We recently had the chance to catch up with Wendy Ho, a 2016 Technovation finalist, and hear about what projects she’s working on now, what she’s planning on doing next, and what advice she has for other women interested in technology. Wendy was part of team CodeHAUS which developed the app Ask Ada.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello! My name is Wendy Ho, and I’m from Dallas, TX in the USA. I participated in Technovation in 2016.
What was your relationship or experience with tech before Technovation?
Before Technovation, I had always wanted to program or do something with technology, but I didn’t really know where to start. More so, I thought that it was too late for me to start learning about programming on my own, since most people I knew who programmed were boys and they had started learning from summer camps or own their own since middle school. I suppose I always wanted to start programming, but I just didn’t quite believe I could learn on my own and be successful.
What made you join Technovation?
I heard about Technovation from a friend at a summer program who had participated last year. Her app concept sounded amazing, and I was stunned that she knew how to program apps. More importantly, however, I realized that she had made a difference in her school community, and I wanted to do the same to my community. I joined Technovation because I wanted a catalyst to learn how to code and to create apps that solve community issues.
How was your Technovation experience?
Technovation was one of the most incredible experiences! It taught me how to work in teams on a project bigger than any of ourselves and gave me the drive to believe I can learn anything by myself if I just ask for a little bit of help from others. The World Pitch was especially incredible, because I had the chance to meet with so many other women who were equally passionate about the change technology can bring. Lastly, participating in Technovation allowed me to be empathetic about the problems facing my community and think of ways I could potentially help with the power of technology.
What have you been up to since World Pitch?
Since the World Pitch, I have expanded the Coding Club at my school and have entered into a few more app competition. In particular, I heard about the Verizon App Challenge, and asked a few of the Coding Club members if they would be interested in participating. I loved working in teams on Technovation and I wanted to do that again for this app challenge! For the challenge, we had to come up with an app idea and film a video about it. Recently, we found out that our idea, an app that organizes medical information to save doctors time, won Best in State. This qualifies us for the Fan Favorite Award, which consists of $15,000 to fund STEM programs at our school. We would absolutely love if the Technovation community could help us out by voting for us and spreading the word. To vote, you just have to text “DOCT” to 22333.
What’s next for you?
Next up, I want to savor and make the most out of every experience as my final year of high school ends. Currently, I am helping out Coding Club at my school with local programming competitions and planning on bringing Technovation to other members of the club. Next year, in college, I plan to pursue a major related to business or technology and meet other people who are passionate about technology entrepreneurship. I’m not sure if I’ll end up starting a tech company as my career, but for now, it seems like an interesting direction to head in and I’ve loved all the people I’ve met along the way!
Just for fun: what’s your favorite programming language?
I’m always loyal to the first programming language I learned, so I would have to say Java!
What suggestions or advice do you have for Technovation participants who don’t want to stop programming or developing apps and business after Technovation?
Sounds cliché, but the biggest advice I would give is to have faith in yourself and never be afraid to ask for help. Although developing apps and businesses may seem like a very individual experience, it really does take a community and a team. When you’re stuck, never be afraid to ask for help from someone. Even if that person doesn’t know a thing about programming, if you’re passionate about your idea, other people will want to support you in your passion and help out. Also the most important thing, especially for women in technology, is to have what I call radical overconfidence. Often times it’s easy as women to always think we could be better or that we aren’t good enough, but when you act confidently, even if you may not feel so, it becomes easier to see that you are great and you will do great things despite what others may tell you.
Support Wendy and her coding club by voting for their app! If you have a Technovation story you’d like to share, email Maggie at [email protected]