Self-taught software developer joins NASA team


Despite limited resources, a young girl from the central Anatolian province of Yozgat joined a team of young people working on NASA’s unmanned exploration vehicle.

Elif Eda Güneş, 22, born to an illiterate mother and a peasant father, began her education in a local school in their village.

Although she grew up in challenging conditions, Güneş learned to read and write to a few of the local women in their village, including her own mother.

When Güneş was 15 years old, she also taught herself to code without having access to a computer or the Internet, using only pen and paper.

After reaching out to Umut Yıldız, an astrophysicist at NASA, Güneş remarkably joined the 17-member Turkish team of young people called “Ancha Space” working on NASA’s unmanned exploration vehicle.

“I realized that software is a tool that has changed the world and will continue to change the world,” Güneş said.

“I started my career in software, but soon realized I also enjoy networking and switched to account and team management. I’m currently working on a healthcare project that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

Unable to make the trip to NASA due to sponsorship issues, Güneş still managed to start learning software within the team.

Noting that she had many financial struggles throughout her life, Güneş told local media that she is highly motivated by her father.

“I am looking for a job outside the freelance work I am already doing. On the one hand, I am looking for investors to help finance my idea. As soon as I get investors, I will form my own staff and begin a period of intense work,” she added.

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