It’s an honor for me to receive the Kartini Next Generation 2013 Special Award – Inspiring Woman in ICT by Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Republic of Indonesia with other inspiring women in several sectors like education, entrepreneurship, social community and creative media.
My love to technology started when my dad bought me my first laptop when I was 13 years old. I started to get connected to internet, find new friends all over the world, curious on how to make a website, starting my first web consultant company in highschool with the name ‘Kalong design’ :)) Creating websites with Geocities for my teachers.
Not many people knows, because I want to travel the world, I took ‘International Relations’ UMPTN test at Gajah Mada University. But I failed and went to Jakarta instead to take Information Technology. There, I met my friend Irman Fauzi and we have our own web consultant XUFOS Labs. and create our startup called Suka2Kamu.com it’s like a Facebook, basically :))
I took IT in college because I thought I will learn more about web developing, but turn out I only have it a little moment in 1 semester so I have to learn everything about web developing by myself. But the college experiences, meeting a lot of smart geeky friends who mostly men (only 20% of class are women), really matters for my personal development and understanding the tech world without being intimidated by it.
Before I finished college, I teach HTML and web building at Nurul Fikri. I was paid per hour and I was happy with my salary (compared to what I get from being a lab assistant in my campus lol). I also happy to see my students learn from zero to hero on how to make a website. Later after I become a writer and I started writing how-to books, this feeling grow stronger everytime I get an email, appreciating me for writing the book because it changes their life.
IT has changed my life indeed. Working my first and last job as web developer at Plasmedia IT consultant really teach me a lot about work and about life. My boss Mark Eliasaputra taught me to trust to myself and be confident. I know it’s hard for you to imagine, back then, I had no confidence in coding (afraid to make mistakes) and I was afraid to meet people (because I was a behind desk programmer).
It was all changing after I decided to be an entrepreneur, creating online bookstore Kutukutubuku.com with my bare imperfect-coding-skill hands and leave my full time job. Mindset has changed, I met a lot of people thru networking events, make new goals, create startups with visions and hopefully bigger impact for society.
With my partners at Nulisbuku.com, we tried to give solutions and solve ‘publishing’ problems for new aspiring writers. It was meant to solve my own problem at first, I can’t find publishers who want to published my not-so-popular-in-topic kind of books. Now, Nulisbuku has 30,000 members and help self-published more than 2,000 books in our print-on-demand platform. Generating tens of success and life altering stories, from people who believe in their dreams.
So, because I know how technology has changed my life, how it became the enabler and catalyst for my growth, I try to spread the words to ladies to not being afraid to use technology for all their life purposes, to help solve problems within the community and eventually help the world. Technology is not complicated, it’s sophisticated 😀
I want to mention some brave young ladies in IT, mostly my good friends, who have been using technology as part of their success and have inspired me:
- Angeline Anthony; Co-founder Kutukutubuku.com, NulisBuku.com. Background: Design. My long time partner and bestfriend. We worked together side by side when we were working full time. Our similar passion in books unite us. She’s reliable and effective. It was pleasure working and traveling with her (we’re spa lovers!)
- Shinta Dhanuwardoyo; Founder Bubu.com. Background: Architecture, Business. A ‘Goddess’ in Indonesia digital industry. One of Indonesian women role model in IT. She initiate Bubu Awards and ID-Byte, one of Indonesia’s largest digital event. She’s beautiful, very fashionably chic and a batik lover.
- Anantya Van Bronckhorst; Co-founder & Executive Director of Think.web. Background: Communications. My partner in Girls in Tech Indonesia. A very neat and solution oriented lady. Named one of successful young entrepreneurs. Love her!
- Nuniek Tirta Ardianto; Founder HamilCantik.com, Octovate Network Relationship Manager. Background: PR. My partner in StartupLokal. Highly connected, understand IT world really well because she marry Natali Ardianto Co-founder of Tiket.com 😀
- Alexis Brille & Febby Tan; Founders of Va & Co. Background: Computer Science & Information System (Alex) & Computer Arts (Feb). A dynamic, ‘crazy’, highly creative, brilliant and super smart girls. They’re doing things that I don’t understand :)) (like doing augmented reality at Gedung Sate). They’re my bestfriends who I can talk about everything, from UX, business, art, to love and life.
- Titi Rusdi; Co-founder of 7Langit. Background: Finance. She’s growing a successful Blackberry apps development company with her partner Oon. A happy & cheerful friend <3
- Angie Marsha; Co-founder JasaPembantu.com. Background: Secretary. She treat me like a mentor, she asks a lot of critical questions on how to build her company. But she never asks me if I want to be her mentor, like most people do. Instead, she just went directly pitch her ideas, vision and ask questions. I found chemistry with her and she’s now one of my best girls.
- Diajeng Lestari; Founder of HijUp.com. Background: Social Science. Running a successful Hijab fashion marketplace, she started as a fashion blogger, with vision. She brainstorm a lot with her husband, Achmad Zaky, the founder of BukaLapak.com, to start building her own dream company.
- Dhyoti Basuki; Head of Public Relation at Intel. Background: PR. Ask her anything about processors, she will give you the details. Nuff said 😀 Chic, feminine and pearly lady. I love her books collection 😀
- Astrid Warsito; PR & Digital Communication Manager at Acer Indonesia. Background: Communications. She’s the woman behind the successful Acer Indonesia campaigns and make Indonesia one of role models for Acer global. Lovely cheerful lady with beautiful babies <3
- Trinity ‘The Naked Traveler’; World traveler, travel blogger at naked-traveler.com. Background: Communications, Management. I call her Miss T, one of my favorite travel buddy, she utilize her blog to share her traveling story. It became successful, and even more successful when she turned it into a book. Now she’s traveling around the world in a year. I believe she’s in Ecuador now 😀
- Yuditha Sitinjak; Founder Hakunamatata.co.id. Background: Design. Really impressed with Ditha. We met for 5 minutes after my talk in a conference, then she asked some suggestion for her startup, I gave her quick advice, then not too long after, she already make my suggestions into reality! Highly passionate and motivated girl!
- Hanny Kusumawati; Creative Director at Maverick, Co-founder Coin a Chance. Background: PR. She’s been using social media as tool to promote her social campaign on coin collecting. Now Coin a Chance already brought children back to school and put smile on their face. She’s a romantic writer, and my lovely poetry writing buddy <3
- Ainun Chomsun; Founder Akademi Berbagi. Background: Communications (I haven’t confirm :D). She’s been using social media as tool to spread information and create free classes with a lot of subjects to learn. Now her Akademi Berbagi classes are available in 38 cities in Indonesia. I have been teaching in several classes in Jakarta, Depok, Solo and Semarang. It was a valuable experience. One of Akademi Berbagi students, Mas Muadzin co-founder of Semerbak Coffee, finally finished his first book after he participate in my writing class in Akademi berbagi. She’svery inspiring and full of energy!
I know there are more ladies in IT, but I’m going to stop the list now. I’m looking forward to write a new ladies in tech list in my next posts!
Share me your own version of most inspiring women in IT in the comment box below!