Cracking the Code: Creating Opportunities for Women in Tech

by Sabrina Koumoin

One of my most cherished memories is the day I got my very first laptop at 12 years old.

Filled with great plans, I tore open the package when it arrived in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in West Africa, where I grew up. I had spent the last year teaching myself how to code in local cybercafés, and I was ready to do more — build my own websites, design computer games and share my creations with friends and family.

I learned to code when I was 11, and one of my goals is to share this passion for learning and technology with as many people as possible. Coding is like learning a very useful language, and I want to help make it accessible for everyone.

Four years ago, I created an online platform on Instagram and YouTube offering tutorial videos to simplify coding concepts through fun, accessible lessons. Since then, I’ve taught more than 100 students through four coding bootcamps I hosted both in person and virtually. It’s a way to show that learning technical skills can be engaging, not intimidating.

Path to NVIDIA

The laptop I acquired at age 12 hosted an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, which I later discovered was responsible for making the characters in my favorite computer games look so fantastic. NVIDIA quickly earned a unique place in my heart for making my childhood gaming experience so enticing.

I’ve been fascinated with computers for as long as I can remember. Even before I had my own, I would find ways to access them. The cybercafé in my neighborhood was the first place I learned how to code, eliciting curious glances from others when they saw my screen.

Over the years, my passion for coding grew, so choosing computer science as my college major came naturally. I pursued my bachelor’s degree at Marymount University, in Virginia, under a full scholarship, and applied to NVIDIA for my junior-year internship as an engineer in the department of marketing operations. I was honored to accept a full-time offer after my internship.

Working as a web developer at NVIDIA has afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with a wide array of engineers, UI/UX designers and project managers, all doing our best work to reflect the company’s excellence on our website. My role involves building front-end applications for the platform in a variety of web frameworks and technologies.

Beyond teaching code and hosting bootcamps to make coding more accessible to others, I also believe in creating and providing opportunities for Black people, women and specifically Black women to find their space in tech and contribute to the industry.

I followed my passion, and it’s my hope that a young student who watches one of my videos thinks, “I can do that too.”