March 12, 2015 IWD Spotlights – [Snehaheda]

Say hi to Sneha Heda. She is from India and is a passionate software developer who loves to learn new technologies. She has been an active member of the Topcoder community, by way of Cloudspokes, for more than 3 years. Sneha loves to read and is an avid blog reader, which is the primary way she keeps her technical skills fresh.

Read on to learn more about Sneha’s story

Q. How and why did you join Topcoder?

I had read about Cloudspokes in a couple of blogs, however, never believed what was written on the website. So I never took any challenges seriously. Then came the day when my mother was not well and admitted into a hospital. I was with her in the hospital room, as there was nothing much to do and I saw an interesting challenge being posted so I thought of giving it a shot. I started working on the challenge and submitted a solution in one single stretch. When the results were announced, I couldn’t believe that I placed 2nd in the very first submission that I entered. It was the start and there was no stopping. I started competing on challenges one after the other.

Q. What was it that first attracted you to the technology field?

Computers are something which I have had an interest in from the very beginning, however, I really got into it when I completed a C and C++ course during my 10th grade. I started writing simple code just to kill time and soon began enjoying it. When it was time after 12th grade to choose a specialization, there was no second thought and I chose computer engineering. I love programming and every aspect of it and that is something that drives me.

Q. How did you acquire the skills you needed?

I am a really active blog reader and acquired most of the skills through reading books, blogs, online tutorials and most importantly from my best friend GOOGLE. In my free time, I like to read about new technologies. I also go through other people’s source code to acquire a better understanding of the best ways to implement a particular problem. I build on these skills by working on several projects on different technologies. The best way to learn in the tech field is to jump in and build things.

Q. What are you working on now that excites you?

Currently working on implementing an integration between a PHP based portal with Salesforce, also at the same time working on implementing the OPEN311 API for a client using Salesforce rest API.

Q. What are your best words of wisdom for other girls/women starting out in technology field?

Working in the tech industry is amazing. You get to work on building the future every day. The key thing is to believe in your own abilities. Women often underestimate their own abilities, which holds them back from taking on the challenges that help any of us achieve our potential. The good thing working in the tech field is that you can work from anyplace and anytime which gives you the flexibility to manage your family life and also to work around your schedule. It is a great feeling to see your program working to make life of people easier.

Q. What can be done to encourage more girls/women to pursue technical careers?

I believe it is important for everyone to encourage girls to get into tech fields. A large number of women leave work either after marriage or after having children. If they can be encouraged to find options like working from home/flexible working hours, it will definitely get lot more women who are sitting at home to come forward and join the tech field. Portals like Topcoder are providing a great platform for women to use their skills and improve their knowledge as it gets you to work with the best programmers in the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Topcoder team for giving me a fantastic opportunity to utilize my skills and giving me a wide exposure to projects that I wouldn’t have gotten to work with. Thank you for making a difference in my life.

Come to chat and congratulate snehaheda in our forums.


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