Madona Wambua

Android Engineer III
"No sisters left behind."
Madona is an Alabama-based software engineer at Streem who enjoys solving math problems in free time and lets her curiosity take the lead. She stays motivated as a Black woman in tech by looking to her community and welcoming opportunities to learn something new.

Why did you decide to join the tech industry?

I have always been curious about how things work and inspired by women who have impact. My tech journey began in 2011 after a friend brought me along to an Afro-Tech Summit. I felt excited to learn more about how planes worked or how they flew around. "What amazing technology," I thought. It made me wish I was an Aeronautical Engineer. I became a Software Engineer. I’ve loved it ever since.

What was a defining moment in your career?

Because I am always curious, I started speaking with the IT department at my first job. I wanted to learn more about how they built websites and apps. The IT manager was very welcoming and introduced me to Java for the very first time. With that Java knowledge, I got my first job at a software company building inventory systems and it was at that moment when I realized the value of my work.

How do you build community with women around you?

Even when I faced challenges, one thing that really motivated me to stay in tech is having support from other women. I volunteer as a Lead for Women Who Code Mobile and the community has really been great and also propelled my growth. I have so many instances where another Black woman in tech has helped me in my career. Recently, a close friend of mine who works as a software engineer and tech philanthropist gave me an opportunity to participate in a panel. Hence, my one-line call for action is no sisters left behind. It is not easy but we can do it together with the right support.

What advice do you have for Black women in tech?

If I could go back in time and advise my younger self, I'd say find a mentor. My role model is my mentor because of the knowledge she shares with me. Also, get involved with women groups that support women in tech, like Women Techmakers and Women Who Code to mention a few. This has really helped my career and growth as an Android Engineer. One thing that I have learned is to never give up on your dreams. If it did not happen, it does not mean it will not happen in the future.