How my start-up is helping others into tech careers

Having just completed her first year at university, Saniya Puri along with other students from Queen Mary University Of London, created a start-up called CyCode. Through it they are helping to inspire the next generation of tech-savvy students in India through hack-a-thons. 

Why are you passionate about tech?
I grew up mostly in India in the late 90s and early 2000s. That time was, to me, an era where a lot of technology was evolving and that intrigued me and interested at a very fundamental level. Seeing that vast evolution of technology was what made me go and pursuit it as a career option. That’s what interested me most about technology. I love seeing how the tech around me functions, and thinking about what would happen if they didn’t function, and how I could repair things.

What route did you take into university?
I did A-levels but, surprisingly, I didn’t do ICT because my school didn’t offer it. Instead I did physics, chemistry, biology and maths. Maths and physics has well helped me in a lot in terms of problem solving. I did also take a gap year before going to university. I worked in a firm as a service management trainee and a project management trainee within the IT department. It helped me learn the hands-on basics of how businesses are run, and how reliant on technology they are.

What opportunities have you come across while studying ITMB at Queen Mary University of London?
The ITMB degree is a very good amalgamation of both the tech and business aspects. ITMB as a degree has given me a lot of opportunities to put myself out there to employers at a very early stage. The events that the Tech Partnership organises are a great way to get yourself out there. The competitions we compete in are really eye-opening. I have come across a few amazing entrepreneurial ideas through them. Also, IBM IT counts, the Tech Partnership and a few other companies have approached me to become their brand ambassadors. It’s a great thing to have on your CV, great exposure and a lot of fun.

What is CyCode?
We started a company called CyCode. Through it we organise hack-a-thons for computer engineers and software engineers who study in India. This provides them  with an opportunity to network with potential recruiters and showcase their skills. CyCode is basically be a hosting platform for a lot of great minds to come together, solve problems and get familiar with the employment market at a very early stage – as opposed to doing it in their second or third, which is what typically happens in India. 

With only 17% of girls into tech, why do you think that so many girls choose not to enter the tech sector?
Girls seem to believe that if they want to pursue a career in technology they have to be spectacled geeks frozen behind computer screens for long hours. However, that’s far from reality. There is much more to technology than that. It is about, wanting to know how the things around us work, it is about creative innovation, it is about life as we know it. And it is high time we girls got a feel for it.