Lutfi’s Journey into Tech as a First-Generation to Go to College in the Family

A Story of Lutfi Nur Rohmah, Bangkit 2023 Batch 2 Graduate from Informatic Engineering Education, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta
“Indonesia sees 3,7 million students graduate from SMA, SMK, and MA each year. However, only 1,8 million can continue to universities, leaving roughly 1,9 million young Indonesians unable to pursue higher education annually.” – Kemenko PMK (2021)
Our perspective of limitations influences the realization of our dreams. Do limitations hinder us or make us more resilient? Lutfi Nur Rohmah, a young man from Magelang, possesses an exceptional perspective on limitations themselves. She firmly believes that limitations shape her resilience.

Lutfi was born and raised in Magelang to a humble family. Her parent works as farmers. The economic condition of her family didn’t dim her passion for learning. She was determined to become the first in her family to attend university.

Since she was a child, Lutfi aspired to be a skilled programmer. Then, she found Bangkit, where she learned everything from building mobile apps to mastering time management. Those skills landed her a job as a Software Engineer Intern at PT Stechoq Robotika Indonesia.

So, how was Lutfi’s journey to become an excellent woman in tech? Let’s delve into her story!

A Persevering Daughter of Farmers

Lutfi is the middle of three children. She always sees how hard her parents work in the rice fields to give their family everything. Her parents only graduated from elementary school. However, their love and sacrifice filled her with a deep desire to learn and create a brighter future.

Until the age of fourteen, her education was nurtured in her hometown. Yet, destiny held a different path to propel her on a remarkable journey and redefine her future. An unexpected opportunity arose when she got a scholarship to attend a prestigious high school: SMA Unggulan CT ARSA Foundation Sukoharjo. Then, her passion for tech bloomed.
“Since the second grade of high school, I have been interested in tech, especially programming. When I participated in robotics and programming extracurriculars, my interest in programming grew even higher, and I was determined to continue it in college.”
Unfortunately, financial constraints hindered Lutfi’s dream of pursuing higher education. Her parents’ income made affording college without a scholarship an impossibility. Fortunately, Lutfi's academic excellence earned her a scholarship, and she could continue her studies at Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta.

Upon entering university, Lutfi faced a new challenge. She needed a laptop with high specifications to keep up with the demands of her tech lesson. Initially, she only had an old laptop, which was inadequate. This made it difficult for her to attend lectures and complete assignments. However, Lutfi refused to give up.
“I sought alternative ways to learn, such as enrolling in online classes that didn’t require a high-spec laptop. I also utilized the library extensively for study and completing assignments.”
Lutfi’s perseverance paid off. By mid-year, she was finally able to acquire a new and suitable laptop. This newfound resource fueled her enthusiasm to learn and excel in tech. She actively participated in IT-related student activities and emerged victorious in several competitions.

Bangkit Bridged the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Lutfi built her tech foundation on campus. However, she wanted to develop practical skills to thrive in the real world. She knew that her “tech education” basics were not enough. This burning desire drove her to explore opportunities beyond the classroom. In 2023, she discovered Bangkit, a Google initiative program to empower aspiring developers.
“The moment I found Bangkit,” Lutfi exclaimed, “I knew it was the perfect chance to bridge the gap between theory and practice!”
However, enrolling in the program presented a unique challenge. The biggest hurdle was managing time effectively. Luthfi was busy with mandatory education classes that couldn’t be converted to Kampus Merdeka. However, she was determined to make it work. Her unwavering commitment became evident in her approach to the program.

Lutfi dove headfirst into the self-paced learning modules on the Dicoding platform, especially the fundamentals of Android development. Her thirst for knowledge didn’t stop there. She actively participated in the ILT (Instructor-Led Training) and mentoring sessions, soaking up valuable insights from seasoned instructors and mentors.
“ILT sessions were incredible. Learning directly from industry experts about technical and soft skills was invaluable.”
The capstone project also presented a golden opportunity for collaboration. Working alongside peers from various universities proved to be an enriching experience for her. Exchanging ideas and perspectives with her teammates made Lutfi learn much from each other’s expertise. She was also fortunate to be mentored by an experienced professional from Tokopedia.
“Having an advisor from a leading tech company like Tokopedia allowed me to gain firsthand knowledge and practical advice from someone at the forefront of the industry.”

Bangkit’s Impact on Her Career Takeoff

In the final months of the Bangkit, she faced a daunting challenge. Juggling multiple deadlines—including classes, the Capstone Project, and university exams—overwhelmed her. Yet, Lutfi's unwavering determination shone through. Her dedication paid off. She completed all her assignments on time and excelled in her studies.
“There were moments when I felt overwhelmed, but I knew I had to give it all. I meticulously planned my time, ensuring I could dedicate my attention to each task.”
Lutfi’s participation in Bangkit extended far beyond acquiring technical skills. The program instilled in her valuable soft skills that would prove invaluable in her future career.
“Bangkit taught me essential soft skills like project management and time management. These skills were particularly crucial during my internship at PT Stechoq Robotika Indonesia later, where I worked as a software engineer on Android projects.”
The program’s emphasis on personal branding also proved beneficial. Learning to effectively present herself and her skills through a strong LinkedIn profile and portfolio was instrumental in securing her internship.

When asked about the impact of Bangkit on her interview skills, Lutfi’s enthusiasm is evident. The ILT class about interviews was beneficial for her. She learned effective communication strategies and how to confidently articulate her experiences and projects. These skills were invaluable during her internship interview.

“Nothing’s Impossible If You Have the Will to Learn and Persevere”

Now, as a Software Engineer at PT Stechoq Robotika Indonesia, Lutfi’s days are filled with developing innovative educational solutions. Her Android development expertise and passion for education have made her an invaluable asset to the team.

Her current project involves revamping her company's Android Mobile application's LMS (learning management system). With her background in education, she brings a unique perspective to the project, ensuring that the curriculum is sound theoretically and practical for learners.
“The challenge lies in transforming the theory-based curriculum into a project-based learning approach. We want to create an LMS that empowers learners to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios,” Lutfi explains.
Looking towards the future, Lutfi’s aspirations are clear. She aims to complete her studies and embark on a fulfilling career that aligns with her skills and passions.
“My ultimate goal is to graduate with excellent grades, experience, and competencies. I aspire to secure a career that matches my expertise and interests, allowing me to make a meaningful contribution to the world.”
Although her dream career is already in her hands, Lutfi constantly seeks new challenges and opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills. For Bangkit participants, she left a message to grow encouragement and resilience.
“No matter the challenges or obstacles you face, nothing is impossible if you have the will to learn and persevere.”
To end the interview, she emphasized the importance of embracing a growth mindset, believing that a goal can be achieved with effort and dedication. “Even amidst difficulties, opportunities and chances will always arise. So, never give up on your dreams!”


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