is geared towards leveraging AI, Big Data and IoT to offers solutions to Agriculture in Africa, and Tech It Girl Podcasts(still under development).And oooh!!!, i forgot to mention that I am a big Open-Source fun.


I first got exposed to programming and coding in Campus.I enrolled at the university to undertake "Software Engineering" though i wanted to become a doctor or a civil engineer. Ever since i was young, i like to get my head into tough subjects. However, when i was done with my high school course, i wasn't sure what i really wanted to be in life. I applied for different courses in different universities and somehow i only landed into Software Engineering. If i may be honest with you, my first year in campus was about exploring what all this course was about. During my second and 3rd years, i met several people who guided me as well as peers where we helped each other out. Despite being taught in class, i can admit that most of my skills came from the adventure that i set on my own, the thing i got to explore on my own. Basically, the lecturer would only introduce you to a concept(theoretically), but software engineering doesn't stop there, right?.. You have to put efforts on your own, do more research, learn and Practice and Practice and Practice. While in undegrad, i realized that tech is growing and is everywhere, plus it has endless opportunities and one could be geographically flexible. To cut the long story short, I always thank God that i somehow followed this path. I am not perfect yet, but i have seen great progress over the years.

HTML CSS: EASY Peasy, Right? ✨

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First time i came across HTML and Css, well i thought? easy peasy, then i got introduced to Javascript and i was like, "what's changing,,,i thought things were going on well"πŸ˜₯DO NOT MISTAKE ME HERE, i am not saying html and css are easy,...there are days when i burnt the midnight oil, still do sometimes, trying to make peace with CSS. But Javascript introduced programming concepts to me, but the good thing is with much learning and more practice, i started getting comfortable. I also got introduced to tech communities and these doubled my progress as well as my growth.

The power of tech communities πŸ’ͺ

Mentioning tech communities, they acted a support support system for me till today. I get to meet new people and network at tech event, learn about new trends in the tech ecosystem, share and generate ideas, link up with like-minded people, find opportunities, get help and much more. My growth is highly reliant on community engagement, consistency and hard-work.

My emphasis is, do not just join a community, do participate(actively) and get involved. That is when you get to reap the full benefits.

Benefits of Belonging to a community

  • Community Support πŸ’ͺ Image description

Many times one can feel lost, but a community is there to guide you through and hold your hand. And i believe everyone needs a support system

  • Access to valuable resources πŸ¦„
    There are tones and volumes of great resources that people share with each other.

  • Networking πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘
    this is the number one reason why people join tech communities. Ensure you make genuine connections with people who can help you boost your career. There are many peopler out there who got jobs through their network.

Communities you can Join

If you are not an active member of any community, i invite you to please join one, contribute to open source,to attend meetups, to develop a habit of giving back to the community in any form (blogs, vlogs, podcast etc). There as so many ways one can contribute to a community.

How to overcome challenges as a woman in tech

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  • Kill Self-doubt imposter syndrome

Self-doubt is a powerful thing that has killed many professions and careers. Do not allow to feed this monster.
Honestly speaking, how many women are victims of imposter syndrome? I have been a victim countless times?
I have very personally felt the overwhelming loneliness, self-doubt, and frustration that often comes with the minority status of a woman in engineering. However, this did not stop me.
Always believe in you.

  • Mentorship and networks
    Find a good mentor. Navigating the Tech career trajectory on your own, will be a hard road to trek and will leave you feeling burnt out and "feeling like giving up everytime.

  • Never Stop LearningπŸ“–
    I learnt somwhere that the only constant in technology is change. So, in order to stay relevant in tech, you have to keep onn learning and being up-to-date with current trends.

  • Speak Up πŸ—£ - Know your worth
    Never forget who you are and the goals you have set for yourself. When people get to belittle you, remember you are not worth less than them and you have worked hard and earned to be where you are. Do not let anyone dim your light. Do not entertain horrifying behaviors, shout out! Blow the whistle! Always put your own needs first. Don’t let life happen to you, take control and speak up. Dare to express your opinion and ideas

  • Build a Support System
    There’s great strength in numbers. Having a support system is always helpful, especially when those people have an inherent knowledge of the issues you face.

  • Be Patient πŸ“Œ
    Growth takes time. You cant see your results right away so be patient with yourself. Work hard, star consistent and never give up.

