Women’s Day Blog Series: Everything you wanted to know about Women technologists at Valuebound
Welcome to the last segment of our special Women’s Day blog series, where we'll be talking with women technologists who work with Drupal at Valuebound. Valuebound has been dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Drupal community, and we're excited to hear from the women who are part of that effort.
In this interview, we'll be talking to women who work with Drupal in various capacities, including as developers, designers, project managers, and community members. We'll be asking them about their journeys, their insights into the Drupal world, and the initiatives and programs that Valuebound has implemented to support women technologists working with Drupal.
Through these conversations, we hope to shed light on the important contributions that women technologists make to the Drupal community and to provide a platform for their voices to be heard. We also hope to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in technology and get involved in the Drupal community.
So join us as we dive into everything you wanted to know about women technologists in Drupal at Valuebound and learn from the experiences and perspectives of these talented and inspiring women.
About the Speakers in Discussion:
Akanksha Mishra: Market Specialist (Content & Marketing) deftly led the discussion and conducted insightful interviews with our panel of esteemed experts. With over two years of experience working alongside Valuebound's team of skilled technologists, she has gained a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by women in the tech industry.
Valuebound’s Top Women Drupal Contributors:
Neelam Wadhwani Senior Drupal Developer at Valuebound with a total experience of 9 years, she has honed her expertise in module development, theming, site building, and database management. Her skills include Bootstrap theming, responsive theme development, CSS, HTML, PHP, and jQuery, among others.
Indra Patil Skilled Drupal developer/ Senior Software Engineer at Valuebound with 7+ years of experience in both back-end and front-end development. Her areas of expertise include Drupal custom modules, themes, payment gateways, and other related technologies. With a deep understanding of the Drupal ecosystem, she brings a wealth of technical knowledge and experience to every project.
Valuebound’s Top Drupal Developers:
Anwesha Sinha Drupal specialist at Valuebound with 6 years of expertise, she possesses a wealth of knowledge in handling technical queries and troubleshooting issues with aplomb. Her experience in implementing enterprise systems using complex back-end management systems is extensive, and she brings a deep understanding of the intricacies of Drupal to every project
Shalini Jha Software Developer at Valuebound with a proven track record of success over 4.2 years, she is a seasoned professional who is committed to delivering exceptional results for clients. With a rich background in PHP and Drupal technologies, she has experience in all phases of software application development, from requirement analysis to design, development, and maintenance.
Srilakshmi R Drupal Developer at Valuebound with an extensive experience of 7 years, her expertise in web application development is diverse and spans multiple domains, allowing her to bring a breadth of knowledge to every project. With a commitment to excellence and a passion for innovation, she is dedicated to delivering top-notch results for every client.
Saranya Mariappan Drupal Tech Lead at Valuebound comes with a total experience of over 10 years. Her strong development skills in Drupal 7/8/9, PHP, and MySQL enable her to handle complex customization and module development with ease.
Priyanka Sawant Skilled Software Engineer/ Drupal Developer at Valuebound with 5+ years of experience, her expertise includes custom module development and site-building, enabling her to create robust and dynamic web solutions that meet my clients' needs.
Deborah Blessy Senior Software Drupal Developer at Valuebound with 6 years of experience, her expertise is seen in site building, theming, and frontend and backend development. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of Drupal's latest developments and versions, she is a trusted partner for businesses seeking to enhance their online presence.
Our top Drupal contributors are thrilled to share the role of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation and growth in the industry and giving out unique perspectives and insights in this lively discussion.
Watch the full video here:
Read on to see how the interview went:
1. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing women in the technology industry, and how have you overcome these challenges?
Neelam- As a professional woman, it is often necessary to balance household responsibilities with career demands, leading to a need for a hybrid work environment that accommodates such demands. Fortunately, I found that Valuebound provided such flexibility, allowing me to effectively manage both responsibilities. As a result of this positive work environment, free from any gender biases, I have grown considerably stronger and more confident in my abilities.
Deborah- One of the most significant hurdles faced by women in the technology industry is a lack of opportunities. Women are often hired at a lower ratio of 7:3 (women to men) due to assumptions that they may require flexible schedules or extended leaves, such as for marriage or maternity. This biased approach has led to many women missing out on valuable career opportunities and losing their sense of identity as a result.
