Women Who Reign: Ankita Mitra
“When I’m tired, I rest. I say, ‘I can’t be a superwoman today.’” — Jada Pinkett Smith
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I recently founded a company called CodeBlast Inc. that organizes summer camps for children in elementary and middle school and covers various topics like Virtual Reality Systems, Programming in Swift, Robotics, HTML, CSS, and business. I have also won the NCWIT National Runner Up Award for Aspirations in Computing for two years in a row, and the Bay Area Affiliate Award in 2015. I love programming, attending and organizing hackathons, and attending conferences where I get to meet like minded people. My favorite so far was definitely WECode 2016, where I got to meet hundreds of super passionate women who really inspired me.
Fun Fact: I absolutely love tech stickers, and have hundreds already!
What # would define your life journey?
My life journey would probably be defined by #teachTheKids as I am currently part of several organizations that educate young children, especially girls, and my love for CS started when my middle school CS teacher started a girls tech club in school!
Favorite website / app:
My favorite website is CodingBat.com — It’s such a savior! One time, before an exam on recursion, I felt really nervous since it was my weakest area, but a few hours of CodingBat, I was super confident, and ended up acing that exam!
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Sheryl Sandberg is definitely my biggest inspiration — Her Ted Talk first inspired me to Lean In, and gave me the courage to start an organization, and lead several workshops on my own. Even though I’ve never met her in person, her book and talks inspire me every day, and remind me how proud I am to be a woman in tech.
Song that makes you want to dance:
I can’t sit still while the radio plays Uptown Funk!
Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Challenge : I was once a program leader for a JAVA course at a local library. When I showed up, it turned out that the projector was broken and couldn’t be fixed for a week. All my slides were on my laptop and there was no way of using them. I was then forced to use the whiteboard, which initially seemed like a pain, but it turned out that without a projector and a laptop, the class was a lot more fun! It was interactive and the kids were much more excited to work on hands-on stuff rather than sit in front of a computer all day!
In ten years, I want to see myself working alongside passionate people. Whether at a startup or at an established company, I want to work for people who inspire me to perform to the best of my ability. As an adult, even though work pays you, I want to get up from bed each morning with an incentive other than money to go to work. I want to wake up in ten years on a Monday morning and say, “I can’t wait to go to work today!”
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
In order to REIGN your life, do what you love and know that you’re pretty awesome at it — only then will others believe it!