Home >> The Women Passion program (WOPA) blog series: Lynn Asiimwe shares her experience as a software developer intern

The Women Passion program (WOPA) blog series: Lynn Asiimwe shares her experience as a software developer intern

Who is Lynn Asiimwe?

She is one of the technical facilitators for WOPA (The Women Passion program).  Lynn is a software developer at access mobile in Kampala , Uganda and also runs weekly python/django classes at the witu centre  . Lynn has had the opportunity of working with the Praekelt consulting  software team in Cape town ,South Africa and the Ushahidi software team in Nairobi,Kenya. Lynn shares her experience as a software developer so far.

Software development world is men's world

I accidentally became a software developer, initially my plan was to become an electrical engineer. However I got a Google/Zawadi scholarship which gave me the opportunity to take on electrical engineering and computer science at the same time. When I wrote my first java program in first year , I knew that was the career path for me. Much as I have a degree in electrical engineering and computer science , I now see myself as a software developer.

My journey as a software developer has been far from glamorous filled with numerous challenges but I guess that's what makes it worth it. One of the challenges I guess I share with other female software developers is that software development is a man's world. But that doesn't mean women are not invited to participate. It's difficult however when the men on your team see  your coding skills , they will begin to respect you. Also if you surround yourself with a great support system , it will make it much easier.

You need to aggressively seek out opportunities outside classes to get more experience programming.

During my undergraduate , I tried to apply for technical internships every long holiday I had. Much as I was part of a great computer science program at university , class assignments are so far from what happens in the real world. Getting technical internships is not easy as companies are hesitant to hire somebody with no experience but it's not impossible. For my first technical internship I sent out multiple emails  and tweets to software companies asking if they had slots for interns at their company . After almost 50 emails and 5 tweets , Ushahidi replied to me.

You need to be hungry for experience which usually drives you to create tools that people would actually use

Technical internships and jobs usually don't come by easily. In such a scenario , I would advise potential software developers to take on personal projects.  These personal projects are a way of developing your coding skills and getting an opportunity to create real products that are used by real people . One of my personal projects was roadconexion (www.roadconexion.com) ,  a crowd sourcing traffic application meant for Uganda. The project was a great programming challenge , also gave me the opportunity to work with other developers/entrepreneurs on a project we were all passionate about. Unfortunately our customers didn't embrace the product and project was ended.

Women need to empower other women .

I believe that for us to add more women in to the programming club in Uganda , the few female software developers in Uganda need to support the upcoming software developers who are still at University. I run the python club for ladies at the Women in technology  centre in Kampala , Uganda. This gives me the opportunity to share my experience with upcoming female developers and also offer support in any way  I can.

The Women Passion program is an experiential based learning program at Outbox that seeks to train up-to 100 girls in programming and entrepreneurship within Uganda. WOPA is a program under the #40Forward initiative, a challenge by Google for Entrepreneurs to 40 organisations around the world to rethink the gender gap and increase the number of women in our programs by 25%.  Google for Entrepreneurs is providing program assistance and $1,000,000 in support to partner organizations that are increasing the representation of women entrepreneurs in their startup communities.

To stay informed, please share using: #40Forward, #WOPAUG



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