  • Find Out What Motivates You πŸ‘
    Make sure that everything you do is driven by passion and motivation and have a good attitude.

What worked out for me

  • Progress over Perfection πŸ‘Œ

Strive for progress not perfection
β€œPerfectionism prevents us from taking double steps in our career. We think we have to be perfect, but we don’t.” -- Reshma Saujani

  • Learn when to restπŸŒ™

Mental health is everything!
Take breaks whenever necessary, read books, listen to your favorite music, go for adventures and nature walk, pray. what you get to do to stay vibrant.
Give yourself a permission to rest.

  • Embrace failure πŸ«‚

Take failures as stepping stones and not hurdles. Seek hrlp whenever you can. Dare to fail, only then can you learn.

  • Learn. Learn. LearnπŸ“–

One thing that i came to learn is, self taught skills are the art to mastery. In tech, we never stop learning. Always educate yourself when something new comes up. Never stop learning, be curious and take time to meet people with more experience than you to keep you motivated

  • πŸ“ŽDocument your journeyπŸ“Ž

When you learn something, share it with others by either blogging, vlogging or any means that suits you. I often do this by writing blog articles. There are many free platforms out there where you can start blogging, or writing out your progress. Such include, hashnode, medium etc.

  • Get socialπŸ’‘

Start posting your progress and naking people see what you have been doing. This is how you get to land opportunities

  • Consistency ⏲️

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." β€” Aristotle

My rule is: A little progress everyday bring big results. Success does not come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently. The secret is always hidden in your daily routine.

Where do i start❓

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I have been asked this question so many times in the recent past. And my advice is; start where you are, with what you have. After doing research and deciding on which path you want to take,always start by learning the basics.

NOTE: Tech has many careers, you do not have to code to be in tech or to contribute to communities and open source, there are non-tech careers that are amazing too. For example, i mentioned i am a technical writer too and i find it very fulfilling, Just find what resonates with you and put your best, be the best. Just be intentional about the area you choose. The tech industry is so large that you can choose to specialize in a myriad of sub-areas. Do your research and find what interests you.

Questions that i have been asked frequently? πŸ€”

  1. Is Tech Scary? πŸ‘Ή
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    Absolutely Not! Actually tech is that "sweet lover" that you cant let go once you fall in love.

  2. Is tech for introverts?
    Again nooo...Personality isn't an issue here. Whether you are sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric or melancholic does not matter. What really matters is your passion, determination, hardwork and consistency.

Thank you for reading this article!
Happy Teching It! 😍

Wanna talk over coffee β˜•

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I love chatting with people about tech careers. Wannachat about your career path and experiences you've heard along the way?, i would love to listen. Can be like a networking series where we het to talk about mentorships, challanges, work-life balance,gender equality and inclusion, life at general and everything else that comes up.


πŸŽ™οΈ My podcast πŸŽ™οΈ

Love podcasts??
I love podcasts and i listen to them alot. I am developing my own podcast channel where we get to gain insights, inspirations and empowerment from experienced women in tech as well as give a platform to other women rising or getting started in their careers to share their journey.

"To engineer a better society, we need people of different gender, races and backgrounds solving our problems." - That's the motto.

πŸ“Œ However, the project is under development and i hope to launch it soon.

Stay tuned πŸ“»

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When you enter tech, you realize that there are more men than women. You can’t deny that. But, I don’t think you can make that an obstacle. You need to ignore the naysayers and surround yourself with people who believe in you, believe in your abilities and help you grow.

Buy Me A Coffee

You can connect with me over the social. Let's chat.
Twitter | Linkedin | Github | Instagram


GO Girls!

Top comments (2)

konrbk profile image

Great points, not only for women but for all of us! Also, as a beginner, it's essential to ask questions. I can't count the hours wasted trying to figure out everything on my own because I was too afraid to ask some "dumb" questions to more experienced team members. Fortunately, in recent years technology lowered the barrier. Not only it's less stressful to ask questions on Slack than in person. There are also tools for asking questions anonymously

Thank you for a great article. I'll share it with my team. Keep up the good work!

emma_donery profile image
Emma Donery

Thank you for the great feedback @konrbk , tried out the and its amazing