Thursday, October 5, 2017
I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Telle over the last number of years. A talented computer scientist, she took on the commitment of heading up the then-called Institute for Women and Technology in 2002 when her dear friend Anita Borg fell ill. Though CEO might not have been a role she expected to have, Telle embraced the challenge and lead the institute through incredible growth and impact.
I first met Telle when I was assigned as a Hopper volunteer for an ABI advisory board meeting during Grace Hopper in 2010. I was then invited to be part of the board and got to know Telle more over the years. Some of my fondest memories of her are on the dance floor, where she was always ready to bust a move with me like we were the best of friends.
I had the chance to meet Brenda Tuesday night before GHC started. The ABI advisory board no longer exists, but I had the chance to attend the Systers leadership dinner with the Anita|Bees committee. Brenda addressed our relatively small group with such warmth that I couldn't help but immediately like her. That she has such an impressive background, and founded the original 'computer science for all' initiative, just makes it all the better.
I'm also tickled that we had a bonding moment over breastfeeding. I was nursing my six-month-old Henry when she was going to introduce herself. After noticing what I was doing, she told me about her own experiences with her babies. I love connecting with folks on a personal level like that, no matter how "high-up" they are.
I think everyone can agree that great things lie ahead for AnitaB.org. I hope that Telle enjoys her well-earned retirement, and I hope that I'll have a chance to dance with Brenda someday as well.
If you'd like to learn more about Brenda, check out her interview on the AnitaB.org website.
Monday, October 2, 2017
01) Push yourself out of your comfort zone
GHC provides a unique and invaluable opportunity to form genuine connections and conversations with fellow attendees. This conference brings together people from all over the world, and you can explore various tech-related topics and conversations with pretty much anyone -- and chances are they’re equally excited to chat with you too! Everyone has a unique background and experience, and you can certainly learn something meaningful from each encounter. So don’t be afraid to charter your own path and make GHC your own experience: Go to sessions by yourself! Say hi to someone new in line! You never know what opportunities you’ll find, what memorable conversations you’ll have, or what interesting and inspiring people you’ll meet.
02) Come prepared
The Expo floor is one of the main events at the conference, and it is fairly easy to feel overwhelmed. Whether you’re looking for an internship, a job offer, or new connections, it is always a good idea to prepare ahead of time to put yourself in the best position possible. I would recommend becoming extremely familiar with your resume (and have more copies than you think you’ll need!), and practicing your elevator pitch (which should contain references to key experiences on your resume). You’ll want to discuss experiences that make you stand out, and your passion for a particular project or involvement will help your conversation be more memorable. Recruiters are going to be meeting with many interested candidates, so it is in your best interest to help them identify what opportunities you’re interested in and what experiences you have that are relevant for them.
03) Remember who you meet
It is a good practice to keep in touch with the people you meet to maintain connections and follow-up after the conference. GHC is a very hectic and busy time, so don’t be discouraged if people aren’t the most responsive right after the conference. Though it may seem a bit outdated, business cards are a really quick and easy way to exchange information with the people you meet (and is more professional than using your phone). An efficient way to keep track of the people you meet is to immediately jot down key points from your conversation on the back of their business card, which you can later reference in your follow-up.
04) Be comfortable, and be ready to walk a lot
You’re going to be on your feet for most of the day and walking all over the convention center. You should wear whatever makes you the most comfortable. I would highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a light jacket. While it will certainly be warm outside, convention centers tend to crank up the AC quite high.
05) Pack lightly
I am definitely guilty of over-packing for trips, but one piece of advice is to leave a lot of room for the incredible amounts of swag you’re going to be bringing back from the conference. Companies will be giving out more t-shirts than you’ll ever need, so make sure you have room for everything for the trip home!
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Although I wasn't lucky enough to have any submissions accepted to this year's conference, I have spoken at Grace Hopper before along with many other venues. Let me start by reassuring you that this is one of the very best places to present. I have rarely found a more wonderfully supportive audience.
Let's get some of the official stuff out of the way. As a speaker, you need to thoroughly read through everything on the speakers section of the conference website. In particular, note the quick references on the right.
