Who exactly is Velda Kiara?
Velda Kiara is a person who loves to write about different things. I am also a web developer and a leader of various communities such as the Twitter Developer Community KE, OSCA Nairobi, and AnitaB.org Nairobi. I have always loved giving back and making it easier for other people to get into technology. My way of giving back is through leading communities and volunteering.
What made you choose Tech as a career?
It was a wide range of factors. From the movies, I watched such as Iron man, where Tony made it look glamorous and intriguing. I also wanted to understand how we could use technology to make my parent's workplace better.
Are there any challenges you faced when you started out as a woman in tech and while leading the various tech communities?
Leadership in general comes with its own challenges because it's dependent on the people you lead. The challenges I faced mainly involved fear of taking leadership positions, self-doubt, and not feeling like I belonged. Thankfully, I had and I have built a good support system that we talk through this type of issue. We evaluate and find out if the issues are dumbfounded and if they are not, we take steps to learn and be better. In the end, it's a learning process to become better.
What exactly is your area of expertise? I am a web developer who mainly uses Django and React. I also participate in Technical writing. I have product management skills and community leadership skills.
What online resources would you say help you the most with your job?
Who do you look up to?
My parents, for being supportive, being my voice of reason when I need it, and being present in my life.
How do you keep your skills in Tech current?
I subscribe to different newsletters based on my stack as well as reading official documents. I also attend different webinars and meetups.
What one thing about Tech do you love the most?
I love the fact that you can easily get involved in it despite your background and there is a lot of vibrant communities in it too.
Fav and least Favorite Tech products?
I do not have favorites, I just use what I have at the moment's convenience.
Is there something you wish you knew before starting out in Tech?
Yes, I should have started in-depth learning of Data Structures and Algorithms sooner than I did.
What advice would you give to younger you and girls who want to venture into the Tech World? The advice I would give to a younger me would be from a poem I love called Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. In particular one line that says" You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."
You belong in this industry as much as everyone else, you can and will add value in your own unique way. You will definitely experience challenges and detours, enjoy the process be kind to yourself, learn, and unlearn. Put in your 1% daily, there is power inconsistency.
I would also like to pass on something a friend of mine once said to me that has helped me, it's more like a prayer: I hope that you learn to tie your shoes(step up to your responsibilities), I pray that your days are like floating lanterns(enjoy every single moment of life).
I hope that you finish your food(finish what you start) and progress is always progress, the world is your oyster, Amen and never forget that God is good.
Article by Kinarah