“I think I have picked the wrong subject (in university), I’m not good with IT.”
I’ve heard this complaint a lot of time, often from girls. This is not about the subject, it’s all about mindset. We all know that IT industry is overwhelmingly filled with men. When girls see that, they immediately label IT as ‘made for men’ and difficult. Some of the girls never wanted to have anything to do with technology because of this perspective.
I spend my teenage years knowing what I wanted to do: building websites. This idea came naturally after spending most of my time interacting with people on the internet and see how good their websites are.
To be able to build website properly, I sign up at IT major and wish to learn about it all years long. Turned out, they only put lessons on web building in 1 semester. The rest of classes were hard, boring and torturing me. I must learn math (I hate math), and other programming languages that I don’t need (like machine language).
But my university years taught me something else: to be able to hangout with geeks :))
Most of my friends are super smart men. They could be intimidating when you don’t know them, or even when you know them. They know any textbook by heart. They would code flawlessly. But all the years I spend interacting with them was really useful to build my confidence and courage to ask what I don’t understand. Now, when I have to attend events on technology and there’s no other women around, I can still pretty much at ease, because I’ve been in this position for years before.
Women would do things differently. Women have special traits that men don’t have. We are a natural multi-tasker, we have bigger empathy to think about other people’s well-being (especially for our team), technology will help women to find solution for problems in community (I create NulisBuku.com with my partners to help aspiring writers to self-published their book easily), we’re more creative and we code differently too. This is all our strength, that when combined with technology can produce a high impact technology-based products that will benefit the economy of wider community, and of course will accelerate our success.
To be able to promote the use of technology for success to young girls, I wrote ‘Girls & Tech’ book that just launched 27 November 2013 at Ciputra-GEPI Incubator.
I invited my friends Alexis Brille from VA&CO, Anantya van Bronckhorst from Think.Web & Initiator Girls in Tech Indonesia, Susi Sukaesih from SiswaWirausaha.com to share to the audience that you could be young (Alexis graduate from Master of Computer Science when she was 20), you could be not from IT industry (Anantya and Susi were not coming from IT background), but you can be successful in IT industry if you keep your mind open, be curious and be a passionate learner at all time. I also highlight some more role models in my book to inspire you and some useful tips that you can use if you plan to be involve or stay in IT industry.
I got some feedback about ‘Girls & Tech’ from my readers, most of them that already taking IT major now feeling they have picked the right subject. They can see the big picture. And those who are not in IT, they’re now can see IT from different perspective, it’s not as scary and complicated as it looks, and they’re ready to use technology as the catalyst of their success.
Here are some testimonials from wonderful and powerful women:
Ollie is one of the hardest working Girl in Tech in Indonesia. I knew her from her day in winning one of the 2009 Bubu Awards categories. Proudly to say, she successfully pushed herself to become a noted player in the digital industry.
Her book is a reflection of her journey in the making of a successful Woman Tech Entrepreneur. A big Congratulation to Ollie for making a mark in the digital industry in Indonesia.
-Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, Founder of Bubu.com
“Belajar Hal Baru”, salah satu judul tulisan dalam buku Ollie ini menggambarkan reaksi saya setelah membaca sepenuhnya draf buku ini. Wow, saya kenal Ollie cukup lama via Twitter dan bertemu dalam beragam kesempatan, mengikuti kiprahnya dari lokal mendunia, tapi saya benar-benar baru mengenal perempuan inovatif dan kreatif ini setelah membaca Girls & Tech. You are an awesome person, Ollie. Kita sering dengar kata bijak, “buku adalah jembatan ke dunia luas.” Ollie memberikan relevansi atas “teknologi adalah jembatan mengarungi dunia, dan perempuan akan mengambil manfaat terbesar dari penguasaan teknologi.” Perjalanan hidup Ollie adalah wujud nyata dari obsesi para CEO dunia, perempuan khususnya, yang ingin seluas mungkin memberikan kesempatan studi STEM (science, technology, engineering and mechanical)bagi perempuan. Ollie pas menjadi “ambassador” untuk upaya itu. Ini buku wajib dibaca bagi semua perempuan di semua usia, dan wajib dikagumi oleh kaum pria.
-Zulfiani Lubis @UniLubis, Pemimpin Redaksi ANTV
Ollie selalu penuh ide, imajinasi, dan karya. Namun lebih dari itu, yang membuat Ollie istimewa adalah semangatnya untuk berbagi. Buku ini adalah salah satu dari sekian banyak bukti nyata akan semangat tersebut. Sesuatu yang benar-benar pantas untuk diapresiasi dan diteladani oleh generasi muda Indonesia. Membaca Girls & Tech itu seperti menghabiskan satu petang bersama Ollie: It’s fun, it’s fearless, it’s loaded with inspiration and practical tips!
-Sati Rasuanto, Managing Director, Endeavor Indonesia
Sudah saatnya semakin banyak wanita berkenalan dan bermain dalam dunia yang lekat dengan teknologi. Being curious, berkenalan dengan teknologi secara dini via game, dan selalu mempelajari hal baru. Ollie memaparkan alasan yang tepat sekaligus menghadirkan contoh nyata dalam sosok-sosok wanita yang menginspirasi di bidang teknologi. The world is truly a better place when you know how to use & make friends with technology.
-Anantya Van Bronckhorst, Executive Director of Think.Web
If you want to share anything about your journey to use technology, please use #GirlStartIT hashtag on twitter
Check my Pinterest to see who’s already read ‘Girls & Tech’ – if you want me to upload your pic with ‘Girls & Tech’, please mention me on twitter @salsabeela with your picture
If you haven’t read my book ‘Girls & Tech’, you can buy it here > http://kkb.co/39896
Special thanks for my book launch:
Thanks GEPI team especially Angelyn Liem, Surya and Fung to help me make it happen
Thank you my publisher Bentang Pustaka
Thanks for the generous support from sponsors, Acer Indonesia & MoAyu beauty care
And last but not least thanks my team at Kutukutubuku.com and Girls in Tech Indonesia