I'd like to draw your attention especially to the Speaker Ready Room info. There, you'll learn about uploading your slides before your presentation, and you'll see a link to the slides template. Please take the time to design your presentation using the template right from the get-go. Trying to shoehorn an existing presentation into the template tends to look unprofessional, and not using the template at all even more so. Also make sure to leave plenty of time to upload your presentation and test it. You'll want to make sure any embedded media is actually embedded, and that your fonts and colours look ok.
The conference website also includes some tips on speaking. I'd also like to share another amazing resource that brings you weekly inspiration and advice on speaking: a newsletter called Technically Speaking. Subscribe now and you will benefit leading up to your talk, and check out the archives as well.
Finally, I have a few tips of my own:
- Design your slides with as few words as possible. Convey the main idea through pictures and a short phrase.
- Add speaker notes into the notes section of the slides. When practising, you can simply read the notes at first. This should make you familiar enough to be able to improvise more day-of.
- Practice in front of colleagues at some point with enough time to receive feedback. Provide them with a written feedback form they can use to give you anonymous ideas for improvement.
- On the day of your talk, arrive in the room early to give yourself time to calm your nerves.
- Make sure you have access to water during the talk.
- Before you start, take some deep breaths, maybe with your eyes closed. Think yoga breathing.
- Invite the audience to chat with you after the talk, and stand somewhere where it's easy for the audience to actually do so.
Friday, September 15, 2017
I brought the whole family to Grace Hopper 2012 in Baltimore when my daughter was ten months old. We made a road trip out of it, visiting some other states along the way. Since my husband was also registered for the conference, we made use of the daycare a lot during the day, and once in the evening for the sponsor night party. We were really happy with the care, and I was easily able to stop in and nurse or provide expressed milk as needed. We noted the fun the older kids seemed to be having when we caught glimpses of them on their scavenger hunts and such.
This year, my daughter will be almost six, and we have a son who will be 7 months old. The whole family is coming again so we can hit Disney afterwards. I figured my daughter would have a blast in the childcare, where her outgoing personality would means she'll easily make some new friends. My husband, who is currently on parental leave, will mostly take care of our son, but I signed our son up for a day of care as well in case daddy wanted to play tourist a bit.
If you want to sign up for childcare, the deadline is September 20. Make sure you have a good idea of when you'll actually use it, because there is a charge for missing sessions you sign up for. Otherwise, it's totally free!
Get all the info on the childcare page of the conference website.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
What to Bring
A Portable Charger
Refillable Water Bottle
Indoor and Outdoor Weather-Appropriate Garments
A Sturdy Bag
How to Get AroundOk, now that you know what to bring to GHC, let's focus on getting there and getting around. Here are my best travel tips:
MCO or OIA?
|How I imagine the shuttle to heaven looks|
sidenote: Yes, Rosalind Ave is named after me. No, no it really isn’t but I like to pretend that it is.
One last note…
|Rosalind loves her dog and the beach in that order.|
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Technical Leadership ABIE Award
ABIE Award for Leadership
ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship
Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award
Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award
Student of Vision
Social Impact ABIE Award
Change Agent ABIE Award
Want to see these awesome women who won the ABIE awards in 2017? Here is the list of the award winners with their profiles.Join with us at GHC 2017 to listen to these awesome women speak and share their experience.
Monday, August 28, 2017
I've been volunteering with the conference since 2008, my first year there. For many of those years, I served as as a volunteer blogger. Starting as a blogger opened up all kinds of opportunities for me, including being on the Anita|Bees committee. The women I've met have become members of my professional network as well as friends. My blog got more attention and I felt a lot of fulfillment by sharing my views of conference sessions with the world.
Volunteering as a blogger or note taker is just one way to participate in the conference. You can also be a mentor for GHC scholars, open source day, or one of three speed mentoring sessions. If you have a PhD degree or higher, you can even judge the ACM student research competition.
Not attending GHC in person this year? You can still be a volunteer blogger / note taker for sessions that are streamed.
So don't wait, go sign up to be a volunteer today! Get all the details on the opportunities and a link to apply on the conference website.
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