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As we continue celebrating the remarkable women who contribute to our business, we are thrilled to spotlight Fathima Nazeeha Asmat. With her role as a Drupal Tech Lead, Fathima explores the path she took to reach her current role, the motivations fueling her passion for technology, and the invaluable insights she has gained.

Fathima's story highlights the incredible contributions of women in the tech industry and inspires us all to look to achieve greater diversity, inclusion, and empowerment in our workplaces.

Fathima profile
Can you tell us your name and what you do?

My name is Fathima Nazeeha Asmat. I’m a Technical lead at CTI, specialising in Drupal technology.

Can you share the path you took to arrive at your current role? What steps did you take along the way?

To outline the path that led to my current role, I embarked on a journey driven by a passion for software engineering. My academic pursuits commenced with a BSc in Information Technology and E-commerce at the University of East London, culminating in the attainment of a First Class (Hons) degree. Following this, I embarked on a professional journey, commencing as a junior PHP developer within the realm of E-commerce retail.

Subsequently, my career pathway took a decisive turn towards specialisation in CMS development. This progression entailed navigating through roles ranging from mid-weight developer to senior developer, with each role serving as a stepping stone towards assuming the mantle of Tech Lead. In this capacity, I have had the privilege of spearheading numerous high-profile and intricate projects, collaborating closely with a proficient team of developers.

Currently, I am gradually transitioning towards a role as a Solutions Architect, focusing on designing solutions that seamlessly align with the needs of clients and businesses. This involves a keen emphasis on creating solutions that are not only effective for the current project but are also strategically designed for future reusability across various endeavours.

What motivated you to pursue a career in your field?

I have always been fascinated by the limitless possibilities that technology offers to solve real-world problems and improve efficiency. From an early age, I found joy in creating and experimenting with software. The ability to turn lines of code into functional and innovative solutions captivated me. As I delved deeper into the world of software engineering, I realised its transformative potential to shape the future.

This motivation, coupled with a genuine curiosity to understand the intricacies of programming languages and system architectures, led me to pursue a career in software engineering. I am driven by the continuous learning opportunities, the dynamic nature of the industry, and the satisfaction of contributing to the development of web solutions and open source community.

Are there any mentors or role models who have influenced your professional growth? How have they impacted your career?

I have a few mentors who have significantly influenced my personal and professional development. I would like to highlight a couple of mentors from the Drupal community who are particularly relevant to my current role at CTI. Matt Glaman and Kristen Po have played a pivotal role in inspiring me with their passion for contributing to the Drupal.org community. Their continuous dedication to knowledge-sharing through blog articles, documentation, and active participation in community events has been invaluable. They serve as stepping stones for many beginners in Drupal development, providing essential support and fostering a sense of community. Their influence has been instrumental in guiding and motivating many individuals, including myself, to make meaningful contributions to the Drupal ecosystem.

Can you describe a particularly rewarding or memorable experience in your career journey?

Rather than highlighting a specific moment, I find that every time a project successfully launches, and we receive compliments from the client, it becomes a memorable experience in my career journey. Such occasions provide a significant boost to strive for more in the future. Simultaneously, instances of failures and mistakes also hold memorable value as they serve as invaluable lessons. They offer insights into areas for improvement and help in avoiding the repetition of mistakes in subsequent projects.

What skills or experiences do you believe have been most crucial to your success in your current role?

I believe that my success in my current role can be attributed to my rapid learning abilities, logical thinking, attention to detail, and passionate commitment to solving complex problems. Additionally, a strong work ethic has played a pivotal role in contributing to my achievements in my career.

Are there any specific goals or aspirations you have for your career moving forward?

Looking ahead in my career, as I transition into a Solutions Architect role, my aim is to cultivate a bit more strategic mindset that extends beyond the technical domain. Concurrently, my interest also lies in contributing to the Drupal core code, with the goal of becoming one of the core contributors in the future.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your field or considering a similar career path?

Prioritise both your career and personal development. Avoid stagnation by exploring every opportunity within your field. Continuously expand your knowledge, stay abreast of the latest trends, and seamlessly integrate them into your work.

Have there been any moments in your career where you had to make sacrifices? If so, how did you navigate those decisions?

I have experienced moments in my career where I had to make sacrifices, particularly as a working mother. The perennial struggle revolves around the guilt associated with not being able to devote quality time to my children. While our efforts are dedicated to ensuring their well-being, there remains a sense of unfulfillment lingering in the back of my mind.

One of the most challenging sacrifices was leaving my infant babies at the daycare nursery after maternity leave to resume work. This experience brought about irreplaceable heartache and marked a significant sacrifice in the realm of motherhood. Navigating such decisions requires a delicate balance between professional responsibilities and the emotional toll they take. It involves constantly reassessing priorities, seeking support where possible, and acknowledging the resilience needed to navigate the challenges inherent in being a working parent.

How do you prioritise self-care and well-being amidst the demands of your career?

Similar to many, I initially encountered challenges in establishing a work-life balance and prioritising self-care. As a predominantly remote worker, it can be challenging to set clear boundaries between work and personal life.

After careful consideration, I recently transitioned to a four-day workweek schedule. This change has yielded positive outcomes in my life, allowing me to allocate a dedicated day for myself. This arrangement enables me to focus on my health, practice self-care, and enjoy my free time more effectively.

Can you share a meaningful piece of advice or insight you've received that has had a lasting impact on you?

I received meaningful advice from one of my co-workers, who shared that navigating the tech industry as a woman is not easy but requires practice and perseverance. The insight emphasised the importance of voicing my opinions when necessary, highlighting that suffering in silence won't contribute to success. This advice has proven to be invaluable in my professional experience, guiding me to assert myself confidently and address challenges proactively.

How do you think celebrating International Women's Day contributes to advancing gender equality in society?

As a woman in Tech leadership, I believe that celebrating International Women's Day is essential for advancing gender equality in society. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of women in the tech industry and beyond. By highlighting the achievements, skills, and expertise of women, we not only inspire current professionals but also encourage more women to pursue careers in the Tech industry.

Furthermore, celebrating International Women's Day fosters awareness about gender disparities and promotes open conversations within the workplace. It encourages companies to assess and enhance their diversity and inclusion initiatives, creating an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, feels empowered and valued.

Ultimately, these celebrations contribute to breaking down gender stereotypes and biases, paving the way for a more inclusive and equal society. International Women's Day serves as a meaningful platform to amplify these efforts.

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