This year for National Engineers Week, we are running a series of interviews with women engineers. Today’s interview is with Sneha Priscilla M, student at Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India.
1. What is your favorite thing about being an engineer?
There are several things which give me joy at being an engineer but the most important one is – the ability to create something. The manner in which we engineer all the pieces to fit perfectly and work in unison. The elation at having one’s work being used by people all over the world. As a student, the few projects I’ve worked on have taught me much more than any theory class could have. Engineering is all about the hands-on approach. Your work speaks for you.
2. Tell us about an exciting project you have worked on
The most exciting project I’ve worked on has to be my Google Summer of Code project with Systers in 2012. It was a very simplistic project which focused on fixing tidbits of code .However, I learned a lot more than just fixing bugs that summer. It was my window to the Open Source world.
I learnt how organisations have repositories and how just about ANYONE can contribute. I learnt how to go down the rabbit hole when looking for the root of a bug.I learnt that some fixes are more complicated than they look . I learnt that testing is a very integral and necessary component in any project, the hard way.
The best part about having worked with this particular Systers project was that it covered all areas of the code. I had an opportunity to work with the UI, Mailman handlers and the database at the same time! This has made me more confident to continue contributing to the organisation irrespective of where the problem occurs.
3. Why is it important to have women engineers?
Women constitute half the population in this world. There’s no reason why they shoudn’t constitute half the workforce , in every field. This is the prima facie reason.
Furthermore, engineering has been a predominantly male field. This has given rise to a notion of women not being innovative or able enough to join these fields. Thus, it’s also essential that more women are engineers to bust this myth .
Women can be very valuable assets as they can also provide a different point of view and more effective communication at a workplace
4. What advice would you give to other women engineers?
My only advice to other women engineers is to hold on. Hold on to their ideas, their knowledge , their skills, their personalities and most importantly, their respect.
Do not let anyone or any thing make you doubt your capabilities along the way.
5. If you could tell a young woman one thing about an engineering career, what would it be?
“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” -Charlotte Whitton
Same goes for engineering.
Sneha Priscilla is a final year undergraduate student pursuing her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science from Bangalore, India. She was a Google Summer of Code student for Systers in 2012.
She thinks of herself as an amateur programmer with lots to learn and miles to go. She loves Python, design, clean user interfaces and algorithms. She loves to travel and meet new people but has never been outside her country.
In her spare time, you may find her reading comics/reddit on the internet or gardening with her grandparents.