Women Who Reign: Tanuja Chenna
“A ship in Port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.” — Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, the U.S. Navy’s oldest active-duty officer at the time of her retirement, developer of the first compiler for a computer programming language, developer of UNIVAC I and COBOL, and coiner of the terms “computer bug” and “debugging.”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
For the last 10+ years I have been working in the hardware business. Mainly focusing on Enterprise level networking and storage systems. This has been a staple for quite sometime, and I wanted to bring a creative twist to the business. Software was something that was not my strong suit. So I started going through free coding tutorials and a few paid. Along the way I met some fabulous folks who taught me tricks in order to reach my goal. Currently, I am going through a paid program learning web development. It does not get into the nitty gritty of what I would like to end up using, but it provides me a starting point. I have gotten myself engaged with women’s tech groups and conferences in order to immerse myself into development. I did this because I had a mentor who told me in order to learn something of interest, start a project. Do not worry about the small issues along the way as there are so many resources online as well as other coders and engineers who would be more than happy to help. I found all of this to be true!
What # would define your life journey?
#Womenwhodisrupt is something that I have tacked onto my computer. As I reach my goal in development, I want to one day create something that makes a positive difference for girls and women around the world. I have seen teenage girls in Africa who have created an app in order to find fresh water. Another app that allowed teens who were already studying code to teach it to others much younger who would not ordinarily have the opportunity to learn. Whenever there Is a moment I find myself checking out websites that have new technologies that help others or make a difference.
Favorite website / app:
A favorite website would most likely be www.techcrunch.com. Because of my background in hardware the interest still piques. Now that I am going full force with development its always interesting to see what applications have been developed that can go hand in hand with hardware. In 10 years I do hope I can reach my goal of eventually being self-employed in development and being able to also work with non-profit organizations.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I think the one woman who really made a difference for me is and still is my mother. She has always instilled into me that no matter what I do, always make sure it’s a positive move. Not only should I be benefiting myself but as well as others. And most important, be a helping ergo — Put your hand out to give rather than to receive when possible.
Song that makes you want to dance:
I don’t think I have one song that makes me move, but I would have to say SIA or house/trance really gets me going. Always upbeat and find myself dancing no matter if I am standing or even sitting.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
The advice that I would give to other women, “ Don’t be afraid to take the plunge in a new trade, art or even career. There will always be a little alter ego sitting on your shoulder making you question your decision. Ignore it, as it could be the best thing that has ever happened to you.