inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Xiomara Figueroa

“Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.” – Jennifer Lopez
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m about to finish my Computer Science degree at The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Beautiful campus in paradise. I’ve spent the last year and a half doing iOS development since my first internship at ThinAir, where we worked on the first prototype of an iOS app. I landed this internship as part of the CODE2040 fellowship program. Code2040 is a non-profit organization that creates pathways in the tech field for underrepresented black and latino students. The change I’m able to see in myself after CODE2040 is huge, it’s amazing how CODE2040 influenced my way of thinking, not by changing the way I think but by expanding my vision.After ThinAir, I interned in a startup in Puerto Rico called Polsense where I learned a lot of the iOS knowledge I have today among other useful things like prototyping ideas and meeting and managing deadlines. I also learned (by failing at it) how important communication is when working with a flexible timeline. I’m currently helping to build a product for a startup in the health industry that is going to launch soon in Puerto Rico and Latin America. I care deeply about diversity and tech education, especially in my island. I’m one of the starters of Include Girls, a student driven non-profit organization to support women’s development in STEM fields.

Fun fact: I can juggle.
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What # would define your life journey?
#WorkHardAnd… be kind.

 Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Lots of people inspire me everyday, in many different ways, by being kind, hard working, grateful, mission driven and leaders. I would say Leadership is one of my favorite kind of ‘knowledge’. People who are able to think for themselves and share what they know in the best and most impactful way possible, and then leading others to do the same.

Favorite website / app:
Inbox, Medium and Twitter.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Bailando de Enrique Iglesias
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Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
It was challenging to have started my first internship experience doing something I knew nothing about which was iOS development. We learned fromthe Big Nerd Ranch Guide but at one point we just started looking for more specific tutorials on the internet related to the things we were trying to implement so we could work on the actual product. We ended up with a fully fuctional app at the end of the summer. I keep saying we because in this project I worked with Abimael, another CODE2040 fellow who is also Puerto Rican. Best.Experience.Ever.

Ideal Job:
I’ll be very happy by being in a place where I can contribute significantly to the development of an idea that’s aligned with my personal values and with a positive social impact. I’d also like to try a leadership/management role in the future.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Never stop learning. Not only the kind of knowledge you get from books, but learning from interacting with other people of different ages and cultures. Appreciate all the value they constantly add to your general knowledge through their stories, their own knowledge and experiences. Take all that, process it, try to be your better self and repeat.
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