#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · Computer Science · inspiration · STEM · Technology · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Diana Kris Navarro

What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.
– Buddha

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hello! My name is Diana Navarro. I am a junior studying Computer Science at Rutgers University. I am a founding sister of Girls Who Code, I’ve interned at Qualcomm and Adobe, and this summer I’ll be a HackNY fellow! I’ve recently developed a fascination with sunsets and the effects pollution has on their colors. I enjoy learning Scheme but I’m not sure I like the language yet (it’s too early to tell). I’m also passionate about finding ways to make computer science available for everyone of every background!

What is your second favorite quote? (favorite one is above)
“Success is the sum of small efforts day in and day out.” Sometimes when I come across an incredible overwhelming project, I become overly anxious and that leads to me putting off the the task. When you realize that you can break things down to baby tasks, you get less worried and that’s when the real work happens.

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
I love Quora. And the compass app on iPhone (really helps you out when you get out of the subway in Manhattan).

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I am deeply inspired by the members of USACS (the undergraduate CS club of Rutgers). They are constantly pushing me in my work (and life) and I am constantly surrounded by people with different niches. I’ve learned everything from systems programming to how to use git from this group of people!

Song that makes you want to dance:
“Survivor” by Beyonce

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
A life challenge I’ve faced (and still face) is convincing myself that I’m good at what I do. I’ve given many talks about imposter syndrome and know all the ways to combat it, yet it still comes back to haunt me now and again.

When I first began coding I was surrounded with other people who didn’t look like me, and that made me believe that I had to fit into this certain stereotype in order to be good at CS. It sounds ridiculous now and I laugh at it when I’m finishing up a systems programming assignment. But in those dark moments when I really can’t solve a problem by myself I begin to question my abilities and seriously consider if CS is right for me.

It wasn’t until I met other women in CS that I realized all my doubts were ridiculous. These women were thriving in their technical careers and went through the same things I went through. They once struggled with solving problems, they struggled with assignments, and they struggled with their homework. But the thing with solving problems is that you get better at it. When I analyze the progress I’ve made in just one semester I realize CS is perfect for me. I’m picking things up left and right. What was once a struggle for me to code up is now something I can do in 10 minutes. The pivotal moment in my CS career is realizing that you are supposed to be constantly problem solving. You get less frustrated that things don’t compile and more expecting of it. The things that seem impossible at first turn into cake.


Ideal Job:
My ideal job would perfectly balance problem solving, collaboration, self growth, and working on a product that people hold close to their hearts. I’m not too sure where my career in CS is headed but hopefully the future will be just as fun as my past and present experiences.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
“Lift while you climb.” Not only does teaching others ensure your own knowledge, but imparting your own lessons can benefit tech culture as a whole. I truly believe in rejecting the “shame people who don’t know” culture. Computer Science needs to be more noob friendly.

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