Encima de la Barrera del Idioma

Dominican Republic

Yanilda Peralta Ramos is a computer scientist born in the Dominican Republic. She loves computer languages!

What motivated you or inspired you to go into your field?
When I was a kid, I was fascinated with creating, and learning new skills. When the computer first came to my house, I was amazed by what I could do with the computer. Then in my technical high school, I had to choose a career path, and I was good with math, and the other three options were accounting, nursing, or information systems. I decided to choose information systems because I wanted to learn more about computers, and then we started with programming languages. The nights of no sleep, trying to solve a problem, was hard but worth it because after all that hard work, I was able to see a product, and this product that could be of use for others, could give satisfaction.

What message do you have for girls who aspire to be like you?
Never give up, there might be times when there is pressure - maybe you think it might be peer pressure or you might think you must succeed or compete with others - but just don’t think about the peer pressure. You don’t have to compete against others, just compete against yourself to better yourself; however, remember to take a small break, but don’t give up on trying.

No matter who you are or where you come from, if you have the inner desire inside you then you can be what you set your mind to be. Trust me, it is possible.

Tell us about your job.
What are some of your responsibilities? What is the environment like in your workplace?

Right now, I’m working as a software developer at Revature, and as a tutor at the Math and Computer Science Learning Center of Lehman College, and I’m also doing freelance web developing. At Revature, after going through a very tough training for Java EE Technologies, we get matched up with a client as a consultant for two years. At Lehman College, I help students succeed with their programming assignments. As a freelance web developer, I make websites for private clients.

What has been the most rewarding about your career/interest?
Getting to work with amazing teams, developing software and learning new technologies.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I would say language barriers. Sometimes at the beginning I’m shy, but then I’m the total opposite; however I believe it is because English is not my first language. Sometimes it is a bit difficult when you come from a country where they don’t speak English, and you have a strong accent.

How do you maintain positivity and motivation despite obstacles or barriers?
I try to pay no mind to discrimination and just try to prove that I can be better in other ways. I also try to accept other people the way they are.

Is it ever too late to enter a STEM field if you've started out on a different path?
No, it’s never too late. I have coworkers who have graduated as a finance, psychology, and criminal justice major and they realized that now want to start a different path. Now they are very smart, and they are doing very well in the STEM field now.

How have you combated gender/racial stereotypes in STEM
Not directly in the field but outside of the field. In the field, I, as a woman, feel very privileged. My coworkers treat me nice, so it’s all about treating others how I want them to treat me.

What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?
I won the first prize Hackathon at NSBE Lehman 3rd Annual hackathon.

What are your future goals?
I would like to create Humanoid Robots factory with high artificial intelligence to help parents have more time with their children.

What motto or core values do you live by?
My motto is to try different paths to get to my goal and to be happy.

What kind of obstacles are in store for today’s young women? What are some words of advice you believe will help girls today overcome these obstacles?
You are worth it, you are unique. Nobody is better than you, and you can be the chosen one, so don’t let anybody belittle you. You deserve more.

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