Today, we are proud to feature our very first Adobe CodHERS Hackathon winner–Sreya Mittal. This four-hour long online virtual hackathon was held on November 12, 2016, and uncovered some of the brightest women developers and coders in India through a series of algorithmic programming challenges. As the winner of the hackathon, we wanted to get a closer look at Sreya’s inspiration and motivation.
Written by Sreya Mittal, winner of Adobe CodHERS Hackathon
This moment reminds me of the lyrics from the famous song by Journey – ‘Don’t stop believing’ and it stands true to my feelings after being announced the winner of Adobe CodHERS 2016. Adobe’s ‘only for women’ hackathon gave me and several other engineers an exciting opportunity to demonstrate our talent and jumpstart our career. It was one of those life-changing moments which I am sure I will look back upon and be proud of, years from now.
Being an engineer’s daughter, I was exposed to technology and gadgets at an early stage of my life which helped me realize my interest in pursuing engineering as a career. Spending hours experimenting with computer parts and understanding how it operates enthused me to learn more about technology and I am glad that my family supported me at every step to help me achieve this dream.
Growing up in a world where women are increasingly considered at par with men has improved the number of women engineers in the field, but I still believe that a lot of women aspiring to pursue a career in engineering or technology often feel less exposed to opportunities. While the education system in our country is rapidly changing, opening newer avenues and interesting career opportunities for women, the societal mindset in less developed parts of our country needs to be revolutionized. Today’s women need to have an iron determination and motivation to follow their dreams and work hard to achieve that.
Out of close to three million programmers in India, 25 per cent are women and it goes to show the long way we still must tread to be at par with men in this field. However, I do believe that the day is not far when we will achieve the ideal 50:50 ratio (or even overcome men!) and for that we need an overhaul of the entire ecosystem to promote participation of women in engineering!
Initiatives from leading technology companies like Adobe CodHERS 2016 go a long way towards boosting women morale and recognizing budding engineering talents. I strongly feel that more technology companies need to come forward and support initiatives promoting the participation of women in engineering, which in the long run, can help them meet the gender diversity balance.
Adobe’s CodHERS 2016 Hackathon, is an innovative concept to encourage the participation of women in engineering. The national level challenge saw young women developers and coders partake in a series of algorithmic programming challenges to solve. Like other aspirants, I was looking forward to take part in this much sought after hackathon and as soon as the contest dates were announced, I invested time in practicing competitive coding and refreshing my knowledge of algorithms and data structures. I also consulted my seniors to get additional help in solving advanced algorithmic challenges. When the results were announced, I was thrilled beyond words. This win marks an accomplishment and a milestone in my life; nurturing my confidence and self-esteem to overcome the upcoming professional challenges.
Winning Adobe CodHERS was truly a life transforming event for me. I exhort all women to participate in such opportunities which are aimed at promoting women in technology. At the end, it is your motivation and dedication that will help you achieve your dreams and prepare you for challenges that your professional life will throw at you.
Signing off and Don’t stop believing!