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Arm Developer Program: Women Engineering Spotlight

Female Arm Experts and Ambassadors from the Arm Developer Program explain how they got into tech.
By Arm Editorial Team

Last week, the world once again celebrated International Women’s Day. Observed annually on March 8th, this day serves as a reminder of the progress made toward gender equality, while also highlighting the ongoing challenges that women face globally. It is a day to reflect and recognize the diverse experiences and narratives of women from all walks of life. 

In 2023, the Arm Developer Program took to YouTube with a panel of women engineers. Filled with vibrant discussions and shared experiences, this one-hour-long Innovation Coffee episode was a great way to celebrate the day. However, this year, we thought we would do things differently… 

For this very special blog, the Arm Developer Marketing team sat down to interview Arm Experts and Ambassadors from the Arm Developer Program, all from diverse backgrounds with different experiences and expertise. In this series of Q&A interviews, you will read about their journeys into tech, their current roles as developers in the tech industry, and the things that motivated them to join the Arm Developer Program.  

Meet Julie Gaskin, Arm Expert and Staff Developer Evangelist at Arm

Julie, could you please tell us a little about yourself? 

I studied electronics and audio engineering at university. I was an enthusiastic home audio engineer and loved writing and recording songs with my bandmates. My ambition was a career in the sound engineering space, but, at the time, great advances in digital audio and automation meant that there were fewer opportunities for sound engineers. So, I used my knowledge to secure a career in technical writing, starting at Calrec Audio – a pro-audio designer and manufacturer of broadcast audio mixing consoles. From there I moved into EDA at Mentor Graphics, writing about hardware emulation and analog and mixed-signal simulation software.

I joined Arm in 2016, creating content for our high-performance computing tools. I led a small team of information developers and together we created a range of materials to support developers who were porting large-scale software applications from x86-based supercomputers to Arm-based supercomputers.

The opportunities at Arm are incredibly diverse, and I was keen to explore other technologies. In 2019, I changed roles and became a Technical Evangelist for Arm’s profiling tools for mobile developers. Going from supercomputers to smartphones was a leap, but many of the goals are the same. Essentially, you want your application to run as fast and efficiently as possible on the Arm-based devices you are targeting. So, you must understand the characteristics of the hardware and apply best practices to your software to take advantage of those characteristics.

My job is to help users get the most out of our profiling tools suite, Arm Performance Studio, and explain how to interpret the data it gives them. I also work closely with our development teams to ensure that new products and features are developed with usability at the forefront of the design.   

What motivated you to become an Arm Expert?  

Part of my role is to assist developers using Arm tools to develop applications that run well on Arm-based devices. To do this I have to work in the same way as our users work. I must know the tools well and use them daily to test various kinds of content. While no one likes to describe themselves as an “expert”, I have probably come across many of the problems that our users will encounter, and have access to the development team to help overcome them. It is important to me to share the knowledge and experience I have gained to help others succeed. I’m also keen to get feedback from the developer community on what they would like to see in our tools, so we can plan new features and enhancements that really make a difference.  

Why is it important for Arm to interface with developers?  

We want anyone developing for Arm platforms to be successful and have the best experience using our tools and technology. We can only achieve that if we engage with the developer community and are present and attentive when developers need ideas and support. When we help someone optimize their software, choose the right strategy for profiling, or find out what’s causing their application to slow down, we are not just improving their experience, we are contributing to an ecosystem that supports and recognizes Arm as the industry standard.   

What piece of advice would you give to female developers out there?  

Expand your network! We work in the ever-changing world of technology and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. You need people around you to encourage, support, and raise you when the going gets tough.

Build a support network around you of trusted contacts, and engage with the ecosystem you work in, to keep learning and growing your expertise. The day job is challenging on our time, but we must always seek to improve ourselves and our ability to overcome obstacles. Doing this with support is much more achievable.

By joining the Arm Developer Program, developers are becoming part of something bigger that could help them succeed in the long-term. Connecting with others doing the same kind of work as you creates a supportive environment to ask questions, get answers and also help others on their journey.  

Meet Jumana Mundichipparakkal, Arm Expert and Principal Systems Architect at Arm 

Jumana, could you please tell us a little about yourself? 

I am Jumana Mundichipparakkal, an Arm expert specialized in system telemetry, performance analysis, and optimization. As a Telemetry System Architect, I am responsible for developing Arm Telemetry Solution technology for all our products.

