Farhanah is originally from Singapore and as a child moved to her father’s hometown of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in the US. She spent a significant part of her childhood between Singapore and the US, gaining unique perspectives from the two drastically different cultures. In her teens, Farhanah’s mother worked at a nursing home, and she would insist Farhanah come to work with her and volunteer her time instead of just staying home during the summers. Charity and giving is a critical value in Farhanah’s family and is something she carries today in her life and her career.
When Farhanah’s older brother, Farouk, noticed that her high school offered Computer Science courses he made sure that she added them to her course load. She enjoyed the problem solving and challenges of programming so much that by the time she was a senior she had competed in numerous programming competitions and was a co-president of the computer science club. Not to mention, she was also a varsity cheerleader, which explains her excitement in rooting her teammates on.
After college, Farhanah thought she had found her dream job when she landed a role at the Boston Children’s Hospital where she excited to work on projects that would improve the care for children. Unfortunately, she worked on project after project that did not deliver the impact that she had hoped. Farhanah wanted more; she wanted to use the power of tech to make a real difference in people’s lives.
Farhanah has worked across many different companies, technology stacks, and industries to find the right balance of collaboration and positive user impact on what she is developing. She knew she had found the right fit when she heard about Microsoft’s CSE team. The jump from developer to program manager at CSE allows her to focus on the human problem-solving piece going beyond the code. Farhanah likes working at CSE because she gets to collaborate directly with the customer and is “focusing on the why rather than the how”.
Farhanah’s desire to make a difference is prevalent in everything she does. Currently, you will find her volunteering with a local prison outreach organization or on the tax fairness committee for her local town government. She can also be found taking too many photos of her adorable cats, attending a local gymnastics class, or settling down with a good book and a glass of whiskey.