I hope you all have been having a good weekend. I have spent most of this weekend catching up on schoolwork and the like because I spent most of last week in Houston, Texas for the Grace Hopper Celebration! GHC is basically a conference for women in computing and anything that relates to that topic. Overall, there were about 12,000 people in attendance. There were keynote speeches from women in all different realms of computer science and technology. For example, the first keynote was from Hilary Mason, data scientist, former employee of Bitly, and founder of Fast Forward Labs. She gave a great talk on data, its increasing role in society, and how great it is that we can use technology for fun.
Aside from keynotes, there are hundreds of great breakout sessions to choose from. I attended a panel on serious games, a session of design and user experience considerations for people of different cultures, backgrounds, abilities, etc., and some panels on cybersecurity.
One of the best parts of Grace Hopper, especially for students, is the career fair. There are hundreds of booths for companies to come and interact with students and give out some great swag. There are even lots of dedicated interview booths, so if you impress a company early, you can interview right there at the conference.
My favorite part of the conference was hearing Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In, speak about her experiences and advice she has for women in the technology field. She was extremely well-spoken and gave some great advice on negotiating, working as a mother, and working towards your goals.
To top it all off, we finished the week with a celebration at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. There was a raffle, food, games, dancing, and even more free stuff!
It was a really great week where I got to meet a lot of new people, both from companies and from other schools. I can’t wait until next year when I can make the most of it and learn even more!Meet Ellen