To address this issue, women in technology must focus on not only developing their career skills but also strengthening their mental health. Consistent hard work and dedication are key to overcoming these obstacles. Fortunately, some companies have recognized the importance of diversity in the workplace and have implemented programs that offer women employees greater opportunities for growth and advancement.
2. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in Drupal and the technology industry more broadly?
Urvashi- In order to remain current with the latest trends and advancements in the field, I have taken proactive measures such as subscribing to Drupal newsletters and participating in various Drupal-related groups and forums. Additionally, I make a concerted effort to maintain contact with the primary contributors and committers of the community, as they serve a crucial role in disseminating information on the most recent releases and keeping the broader community informed and engaged.
Indra - To remain current and informed, I make a point of regularly reviewing new blog entries and following relevant LinkedIn posts. By doing so, I am able to stay apprised of the latest developments and trends in my field.
Saranya- I've enrolled in numerous YouTube channels, Facebook groups, Drupal newsletters, and Quora forums to stay current on SDLC trends, including emerging IT fields and the industry's future.
3. Can you share an example of a time when you had to troubleshoot a difficult technical issue related to Drupal, and how you resolved it?
Anwesha- During my tenure of 1.5 years at Valuebound, I encountered a unique challenge while collaborating with the client. Specifically, we were tasked with developing a system whereby uploaded doc or docx files would be automatically converted to PDF format at runtime. While libraries for text-to-PDF conversion exist, the true difficulty arose in extracting text from the original file formats.
To address this challenge, I employed a two-step process. Firstly, I converted the XML text of docx files (including formatting) into HTML tags before converting to PDF. For doc files, I utilized antiword to extract the necessary text.
Neelam- During my time working with a client, I was presented with a complex challenge that required a deep understanding of front-end development with React JS. Specifically, the client requested that email functionality be implemented using their proprietary application, which presented a significant obstacle.
To address this challenge, I developed a solution that leveraged APIs to achieve the desired functionality. By carefully integrating the API with the existing React JS front-end, I successfully completed the project to the client's satisfaction.
4. How do you approach collaboration and teamwork when working on Drupal projects with other team members?
Urvashi- I believe that teamwork is the joint action of people who work together effectively to achieve the same ultimate goal. And when we talk about working as a team, we realize that communication is key. The more effective the communication, the easier it is to explain or understand a particular task. Before we start developing any project, we begin our process by first preparing a checklist, followed by ETAs, plans and tasks related to the Code.
We try to communicate with team members prior to starting a task, simply to ensure that the person assigned to the task has the appropriate details of the work. In case of barriers, we are always there to help our team members.
5. In your experience, what are some of the benefits of using Drupal as a content management system, particularly for businesses or organizations?
Srilakshmi - The very first benefit is Drupal is an open-source CMS developed and maintained by a large collaborative community. It offers flexibility and scalability for the applications. Drupal provides user-friendly configurations which can be used for maintaining and managing the applications even with less coding knowledge.
Also drupal is secure. Regularly the security vulnerabilities will be examined and fixed by the community. The well-maintained, well-tested code makes it easier for the developers to extend or customize according to the business requirements.
6. What advice would you give to other women who are interested in pursuing a career in technology or getting involved in the Drupal community?
Deborah- Pursuing a career needs passion, hard work, and consistency. In order to balance work and personal life to perfection requires time management skills. Drupal is comparatively a flexible open source. Anybody can learn and pursue their carrier in this technology. Learning and practicing proper standards will help in long run and contributing to the community will help others to learn. Involving in the drupal community will eventually improve our learning.
7. What strategies do you use to optimize Drupal performance, particularly in high-traffic or resource-intensive scenarios?
- Caching: Drupal has several caching options to reduce server load and improve performance. The Drupal cache API, which includes page caching, block caching, and views caching, can be used to improve the site's response time.
- Database optimization: Poorly optimized database queries can cause a website to become sluggish. Tuning the database configuration, enabling MySQL query caching, and database replication can help improve the database performance.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): Using a CDN can help reduce server load and improve the site's response time by caching and delivering static content from servers located closer to the end-user.
Server optimization: Tuning the web server configuration, such as the Apache or Nginx settings, and optimizing PHP settings can help improve server performance.
- Load balancing: Load balancing distributes the traffic across multiple servers, helping to improve performance and scalability. Using a load balancer, such as HAProxy or Nginx, can help achieve this.
