What do you think is the greatest opportunity women have to make a difference in the technology industry?

This era presents women with great opportunities in many fields. The technology industry in particular presents an exciting time for women to enter. The greatest opportunity, us, women have to make a difference in the technology industry is to use our careers to make a positive social and environmental impact in our workplace and the community. This requires confidence, involvement, self-esteem, and great sense of responsibility.

Throughout my career in the technology industry, I found that a good education and a solid knowledge foundation provided me with the great confidence to take on any challenges. I also found that learning is a lifelong process and developing a passion for learning could help me keep up with what we do.

I started from an electrical engineering background, and had programmed industrial robots and many other control systems. Opportunities brought me to the land of web as a web developer. Since I am a passionate learner and always enjoy challenges, I picked up all the state-of-the-art technologies by free online resources, having discussions with experts, and sharing ideas with people.

Last summer my group experienced a serious application performance issue. After worked with the key technical people and some community experts, the conclusion was that the issue was caused by a Microsoft framework limitation. I wasn’t satisfied by leaving the issue unsolved, so I spent my free time to continuously research, eventually figured out a good solution.

Another time a Microsoft framework bug prevented our well d­­­esigned code from functioning. Microsoft documentation and the framework experts couldn’t explain why. Although I had my workaround, the puzzle lingered in my mind and couldn’t go away. I had dug deeper and finally found out that one part of the Microsoft framework misinterpreted names for a specific data type and those names were not recognized by the other part of their framework.

I could go on with these stories about women doing great things in the technology industry, because they happen every day. Even though the stories can be small compared to those big difference makers’, together they have shown that confidence, involvement, self-esteem, and great sense of responsibility helped to make a difference in these small worlds. Technology has not been discriminatory to women. Technology is gender-blind and only cares for results. Who we are and what we are biologically deemed is not a variable in our codes; only our knowledge and passion are. Women can be as competent as men in solving problems in the technology industry, and we are.

Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage. As long as we are confident, involved, and responsible with great self-esteem, women can equally help to move the technology industry forward. Women can also make significant differences in the world.

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