Episode 146

Anjana Vakil on the Recurse Center, Outreachy, and Learning to Code


November 25th, 2022

46 mins 18 secs

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About this Episode


Anjana Vakil


Richard Littauer | Justin Dorfman

Show Notes

On today’s episode, Richard and Justin have joining them as their guest, Anjana Vakil, who’s a Freelance Developer, Software Engineer, and Developer Advocate doing some amazing stuff in the world. Anjana takes us through her journey into tech that started out at the Recurse Center, which led her to Outreachy, the internship she did as a Software Engineer at Mozilla, which was pivotal in shaping her career, and how diversity scholarships she received helped her as well. She explains why sharing what she learned as an educator is so important to people who are trying to learn new skills, and we hear some of the great benefits of why people should sponsor an Outreachy project. Download this episode to learn more!

[00:02:37] Anjana fills us in on the Recurse Center and Outreachy.

[00:06:11] We learn what Anjana studied at the Recurse Center when she was there.

[00:09:25] We hear if licensing ever came up for Anjana as something she was interested in along her journey, and how she interfaced with open source code as she started learning about all these things you could do with computer languages.

[00:14:02] Richard wonders if Anjana thinks support is necessary in order to get involved in open source and keep the fire alive of learning, and she tells us how she feels about equity in open source, getting people into it, and how to make it happen.

[00:21:12] Anjana shares tips for people who are in open source projects that want to help out and why it’s so important to help people.

[00:27:00] We learn how having the internship with Mozilla was so pivotal in shaping Anjana’s career.

[00:31:42] Anjana shares how working at Mozilla was a formative time in her tech career and how sharing what she learned with other people was such a great accountability moment. She also talks about the benefits of sponsoring an Outreachy project.

[00:40:45] Find out where you can follow Anjana online.


[00:17:31] “Programs like Outreachy and Recurse Center show a way to level the playing field and make it more accessible for those who have constraints on their time or finances.”

[00:19:00] “Another great source of help, that I got along the way, was diversity scholarships to attend conferences in the tech space.”

[00:34:55] “It really takes so many different hats to successfully run a sustainable, large open source project.”

[00:39:12] “Coding is a human interaction.”


  • [00:42:10] Justin’s spotlight is Warp.
  • [00:42:46] Richard’s spotlight is Irvin Hwang.
  • [00:43:19] Anjana’s spotlight is Outreachy.



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