TechWomen and my experience at Twitter

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in technology from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to leading companies in Silicon Valley. Twitter participated for the first time this year by connecting International Product Manager Laura Gómez with Essraa Abbas. Here are Essraa’s reflections on her experience. - Ed. 

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This aptly describes how I feel about Twitter and the impact it is making on a global scale, and why I feel so lucky to have been a mentee here.

I applied for the TechWomen (@techwomen) program to accomplish two main things. The first was to get in touch with people with different technology and business expertise that will help me in starting my own company. Secondly, I wanted to bring the knowledge I learned here and share it with my community when I return to Egypt. My goal is to one day own a successful company, big enough to incubate uprising startups and be able to use some of the knowledge I gained here to help guide them to success.

During my stay, I studied the impact Twitter had on Egypt and the MENA region, and I worked on research related to RTL (right-to-left) support in Twitter and other social media counterparts like Facebook and Google+ from a native perspective. It is no wonder how this company has been such a force behind empowering people, particularly during the Arab Spring. I can see their passion, focus and their commitment to the mission and core values of Twitter, confirming my belief that people are the most important asset of any great company.

In Egypt, we do not lack talents, nor do we lack potential. What we really lack is mentorship and great working environments. I was impressed with the diversity of career paths in the technology field here in Silicon Valley. As such, creating a wide variety of choices is one of the things I want my own company to offer, because I know what Egyptians are capable of and currently, options are limited.

I am very thankful to all of the inspiring men and women at Twitter, especially the International team for hosting me and my mentor, Laura I. Gómez (@laura), for all the efforts she has put into making this mentorship fruitful. I look forward to returning to Egypt so I can share my learnings and continue to support the growth of female engineers around the world.

TechWomen and my experience at Twitter

Guest-posted by Essraa Abbas (@EssraaAbbas)