Hello! I’m Kinnera — Android Engineer at Mercari and Lead at Women Who Code. Since joining Mercari in October 2018, I have also been actively involved with Women Who Code, a global non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers.
With Mercari’s support, I volunteer with Women Who Code to host events, network and better enable my team at Mercari with insightful takeaways.
Last year, I attended my first conference, the Manila Tech Summit in the Philippines with Tutti Quintella, one of our Engineering Managers at Mercari Japan and a Director of Women Who Code Tokyo.
When the opening talk at Manila Tech Summit started with “Women are great listeners — and great talkers,” followed by a ripple of applause and laughter that ran through the audience, I knew the Women Who Code community would soon be close to my heart. And it is.
In August 2019, I attended two conferences in Singapore:
Leadership Summit @ CONNECT Asia
Tutti Quintella, Kate Gamo and I represented WWCodeTokyo. Our time in Singapore was a wonderful opportunity to meet and connect with inspiring leaders from WWCodeSingapore, WWCodeSeoul, WWCodeBangalore, WWCodeDelhi, WWCodeKualaLumpur, WWCodeTaipei, WWCodeManila and more!
At the Leadership Summit, we discussed the challenges of event management and volunteering with Directors and Leads from various Asian chapters. While comparing the member behavior of various WWCode chapters, we shared solutions on retaining attendees and ways to better involve the local community.
As a Lead, I organize events for Women Who Code in collaboration with other local organizations. The Leadership Summit helped me reflect on what it means to be a leader and encouraged me to look for ways to keep the team engaged like sending out effective event reminders and keeping consistent timelines, not just at WWCode but also in my role at Mercari.
Traditional snacks and desserts from all over Asia filled a table at the Leadership Summit! Conversations that started with an explanation of a regional snack soon turned into a discussion on increasing WWCode presence.
Takeaways from WWCode CONNECT Asia!
The CONNECT Asia conference was filled with speakers, sponsors, volunteers, attendees, and anticipation for the day ahead.
Amanda Hill-Attkisson, the Program Innovation Director for WWCode Global and Chee Yim Goh, Director of WWCode Kuala Lumpur gave keynote speeches on building successful communities. They stressed the importance of cultivating a sense of belonging and inspiring members to contribute.
I chatted with friends I’d met at the Manila Tech Summit in 2018 and made new connections with attendees and members from other Asian WWCode chapters.
Despite being across the world from our home market, quite a few attendees recognized the Mercari US brand as I was introducing myself, responding with “The Selling app, right?”
A workshop on Blockchain by Ann Kilzer kicked off my afternoon. It was a build-along for Decentralized game development, and I found myself entirely engrossed in making the game, learning to deploy and run it on Ethereum!
At Mercari, our Android codebase retains a good portion of Java, with newer code in Kotlin, and a good dose of ReactNative. While we remain on Java 8 at Mercari, the session on Uncovering Project Amber in Java by Mala Gupta, Director of WWCode Delhi, was instructive. She spoke about new features post-Java9 like Type inference with var, the local variable syntax for Lambda parameters and revamped switch statements.
The next session I attended had Franchette Camoro speaking about Git Hooks. It was interesting to hear how hooks could be used within a development workflow for linting, testing code and even checking for meaningful commit messages.
To live up to one of our core values at Mercari — Go Bold — our Product & Engineering organizations experiment with new ideas each quarter for Go Bold Day — Mercari’s Internal Hackathon. Last quarter, I built a slack bot to automate Android hotfix releases and spent quite a bit of time with Docker and Google Cloud Platform. The talk on Google Cloud Run by Thirumalai Aiyalu came at an opportune time, leaving me with ideas to further evolve my bot for our next Go Bold Day.
The conference ended with panel discussions — a WWCode Asia Director Panel and a panel about climbing the career ladder in tech. Kate Gamo, one of the Directors of WWCode Tokyo, was in the directors’ panel, talking about how WWCode is empowering women to excel in their tech careers.
The Leadership Summit and the CONNECT Asia conference were an experience I find myself grateful to have had, and that was a wrap on #WWCode #CONNECTAsia Singapore 2019!
From joining Mercari to organizing events at the Mercari office to representing Women Who Code at conferences like these, my first year in the professional world, now synonymous with both Mercari and Women Who Code, has been nothing short of phenomenal.