107: RECAP: Women Who Code Connect 2018
JB likes to consider herself a creator who uses code as one of the means to execute a vision. After graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science from the illustrious North Carolina Agriculutural and Technical State University., she took her talents to Indianaplis where she currently works as a software developer. Outside of her day job, she produces videos and maintains a blog where she shares information about fitness and tech. When she’s away from the computer you can find her talking to a camera or lifting heavy weights at the gym. Check out her blog: jsblackmon.com
Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend CONNECT 2018, an action packed annual summit held by Women Who Code (WWCode). When offered the chance to participate in this trip, I responded with a resounding yes. A paid trip to a place I’ve never been. Opportunity to be amongst my fellow tech women. Free food. Why would I ever turn that down? The event was held in San Francisco at the Twitter HQ and packed with panels, technical workshops, keynotes and a career fair along with a parties and great food.
After the demise of my beloved Myspace, Twitter easily became my favorite social media platform. In other words, I was thrilled to be at the headquarters. They had lounges with pillows with the twitter bird. A beautiful open rooftop patio, gender neutral bathrooms, and large screens that showed twitter feeds for trending topics.
I was running my mouth the whole conference. It’s something about being amongst a group of women that share your passion that just makes me want to connect (pun completely intended). From chatting with other recruiters, the speakers, and other attendees, I was able to share and learn from some amazing women and a few good men.
Also, I connected with a bunch of people on twitter during the conference. I couldn’t go to Twitter and not tweet.
The agenda covered topics such as blockchain, career development, artificial intelligence, and design. Like with any conference, some presentations were definitely better than others. However, I was impressed with the amount of information I was able to learn during a one-day event.
I know for some this isn’t important. I’m not a part of that some. I love food and I’m not a big fan of the standard boxed lunches. They started the day off with breakfast burritos, pastries, and a fruit and yogurt bar. Definitely, a great way to start off the day. Lunch was an assortment of sandwich sliders. They finished the day off with all kinds of treats including macaroons, chicken and waffle sliders, and cupcakes. Most importantly, they kept the coffee dispensers full throughout the day.
For me, the most impactful thing was the in-depth technical workshops. It’s not often I see women leading these type of sessions. I remember leaving one of the presentations and asking myself, “Why aren’t you giving presentations like that? You’re smart. Once you get over your anxiety, you’re a decent presenter. You could so do that”.
I feel like Women Who Code are doing things the right way. They are providing a community of talented professional tech women and allowing them a space to collaborate, learn and showcase their skills.
Huge thanks to Women Who Code for putting on an amazing event. The city of San Francisco for showing me a great time. The most thanks goes to my employer for sponsoring this trip!