Rosalva Gallardo can be a great professional pianist; However, entering a course on word processors – in the 1990s – changed the course of his life. Later, this Peruvian engineer became a director of software programs at google browser And he achieved his dream: to work in it Silicon Valley. However, the path was not easy, but he was not lacking in motivation.
After discovering her profession, Rosalva decides to study Informatics Engineering At PUCP, the place where he realized early on would be a minority, surrounded by a large number of male colleagues. This did not stop him from moving forward with his goals. “I remember mentioning one of the teachers Silicon Valley She asked, “What is Silicon Valley?” So they tell me that’s where the big tech companies are. I started investigating a bit more and said, “I want to work there.” And I remember my friends who were next to me said “Yes, no?”When the odds are still slim
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Despite the doubts of the people, Rosalva remained resolute. He worked first in his university’s IT department (making a program to publish admission results) and then at Novatronic, where he was able to do something he loved: lead teams. There he created a program for telecommunications companies. He did so until he was motivated to research a specific topic: how to improve the software process to raise quality.
At that time, he was the future engineer of google browser I decided to apply for a PhD abroad. “When I applied to college, people said to me, Do you know English? I said, “No, but I will learn.” Also (they told me) if I know someone there to get in, they give me a scholarship: “You have to meet people there”. I will answer ‘I don’t know anyone, but if I don’t try, how will I know?“”.
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Rosalva did her best to study English and take university exams with the curriculum that she loved the most. To his surprise, the University of California ended up offering him a full scholarship to pursue a PhD in Computer Science with Software Engineering. This effort has been rewarded. “I put everything in two bags and went to the United States to get my doctorate“, to remember.
Silicon Valley: A dream come true
As part of the grant (or “fellowship”), the first year the Peruvian engineer worked as a teaching assistant, the second year was spent correcting practices and exams, and the third year was a research assistant. “That covers the university stipend, apart from that, they gave me a stipend that I could use to support me. So this was a great opportunity that I decided to take advantage of“.
However, the culture shock she felt was not to be underestimated: she lived alone, her companions were Americans or from different parts of the world, and language was a barrier. “I remember that in the first grade they asked me to read two books, one of them on the philosophy of science, that is, a complex reading. We had to read it in one weekend. I guess I could only read half a word because I had to look up at least 10 words in the dictionary. I went to class, told the teacher and she told me to keep tryingAnd Rosalva Gallardo kept trying. By the end of her Ph.D., I was able to write two books in English.
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In that moment, life presented her with options – offers – and she chose the path that led her to Silicon Valley: work in it Intel Corporation. They have spent five years managing software quality for one of the world’s most important technology companies. At that time she also started her projects Peru And Techsuyo, which seeks to bring Peruvians and Latinos closer to the technological environment of this region. It was precisely thanks to the mention of a member of the Peruvian community that Rosalva made it to Google. “He said, Why don’t you apply? I applied to Google and got in“.
“Working at Google was one of my dreams because of the number of tools and the impact of products on all of humanity. I really like their culture“, says the Peruvian engineer. She has had the opportunity to lead a team of people from all over the world as part of Google.org, the philanthropic side of the internet giant. In addition, he uses 20% of the time the company gives him on his various projects. Currently she is also one of the my boss welcome, the Latin community on Google.
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Being a woman in technology
Rosalva Gallardo notes that she has never felt left out among her colleagues in the profession. However, the truth is that his case is unique: Women who work in the field of Technique They are still a minority. “I studied at a women’s college and all of them were women. And suddenly when I entered college, most of the people were male.‘ says the engineer.
Now, in the United States, where diversity and numbers are given so much importance, she realizes the important role they play. She is one of the women who represents Google as “Technochica‘: Motivating girls to take an interest in technology issues through workshops.
“It is important to start sharing that knowledge with girls because sometimes there are stereotypes. For example, sometimes a girl wants to fix a radio and parents prefer that their little brother does it. why not? If a girl can do that too‘, he ponders. Without a doubt, this is one of the topics that must continue to be promoted.
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PeruSV and Techsuyo: Efforts to Bring the Latino Community in the United States Together
Peru It is a community born in 2015 with the aim of bringing together all Peruvians who have worked in technology in the United States. “There are very few Latinos who work in technology and innovation. Looking for the community, I went to the Peruvian consulate in San Francisco and asked to know where the Peruvians working in technology are. The consul told me “Two other people asked me exactly the same, why don’t they meet and talk?”Later, they met and were the founders of PeruSV.
“Our main goal is to create a knowledge bridge between Peru and Silicon Valley to narrow the knowledge gap that exists in Peruvian and Latin American society.” So the community decided to meet every four months and it grew little by little. “We’re starting to meet more people who have worked at Intel, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on AirBNB, people who have their own startups. It was an incredible thing to feel the energy with which all Peruvians come together, it is simply indescribable“.
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When the community decided in 2017 to hold an annual conference to gather Latin Americans in the United States, it appeared Techsuyo. “At first we thought we would have about two hundred people. And they told us, “But who organized such a thing?” They wouldn’t have staged it, but if we didn’t try we wouldn’t know. So we decided to give it a try“.
In 2017, Techsuyo was held at Stanford University. In 2018, the venue was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The experience was amazing, in addition, the community realized that 50% of the 300 people who attended the conference were Peruvians. “The conference is free, but people have made an investment in the future. So we decided to do it in LimaAnd so, in 2019, Techsuyo had a version in Liceo Naval. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the version was virtual.
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What’s next for Techsuyo in 2021? “This year we will do it in a hybrid way. It will be in person on October 15-16 in San Mateo (California) and will also be broadcast live on our YouTube and Facebook channels.“.
Before she says goodbye, Rosalva leaves a few thoughts for anyone who wants to follow their long way to Silicon Valley: “I would recommend overcoming your fears. In all these stages, there are always internal and external sounds. So, jump in, give it a try. There will be a lot of people who will say you can’t help but give it a try. The truth is that when you try to be like magic, right? So many amazing things happen“.
Grant: Techsuyo This year it will be face to face and virtual. It will present different topics: artificial intelligence, data analysis, startups, topics for technology companies, how to get funding for entrepreneurs, how to get a graduate degree abroad, how to conduct different types of research, women in academia, etc. To participate you can enter event location.
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