Astha Sharma, an electronics and communication engineer residing in Kathmandu, Nepal is young co-founder of Code Rush and also the Managing Director of Girls in Tech-Nepal. In spite of the fact that there is low proportion of females in tech field, she actively engages in lots of events and also organizes them by gathering several tech enthusiastic girls.
How you started your journey?
Throughout the time of my high school, I firstly joined Girls in Technology (GIT), a local community. GIT is an open community that actively encourages women’s participation in technology. The main objective is to provide a platform that brings females together whether they are beginner with limited or even no tech experiences, or professionals so that they could share their insights, journey and experiences. I lend a hand as Technical lead at GIT for 4 years, organizing and leading several events. We also carried out entrepreneurship programs accumulating several female entrepreneurs.
Tech industry and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields have low participation by women. From an apparent low interest in technology-related subjects in school to the small number of women employees in tech companies, today there is serious and undeniable under-representation of women in tech industry. Thus, girls and women pursuing career in technical field suffer from being inconsequential. In this context, female undergoes low self-confidence which turns out to be a reason to hold females back in STEM fields.
Though several events, trainings and skill oriented programs were organized to empower girls, there was astonishing result seen during vacancy announcement. Time and again lots of developer vacancy used to be announced and the numbers of female applicants were minimal. I realized that only events and training cannot uplift and boost their confidence. The objective of events was to make them prepared for further employment opportunities but the result was abrupt. So, I decided to create a platform where girls could get training of their choice and after being proficient in their desirable fields they could either work for the same company or can apply for any other. By this decision, I co-founded Code Rush.
Please tell us about “Code Rush” and its objectives.
Code rush is a software company that intends to become a company with maximum female developers. I recently co-founded Code Rush with Rojina Bajrachraya. Most of the colleges in Nepal are focused on theoretical knowledge rather than emphasizing on skill set programs. This is the main reason why we find lack of confidence in graduates. So our mission is to create self sustainable training programs along with proper placement opportunities.
Code rush mainly focus on training programs and Digital Marketing as well as SEO. We also aim to provide a complete package to a company through web application development, mobile application development, community events, digital marketing and SEO. We have already organized a hackathon and workshops. The algorithm is female is a leading worldwide hackathon for female, happened for the first time in Nepal. And the winner of the hackathon is in Spain now as per the scholarship granted to her. Now we are organizing ‘code like her’, six month long fellowship designed for female tech seeking a career in full stack development.
Can you also tell us something about Girls in Tech-Nepal?
Girls in tech is a global non-profit that works to put an end to gender inequality in high tech industries and startups. Girls in tech chapter Nepal was launched in Dec, 2019. The mission is to provide a platform to learn, guide and enable each other. GIT serves females to stand out in leadership and idea pitching. Girls in tech exist for anyone interested in tech, startups and providing girls with growth platform.
We are providing a mentorship environment to females of all age groups in achieving their personal and professional development goals. We believe childhood is the best phase to shape anyone minds. So we are going to provide the STEM course right from the early school life so they could understand what actually STEM course includes.
What is your future vision for Code Rush?
It’s going to be new software company with maximum number of female developers with female leads. Moreover, Code Rush will be the IT consultant providing every sort of technical facilities from web development to marketing and covering every level of services.
What advice would you like to give to a beginner in tech field?
I realize everything must start from very beginning because the tech market of Nepal is becoming much more competitive. One must be very progressive from early phase. Furthermore, many people think that programming is only the field in IT career. Besides programming there are lots of fields in tech industry. Today, we cannot find a field not affected by technology. So, one must realize own expertise and polish it from beginning. What I would like to say is that, start from anything. It’s not that I hate programming so I will only learn marketing or anything else. Another thing, I would like to add is that attend maximum events. They will help you to know what is trending in tech industry. Focusing only on academics cannot help you to meet the demand of the industry. So, in order to keep own self updated one must explore and create the networking.