Farida Bharmal mentors with the ideaSpark team at The MIX in east Dallas.
She's also an Azure Technology Lead at Microsoft, where she ensures that Microsoft Azure products are easy for customers to use and troubleshoot when things go wrong.
How did you become interested in tech and programming?
When I was growing up, computers were very new and expensive. I did not have a computer at home. But was always curious about it. The only way to get access to it was to enroll in engineering.
What did you study in college?
I received Bachelor's and Master's degress in computer science.
What are you working on now?
I am working on Microsoft cloud computing - Azure.
What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
I gain satisfaction teaching these young kids practical programming. This skillset will last with them forever and can provide them a means of earning a living. One memory I have: When a kid understood a concept so well and challenged me on the output of a certain computer program. It felt like my job was done.
Is there anything that you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
Computer programming needs a lot of patience to learn. I remember being in front of my computer night after night trying to create a small program. The satisfaction was immense when we got our software to run and do what we wanted. The hard work has paid off and I make a good living.
Is there anything about our mission that really connects with you?
I have seen in India that every corner of every street has a cheap computer training class. America is now my home. Being in this country for 18 years, I feel this country does not have that type of infrastructure to train young minds at a cheap cost. This is exactly what Bold Idea is doing. It's a noble cause. One cannot expect that every kid can pay to do a bachelor's or Master's in computer science. But one should expect that every kid will know the basics of computer programming and that is what Bold Idea is doing.