Vanessa Serao Sakina

Vanessa Serao Sakina

Software Engineer, Spotify

Vanessa is an entrepreneur, software engineer and project lead at Spotify. She has experience working in higher education, holds a Bachelor's degree in computer science from Middle Tennessee State University, and is passionate about science and technology. At Spotify, Vanessa works on the HomeUX squad, which focuses on enhancing the user experience of the mobile Home page, ensuring users can seamlessly interact with changes and consume content from Home. Her team was recognized as the "Team of the Month" in June 2021, for being the mastermind behind the personalization of the Spotify homepage. Vanessa strives to use her knowledge and skills to draw more Africans and girls in STEM though her nonprofit, Safari Mu Tech (Journey into tech). Through Safari Mu Tech, she envisions a Congo and Africa where the youth from any horizon can harness the power of technology to solve problems. This is best exemplified through her recent summer bootcamp, teaching programming to orphaned children in Kinshasa for six weeks. Furthermore, she has volunteered at different camps such as Expanding your horizons (EYH) where she led workshops to inspire young girls to pursue a career in STEM, and at the outstanding nonprofit Malaika, where she worked closely with the STEM team to teach web development and robotics to Malaika girls.Vanessa is also a teacher, a public speaker, a philanthropist, and a mentor. In her spare time, if she is not teaching coding and robotics at various local churches and NGOs, she enjoys cooking, dancing Kizomba and Bachata , and traveling.