Celebrating leaders in AAPI communities

Posted by Google Developer Studio

In recognition of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month, we are speaking with mentors and leaders in tech and who identify as part of the AAPI community. Many of the influential figures we feature are involved with and help champion inclusivity programs like Google Developer Experts and Google Developer Student Clubs, while others work on leading in product areas like TensorFlow and drive impact through their line of work and communities.

On that note, we are honoring this year’s theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration” by learning more about the power of mentorship, advice they’ve received from other leaders, and their biggest accomplishments.

Read more about leads in the AAPI community below.

Ben Hong

Senior Staff Developer Experience Engineer at Netlify

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer new/junior developers looking to grow into leadership roles?

There is a lot of advice out there on how to get the most out of your career by climbing the ladder and getting leadership roles. Before you embark on that journey, first ask yourself the question “Why do I want this?”

Becoming a leader comes with a lot of glitz and glamor, but the reality is that it carries a huge weight of responsibility because the decisions and actions you take as a leader will impact the lives of those around you in significant ways you can’t foresee.

As a result, the key to becoming the best leader you can be is to:

  1. Establish what your values and principles are
  2. Align them to the actions you take each and every day

Because at the end of the day, leaders are often faced with difficult decisions that lead to an uncertain future. And without core values and principles to guide you as an individual, you run the risk of being easily swayed by short term trade offs that could result in a long term loss.

This world needs leaders who can stand their ground against the temptations of short-term wins and make the best decisions they can while fighting for those that follow them. If you stand firm in your values and listen to those around you, you’ll be able to create profound impact in your community.

Taha Bouhsine

Data Scientist and GDSCUIZ Lead

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer new/junior developers looking to grow into leadership roles?

Create a journey worth taking. You will face many challenges and a new set of problems. You will start asking a lot of questions as everything seems to be unfamiliar.

Things get much lighter if you are guided by a mentor, as you will get guidance on how to act in this new chapter of life. In your early days, invest as much as you can in building and nurturing a team, as it will save you a lot of time along the road. Surround yourself with real people who take the initiative, get to the action, and are willing to grow and learn, nurture their skills and guide them towards your common goal. Don’t try to be a people pleaser as it’s an impossible mission.

Your actions will offend some people one way or the other. That’s ok as you should believe in your mission, create a clear plan with well-defined tasks and milestones, and be firm with your decision. In the end, responsibility is yours to bear, so at least take it on something you decided, not something that was forced upon you by others.

Finally, when there is fire, look for ways to put it out. Take care of your soul, and enjoy the journey!

Huyen Tue Dao

Android Developer, Trello

What do you love most about being a part of the developer community?

It has been the most rewarding and critical part of my career to meet other developers, learning and sharing knowledge and getting to know them as human beings.

Development is a job of constant learning, whether it is the latest technology, trends, issues, and challenges or the day-to-day intricacies and nuances of writing specialized code and solving problems in efficient and elegant ways. I don’t think I’d have the tools to solve issues large and small without the sharing of knowledge and experience of the developer community. If you’re having a problem of any kind, chances are that someone has had the same challenges. You can take comfort that you can probably find the answer or at least find people that can help you. You can also feel confident that if you discovered something new or learned important lessons, someone will want to hear what you have to say.

I love seeing and being part of this cycle and interchange; as we pool our experience, our knowledge, and insights, we become stronger and more skilled as a community. I would not be the engineer or person that I am without the opportunities of this exchange.

Just as important, though, is the camaraderie and support of those who do what I do and love it. I have been so fortunate to have been in communities that have been open and welcoming, ready to make connections and form networks, eager to celebrate victories and commiserate with challenges. Regardless of the technical and personal challenges of the everyday that may get to me, there are people that understand and can support me and provide brilliantly diverse perspectives of different industries, countries, cultures, and ages.

Malak Magdy Ali

Google Developer Student Club Lead at Canadian International College, Egypt

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer new/junior developers looking to grow into leadership roles?

