For Midusha, her journey in tech is a reminder that with perseverance and hard work, everything is achievable. A software engineer by profession, she thrives on innovation and solving challenging problems. She is currently working at Google as a Software Engineer.
Midusha’s mother is a nurse, and her father is a chemist. She grew up with her sisters and cousins, who aspired to become nurses. Naturally, her original career plans gravitated towards becoming a health-care worker, possibly a doctor. It was not until the end of the junior year in high school that Midusha fully understood that she wanted to pursue a career in tech.
“I remember taking QBASIC and HTML classes in eighth grade. I loved coding and problem solving, but that was all. I did not know I could do more with it. I grew up amongst nurses, and my father is a chemist, so the only careers I knew of were related to medicine, and thus, I thought I wanted to become a doctor. It was only in junior year at high school I knew of Computer Engineering through a classmate, and that is when I decided to get an engineering degree in computing.”
Following her decision to pursue Computer Engineering, Midusha gave the Institute of Engineering (IOE) entrance exam and was granted a full merit-based scholarship to attend IOE, Pulchowk Campus, where she spent four years learning and growing as an engineer and more.
When Midusha started her degree in Computer Engineering, she was under the impression that, just like her, everyone is a novice in programming, with the bare minimum experience that was possible to gain from the limited classes offered in schools in Nepal. However, she slowly realized that there were people who knew more. Also, Midusha quickly got caught up in the general notion that women are not good at programming, and they only got hired in any tech roles because of diversity hiring. Although she was a merit student, she felt like she was not cut for or at least not prepared enough to be in an engineering program.
“I had come with some basic programming experiences that I got in school. I knew I enjoyed programming, but the engineering college was much more than just programming. I had friends who seemed to know everything, and I began to compare myself with them, only to end up feeling I was not cut to be an engineer. I was not performing badly at school; it was just that I never felt I was as good.”
Despite feeling like an imposter, Midusha continued working hard and outperforming in her classes. It took a while, but she started acknowledging her success in classes. Later in the final year of college, she also got an internship at Deerwalk Inc., which not only allowed her to learn different data generation and exploration techniques but also helped her understand that there is no such thing as being cut for a certain career.
“After a few semesters at college, I started noticing that I was not acknowledging that I was doing good in academics. I was better than a lot of the guys I compared myself to and thought knew better. I realized that I am in tech because I worked hard to belong here.”
After graduation, Midusha joined LIS Nepal, a Yomari company, as a software engineer. At LIS Nepal, she worked in designing, implementing, and maintaining large-scale enterprise Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence solutions. Also, she got experience in database systems and web development. After a year into her job, Midusha wanted to explore and learn more. In pursuit of learning and growing, Midusha came to the United States (US), where she started her graduate studies in Computer Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“While the job at LIS was great, I felt like I needed to explore more opportunities. I felt the need to learn more, which is why I came to the US for a Master’s degree in Computer Science. I wanted to learn, especially from the US tech industry.”
Different from all her experiences in Nepal, Midusha describes her experience at graduate school as enriching and empowering. She elaborates on how much easier it is to approach professors in case of doubts and how there were different opportunities all-around the campus. Nevertheless, she had a fair share of difficulties, especially when it came to networking and navigating opportunities in the giant tech industry in the US.
Midusha, as she identifies herself, is a shy person and is not particularly comfortable with interviews, especially the behavioral ones. She recalls doing great in the technical rounds only to perform equally worse in the behavioral rounds. After a couple of failed attempts, she wanted to understand what went wrong and how she could solve it. She watched interview preparation videos and sought help from her friends, who offered mock interviews. “The interviews and job search were demanding and very long; I worked very hard through it,” says Midusha, who believes that reaching out to her friends for help and sincere effort from her end helped her through these trying times and eventually got her a job at Google.
Midusha has been working with Google as a Software Engineer for over two years now. At Google, she is working on the Payments team to develop an automated end-to-end service to perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT) along with validation of payments endpoints to speed up payments launches and expansions for new products, countries or currencies. The training, work culture, and support from her colleagues at Google has helped her to become more open to new people and ideas.She has come a long way from being a shy person to now helping incoming software engineers understand their team’s project and mentoring them. She truly believes that her consistent effort at learning and growing, along with the support of amazing mentors and friends, helped her get to where she is today.
“It is never too late to start. Put a consistent effort, and do not stop trying. It can get tedious, and the process can be lengthy, so surround yourself with people who believe in you. Find yourself, role models, and mentors.”
This article is written by Shreeya Singh Dhakal, the Founder and Advisor of Nepali Women in Computing.