Effective Interviews ⚡️ Madona S. Wambua
GoogleDevExpert for Android, author, Women Techmakers Ambassador and host of @techtalksmadona 🎙️
Welcome to the Effective Interview #4 ⚡️ a series of written interviews with well-known engineers from the Android worldwide community.
Madona is known for her public contributions to the Android community, including hosting and speaking at several events around the world. Her work as an Ambassador of Women TechMakers and on several other initiatives for the visibility of women in tech is truly inspiring.
🟣 Welcome to the Effective Interviews Madona! 👋
Thank you very much for having me. It is an honor to do this with you.
🟣 When and how did you get started with Android development?
I started exploring Android in 2014, but not professionally; during this time, I was working as a junior Java developer and exploring what I could do with my Java Knowledge because I felt what I was doing was not appreciated.
After I learned that I could use Java to build a mobile application, this was a win, and that's how I launched my first app Simple Math which got over 500 downloads with a 4.5 rating. This blew my mind; I used to think to myself, "like people like my app?" That's how I fell in love with Android and have stayed ever since.
🟣 Looking back, what skills helped you the most to get here?
All skills were valuable, but networking has helped pave the way and enhanced my career immensely.
🟣 What steps did you take to become a GDE, and what advice can you give to other devs that want to join the program?
I became a GDE through a Women Tech Makers ambassador program called Women Tech Makers Academy. Before this, however, I want to acknowledge that I was already very active in making community contributions and engagement, which made my application very easy.
Now for steps to become a GDE, the GDE site documents the process well, so I suggest that if anyone wants to become a GDE, connect with other GDEs and check out that doc to see how you can kick start your journey to GDE.
🟣 You are the author of the Modern Android 13 Development Cookbook. As far as I’ve learned, tech books are always challenging to write. Can you tell us about your experience so far?
You are right; it is not easy. However, I acknowledge that this journey has led me towards an even greater path: now I can dig deep into the content I write, making it fun, and I get to understand some topics better. I fear there is so much to cover, and just one book can not cover it all, so I hope people like the content when the book comes out.
🟣 Your book seems to cover several Android libraries and patterns. Do you find it hard to keep the book updated given how quickly the Android ecosystem evolves?
Now that is my biggest challenge; I wish I could laugh about this, but wow. However, there is a silver lining; just because they evolve fast does not mean we will not use them. I mean we have legacy code? Right? So it is worth investing time and writing for the future and current generations; I also read books and enjoy going to Barnes and Noble to grab a book, so I hope this will not discourage anyone from buying a technical book.
🟣 As an Ambassador of WomenTechMakers along with other initiatives to promote the visibility of women in the tech industry, you became a role model for lots of devs out there. What advice would you give to other women that want to do the same?
I always say one thing, find a community and participate simply by showing up. This can be enough for many, but it does not harm you if you want to go the extra mile. Also, be a cheerleader to others and have no sisters left behind. "Bring them all in as I say it on my podcast."
🟣 You are also a volunteer at AnitaB.org. Can you tell us more about it?
NDA haha sorry, I can not discuss my current Co-chair position, but I can speak of my Tech Coach volunteer experience.
As a Tech Coach, I help students debug their coding problems, which gives me so much joy.
🟣 Your continuous motivation is remarkable. With lots of projects running, what motivates you to be such an active member of the community, and what advice do you have for others looking to get involved in it?
The joy that comes when I give back, wow. It's unmeasurable when people walk up to me to say thank you for what you do. I also want to mention that I prioritize what makes me happy. So self-care is critical.
🟣 You have a software consulting firm called JibuLabs. Having done consulting myself I know the importance of soft skills in this context. Especially when you join a team and need to earn the trust of your new teammates. How do you face this?
I am still new in this space and will be looking to learn more from people like you who have done it. I am, however, excited to see where this takes me. Also, the main idea is to fund two major start-up ideas that I have.
🟣 When you jump into a new Android team and codebase, what are the things you value more?
Not a lot of tech debt; it really comes in handy.
🟣 What advice do you have for young women and girls who may be interested in pursuing a career in tech?
Don't feel like you don't belong, you belong and you got this.
🟣 If you could pick another Android dev to get interviewed for this series, who would it be?
🟣 Where can readers find you?
You can find me on:
🟣 Thanks so much for sharing with us Madona 🙏 see you!
More interviews lining up already 🔥 if you want more, check all the interviews published so far 👇
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