To celebrate women's month, we will be sharing some of our inspirational community members here at Women in DevOps.
‘My best professional achievement I’d say is seeing my mentees blossom. I usually affectionately refer to them as ducklings because I try to teach them how to swim and I’ve shielded them from what I could, and they thrived as (maybe) a result of this additional support.’
Meet Merishka Lalla. Merishka always thought about engineering growing up. Her dad was a mechanical engineer; growing up, she would often walk around her Dad’s tools, taking things apart and putting them back together again (often failing due to being 6 years old!). Nevertheless, Merishka’s love of engineering stayed with her. When her official acceptance letter to Hogwarts didn’t arrive, she stayed on the engineering track. And if you ever need snuggly kitten spam, she would be happy to provide this with her two cats (the other one is just camera shy). She studied at the University of Cape Town and finished with a First degree in Computer Science and Information Systems.
We asked Merishka what her biggest piece of advice to herself would be:
‘I’d say that the biggest piece of advice to my younger self is to stand up for yourself. Not everyone understands DEIB, and even if you’re looked down upon, celebrate the awareness you created because sometimes you’ll have several allies in the room, but they don’t know it yet. This took a lot for me to do because being raised in an Indian household, I was taught to be meek, but I think I did the right thing. So, even if it didn’t benefit me, it would help the next person. I’ve seen this in action, and it has encouraged me to speak out.’