It was during my high school, I caught the bug for understanding how digital electronics worked, which led me to explore the fascinating world of building computer chips. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies, I specialized in digital design and embedded systems, with a prime focus on computer architecture.

During my first job, I delved into benchmarking and code optimization for processors while designing a camera processor simulator. This rounded experience of performance analysis while being buried in the hardware design intricacies piqued my curiosity towards looking for solutions that make digital products and the technologies behind them perform better. I quickly realized that efficient software execution on cleverly designed hardware was crucial for the product’s success. Since then, I’ve been immersed in top-down system performance analysis of computer systems spanning edge-to-cloud devices. 

I have spent a large part of my career at Arm on system performance analysis projects in both post-silicon and pre-silicon environments. Most of my work has been around allowing Arm engineering and our partners to understand how workloads run on current and future generations of our products. Ultimately, this contributes to the success of our solutions in the wider market. 

In my current role, the telemetry solution developed by my team directly influences the performance and efficiency of Arm products. Arm Telemetry solution technology involves designing and implementing system monitoring features that help collect, analyze, and provide insights into system behavior. Performance and power telemetry from the chip are crucial for optimizing platforms, as well as software for efficient execution. Our technology enables both silicon and software partners to ensure their workloads run efficiently and provide an excellent user experience. 

What motivated you to become an Arm Expert? 

I’m passionate about connecting the dots between running software efficiently on machines, considering both performance and power. Sharing this knowledge and simplifying the performance analysis process is something I enjoy deeply. Ultimately, my dedication to enhancing software performance aligns perfectly with the goal of improving user experiences and achieving efficient execution. My team and I develop top-down performance analysis methodologies, and associated telemetry data for all our products that help with this process. Arm developers will be accessing our technology via profiling tools. 

Why is it important for Arm to interface with developers and how can Arm developer program help? 

Developers play a key role in fine-tuning real-world software to run efficiently on Arm hardware. Understanding the intricacies of the Arm architecture and hardware allows them to create high-performing applications. By optimizing software for performance and power efficiency, developers directly impact user experiences in Arm-powered products. Therefore, understanding how software interacts with Arm hardware is vital for enhancing the user experiences of Arm-powered products.

I firmly believe that developers are our ultimate growth partners who are essential for fostering Arm’s ecosystem. They bring fresh applications and innovative solutions to the Arm ecosystem, which expands the reach of Arm’s technology. Connecting with Arm experts through the Arm Developer Program accelerates learning for both developers and Arm experts. Developers can provide valuable feedback, which helps Arm improve its products and tools. Meanwhile, direct access to Arm experts can enable developers to build more effectively and efficiently on Arm. 

What piece of advice would you give to female developers out there? 

My advice for anyone is to never quit and never let others define what you can achieve. I truly believe that anyone can achieve anything they set their mind to. Life often throws overwhelming challenges our way, especially when embarking on unknown journeys, but you can always figure it out. The first person who should believe in you is you, so surround yourself with people who believe in you. Strive to connect with people and build your network. Learning and growing is really fun, especially with the support of others. If you can find your tribe along the way, that is even better. 

Meet Dominica Abena Oforiwaa Amanfa, Distinguished Arm Ambassador and AI/ML Engineer at 4th-IR 

Dominica, could you please tell us a little about yourself? 

I am Dominica Abena Oforiwaa Amanfo, a proud native of Akim Swedru in the Eastern Region of Ghana. My fascination with computers began in elementary school, where IT (Information Technology) quickly became my favorite subject. I was captivated by the genius of Bill Gates, and often envisioned myself as Ghana’s own version of him! This passion led me to pursue Computer Engineering at the University of Ghana, a decision that set the stage for my journey in tech. 

How did you started your Arm Developer Program journey? 

I first got involved with Arm through the (E3)NGAGE and the Embedded Learning Challenge initiative, an endeavor aimed at increasing Arm’s adoption in emerging markets, particularly in Ghana and Africa. I began as a volunteer, gradually progressing to a facilitator and community lead.

Arm’s Stephen Ozoigbo and Marvin Rotermund then introduced me to the Arm Developer Program. Arm visited my university on the day I was presenting my Capstone project in my department. They were one of the industry partners that the university had invited to observe the presentation, along with Google who fully sponsored my project.

