Amma Ofori: The Journey Back to Tech

Amma Ofori: The Journey Back to Tech

Written by WWC Team

Member Reflections

Since I was 9 years old, my dream was to become a computer scientist. I was fascinated by computers. My father would encourage me by giving me a computer science textbook. I remember reading this book and not understanding it, but I loved the idea of becoming a computer scientist one day. I decided to pursue this dream in high school. I took the prerequisite courses in high school to be eligible for computer science in University.

The most challenging part was when I entered University for computer science. At the time, there were not many women or people of color in the program. I felt isolated and did not have many resources to assist with my courses. The worst part is, when we needed to collaborate with other students, no one would work with me because I was different. I had thoughts of quitting. The final nail in the coffin came when I went to my professor's course director to assist him in the program. He told me that I would continue to have a hard time in computer science because I am a woman, so it would be better for me to take a program that I felt would be more inclusive.

I listened to this suggestion because I thought it was good advice and subsequently quit computer science, went into education, and became a teacher. Today, I encourage many students to pursue STEM education.

20 years and three teenagers later, I decided it was time to return to tech. I am finishing my computer science degree and pursuing a master's to become a data scientist or software engineer. The Women Who Code community has been a great resource and support. Meeting other women in tech is a great inspiration. I wish I had a community like this 20 years ago. I am a volunteer for the Python track to encourage and support other women pursuing the tech field.