What’s the most happening event in Houston in October? The Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Computing, of course! A conference with about 15000 attendees, most of them technical women similar to me – it is beyond my imagination. This is my first time attending and I must admit I am both excited and a bit apprehensive. I set out to get over my nervousness with a typical engineering mindset – prepare, plan, execute.
I read multiple blog posts on what I should expect and how to prepare it. I attended some sessions at work hosted by previous attendees on the same topic. I started consuming all social media relating to GHC16 and have been following some fascinating women on twitter. I studied the agenda and identified sessions I really want to attend. I had a sort of road map of what I was going to do and who I’d like to meet.
Then, about a week back I got an email that I got picked as a mentor for the Open Source Day (OSD) at GHC. How did that happen? I was reading up suggestions online about GHC and one of them was to volunteer. I signed up for what I thought was interesting and then conveniently forgot about it until I got the email congratulating me on being chosen. My pre-planned agenda for the conference was not going to work anymore. Normally, I would be upset about any interruptions to my plans but surprisingly I wasn’t. In fact, I was more elated than before.
Over the last week I have been trying to figure out what brought about this change in me. Initially, I attributed it to my belief in open source and contributing to the community at large. That, of course is one of the reasons but I realized it was more fundamental than that. Less than an year ago, I started working in a team that does Agile software development in a big way – pair programming, daily stand-ups, 2 week sprints, etc. Customers would change requirements on us from one day to the next and colleagues treated it as the norm while it used to annoy me to no end. These days, however, I’ve come to accept it. Dare I hope that the agile mindset is creeping into my personality and that is why I am so open to changing my schedule without a twinge of annoyance? I would like to think so.