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 Zartaj Jamil. 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.
My name is Zartaj Jamil, and I am 22 years old. I completed my bachelor’s in Computer System Engineering from Dawood University of Engineering and Technology in 2019. I work at Genetech Solutions as a QA Analyst.
Who have been your most potent influences in life?
The most influential people in my life are my parents. They taught me how to walk, talk, drink and tell right from wrong.
My father had to make some tough decisions in life, but he made it look easy. It may be easy when you have an uncompromising set of ideals and a strong sense of what is fair. He inspired me to do my best and work my hardest in all I do. And whether I succeeded or not, he was always there to give me a big hug and told me that everything will be all right. He is my role model.
On the other hand, my mother taught me to be positive in difficult circumstances. I never saw her get weighed down in bad situations. She always says, “Life throws you punches, roll with it” No matter what she is dealing with, I always see her smile. Together, they have taught me to have good morals and to always rely on family. They are the best!
Why did you choose to learn to code?
I am an engineering student with big dreams for my future. Helping people get a solid education, putting an end to the bureaucratic nonsense that goes on in some administrations, and helping my country is my dream.
I also have an egotistical dream of going beyond the solar system. But enough rambling. I loved computers since the start, but not for programming, for games and MS-paint. At the end of high school, I learned how to build something by writing a few lines of code and making the computer do so much more. Learning to code can be a beneficial skill that will allow you to open up more opportunities at your workplace and possibly give you a new career perspective.
“Programming is like any other sport. You might know the rules, but you have to play to learn.”
It can be a lot simpler than you expect, and despite what most people think, you don’t have to be an expert at math! Give it a try and you might end up changing your life for the better. That’s why I decided to learn to code.
“Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.”
― Martin Fowler
What was your experience like with CodeGirlsKarachi?
My experience with CodeGirls was great. I learned a lot and found the confidence to survive in this industry. CodeGirls is the best platform for women to reduce the gender gap in the IT sector.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
My biggest achievement and dream was to get admission to an engineering university. I couldn’t take any classes for the preparation of the aptitude test, so I missed my NED test with one mark. So, next, I appeared in the Dawood and Karachi University test that was taken by NTS.
Surprisingly, I cleared both the tests with the highest marks! My parents and I decided to get admission in Dawood, and finally, my dream came true. I got a position in multiple semesters and got a full scholarship.
What goals have you set yourself for the next three years?
My goal for the next three years is to continue my higher studies from abroad and polish my skills to get a better position in the Tech Industry.
Did getting a job changed anything for you within and outside the family?
Yes, I feel more independent, confident and punctual/disciplined compared to my college days. It is an incredible experience. Now I know how to walk into a new situation and figure out how I can make a difference. Most importantly, I learned what/where/when to speak certain things/topics in an organizational setup. It was something I could not have learned in college or school.
You can contact Zartaj Jamil using her email address below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.