About the Author: Vidya Amar is a homemaker who restarted her career after taking a break of over a decade for her family. She talks about her seamless transformation between the roles of a mother and a software developer.
I have always been passionate about software development. A decade ago, after completing my B.E. in Instrumentation Technology, I was working as a software engineer in one of the private firms. My husband used to travel a lot due to his work and was very busy even during the weekends. We have one son who was very young at the time I was working. He used to fall sick quite often and stayed at a daycare center. I felt I was neglecting my son and not giving him enough time. There was a lot of pressure from my job too. We were financially secure and so after having worked for 5.5 years, I finally quit my job.
And just like that my life took a new turn. My days were mostly spent in the kitchen or helping my son in his studies; sometimes I also helped my husband in his business. I was glad that I could take care of my son’s well-being and was happy doing all the household chores; however, I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to do something for myself too! Fast forward a decade, and things changed. My son was now a confident young guy who was studying architecture, and I had all the time for myself. I wanted to learn something new and so I did a course in Android development. In the beginning, it was difficult as I had taken quite a long hiatus and was also new to Java programming. I revised the object-oriented programming concepts and slowly learned Java. I started writing small UI-based applications for people around me like BMI calculation, Yoga app, etc. This made me happy but it was not enough. Then, my son advised me to try out internships as some of his friends were doing it. One of his friends introduced me to Internshala, and I liked the idea.
I registered on Internshala and started applying for some of the internships in Android development. I got a positive response from one of the startups, VR4Learnings. The first thing I was asked was whether the details mentioned in my resume were true – they couldn’t believe that I was applying for an internship! After a few basic questions about my qualifications and interests, I was shortlisted and given a challenge that I had to complete in 3-4 days. I was asked to display the augmented reality/virtual reality videos in an Android app using the provided details of Android SDK. I worked hard and completed it before the deadline. They liked my work and I was selected! This meant a lot to me! It was a work from home internship which was convenient as I could take care of household chores while working and meeting deadlines.
My employer was very understanding and encouraging; he explained the project requirements clearly. I was working on a live project for educational institutes and was involved in the complete software development. I mainly collected all the available virtual reality videos & apps and categorized them based on different parameters like age, subject, etc. and integrated them into a single Android app. Though the internship was only for a period of three months, it gave a huge boost to my confidence. Most importantly, it gave me an exposure to what the industry needed and where I stood.
My husband’s company undertakes the construction of petrol pumps. At any given time, 3-4 projects are going on in different locations. Each site has an engineer that keeps a register to note the incoming materials, attendance of labourers, account details, etc. After a long day at work, they find it difficult to note everything. It causes discrepancies and confusion while settling the accounts. To overcome this problem, I decided to utilize my software knowledge. I’m currently developing an app which will take all the data with very few interactions, store the data in SQLite database, and send a daily report on WhatsApp. It’ll also generate the report for a specific duration of time and send an email about a specific task. Post this, I’m planning to get Google’s Android certification too.
I’ve realized that being a housewife is no longer a deterrent to my career and that, age is indeed just a number! I have a long way to travel and the road is clear to me. I’m extremely thankful to Internshala for helping me take those initial baby steps! I come across many housewives who are stuck and don’t know how to start – Internshala is a hope for all of them! :)
Inspired by Vidya’s journey? Apply to these internships for women and (re)start your career today!