Woman who code in Umbraco community: Poornima Nayar

Poornima's experience with coding, Umbraco and reflections on gender equality in tech community.

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Poornima's experience with coding, Umbraco and reflections on gender equality in tech community.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a web developer and have been doing programming scores about 10 years now. I am a freelancer, now working with a digital agency in London. I am usually involved in all aspects of a web development project right from planning and estimation right through to delivery of the project

What’s your experience with Umbraco?

I have been using Umbraco since 2012. My first Umbraco project was in version 4.7. Ever since that I have done lots of work in Umbraco developing websites and even web applications.

When and how did you become interested in coding?

My interest in coding starts from my university days. Programming with C was a compulsory paper for my engineering degree and i thoroughly enjoyed learning it. It was then when I realised that I love coding and I should make that my career. It still continues to be my passion. I find great joy and satisfaction in doing the job I love.

When you decided to enter this industry, were you concerned about facing prejudice as a woman? If yes, what were your concerns?

When I entered the programming industry I never thought of facing the prejudice as a woman. I had no such concerns. I always believed and still believe that if you are good there is nothing stopping you.

I started my career in India - in an office which had nearly 2000 employees 30 percent of who were women. But, given the crowd was quite large and the fact that we had women right from graduate level programmers to the top management, the vast difference in the gender ratio did not really stand out.

It was when I moved to the UK and started working here when it all started to stand out as there were hardly any female programmers in the team. I have worked here since 2007 and there has been very few teams where that included female programmers.

Why do you think there still aren’t that many female coders?

Hmm... tricky one! I am struggling to figure out an answer. I have been thinking over it a lot but haven’t been able to come up with any proper reason why. But I feel it’s a kind of vicious circle where women generally feel outnumbered and are discouraged from getting into technology.

What do you think would help to increase gender diversity in tech community?

I think introducing technology to kids, right level of mentoring, coding groups, meet ups etc can help. Women-friendly environment at workplaces also can help.

What advice would you give to someone looking to make a career move and learn to code?

A warm welcome! As much as a steep learning path it can be I always say that once u pick it up coding can be fun and addictive!

How do you imagine your future as a developer?

Challenging and fun! Technology is ever changing and it’s important that you keep yourself up-to-date or at least know what’s happening around you and what are the upcoming technologies. I think it would be nice to keep on learning and developing your skill set. Keep learning and produce better code everyday, that’s how I see my future as a developer.

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