The best piece of advice I can give to new leaders is to have empathy. Having empathy will make you understand people’s actions and respect their feelings. This will make for stronger teams.

Also, give others a space to lead. Involve your team in making decisions; they come up with great ideas that can help you and teammates learn from each other. In this process, trust is also built, resulting in a better quality product.

Finally, don’t underestimate yourself. Do your best and involve your team to discuss the overall quality of your work and let them make recommendations.

Celebrating global women in tech and trailblazers

Posted by Google Developer Studio

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring tech trailblazers who have made significant contributions to developer communities close to Google and beyond. Many of the women we spoke to work directly with some of our educational outreach and inclusivity programs like Google Developer Experts and Women Techmakers, while others are Google Developer Student Clubs participants or Googlers who do incredible work around the globe.

They all share a passion for making the developer community more accessible and inclusive for generations of women to come. Read about them below to learn more about these individuals whose drive contributes to a better workplace and world.

We’re proud to celebrate #WHM22 with them.

Google Developer Experts

Laura Morillo-Velarde Rodríguez

Guest’s location: Zaragoza, Spain

Tell us more about your role.

I work as a Tech Lead at Seedtag, a contextual advertising company, where I help build an amazing tech team to go through all the technical challenges that we have to face. Besides that, I’m also a Women Techmakers Ambassador and Cloud Google Developer Expert.

Is there a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited to share?

During the pandemic I started recording podcasts (in Spanish) with some friends (GDG Spain Podcast, Cloud Español) and one of those is Tech & Ladies Podcast. Every two weeks Cristina Pampín, Silvia García and I talk with other women in tech about their careers, different technologies or other topics related to the tech space.

What makes you passionate about being in the tech space?

I’m passionate about the tech space because you always have something new to learn. I think that this can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, as you need to find the time and it usually involves a lot of self-study, but it also prevents our work from becoming boring.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would offer professionals starting in the tech space?

I would recommend them to make the most of the technical communities that we have. There, you can learn a lot, meet amazing people and contribute to the growth of others with your knowledge and experience.

Luz Maria Maida Claude

Guest’s Location: Ingelheim, Germany

Tell us more about your role.

I’ve been a Software Engineer for the last 7 years. Right now, I’m working at BIX that is the Digital Lab of Boehringer Ingelheim. Although my job description is “Frontend Engineer,” the reality is that every day I have different challenges that involve a great diversity of technologies and tools.

Is there a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited to share?

With my team I created some prototypes using hardware oriented to the healthcare systems. In my free time I’m creating a project to collect funds for stray animals.

What makes you passionate about being in the tech space?

Technology gives us the power to turn our ideas into reality, but many of the things that are in our lives today are there because we share our knowledge with others. Thanks to many communities and groups we have more opportunities to improve our environments and grow step by step, something that is important in this time where we need to create changes.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would offer professionals starting in the tech space?

Be curious, trust in yourself and enjoy the journey. It is important to understand that every day counts to reach the objectives that we have. We’ll never have all the knowledge, but your current version knows something more than yesterday and the last week. Don’t stop and continue growing.

Google’s Coding Competitions

Chu-Ling Ko

Guest’s Location: Palo Alto, California

Tell us more about your role

I am a software engineer at Google for Clinicians of Google Health. Also, I am a volunteer for Google’s Coding Competitions. We develop the coding competition problems for Kick Start, Code Jam, and Code Jam to I/O for Women!

Is there a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited to share?

Recently, a group of women volunteers including me are working together to develop the problem sets for Code Jam to I/O for Women 2022. We prepare input verifiers, test case generators, various solutions (and some fake ones), and solution articles. It is so exciting that we are all a part of this amazing event!

What makes you passionate about being in the tech space?

I am so passionate about this work because it is something that helps people. Google’s Coding Competition team produces plenty of high-quality problem sets every year, along with comprehensible, educational solution articles. We hope the participants can enjoy and learn new things from each of our coding competitions!

