Rosalva Gallardo may have been a great professional pianist; However, in the nineties – entering a course on word processors changed the direction of his life. After some time this engineer from Peru is the manager of the software program Google and made his dream come true: to work in silicon Valley. Though the road has not been easy, he has never lacked inspiration.
After discovering her vocation, Rosalva decided to study Informatics Engineering In the PUCP, a place where he quickly realized he would be a minority, surrounded by a large number of male colleagues. This did not stop him from moving forward with his goals. “I remember one of the teachers mentioned silicon Valley And I asked, ‘What is Silicon Valley?’ So he told me the big tech companies are right here. I started investigating a bit more and said: ‘I want to work there’. And I remember my friends sitting next to me saying ‘Yes, no?’When the odds still seemed slim
Despite the unreliability of the people, Rosalva persevered. He first worked in the IT department of his own university (creating software to publish admission results) and then he was at Novatronic, where he was able to do something he loved: leading teams. There he created software for telecommunications companies. He did this until he was inspired to research a specific topic: how to improve a software process to increase quality.
future engineer of the time Google Decided to apply for doctorate abroad. “When I applied to universities, people said to me, do you know English? I said ‘no, but I’m going to learn’. And also (they told me) if I knew someone to enter there, they gave me a scholarship: ‘You have to meet people there.’ I would answer ‘I don’t know anyone but, if I don’t try, how will I know?‘”.
Rosalva studied English and taking university exams had a lot to do with the course she loved most. To his surprise, the University of California offered him a full scholarship to pursue a PhD in computer science with software engineering. The effort was rewarded. “I put everything in two suitcases and went to the United States to do my doctorate“, Memorization.
Silicon Valley: a dream that came true
As part of the scholarship (or “fellowship”), the Peruvian engineer worked the first year as a teaching assistant, the second year spent correcting practices and exams, and the third year a research assistant. “This included the university pension and in addition, they gave me a stipend that I could use to support myself. So this was such a great opportunity that I decided to take advantage of it“
However, she felt culture shock should not be underestimated: she lived alone, her peers were American or from different parts of the world, and language was a barrier. “I remember in first grade he asked me to read two books and one was about philosophy of science, i.e. a complex read. We had to read it one weekend. I think I only read half of one because I had to look up at least 10 words in the dictionary. I went to class, I told the teacher and he told me to keep tryingAnd Rosalva Gallardo kept trying. By the end of her PhD she was able to write two books in English.
At the time, life gave him options — offers — and he chose the path that led him to Silicon Valley: in work. Intel. There he spent five years managing the software quality of one of the world’s most important technology companies. At that time he also started with his own projects PeruSV And tecsuyo, who wish to bring Peruvians and Latinos closer to the region’s technological environment. It is precisely thanks to a reference from a member of the Peruvian community that Rosalva reached out to Google. “He said, why don’t you apply? and i applied to google and entered“
“Working at Google was one of my dreams because of the many tools and products that have an impact on the whole of humanity. i love their culture”, says the Peruvian engineer. He had the opportunity to lead a team of people from all over the world as part of Google org, the philanthropic side of the Internet giant. In addition, he uses 20% of the company’s time on their various projects. Currently he is one of the directors of Hi, the Latino community at Google.
Being a Woman in Technology
Rosalva Gallardo indicates that she has never felt ostracized among her colleagues in the profession. However, the truth is that his case is unique: Woman who work in the field Technology They are still a minority. “I studied in a women’s college and they were all women. And all of a sudden when I entered college, most people were men.Says the engineer.
Now, in the United States, where diversity and numbers are highly valued, it is aware of its important role. She is one of the women who ‘represent’ Google astechnochika‘: Motivates girls to take interest in technology subjects through workshops.
“It’s important to start sharing that knowledge with girls because sometimes there are stereotypes. For example, sometimes a girl wants to fix the radio and the parents prefer their younger brother to do the same. Why not? even if a girl can”, he reflects. Without a doubt, this is one of the themes that continues to promote.
PeruSV and Tecsuyo: Efforts to bring the Latino community together in the United States
PeruSV is a community that was born in 2015 with the aim of bringing together all the peoples of Peru who have created . had worked in Technology in the United States of America. “There are very few Latinos who work in technology and innovation. Looking for community, I went to the Peruvian consulate in San Francisco to find out where the Peruvians working in technology were. The consul said to me ‘Just two other people have asked me exactly the same thing, why don’t they meet and talk together?’Later, they got together and were the founders of PeruSV.
“Our main objective is to create a knowledge bridge between Peru and the Silicon Valley to bridge the knowledge gap that exists between Peru and the Latin American community.” So the community decided to meet every four months and gradually grew. “We started meeting more people working at Intel, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Airbnb who had startups of their own. It was so incredible to feel the energy of the meeting of all Peruvians, it is simply indescribable.“
When, in 2017, the community decided to hold an annual convention to bring Latin Americans together in the United States, it emerged tecsuyo. “Initially we thought that we would have about two hundred people. And they said to us ‘But, who has organized such an event?’ They didn’t settle it, but we wouldn’t know if we didn’t try. so we decided to try it“
In 2017, Techsuyo was held at Stanford University. In 2018, the place was MIT. The experience was incredible and, moreover, the community felt that 50% of the nearly 300 people who participated were Peruvians. “The conference is free, but people have invested to come. So we decided to do it in LimaThus, in 2019, Techsuyo had a version in the Liceo Navy. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the version was virtual.
what is coming tecsuyo 2021? “This year we are going to do it in a hybrid way. It will take place in person on October 15 and 16 in San Mateo (California) and will also be broadcast live on our YouTube and Facebook channels.“
Before saying goodbye, Rosalva leaves a few thoughts for anyone who wants to follow his long road to Silicon Valley: “I would recommend overcoming your fear. There are always inner and outer voices in all these stages. So, jump in, give it a try. There’s going to be a lot of people who are going to say you can’t try. And the truth is, it’s like magic when you try, right? many amazing things happen“
Given: tecsuyo This year will be face-to-face and virtual. It will present various topics: artificial intelligence, data analysis, startups, topics for technology companies, how to get financing for entrepreneurs, how to do masters degree abroad, how to do different types of research, women in education etc. You can enter to participate event website.