- Code optimization: Improving the code quality, such as minimizing the number of database queries, reducing the number of modules, and optimizing code performance, can help improve Drupal performance.
It is important to note that each website has unique requirements, and optimizing Drupal performance requires a holistic approach that considers all aspects of the site's infrastructure. Therefore, I strongly recommend performing regular load testing and performance tuning to ensure optimal site performance.
8. What are some of your favorite Drupal modules or tools to use in your projects, and why do you find them useful?
Shalini- Drupal is a highly intuitive content management system, featuring an extensive array of core and contributed modules and tools. Over the course of my experience with Drupal, I have discovered a number of particularly useful tools that have proven invaluable in my work on various projects.
One such tool is the Drupal Console, a suite of command-line tools that allows for the rapid generation of boilerplate code and seamless interaction with a Drupal installation. This tool proved instrumental in a recent project, in which we were tasked with developing over 130 custom entity modules.
Thanks to the console's streamlined commands, we were able to create these modules with ease, reducing both the time and complexity typically associated with such a task. Overall, our experience with the Drupal Console was highly positive, and we were able to complete the project with ease and efficiency.
9. How do you approach testing and quality assurance when working on Drupal projects?
Indra- Develop a testing plan: Define a comprehensive testing plan that covers all aspects of the project, including functionality, performance, security, and usability. The plan should also specify the tools, techniques, and methods to be used for testing.
- Use automated testing tools: Drupal provides automated testing tools, such as PHPUnit and Behat, that can help streamline the testing process and reduce errors.
- Conduct manual testing: While automated testing can be helpful, manual testing is still essential for catching user interface issues and other complex issues that automated tests may not detect.
- Test in different environments: Test the project in different environments, such as staging and production environments, to ensure that it works as expected in different contexts.
- Use version control: Use a version control system, such as Git, to keep track of changes and collaborate with other team members. This can help prevent code conflicts and ensure that the project remains stable throughout development.
- Conduct code reviews: Have other team members review the code to catch errors and ensure that the code follows best practices.
- Continuously test and iterate: Continuously test and iterate throughout the development process to catch issues early and ensure that the project meets the requirements and standards.
10. Can you tell me about any initiatives or programs that Valuebound has implemented to support women technologists in Drupal?
Priyanka- One initiative that Valuebound has implemented is to provide mentorship and networking opportunities for women in tech. Another common program is to provide training and certification opportunities to help women develop their skills and expertise in technology. Valuebound also offers flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, to help women balance their work and personal responsibilities.
11. How has Valuebound created a supportive and inclusive environment for women technologists working with Drupal?
Srilakshmi - Valubound has provided a great opportunity and support for all the technologists. We get all the technical support from experts when in need. We can find women in all the roles like mentors, tech leads, contributors, and developers, which reflects the support that women are getting from the organization.
Neelam - I would say Valuebound is a great place to work for women. Here we are getting all the support from mentors. Women can manage their work-life balance, career advancement, and work balance.
Indra- At Valuebound, women receive ample support from mentors and can effectively balance their career growth with their personal lives. It is a great workplace for women. The outstanding quality of the organization that sets it apart as an excellent workplace is its people. The team members demonstrate a remarkable level of trust, support, and camaraderie, readily standing together to address any challenges. The executives are approachable and responsive to any concerns that may arise.
12. Can you talk about any mentorship or training opportunities that Valuebound has offered specifically for women technologists?
Priyanka - In our organization, we have the benefit of assigned mentors who provide invaluable support to us. These individuals offer guidance, support, and a vast network of contacts that are invaluable in navigating the often complex and rapidly evolving industry landscape.
Our mentors provide guidance, support, and a network of contacts to help us navigate the industry. They offer advice on career paths, feedback on technical skills, and help us develop confidence and leadership skills.
13. In your experience, how has Valuebound supported women technologists in their career growth and development, both within the Drupal community and in the broader technology industry?
Shalini- Valuebound is supporting all technologists in their career growth by providing encouragement and training for certifications. Also, the reward policies will encourage everyone to grow along with the organization. We have many women technologists in various roles who are growing tremendously well in their careers with the support of the organization.
Anwesha- Valuebound always encourages us to contribute to Drupal and fix its core issues or in any contributed modules. This helps us to learn different functionalities of Drupal and improve our coding standards. This also increases our knowledge and helps us in our career growth.