Software Development

AAPI Heritage Month: How Web GDE Vickie Li views the importance of diversity — Google for Developers Blog


Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Community Manager

For AAPI Heritage Month, we are celebrating Vickie Li, Web GDE

Head shot of Vickie Li, smiling

Vickie Li, Web GDE, is a Senior Security Engineer at Instacart where she works on a range of security tasks such as bug bounty reports and building internal security tooling. Although she went to school with the goal of becoming a developer, she discovered computer systems and started working on bug bounties as a way of exploring the security industry. From there, her interest in security blossomed and eventually inspired her to blog about security. As Vickie started to become more involved in blogging and sharing what she’s working on or learning, she started to realize that she really enjoyed the sense of community – both in the developer and AAPI communities.

AAPI community support and progress

To Vickie, diversity is important and necessary to inspire the next generation of tech professionals. Having role models that look like you serve as a way to show young professionals or students what is possible. Vickie shares, “For me, being a young Asian woman, it has been difficult to find role models that I can relate to. When I see people like myself excelling in the community, I am motivated to keep pursuing a tech career.” Just recently, Vickie attended a Women Techmakers event at I/O ‘23 where she felt inspired and was able to relate with the speakers who shared a lot of her same characteristics. This made Vickie feel a sense of solidarity and she says, “Meeting other women of AAPI heritage at I/O made me feel less alone on this tech journey. Having this community that I can relate to is helping me chart my career path.”

Over the years, Vickie has noticed the tech industry making more of a conscious effort to celebrate and empower different cultures. Her company, for example, has their own way of celebrating AAPI heritage and they have employee groups that are devoted to helping Asian employees feel included and celebrated. This extends beyond the AAPI community and Vickie explains, “Actively recognizing the importance of diversity within the tech industry benefits everyone. Having a foundation of respect and open mindedness encourages innovation and inspires more people to pursue developer careers.”

Advice for AAPI developers

Vickie encourages developers to find a relatable mentor to learn from and a mentor that has a shared experience. This allows you to learn from someone who has excelled in the space and have someone that you can personally look up to. She talks about her own personal experience by saying, “One of my earlier mentors in college wasn’t in the tech space but was of an Asian background. Because of that cultural understanding, he was able to help me navigate through a lot of my career difficulties, while also understanding my cultural upbringing and the nuances that may bring.” Vickie goes on to say, “It doesn’t just apply to AAPI Heritage impact – it can also apply to if you’re a woman, for example. Finding a woman role model to mentor you to help you navigate the tricky parts of the industry.”

Through the Google Developer Expert program, Vickie has seen people just like her excel in their careers and share their experiences through events such as Google I/O. Vickie has been able to meet people with shared experiences and similar backgrounds that show her what is possible in her own career.

You can find Vickie online on her personal site.

The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.