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A visit to Google in Sydney

Monday, 28 August 2017

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Bonnie Lampard (BSc Mathematics and Computer Science) and Modjadji Jaxa Mokoto (BSc Software Engineering) were given the opportunity to meet a ‘Googler’ on the 11th of August 2017 and tutor young girls at the Girls Programming Network (GPN) in Sydney. With the help of the ATHENA Swan grant award, to which Dr Michelle Ellis (a Program Coordinator for multiple successful initiatives like GPN at ECU) is a recipient of, students were exposed to exciting opportunities.

Bonnie Lampard and Modjadji Jaxa Mokoto both spent the afternoon with Shanika Kuruppu - A Software Engineer at Google who is responsible for debugging performance issues in the software that runs the Google services, and providing monitoring data and tools to make it easier for Google engineers to debug performance issues. Shanika has completed her doctorate in Bioinformatics at the University of Melbourne in 2012. Prior to that, she has worked at Freelancer.com as a Senior Software Engineer, a tutor and lab demonstrator at the University of Melbourne and was a research assistant at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Bonnie Lampard is a second year student, aspiring to be a Computer Scientist. “I’ve learnt about the various path ways into the work field as a young adult and it was exciting to see the environment I could work in, especially this early into my degree.” Having the knowledge on various internships and programmes in IT, Bonnie Lampard feels more confident to begin unlocking those doors.

Modjadji Jaxa Mokoto is a second year student majoring in Software Engineering who is now more than inspired. “It was motivating to see a woman achieve so much success within the facet of technology to which I aim to succeed in. Considering the cultural stereotyping and occupational segregation currently occurring, Shanika’s success has validated that these barriers can certainly be broken and Google is definitely one of many companies that supports this view as well.”

Both the ECU students then attended The Girls Programming Network as tutors- one of many outreach programmes that Dr Michelle Ellis coordinates and facilitate at ECU. They met with the initiative lead at Sydney, Renee Noble, and many other tutors and founders of GPN. They have learned additional skills to become more successful ambassadors for the younger female generation at ECU. Both Bonnie and Jaxa definitely agree that having a helping hand in ensuring young girls possess the confidence to not be discriminated against in IT, is more satisfying compared to any other experience.

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