Women Who Reign: Victoria Tran

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anaïs Nin
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am from San Francisco, currently a Computer Science major at UC Santa Cruz. I have been affiliated with Girls Who Code for 3+ years now. I have been their ambassador since I graduated from their Summer Immersion Program at Twitter. I work towards furthering their impact and message to aspiring young women. This one organization is the sole reason why I am able to share my story with you. My journey towards pursuing higher education in Computer Science has been rewarding and joy-filled experience. My fun fact is I have trypophobia, the fear of sunken holes clustered closely together. Imagine what the outside of a strawberry looks like if you would like a quick image.

What # would define your life journey?
Intuitively I would choose zero (0). In my math class, we like to refer to zero as an immovable wall, and to infinity as an unstoppable force. If you were to put these two entities “head to head”, who’d win? As I go further down this career path, I want to remember that I need to keep being a zero, an immovable mall, to stay resilient in times of uncertainty and doubt from external forces.

Favorite website / app:
Sunrise Calendar! This was a no brainer. Sunrise has saved me countless times. I encourage everyone to check it out!

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
I have a professor who teaches Computer Engineering at UCSC. She told me to trust my instincts and how my feelings are valid. “When you’re making a decision, for anything, whether it pertains to your career, family, or school, you make it based on what you know, and can’t (and shouldn’t) be judged on what you don’t. Don’t blame yourself for the original decision when more information becomes available to you. You did your best to foresee what appears to be the most favorable outcome.”

Song that makes you want to dance:
Avalanche by Walk The Moon!!!

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
During the last two weeks of the GWC Summer Program, the bugs in our final project seemed endless. When we thought we found the solution for one feature, it turns out to be even more wrong because three more problems would pop up in its place. We were able to get the project finalized in time with backtracking. We first broke down the code, picked all of our files apart, and narrowed down the issue as much as possible. We would all get so frustrated because we wouldn’t find anything wrong, until one of us realized there was one curly brace missing or a slightly misspelled variable. I have sometimes found that the bugs that take you the longest to find, turn out to be the ones right in front of you (like a colon instead of a semi-colon!) To avoid future errors, we made our code as clear and elegant as possible. Debugging is a whole lesson in of itself. Computers teach me to think very meticulously because if one little thing that you thought didn’t matter is incorrect, the program won’t run at all.

Ideal Job:
CTO of an educational technology company, similar to Codecademy or Udemy.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
A “woman in tech” means being a pioneer. We are going through uncharted and risky waters, but we need to make sure that we continue to love what we do. As long as we continue to learn, we will be just as or even more successful as our gender counterparts. Gender should make no difference in how well we work. An engineer is someone who is open to new ideas and is capable of critically thinking their way out of a conflict. But as females in technology, we still get treated differently. Societal standards put immense amounts of pressure on women in various technology fields. Nonetheless, those who manage to succeed are the most passionate and hardworking women I have encountered. I admire these tenacious engineers because they push past the opinions of others and pursue what they believe is right for them. They have recognized their roles in technology and have solidified their intelligence, capability and drive that qualifies them to fill these roles. Overall, when there’s a lack of female input on the table, we’re not performing at our highest potential. We can reign our lives by sticking together.