Femgineer Spotlight: Diana Espino Software Engineer at VMR Products

By Jasmine Lee

This week’s Femgineer Spotlight is Diana Espino. She began her career as a web developer at the tender age of 15 and soon after, created her first company; PeBe Inc. After more than ten years of working on her own, she joined Worth International Media Group, where she built and launched an eLearning web app for the travel industry. Today, she is a software developer on the e-commerce team at VMR Products, a consumer electronics manufacturer and distributor.

Diana’s initial passion for computer science and technology began at age six when she touched her first computer in a first grade classroom. Her natural curiosity for technology was further piqued at age fifteen when her older brother refused to help her when their home computer crashed, taking her college admissions essay with it! After personally poring over computer manuals in order to gain a better understanding, she said to herself, “I will learn to understand this machine better than anyone else!” A few hours and healthy computer later, she connected her family’s computer to the Internet for the first time and introduced herself to the World Wide Web. Ever since, Diana grew a great respect for computers and the learning process it takes to master them.

Diana’s passion for computer science was not entirely encouraged, however. The majority of Diana’s family did not believe in educating girls. Her father refused to pay for her college expenses and her mother, grandparents, aunts and uncles spoke to Diana about raising a family and attending to the needs of the household. Diana responded by going to school and began looking for a job to help offset tuition costs. However, quickly realized because she was so young, no one would hire her. Consequently, she taught herself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all on her own, so that she could start an e-commerce site and earn the money she needed to put her way through college. She says, “I was always very interested and passionate about coding. It is my passion that got me through life.”

Diana went on to become not only the first in her family to attend college, but also graduate and with multiple degrees: a BS in Business Administration and an MBA. “I’ve always made it a priority to go out there and to learn,” she says, “computer science was my escape. Now, it has become my world.”

Today, as a software developer and active member of the South Florida tech community, Diana says, “it’s great to be a woman in tech!” Her advice to girls and young women interested in technology is “don’t pay attention to the blurriness of what’s going on around you. Stick with [computer science] if you like it. Don’t get caught up in not understanding the math and don’t be discouraged. Math will train you to think logically like a computer scientist. The math is valuable because it will help you solve problems in the real world.”

She advises young women and girls interested in STEM, “remember to be yourself and to be where you want to be. Do what you’re scared of in order to make yourself comfortable. After all, if computer science were easy, you wouldn’t be doing it.” With Diana’s passion for computer science and her work ethic, she inspires me to get excited and to be open to learning.

Jasmine is a freshman undergrad at UC Berkeley majoring in Computer Science. She is a Hackers @ Berkeley club officer and also works as a webmaster at the UC Berkeley Boalt Law School. Jasmine is humbly inspired by the hackers and builders around her and is excited to learn more about the field. Not only does she like sharing her passion with everyone, but she wants to learn how to play the ukulele and says “Carpe diem! Seize the day. Also, I like bubble milk tea.”

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3 Comments
  1. ss 22 January, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    NICE!!!!

  2. Frances Advincula 15 February, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    It was nice to e-meet you the other day, Diana! See you at the Lean Product Development course later!

  3. Diana Espino 17 February, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Likewise! It’s a great class and already have learned lots. See you soon!

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