Women in Tech: Velda Kiara

Velda Kiara is a blogger, an international scholar, a back-end software developer — and a woman with a heart of gold. “I am thrilled to be featured”, she tells us, and we are as equally thrilled to be sharing her story as a #WomaninTech.

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We think of her big smile as she says cheerily, “I enjoy being part of the Tech community because it makes me feel like I belong and I get to provide solutions to actual problems.”

When she was younger, she did accounting — and being exposed to accounts made her realize that she had questions — questions about the way things were done. To her, the typical balancing of books was “really boring”, and she found herself constantly asking: “How do I make this easier, fun and better?”

Quick books was quite interesting”, she adds, “because you could manage everything, including petty cash. Which is a huge plus if you like knowing what you spend on a daily. Learning that so many things could be easily automated drew me to technology, because we all want to make our lives easy and provide solutions to our daily problems in order to raise our living standards.”

“I enjoy being part of the Tech community because it makes me feel like I belong and I get to provide solutions to actual problems.”

We noticed that her passion for technology had stemmed from another passion of hers. “I have other passions”, she informs us, “and these do enable me to understand the digital world better.” Her other interests include reading and writing — in fact, she has a blog that you can read, to catch up with Velda!

I get the impression that Velda loves to create and capture using technology and her other interests, cultivating her own unique voice in the digital sphere. As the Developer Student Club Lead in her campus, she learns how to manage a community of people equally passionate about software development. “This programme also teaches me how to be a better leader.” The Developer Student Club is a programme sponsored by Google, run by students and for students. “Most of the things [surrounding the topic of] technology are documented, so I really get to understand the underlying features of what I use and why we use technology in the way we do.”

As she tells us about her involvement in tech, I hear the growing ambition and love for this industry in the young woman’s voice. “I am also working on a technical article that is yet to be released. I am pretty nervous about it as I have never written a technical article before, but I need to pass it by my mentors first”, she says, a tinge of shyness creeping into her voice.

Velda is also the youngest software developer we know, and honestly — the most passionate we have spoken with. “As a back-end software developer, we mainly deal with the server side. That includes databases, scripting, and architecture.”

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She’s aware that people are often confused over the idea of back-end and front-end when it comes to software, so she kindly begins to break it down. “The difference between back-end and front-end is that, the back-end deals specifically with logic, and front-end is the users’ side — like how they interact with the website, that is what the user sees and uses — the experience of using the application.”

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Having heard Velda speak confidently about her current work and career with pride, we can’t help but wonder if she ever had doubts about her journey in the tech world. “Well, an issue I faced was when I was applying for an internship; most companies are aware of how expensive it is to hire an international student, as opposed to hiring someone already living in their country. Even if an internship is unpaid, international students require visa sponsorship and authorisation.”
Her bleak recollection quickly turns into a lighter memory as she continues, “It was a bummer — but oh well, I survived [that challenge]!”
I am currently an intern at NeverestLLC. It’s a start-up that is focused on providing solutions for Africa, by Africa.” This internship is proudly displayed on her Twitter bio, and rightfully so. “I am really learning a lot in regards to software development and working with the projects they do is really thrilling and impact full to the community at large. I am really enjoying my internship, and I could not wish for a better company to intern at.”
Velda’s humility shines through her passion for learning more despite having amassed valuable experience and so many accomplishments. The young woman goes on to tell us when we ask for advice, “Take the leap and just do it. It’s the best thing you will ever do, and you won’t regret a thing — well,  unless you get a bug and have yourself questioning aaalll your decisions in life”, she jokes.
“But on a more serious note — that [a down moment] happens to all of us. Nobody knows everything, so strive to up-scale on the daily. Whatever position, or part you play in a project or group — ensure you do it so well that the person who comes after you doesn’t have to go through the hassle of de-bugging what you went through.”
“What’s the point of you going through that experience if you didn’t make things better for someone else?” 
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Her statement, delivered breezily, highlights how picking up tech skills and cultivating her passion in the digital sphere had really enabled her to fulfill a value-driven mission of creating solutions and smoother pathways for other people. Before we can let her beautiful message sink in, she hits us with a quote we’ll remember for life:

“One more thing: When you get to the top, remember to send the elevator down for others.”

Follow along Velda’s journey here and catch up with the rest of our Women in Tech in the main column by Athena Tan, right here on Carpe Bloom.

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