Advocating for more girls to pursue STEM careers, 21-year-old Dolica Gopisetty speaks to HerStory of her love for all things tech, and her experience at the AWS Summit this year.Rekha Balakrishnan
Dolica Gopisetty, a 21-year-old Indian American, who is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Science in Informational Technology at George Mason University is an activist for the tech community and a cloud enthusiast.
Her strong passion for software development, DevOps, and cloud computing has led her to become a AWS Solutions Certified at the age of 21. It’s no wonder then, that the young woman was invited to be part of a tech panel among many industry heavyweights at the ongoing AWS Summit, which recently concluded at Washington DC. At the summit, she discussed specific AWS services and their applications and also presented to the audience various personal experiences in IT.
Dolica, who has her roots in Hyderabad, is also a software engineer intern at Gannett’s USA Today. Alongside this, she is also conducting research to build a DevOps/CI/CD Bullet Train Tool where deployment would not take more than 30 minutes.
Speaking to HerStory from Washington DC, Dolica expressed her delight and happiness to part of the AWS Summit.
“It felt really great. It was an honour to be among the best professionals in the industry who are doing something big. I felt very empowered. The field is huge and there are opportunities for more girls to join the industry.”
Dolica agrees that women in STEM careers are still a minority, never mind where they come from. “I think being in a developed country has nothing to do with the necessity of having girls in STEM. It’s definitely a big deal. We are under-represented and still considered a minority. There is a lot of demand for skilled girls in STEM and my primary job is to get them interested in this field. Slowly, the scene is changing, and yes, we are ready to take over,” she says.
The young woman considers American computer scientist Grace Hopper her role model, and is very passionate about her mission of empowering women to take up STEM careers.
“Young girls are very visual and you have to give them an incentive to take up something. Show them it’s fascinating. For example, introducing them to the Raspberry Pi with which you can build your own robot. I have put in place a few basic code templates, which girls can use to make stuff more colourful and visual by adding that extra bit of code they can do themselves.”
Dolica is into technology 24X7 and keeps herself constantly updated through media. But in terms of tech advancements, she says, “unless and until you get your hands on it and learn it practically, you are not going to understand what it’s all about.”
It goes without saying that she is a cloud enthusiast. “I am excited about cloud technology because of its vast potential. You can set up any business with the technology as long as you have access to the Internet and know how to use a computer. That’s a really great area for me. With the cloud, the infrastructure costs are drastically reduced, as all we are doing is borrowing and working on a “pay-as-you-go” model.”
While there are many girls wanting to join the STEM field, there are also a high number of dropouts. Dolica agrees that the trend is unsettling.
“Yes, some women drop out due to challenges in the work environment or family obligations. But at an organisation like USA Today-Gannett, they address this by offering women work-from-home options. I believe when organisations work around women’s needs, it becomes easier to grow, and there won’t be as many dropouts.”
Dolica visits India regularly and also keeps up with trends in her country of origin. But her primary focus is to inspire more girls to join the tech sector. Her vision is also to make Information Technology better by incorporating cloud technologies.