The importance of communities and mentorship for achieving our dreams

by Ana Benites

My name is Ana Benites, I am originally from Perú, and I started my career change to software engineering approximately two years ago when I had the opportunity to collaborate and be part of Women in Technology Perú (WIT). Knowing that I could take my future into my hands and be able to switch between careers, I decided to move to Berlin and work there as a software engineer. I soon realized the importance of mentorship and of having a community of people with the same interests ready to support one another. I was lucky enough that I had met really nice people that mentored or supported me when I was thinking I was not good enough for programming and therefore almost quitting.

I met these people at my job, outside of my job, in online communities, and in organizations. It is true that sometimes trying to break into this industry can be hard because of the lack of technical knowledge, but mostly it’s harder because we don’t encounter empathy between one another. Technology is changing so fast that a great ability to have is to be a quick learner, to be accountable for your progress, and be empathetic with your teammates because we are working within teams and we are dealing with humans, not machines 🙂 

In my effort of giving back to the community, I met Natasha Green, Global/Senior Program Manager, who introduced me to the AnitaB.org Communities. The AnitaB.org Communities are open to all individuals who support and believe in the AnitaB.org vision that we can live in a “future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it.” They also believe in creating programs with everyone in the community in order to connect, guide, and inspire women to enter into, or stay, in the technology sector.

The mission and vision of AnitaB.org aligned with what I believe in, and Natasha asked if I wanted to take the lead in the development of the “AnitaB.org Accountability Study Groups.” Natasha said the goal of the project is to give online mentorship and accountability to individuals in the AnitaB.org Community who want to learn topics such as Python, AWS, Javascript, and so many more options. She had a lot of other ideas but I had to tell her to start slowly. 

I believe it is possible to learn anything you want if you work hard, receive good support, and above all if you get the opportunity. We launched the registration for our program in June and we already have a great acceptance within our community. I am really grateful for that. 

We are working with open source material for the courses that we are launching such as the ones of FreeCodeCamp, Coursera, Udemy (free course), etc. A special thanks to Quincy Larson and the community of FreeCodeCamp for contributing and making web education accessible to everyone.

As my favorite painter said, “Feet? What do I need them for if I have wings to fly?” Let’s dream big, support one another, and make this world a more inclusive one, especially for women and underrepresented groups. 

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. We are looking forward to have all of you onboard! We are still looking for mentors, please apply online (https://community.anitab.org/event/anitab-orgs-accountability-study-group/) or send us an email (studygroup@communityanitab.org) to participate.

#inclusion #visibility #accountability #womenintech #anitaborg #communityanitaborg

Twitter: @anitabenites201

Filed under: Advice


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