She Codes is a nationwide competition of code programming which is held exclusively for women. The recruitment platform, Indeed, organises She Codes and it is open for participation to all women residing in India. The winner of She Codes 2019 is Anjali Rani Pahal, a student pursuing her graduation in B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology).
Anjali believes that as women achievers in science are hardly ever heard of, it becomes twice as difficult for other women who opt to go in the field. She is pursuing her B.Tech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad (IIT Dhanbad) and is in her third year at present. Anjali told that she taught herself coding through several online platforms. She said that her decision to choose mechanical engineering was based on wanting to gain a working knowledge of the physical components that would ultimately help her in designing better software.
Talking about her journey with coding, Anjali said that she learnt how to code through online courses and then followed them up with programmes in Deep Learning and Machine Learning (ML) during her summer break of the first year. Anjali has participated in many coding competitions, one of which is the popular HackeEarth.
However, Anjali is of the view that a gender divide exists in the programming industry and it is quite inevitable. She said that as per her experience, boys tend to get involved in programming and coding at a much younger age as compared to girls. This gives them an edge over most of the women coders. Giving her example, she said that her learning about coding began when she started college but there are many students who start coding as early as when they are in class 11th.
Anjali further said that there are times when women coders end up working twice as hard due to limited exposure just so that they can be on the same level as male coders. Had there been more visibility for women in this field, it would certainly inspire others to come forward and begin exploring their interests. She remarked that belonging to a non-computer background panned out to be an advantage for her as it provided her with an opportunity to bring a new perspective to things which eventually helped her in maintaining an edge over others in the competitions.
Anjali is the daughter of military personnel and aspires to pursue postgraduation and obtain a master’s degree of M.Tech in Computer Science. She aims to build a career in the automation space.