Continuous Learning is Essential for Tech Talent

A Story of Anna Karenina Jusuf, Bangkit 2021 Graduate from Computer Science, Universitas Indraprasta PGRI

WomenTech Network (2023) states that women are underrepresented in tech, holding around 26,7% of tech-related jobs. One of these women is Anna Karenina Jusuf (23).

With the perception that there were few career opportunities for women in tech, those around her frequently questioned Anna’s skills. However, the doubts didn’t discourage her. She was determined to launch a successful career. Therefore, Bangkit became the proof of Anna’s transformation.

The career readiness program equipped Anna with practical tech and soft skills. Combined with a 900-hour commitment to trial and error, Anna finally graduated and became the woman in tech she had always dreamed of.

So, how was Anna’s journey of becoming one of the 26% of global female tech talent? Let’s delve into her story!

Steadfastly Nurturing Her Passion

Born in Jakarta and raised in Bogor, Anna is the eldest of three, who grew up in a nurturing environment where family values and hard work were deeply instilled. While initially running a restaurant in Jakarta, her parents later transitioned to private sector jobs to provide stability for the family. Despite the challenges of balancing work and family life, Anna’s parents always encouraged her to pursue her interests and ambitions.
“While my parents were supportive, I knew the pressure was on. So, I don’t want to fail in anything, in any of that.”
Pursuing higher education at Universitas Indraprasta PGRI (Unindra), Anna chose Computer Science as her major. However, her journey towards mastering coding and programming took a lot of work. Initially trained as a UI/UX designer, Anna explored various facets of design before delving into coding.

Albeit facing doubts and concerns from her parents about her unconventional career path, Anna remained steadfast in her pursuit of knowledge and skill development. She dedicated countless hours to learning and practicing coding, often sacrificing sleep to refine her skills and work on projects.

Prioritized Learning Over Leisure

Anna’s hard work and dedication to programming bring her to Bangkit, a career readiness program led by Google and supported by well-known tech industries such as Goto, Tokopedia, and Traveloka. Her journey with Bangkit began in 2021, during her final semester at Unindra.

Initially applying for the Machine Learning path, she found herself accepted into the Mobile Development program instead–a shift that didn’t deter her enthusiasm for Bangkit.
“I had a simple goal when I was in the Mobile Development (Android) path: to learn how to build basic apps. I envisioned a ‘normal’ learning pace, but this program turned out to be anything but extraordinary.”
As she embarked on Bangkit, Anna encountered numerous challenges, particularly in grasping the concepts of Android development. Determined to overcome these obstacles, she immersed herself in learning resources, spending hours watching tutorials by Philipp Lackner on YouTube and Dicoding Live Session to stay updated with the latest industry trends.

Even during challenging times, such as when floods hit Jakarta in 2021, Anna remained dedicated to her studies. In spite of the flooding in her area, she continued her learning journey, refusing to let any obstacle hinder her progress.

Anna’s commitment to learning extended beyond her challenges. She consciously prioritized her studies over social activities, even when her peers questioned her dedication.
“While others were out enjoying leisure activities, I focused on honing my programming skills, recognizing the importance of every learning opportunity.”
During the incubation phase of the program, Anna and her team faced demanding schedules, often attending meetings late into the night and observing other teams’ training sessions. Even with the intensity of the workload, Anna found excitement in the collaborative nature of the program, although it sometimes felt overwhelming.

Anna’s Transformative Journey in Bangkit

One of the most valuable lessons Anna gained from Bangkit was time management. She learned to allocate her time wisely, focusing on tasks that would significantly impact her learning and development. The time management techniques she learned during Instructor-led Training (ILT) continue to serve her well, even beyond the program.

During her six months of learning in Bangkit, Anna applied her Mobile Development knowledge. Her dedication paid off when her capstone team was recognized as one of the Top 15 Capstone Projects, earning them funding and a spot as a potential startup candidate.

After completing the capstone project and learning more than 900 hours, Anna graduated from Bangkit with distinction and obtained Google’s Associate Android Developer (AAD) certification.
“Earning the AAD certification was no easy feat. The exam lasted 8 hours without access to external resources like Android Studio. I had to understand functions and error handling to pass deeply. However, it all paid off in the end with this certification.”
Looking back, Anna realized Bangkit was more than a stepping stone–it was a transformative experience. It pushed her beyond her comfort zone, equipping her with the skills and confidence to pursue her dreams in Mobile Development.

“If You’re the Smartest Person in the Room, You’re in the Wrong Room”

After Bangkit, Anna secured an internship at Alodokter, a healthcare startup where she gained valuable industry experience. Her internship led to multiple job offers, including one from PT BRI Insurance Indonesia (BRINS), where she ultimately decided to join as an Android Developer.

When Anna first reached out to BRINS, she had to go through several stages of the recruitment process, including interviews and tests. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but Anna was well-prepared, thanks to the skills she acquired in Bangkit.
“The most valuable skill I learned from Bangkit was the STAR methodology. It’s a problem-solving framework that’s incredibly useful in interviews. I’ve used this method, and it helped me land my dream job.”
However, her journey at BRINS didn’t stop at Android development; she also ventured into back-end development, guided by the tech lead at the company. Her willingness to learn and adapt allowed her to transition seamlessly into a back-end developer role, where she continues to excel.

Daily, Anna debugs, does code reviews, and thinks about data flow and deployment. Frequently, she participated in scrum meetings to discuss her tasks and priorities with her team. These meetings helped her stay organized and aligned with her team’s objectives.

Regardless of being among the few women in her field, Anna felt supported and respected by her colleagues. The company fostered an inclusive culture where everyone’s contributions were valued, regardless of gender.

To empower fellow women, Anna said don’t be afraid to ask: it’s natural to feel hesitant or even intimidated when starting something new. However, Anna emphasizes overcoming this fear and embracing the learning process wholeheartedly.
“When you doubt yourself or feel uncertain, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your curiosity and willingness to learn are your greatest assets. Don’t let the fear of looking foolish hold you back. Remember, the only way to grow is by seeking knowledge and understanding,” she advises.
Furthermore, she also mentioned the importance of building a strong and diverse network for personal and professional growth. Anna shares her experience of expanding her connections at Bangkit, which opened up various opportunities for collaboration and learning.
“Expand your network as much as possible. Networking opens new opportunities and exposes you to different perspectives and insights.”
To end this interview, Anna shares her mantra from Confucius: “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” She explains that this quote resonates with her because it reminds her of the importance of continuous learning. So, surround yourself with individuals who challenge and inspire you to improve.


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