Aditi’s New Passion: Making the Internet More Healthy and Safe

Aditi’s New Passion: Making the Internet More Healthy and Safe

Aditi is a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology completing the M.S. Cyber Security program. She is also interning at Microsoft as a software engineer. Aditi is taking courses on Coursera to supplement her university learning and to further explore subjects of interest.

When Aditi was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disorder, Retinitis Pigmentosa, that left her completely blind by the age of 15. In her own words, she shares how she’s used learning to explore passions and overcome obstacles:

Technology transforms the way people do things, and I’m acquainted with this truth in every aspect of my life. After I lost my sight, I equipped myself with various assistive technologies which changed the way I accessed the world.

I use screen reading software like JAWS, NVDA and ORCA to access computers and Talkback to use my Android phone. Fascinated by the powers of technology, I decided to make it my career. I completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Information Technology from the University of Mumbai and started working for a data center security company in India.

If tech was my fascination, cybersecurity became my passion. My college had taught me programming, but to become a cybersecurity expert, one needs expertise in multiple domains of IT.

I was introduced to Vision-Aid, a Boston-based NGO that provides career training. I enrolled for their Python programming online course to learn a new language and connect with fellow visually impaired techies. Vision-Aid uses content from the University of Michigan course “Python for Everybody” — that’s how I found a whole new world of learning on Coursera.

I continued to explore content on Coursera including:

Learning on Coursera not only helped me professionally, but also helped me make the transition back to being a student.

At Georgia Tech, most of our assignments are in Python. After learning Python from Dr. Chuck, one of the finest teachers on Coursera, they were easy to tackle.

In my current software engineering internship with the Microsoft Security Response Center team in Redmond, I am applying concepts that I learned in IBM’s Data Science course. I joined that course out of curiosity, but today I feel so glad to have completed it.