I am not really a big fan of facebook, but I must admit that this tool turns out to be very useful for my trip to meet new people and stay in touch! So no surprise here, the first contact I had with Rojina Bajracharya, was thanks to Facebook. After chatting on fb, she spontaneously invited me in her family in Bhaktapur to celebrate Christmas. That is how on Christmas eve, I met with Rojina, a node.js developer at Zyoba Labs. In addition to being generous and always enthusiastic, Rojina impressed me by her involvement in Nepal to encourage women in programming. She is indeed one of the co-founder of the community Girls in Technology. And her passion and involvement have not gone unnoticed, since she won a Toptal scholarship for women developers.
Ludwine. Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I am a passionate person and I belong to a cultural family where norms and ethics have a great value. Most of my siblings and girls of the community where I live, prefer to join medical studies, but I chose engineering instead. And now it had turned into one of the biggest interest of my life.
In fact, I have been excited about computer stuffs right from my childhood. There is a saying that your interest leads to what you will choose later. I think it similar to my case. My father brought a desktop computer for my brothers, sisters and me inside a big cartoon box when I was fifteen. At that moment, that computer was something like magic for us. And especially for me, because I could not stop wondering how it could work, how we could chat with people living seven oceans far behind us. I was always wondering who could have created this and how. There used to be too many questions since that time, but we only had a view on how a computer looked like, and nothing about how it worked or how its micro-operations were going inside the processors and motherboards. I am glad that I chose something with a hidden interest inside me, instead of an academic way, what my family had set for me first. Today, I am happy to work in IT.
Women represent between 5 and 10% of people in IT in Nepal. Why such a huge gender gap for women?
Well, it can not be exactly analyzed why so few women are in this field. But in my perspective, I totally believe in the matter of interest and priority. A person’s interest will automatically let him/her push to their destination. In the case of women in Nepal, one of the problem is that they do not step ahead when it is related to computer stuffs. Some women think that computer and softwares do not belong to their jobs, but only to men. Mentality always affects one’s perception. Another thing is that women often prefer to choose medical and various other management, banking sectors for their career. I think that computer science subjects should be introduced to every student right from their school periods. They should be made compulsory and important. In some schools, computer subjects are not that focussed whereas in some schools, they are regarded as optional subjects. They might not find it interesting, but just try at first. Who knows interest shall be created later?
You are the co-founder of Girls In Technology in Nepal. Can you tell us more about this initiative?
On 28th March, Girls in Technology held its first ever meetup, which marked the beginning of this team. With regular events held every Saturday, girls prepare themselves and motivate several others about becoming a part of technical field.
GiT started its sister project “Beauty and The Brains” (only name for the training session) training, dedicated to girls interested in IT to come forward and learn from the experts. It has since then finished two programs of five sessions each on Saturdays to learn JAVA, PHP and WordPress.
During the International ICT day (April 4th, 2015), GiT participated in the competition organized by International Girls in ICT Day on the theme “Expanding Horizons and Changing Attitudes”. GiT was a runner up and successfully grabbed attention of national dignitaries.
GiT was moving in its stable pace when our nation was shocked by the great 25th April earthquake. Work got stuck and lives got disturbed but GiT remained strong. We came together and collaborated with country’s IT experts and started a volunteering service on Relief Management System “Relievo”. Hand in hand, Git helped children shaken after the disaster with a handwriting and art competition on 19th May in Ittiachen, Bhaktapur.
Once everything was stable after the earthquake, GiT resumed its meetups and invited respected personality for a talk sessions enlightening them with present scenarios and how to cope with the things around, networking and communications. GiT opened its door to other enthusiastic girls and invited them to be a part of their fraternity. They held interview and presentation sessions where girls around the valley explored their strengths and weaknesses. With ever increasing demand of skilled manpower in society, members of GiT visits the IT Company for the Market Survey and Technology Analysis so that they can make girls capable and market ready. So far, they have visited numerous companies and responses has been overwhelming.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
Girls In Technology is one of the coolest project I had and will ever work. This idea has been proven a genuine purpose project. I wish every “technology” girls in Nepal will soon work for this and will continue in the future. We are just at the beginning, and we are working to expand the movement throughout the country.
Another project I really enjoy working on is part of my job, it is a nodeJS and angular JS application. The team is really good and the work environment is the coolest I have ever been. But, learning never ends. Working on Node.js applications is an opportunity for me. I hope to learn a lot from this workplace and go further.
What mobile application or tool you could not live without?
As most people, Facebook is my favourite technology tool. Honestly, when I created my facebook account around six years ago, it was something like more than an awesome. It is fun at the moment to use this tool but equally important for today’s world for work too. It is good market analysis tool as well. It has given various provisions to the users.
Other tools I really enjoy are PicsArt and Google+/gmail.
Do you have role models or someone who inspires you?
Gautam Buddha has been a role model in my life. His teachings of Life are practical for every living beings. I like one of his teachings called “Middle Path”. He has taught every beings about true virtue and purpose of being born in this land.
And I can not forget to mention my parents and family who have been supportive throughout all of my life. I mostly do not agree to every thoughts that I have been guided by my parents or anyone. I first analyze it, then follow it if it is right for me. But no matter, my parents worked hard throughout their life to provide to us and nurture us, it would never be returned at the right value. They have been awesome. Thank to them.