Founder of Code with Veni & Diversify Tech, Senior Software Engineer at USGS.

Veni is a Software Engineer with over 15 years of experience. She studied Computer Science in college. She has done database admin, back-end development, front-end development, and hybrid-mobile app development. She is currently working on modernizing legacy applications at the US Geological Survey. She is passionate about getting more underrepresented people into tech and supporting them on their journey. She runs Code with Veni, a newsletter for women coders, and Diversify Tech, a central place to find opportunities for underrepresented people in tech.

What does diversity mean to you?

To me having diversity means that we have equal pay, opportunities and treatment offered regardless of race or gender.

What inspired you to start your current journey?

When I moved to the DC metro area a few years back, I randomly attended a women in tech meetup. I was truly blown away by the support that this community was providing to women who were just getting started in their journey in tech. I wish I had such support when I started my career as a Software Developer in 2003.

Even though I’ve been in tech for around 15 years, it was only in my 10th year of my career that I encountered a woman and a person of color who was also doing technical work. It was a lonely journey. The women in tech community here in DC inspired me to start Code with Veni to reach out to more women and encourage them to explore the world of tech. I share stories of women and how they got into tech, especially ones who come from a non-tech background. I also share tips, advice, and resources on coding.

I also found myself spending a lot of time sharing opportunities such as scholarships, jobs and internships with people in my network. I started Diversify Tech, as a central place where I share resources with underrepresented people in tech.

What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?

Start now. Don’t strive for perfection. You will make mistakes. That’s ok. Adapt what you learn, ask for help and keep going. I wish I tried started my own company when I was young. Instead, I kept waiting for the right time, the right experience, and so on. Now that I’ve started down this path, I wish I started sooner. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you are capable of. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take advantage of all the amazing communities that are out there.