I have been always been fascinated with the mystic of tame machines that act like pets.

What could be better than starting a new year with such an emotion. I wanted to start this year with an interview that was different from the others, one that changed mindsets and inspires people. Something that breaks the glass ceiling. In conversation with Vasudha Mathur, currently a final year student at Delhi Technological University.

An avid gamer she would play video games with her brother in her childhood days, her ambition then was simple  “I’ll create games when I grow up!”.

During my time in high school, introduction to rudimentary programming was enough to infect me with the ‘tech’ bug. Running my first “Hello world” program made me think “Yes, I can be a hacker!”. Eventually I chose to pursue Bachelor of Technology in Software Engineering at Delhi Technological University (formerly known as Delhi Engineering College), one of the top ten engineering institutes in India.

This young woman’s passion has helped achieve and design an amazing resume for herself. Her list of achievements is absolutely stunning

  • She has successfully completed Google Summer of Code 2017 under KDE by developing Ruqola application, a Qt/QML interface for Rocket.Chat.
  • Has been invited to speak about my summer project at the annual KDE summit, Akademy, held at Spain this year.
    A recipient of the coveted Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India 2017 Scholarship held in Bangalore.
  • Participated in a couple of hackathons and have developed prize winning applications in the restricted 18–24 hours of coding. Her team was announced the winner of ‘The most innovative idea’ at the Sparks2 Shopclues Hackathon.
  • Was recently invited to speak at the Google Developer Days Extended, New Delhi, held by the Google Developers Group and Women Techmakers New Delhi, to guide students on how to get started with open source development.
  • She has also bagged an internship opportunity at Digital Product School, Germany, for next summer and an on-campus placement at Samsung.

Women and the Tech world

Vasudha herself is associated with communities Google Developers Group and Google Women Techmakers.

“In the freshmen year of my college, there were 8 females in a class of 80. I was the only female GSoC participant from my college this year. The dearth of female technologists is very much evident. According to Google Summer Of Code 2017 stats, only 11% of the participants were women.
However, when I attended GHCI, I was surprised to see the count of women in tech! All of them such amazing and inspiring ladies who have accomplished so much in their fields.
There are a lot (I mean it when I say a lot) of organizations ready to help out women in. They just need to reach out to them, be a part and then help reach out to others to keep the cycle going.”

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of  mobility 

My advice would be to follow the golden rule- “ASK”.
You’ve got to ask people for whatever query crops up in your mind, reach out to people whose footsteps who wish to follow, research about the various opportunities that are available to you.
And finally, “APPLY”.
If you want that scholarship, you’ve got to apply for it. Want that job? APPLY. Want to go for that Hackathon but don’t have an idea yet? APPLY.
Applying and getting rejected (if that be) will make you much more experienced than the time of waiting will. If you think you’re not yet ready for it and would learn a new skill in the coming year and then apply, I’ll suggest you to apply now. Then apply again in the coming year. You’ll be prepared and more confident the next time.

You have been part of the Google the summer of code – how was your experience?

Well, in one word- AMAZING.

The amount of learning and the exposure I had received because of GSoC is incomparable to any of my other experiences so far.
My mentors had been my biggest source of learning. During GSoC, they taught me such valuable things which made me write elegant code and make better product designs.
I got the opportunity to attend Akademy. The people I met at academy were very generous that I was stunned. The entire KDE community consists of the most lovely people I have ever met! I also met fellow GSoCers through common groups and learned how diverse people from all over the world bond through GSoC.
At the end of the day, it’s the people I met and the friends I made till now that have helped me evolve as a person and would count as my biggest achievement.

For those who don’t know about google summer of code can you elucidate?
Google Summer of Code (also called GSoC) is all about contributing to open-source projects.
It is an International annual program held from May to August where open source organizations submit their projects for university students to work upon during the summer, for which successful students receive stipends along with other benefits including a Google referral for upto 3 positions.

India for App developers and testers – your point of view
According to me, development is much more exciting and attracting to coders than testing. Though testing is one of the most important parts of the software development lifecycle and this point can’t be stressed enough, not many people are interested in finding bugs (especially in someone else’s code). The development gives one freedom to think and create, which is what one would usually prefer.
This is the trend I see in India. Though tech jobs are very promising for developers and testers in India.

How do you test your app?
I test my apps by writing my own test cases or through beta testing.
Taking note of what I said above about testing, appachhi is like a dream come true for developers! I am amazed to see how well it works. It has got everything from speed to network to memory to logs and screenshots. I think it needs to be promoted more so that it can help more people.

We are sure that this just the beginning of many more accolades she is going to receive . Best of luck .