What is the biggest piece of advice you would offer professionals starting in the tech space?

Enjoy and take everything you are doing seriously, and appreciate the people you meet in the adventure!

Tatiyana Mishtal

Guest’s Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Tell us more about your role.

I’m a Senior Software Engineer at YouTube Content ID, also TL of our team. We are working on detection of copyright violations on YouTube. Due to the specifics of our product, we have a very intensive Quality focus – I spend a lot of time on data analysis and cross-team collaboration to improve automated decisions made. At the same time reliability requirements, new signals development and continuous improvements to YouTube infrastructure bring endless interesting engineering challenges as well.

Is there a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited to share?

In addition to my main project, I’m also part of the Hash Code team. For several years already we have organized this coding competition for developers of all levels from all around the world. And just a few weeks ago we held the 2022 Qualification Round, which was especially challenging for us. Not only did we need to prepare a hard and exciting problem for the competition as we do every year, but also we had migrated to the new Google Coding Competitions platform and it was our debut there. Thanks to ours and the Coding Competitions team’s joint effort everything went smoothly!

What makes you passionate about being in the tech space?

I really like making things work. I enjoy solving problems, overcoming challenges and in the end seeing how results impact people’s lives. I especially value personal time and it delights me that technology can both improve the quality of people’s lives and cut the “time cost” of many mundane things.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would offer professionals starting in the tech space?

Ask “why” instead of “how”. Why something works the way it does, why people came to particular ideas and why would one use the technology in a way they do. There are a lot of options of “how” for everything in tech, but you need to know “why” to take the most out of it.

Google Developer Groups

Michelle Mannering

Guest’s Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Tell us more about your role.

The GitHub DevRel team gets to do some of the most amazing things in the Developer Relations space. We showcase the products and services that GitHub has, but more importantly we highlight the awesome things our community is doing. Whether someone is a maintainer, an open source contributor, student, or developer working within a company, everyone has a unique and interesting experience. By showcasing these cool developers and projects we can show how people are building better things for the world.

Is there a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited to share?

We’re always doing such fun and awesome things at GitHub. One of the things I’ve been working on a lot is the Release Radar. It’s a monthly blog post that goes out showcasing awesome open source projects. We also have a video that goes out featuring some of the projects, talking about what they do, and how others can use them. It’s a really awesome way to get the word out about what developers are building. You can find out more on releaseradar.github.com

What makes you passionate about being in the tech space?

I really love talking to others and hearing about their journey and experience. The best thing about the tech space is listening to someone get really excited about the thing they are building and then showing it to as many people as possible. I’m always so blown away by what people can create. I’ve been in this boat a few times and when you’re learning or building something and you get it right, and it deploys and doesn’t break, it’s not just you that gets excited, but everyone around you!

What is the biggest piece of advice you would offer professionals starting in the tech space?

Don’t think that this is a space where you have to be a genius and know everything. Everyone, all developers, from the most junior to the most senior, still use Stack Overflow to find answers. Never think you are not enough, and on the flip side, never think that you know it all. You can always learn more. So my best advice is “no matter what your role or your experience, always be learning!”

Cassidy Williams

Guest’s Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tell us more about your role.

In short: I build open source and educational content to help people get jobs!

Is there a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited to share?

I’ve been working on my newsletter full of web news, practice interview questions, and jokes! It’s at cassidoo.co/newsletter and I’m about to hit my 5-year-anniversary writing it!

What makes you passionate about being in the tech space?

Tech is such a creative, logical, exciting field that can change peoples’ lives. I love helping people get jobs in tech to afford and build the lives and ideas they want to.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would offer professionals starting in the tech space?

Look for people who are where you want to be. Look at their paths, and see how you can try to mimic it. Make yourself available for people to mimic you. One of my favorite quotes is to “lift as you climb”! If you help others as you move forward in their careers as you move forward in yours, you’ll build a wonderful community of people around you, and make the tech community a better place!