WTM Kolachi Interviews Sana Zehra
- Please give a short introduction of yourself
Ok, so I have been associated with software engineering for past 6 years and it has been an amazing journey in terms of knowledge, achievements and getting to know some great and technically sound people in the industry.
Apart from my work that takes most of my time and is totally worth it — I love food, fitness … hahaha [funniest contradiction]! Reading, travelling and photography!
2. Did you always want to become a software engineer? If yes, what shaped your dreams?
Yes! Always … I had no doubts about embracing this field ever since I was introduced to the world of technology in my school life. From the curiosity of how simple games like a raptor or for that matter buggers work behind the scenes till designing and building logics and solutions to simple problems via programming from a young age, I knew this was something that’s innate.
Besides my own interest in the field of software engineering, what shaped my dreams were some amazing teachers at both school and NED University! … I cannot thank enough to some of the most amazing personalities who have provided guidance & motivation in this journey.
3. What challenges came to your way when you decided to pursue your career in the tech industry?
I had no difficulty in pursuing a career in the tech industry. Everyone at my home was supportive and I had friends with similar interests so it was easier to learn and explore new things together.
However, as I started it there was quite some challenges to look up to. This career demands learning at a fast pace. It sometimes gets difficult to balance personal and professional life together. To do better, you have to keep learning useful techniques, tools algorithms for problem-solving besides your daily work.
I am a strong believer in a go-getter attitude & try to overcome these by tying to discipline myself whenever possible, but also take things easy & process them as they come my way.
4. How do you feel to be a part of the Pakistani tech ecosystem and how do you think Diversity and Inclusion are helping in its growth?
I am happy that I am able to contribute to this community in whatever possible ways I can. Whenever I can, I do attend and participate in tech community events as a speaker, volunteer or workshop organizers to exchange knowledge across interested folks in both students & industry.
Tech ecosystem in Pakistan is doing a great job to bridge the gap between education and software industry sectors by conducting some amazing programs. It is an overwhelming experience to see there is a certain percentage in both students and professionals interested in learning and growing together.
People from diverse backgrounds coming in any industry can help strengthen the culture and that also brings a new set of ideas, strengths and skills which can ultimately be the unique feature for any organization.
5. What are your suggestions for all the Pakistani women who are thinking of pursuing their careers in the tech industry?
I would strongly advise them to get on-board! One should always fulfil their dream of working in their field of interest. Work is not working anymore if you love what you are doing.
As time has passed by, few tech-based communities across the country have been working very actively to support interested individuals via onsite/online programs to get them started.
There are some programming competitions and hackathons too to participate, learn & explore. Also, more and more organizations are now hiring diverse talent it's no more a male-oriented field. There are so many tech-based organizations going an extra mile to support women and provide them with necessities they require if they plan to continue along with their kids.
7. What is your take on women empowerment in Pakistan? Do you think that the organizations operating in Pakistan are taking relative measures to empower women?
Yes! I have seen that women who have skills and are ready to dive in to learn & work hard and smart are recognized and have achieved what they want no matter how negative the circumstances are around them.
I have seen many organizations (like yourself!) taking great steps to empower & support women to gear them up with the needed motivation, knowledge and skills. There is always room in every individual’s capacity to do more for the empowerment of the nation collectively.
8. Are you connected to any local or global tech communities? How are you helping them in their growth?
As of now, I am in touch with only local tech communities like GDG Kolachi, WTM Kolachi, Flutter Pakistan and help them as they approach me to share my knowledge in different areas of practical software development.
9. Sana, what makes you remarkable?
Haha .. Not even sure if I am! :p but I guess what defines me is that in life, its our actions and knowledge that can make us achieve whatever we want & it’s we who choose to be in a state where we are at present.