#STEMStories: Harshita, Young Engineer a ...

#STEMStories: Harshita, Young Engineer and Entrepreneur, USA

Oct 13, 2021

Three years ago, we spoke to Harshita, a Young Engineer and Entrepreneur from the USA. She started programming when I was 13.

1. Say hi :) who are you and what do you do?

Hi! I’m Harshita Arora. I’m a young engineer and entrepreneur. I started programming when I was 13 and since then I’ve done engineering internships at companies like Salesforce and DoNotPay. I’ve created a dozen iOS apps, and one of them (Crypto Price Tracker) was acquired by Redwood City Ventures. I’m now interested in brain-computer interfaces and working on a mind-controlled drone.

2. How did you arrive at this career? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

I got interested in computer science and programming through my CS teacher in middle school.

I didn’t know anything about computer programming until 7th grade -- so I certainly didn’t know that it was something I wanted to do. As a kid, I wanted to be a biologist.

3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?

Sunk-cost fallacy! See this: https://twitter.com/michael_nielsen/status/1062032179016818691

I think it’s a combination of sunk-cost fallacy (I’ve already been on a streak working towards this goal for the past x days, let’s not screw the discipline) and being intrinsically interested in the work and learning I’m doing.

4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a story?

I listen to music. I sometimes call up my parents or other close friends. I’d suggest reading Epictetus for people who are stressed very often. Stoic philosophy will help.

5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?

I admire Patrick Collison a lot -- I think he’s the most intellectually curious person I know. And he’s also very optimistic and kind! He’s the CEO of Stripe.

In my field (brain-computer interfaces), I admire Ed Boyden a lot! He’s a neuroscientist at MIT who’s done important work in optogenetics and expansion microscopy.  

6. What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

I’m still 17 years old! But if I were able to give advice to my younger self, I’d tell her to read even more books :)

7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?

  1. Get solid foundations in math and science, as well as in the field you want to work in (for example, CS, biotech, etc).

  2. Read a lot!

  3. Learn to code, even if you don’t think you’d want to work as a programmer. Most STEM fields today use software and knowing how to do basic things like writing a script, writing an algorithm to perform some computations, etc, will be very valuable.

Also read this: https://patrickcollison.com/advice

8. How do you measure your success?

I ask my mentors for feedback. That’s the most reliable source to avoid personal biases :)

9. Where can we find out more about your work?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aroraharshita33

My blog: https://harshitaarora.com/

10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?


My Twitter: https://twitter.com/aroraharshita33

My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshita-arora11/ 

Happy to connect!

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