Our team of four built a portable ECG device integrated with a machine learning (ML) model to detect and classify cardiac arrhythmia. The Arm representatives were extremely intrigued since we built the device on Arm, and even wanted to take pictures of it!

My original motivation to join the Arm Developer Program stemmed from my Capstone project experience, where I grappled with accessing electronic components. I wanted to help other students bridge the gap between their skill sets and resources. 

What have been your contributions to the Arm Developer Community? 

I have been actively involved in various roles that have allowed me to make a positive impact in my community. In addition to encouraging more developers to build on Arm and join the Arm Developer community, I have made several contributions: 

  • I led and managed the deployment of various Arm Labs in Ghana as part of Arm’s local partner, MakersPalce. This involved collaborating with various stakeholders and managing the project from start to finish. Read more here
  • I participated in the Innovation Coffee round table discussion to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day in June 2023. You can watch the full video here
  • I shared my journey as an Arm Ambassador at the one year anniversary in Cambridge, UK. Read more here

What are your future goals with the program? 

This year I aim to raise awareness of the Arm Developer Program in at least ten more key software communities worldwide, helping to make it a thriving and engaging place for developers. I also hope to encourage at least 70 percent more developers than I did last year to participate in the Embedded Learning Challenge, an Arm initiative aimed at increasing the number of developers in Africa who build on Arm. 

To achieve these goals, I organize various activities such as internships with local Arm partners, workshops, maker fairs, and certification programs. I collaborate with local community leads in Africa across the labs and student clubs to create a calendar of events that cater to the needs of the community. My primary objective is to make the Arm Developer Program accessible to everyone, including students, and provide a supportive environment where developers can thrive and grow.

How do you feel about becoming a Distinguished Arm Ambassador and what advice would you give to those who are hoping to get there? 

Becoming a Distinguished Arm Ambassador fills me with immense pride and joy. It’s an honor that fuels my passion to do even more for the tech community. To those aspiring to reach this level, my advice is to stay committed, be patient, and keep learning. Every small step you take contributes to the bigger picture. Remember, it’s not just about the title, but the impact you make! 

Is there any piece of advice you would give to any female developer out there? 

To all the female developers out there, remember that your gender does not define your capabilities. The tech world needs your unique perspectives and innovative ideas. Don’t be intimidated by the challenges – they are stepping stones to your success. You don’t have to be a superwoman to make a difference or become an exemplary ecosystem ambassador. All you need is passion, dedication, and the willingness to learn. Believe in yourself, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You are stronger than you think and capable of achieving great things! 

Meet Margaret Richardson Anasah, Arm Ambassador 

Margaret, could you please tell us a little about yourself? 

I am an Electronics and Computer Engineer with a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Ghana, and an MSc in Communication and Information Engineering from Jiangsu University, in China. 

I was drawn to tech when the school I was teaching at organized an educational tour of the Air Traffic Control Tower at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra. The insights I gained from interacting with the air traffic controllers guided me toward the necessary programs for a future in engineering. Despite not having a background in Mathematics, I enrolled in a university engineering access program known as ‘Women In Engineering’, marking the start of my tech journey.

I am currently working on three projects namely: using AI to detect cyber threats in IoT and cloud computing; using low-power radio technologies to develop Smart Cities; and precision agriculture. 

What have been your contributions to the developer community, via the Arm Developer Program? 

My adventure with the Arm Developer Program began when I discovered their wealth of educational resources. This led me to become an Arm Ambassador, providing me with a larger platform to assist more tech students. I took the initiative to establish an Arm club at my university, where I serve as a patron. I also support the Arm student club community in Ghana while generating more opportunities for my students, including access to educational resources and internships.  

Is there any piece of advice you would give to any female developer out there? 

My inspiration for all female developers and aspiring ones is that you can be whoever you want to be no matter your background. Just believe in your dream and take it one step at a time. 

Join the Arm Developer Program

Within this challenging terrain, there are remarkable women who are paving the way for future generations, and making significant contributions to the world of technology. On behalf of Arm and the Arm Developer Program, we would like to thank our interview participants for taking the time to answer our questions, sharing their experiences, and offering advice to others who may entertain similar journeys. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Arm Developer Program, please visit our website. We look forward to welcoming and supporting more developers on their journey to developing on Arm, for Arm. 

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Editorial Contact

Brian Fuller & Jack Melling
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