Learning a new skill can change human lives for the better. We are publishing inspirational stories of women who advanced the career ladder with the help of technology and mentorship. In this series of interviews, you will hear about CodeGirls and how it changed the perception of technology for so many women in Pakistan.
These interviews shed light on the day-to-day issues of a woman who wants to get her foot in the door and start her career in technology. The CodeGirls platform empowered these women and gave them bigger goals to bet on!
Today, we are featuring Zainab Lakhani. Read on to know more about her learning at CodeGirls as well as her professional experience.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, your education, and your work.
I am 19-years old, doing Bachelors in Computer Science from the Virtual University of Pakistan. I belong to a middle-class family, where technology is still a new concept. But I believe that my hard work will turn things around and show them how technology can reshape lives.
I’m currently doing a home-based job for Imamia Medics Company. I work as a project associate dealing with their website updates, data entry work and designing.
I also participate in the online Designing Contest on 99designs.com. Recently I designed a “Die Vault” mobile application as per client requirements.
Who have been your most potent influences in life?
My family, like many others in Pakistan, was hesitant to give independence to girls. But, my elder sister proved that marriage and society could not stop a girl from achieving her goals! She got married when she was 18, but completed her studies and is still studying. She started a coaching center in her house and fought with my parents for my freedom. Her motivating words encouraged me to prove myself, my skills and make my way forward.
Why did you choose to learn to code?
I had no idea about coding, but I was interested in web designing and development. It was my father who told me to take part in this course and when I got in, it became my life savior.
What was your experience like with CodeGirlsKarachi?
Fabulous and beyond my expectations. I think every girl should know about it and should take part in it.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I am so proud that I am skilled enough to support my family. Now my family supports me and thinks differently about technology.
What goals have you set yourself for the next three years?
After completing three phases, I prefer to pursue a career in design. I want to be the most exceptional UI/UX designer with excellent skills in developing. I see myself standing on a higher position, working with other experts. I want to be a mentor for other girls and teach them what I learned in my journey.
What would you do differently if you had a chance?
I would be doing programming if I had a chance. But, this might have made me busy at my university with no job or side skills.
Did getting a job changed anything for you within and outside the family?
My family and I both feel proud of myself. I don’t think like I am useless anymore. My family also supports me now and also encourages my cousins and other family members to pursue it, as their daughter has done great Alhamdullilah.
You can contact Zainab Lakhani using her email address below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.