Women Who Code: Jashema Panapa
Jashema Panapa credits throwback social media site, MySpace for sparking her love of code. “Customizing my page was always so fun and now I realize what I was doing was coding,” Jashema shares. Building her interest through exploring Windows 95 and the tech world in general, Jashema turned her passion for code as a teen into a career focusing on web application and advocating for under-represented populations in tech. When asked what she enjoys most about the industry, Jashema states, “It’s exciting to build something from nothing and do that with people from all over the world.” Through speaking engagements, community involvement and taking advantage of free coding education, Jashema plans to make her mark in the South Carolina tech community.
Jashema first connected with SC Codes at a Florence Information Session. SC Codes hosts Information Sessions throughout the State with the hopes of connecting learners with the platform, mentors and other learners in their area. At that session, Jashema joined the local Slack channel, connected with a mentor and explored course offerings. Since then, she has used SC Codes as a resource to collaborate with other learners and expand her knowledge of building web applications. Her dedication to the program has paid off as she has recently landed a part time role as an independent contract developer for a company. Jashema, like many of the learners on our platform, falls under the Career Changers category. While working as a full time teacher, she is making her transition to tech working through working a part time role. “Balancing the two has presented some challenges, as I’d like to spend more time developing, but it’s a great starting point to really break into the industry.”
Jashema’s experience in tech is unique as a double minority. She recalls feeling intimidated at the start of her journey as she was often the only black person or woman in the room. “Attending the SC Codes session was a pivotal moment in my transition to tech. It removed me from my comfort zone, especially when it came to networking.” Black women make up less than 12% of the tech workforce nationally (National Center for Woman & Technology) and Jashema’s experience of being “the only” is far too common.
Jashema is currently working on a special project and invites anyone interested in to be on the lookout through her social media channels. She hopes to land a full time position in software development and contribute to building real world applications.
SC Codes is proud to support Jashema and learners across the State in making tech a more equitable place.