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 Khair Un Nisa. 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.
Who have been your strongest influences in life?
My mother has been the strongest influence in my life. She is my role model. My mom is my source of motivation, and she is my inspiration. She is the bravest person I have ever known. There are some days of ups and downs, but I have never seen her giving up on anything. She keeps moving on for the sake of her family for her children. She has taught us never to give up, never feel down, face everything with a smile by saying Alhamdulillah to everything, and this is the key to our success today. We are three siblings, and we all are successful in our careers, and this is due to our mother prayers and her belief in us. She never forced us to do a job, never pressured us to study, never pushed us to do something against our will, she trusted us and supported us where she can, and embraced us in our decision.
Why did you choose to learn to code?
When I was in school, my siblings were students of IT, seeing their projects motivated me and that day I took a decision that one day I’ll become a software engineer. I will develop games (I didn’t know what programming languages or web dev are that time). I got admission in DAE in CIT (Computer Information Technology). During that time, I learned the basics of C Language, Visual Basic & HTML4, and that’s when my interest got higher in this field. I started learning more languages by myself like C++, C#, Java, etc., and with the help of the internet, I even developed few games using these languages. I was so amazed to see how much we can do by learning these languages. We can make so many projects. After college, I joined CodeGirls, and in that time, I learned the value of Web Development, and now I am so crazy about Web Development, I love Web Development. Coding is my passion. Coding is my hobby. And through coding, I want to help my country, and people of my country. Now I am a first-semester student of UBIT (KU), with already one year of work experience, and professional in my area of work. After four years, I will become a software engineer InshaAllah.
What was your experience like with CodeGirlsKarachi?
Well I can define my experience with CodeGirlsKarachi in one word “Excellent”, it was one of the first course of my life which I took, and I am so glad that I took this course as my career started with CodeGirlsKarachi. Doing course of Web Development from CodeGirlsKarachi strengthen my basics, I learned how to work in deadlines, how to do a task within the given time, how to do a job when you don’t know how to start, it was one of the best experience. I got the best trainers, the best mentors in that period. I not only learned technical skills, but I also learned non-technical skills because of the fantastic workshops held on every Saturday. I used to tell my mother all about the services you provide us and everything, and she used to pray a lot for your success. She used to be so happy that in this world full of selfishness, there are still some organizations who teach skills to some people without any benefit. I always remember the day when Shamim Rajani interviewed me, she so inspired me, and I told her I am enjoying a lot here and I want to be just like you. Now I am working hard to be just like her.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I can say that I am proud of being a Web Developer, proud of making my family happy with my achievements. I am proud of being a great artist, being a part of CIRCLE organization, and getting admission in my dream university. But the thing which I’m most proud of is that I taught Web Development (WordPress) to 30 students and made their careers in it, I am an inspiration to my students, I am a motivation to my students. Even 3 of my students are working hard to start their startups, and they say that I inspired them, I helped them to get them where they are today. So yes this is the proudest moment for me that I have motivated/inspired so many peoples that now they are in their path, making their careers out of it.
What goals have you set yourself for the next three years?
Well I want to be a full-stack developer, I want to do CSS (Central Superior Service), as I am an artist, I want to show my work to the world, I want to get a degree, I want to do game development in depth, want to make a change by helping others, and I want to make my parents more proud and happy. I want to keep helping people whenever I can. Even if I don’t achieve all of my goals, I will keep learning and will explore new things.
What would you do differently if you had a chance?
I have seen that many people have the potential to do something, but due to less confident and shyness, they never get a chance to do something. What would I do differently if I had a chance? I want to support everyone in every way. I want to tell them that they can do it, appreciation is so critical, I want to say to them that I believe in them. Small or big everyone has a talent, and not everyone is comfortable in showing that because of society and the way they make fun and degrade.
Did getting a job changed anything for you within and outside the family?
As I belong to a high-class family, earning was never a goal for me, however getting experience in my area of work was always my goal. But I was still a less confident, shy and weak at communication. Getting a job improved my communication skills and built my confidence. I was a person who never raised their hand in class, even when I had thousands of queries or answers because I always used to think that I am wrong hence no confidence. But now, I sit with the CEO and share my ideas with the Team, teach a class full of students with confidence. So yeah it built my faith, it helped me connect with people in the industry, it helped me to get the experience of how production works and everything. My family is pleased with my job, and they always support me, they trust me with the work I am doing, they even support me by giving me ideas about how to help students, about new ideas about the project and everything.
Any other information you would like us to share?
Yes, While learning Web development, I faced so many issues, like so many issues and I remember that I used to be so much stressed about it like how will I do it, am I doing it right, no I am doing it bad. There was a time when I lost belief in me, and I was demotivated because yes, people used to degrade me. After all, I was doing so much high. But I never gave up, I never gave up on my dream of being a web developer and look I achieved my goal. So the point is that keep doing whatever you’re doing, and while doing it enjoy doing it because if you don’t love what you do, then it’s a waste of time. Trust yourself and never let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve this. Because yes, you do deserve all the things.
You can contact Khair Un Nisa using her email address below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.