Sonal Gupta is an MBA graduate student at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. She has five years experience in leading software development teams, product development, and consulting engagements. She has the ability to analyze large volumes of data and generating actionable insights. We asked her what her experience has been like as a female in data science and invite you to read her response below.
Did I always want to be a part of the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) culture? This new culture is vastly expanding across my home country of India and is a large part of my past already. Computer classes were always a part of my schooling but I related to them a lot more when I began to learn coding languages such as BASIC, C, and C++. Learning a computer language was not as tedious a task, as let’s say cooking is for me, but laying the foundation was not easy.
I was told by my teachers, parents, and mentors that “failures are your best teacher.” I trusted this saying and never negotiated with it. With time I failed more and in doing so learned more. Through my studies, I realized that my imagination enjoyed creating something virtually. Learning any language, apart from computer language, stipulated much more effort from me, so I stuck to the latter. An uncontrollable desire to push forward and seek new horizons made me set new goals.
My friends and I challenged each other every day to create a new chunk of code, and whatever we built was our own creation and we loved it. Our first collaboration was a computer game of chess, followed by many more projects. Whether it was intra-school or interschool competitions, our team of friends won medals for our work. Computers became my second love because my mom is my first love. She is the one who has seen me thrive, who has seen me at times challenged and who knows whatever may come I will survive the tides.
No guess that my love for coding would land me a job as a developer, after my engineering studies. At India’s Tech Mahindra, an information technology services and solutions company, I pursued my passion for coding and got into the JAVA development team. I have so much respect for this language because it is ever evolving. The culture in the organization resonated with my work style. Researching and coding was always on my agenda but I also started developing business acumen. I met the right kind of people who motivated me and kept my thirst for knowledge kindled. I worked on several projects but one of them helped me make a mark.
While working on the project I came up with the idea of merging the request calls to the database into a single unit so that the time consumed in the process of data creation be reduced by 80%. I conceptualized and initiated the development of the UI application and had to collaborate with several teams to bring in the specifics of the project. I asked other members to volunteer and the team effort brought in accolades after seven months. The client was really happy and I was promoted on his recommendation.
In my life, I have always found a way through any hard work to leverage my skills and create something new. I believe men and women are born with equal rights to live on this earth and to pursue their dreams. I chose a path that interested me and will pave it further based on my decisions. It is foolish to live someone else’s life. If this is what interests you, I say go for it. Courage is the most important factor in leading yourself to new heights.
To learn more about Ms. Sonal Gupta please check out her LinkedIn page.