Google Developers Blog: GDE Women’s History Month Feature: Jigyasa Grover, Machine Learning
Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Community Manager
For Women’s History Month, we are celebrating Jigyasa Grover, ML GDE.
Jigyasa Grover is a 10x award winner in AI and open source, a published book author in machine learning, and was most recently named one of the 50 most powerful women in technology to follow for 2023. Jigyasa has always been inspired by technology – with her father being a computer scientist for the government of India and playing with a toy laptop as a child. Google has also played an integral role in her career by providing resources and community every step of the way: from early in her university days through Google Summer of Code to today, where she is a Senior ML Engineer at Twitter and leverages the Women Techmakers and Google Developer Experts programs to connect with other developers and pay it forward through programs like Google Code-In.
Getting involved in the developer community
Things started rolling for Jigyasa in her first year at university when she discovered Pharo at the library, where she spent a lot of her time. As she started to dive deeper into Pharo, she read more and more about the open source community and eventually started reaching out to members of the community online. This led her to discover Google Summer of Code, an open source internship, where she was selected to participate as one of the youngest developers. After a successful stint in the program, Jigyasa was invited to participate again the following year, which proved to be a pivotal moment in her academic career. Up to this point, Jigyasa was working primarily on mobile and web app development. “The second year, the project that I was working on was more focused on building web scrapers, machine learning, NLP chatbots, and so on. That was my introduction to the world of machine learning which got me intrigued”, Jigyasa says. After this experience she started taking more courses related to machine learning, watched talks, worked on more machine learning projects, and interned at the National Research Council of Canada and then the Institute Research and Development in France. These experiences helped shape her career vision and she knew that machine learning would be her field of expertise.
Finding community through Google
Up until college, Jigyasa had always gone to all-girls schools so when she first got to engineering school, it was an eye-opening experience for her. She reflects, “I felt like a minority coming from a place where I was surrounded by girls all the time. That’s when I started Googling different organizations and found organizations like Women Who Code, Women Techmakers, and Google Developer Groups.” These organizations exposed her to mentorship, resources, and events, and more. One such event was Google I/O, where she was invited to attend online. Many developer events reminded her of the lack of women’s representation in the developer community. This inspired her to commit to the saying, “be the change you want to see in the world.” Jigyasa would go on to pursue speaking opportunities at tech events and inspire other women developers with her passion and support.
After university, Jigyasa discovered the GDE program and the strong community the program offers. Jigyasa adds, “I think one of the most meaningful parts of the program is the community. I like how different Google programs cater to different kinds of audiences. For example, when I became a GDE, I was a part of the wider developer community but also connected with developers in my field of expertise – machine learning.” Jigyasa appreciates being able to interact with people in her field and is motivated by being surrounded by like-minded people. She has even been a guest on another GDE’s YouTube channel and was also given a chance to connect with Laurence Moroney, Lead AI Advocate at Google, who wrote the foreword for her book. Jigyasa credits Google developer programs for developing her career and expertise, “All of these programs have brought me great opportunities. Summer of Code, Google Developers Groups, Women Techmakers, and now GDE. All these programs have been so important in my journey and I’m forever grateful to them.”
Inspiration and advice
As an award winner and influencer in technology, Jigyasa is a role model for other women and is committed to helping women developers in their careers. She says, “It has definitely been a journey. From being involved in these communities, giving talks in numerous countries and cities. It’s just been a domino effect.” In addition to speaking events, Jigyasa has published content, mentored through Google programs and has even designed curriculums at local colleges in the Bay Area.
Jigyasa urges other women developers to pursue opportunities for development and connection. Jigyasa has accomplished a lot in her career by reaching out to her communities and by saying yes to challenging opportunities. She is committed to supporting more women in their developer journey and driving representation in the field of machine learning.
You can find Jigyasa on LinkedIn, Twitter, or her personal site.
The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.