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Mes: octubre 2016

Step 72.2: Blur the Mentor/Mentee Line

The first session I attended at GHC is Shattering the Old Boys’ Club: Rediefining Mentorship for Women in Tech, which was a panel discussion and a short presentation by Nisha Dua (founder of Built by Girls), Stasia Efremkina (student at UPenn), Natasha Shah (software engineer at Verizon), and Susan Kelly (Director of Software Development at […]

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Grace Hopper 2016: Learn to Sell Your Big Idea through Storytelling

Your big idea might be the foundation of a hot new start-up, your company’s new engineering program, or a pitch for that perfect role you…

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GHC 2016 poster session – amazing work!

Single word to describe the Poster session is Enthusiasm. Students and Professionals from various backgrounds and varied subjects presented their work with  passion.  Tirelessly and patiently they presented their posters with a smile. The posters were grouped by topics like Robotics, Bioinformatics, Data science and so on. In between presentations they were bonding with each other, which was added…

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Public speaking at GHC16

Book cover (pic from amazon)


Karen Catlin and Poornima Vijayashanker are two amazing women empowering technical women to improve their public speaking skills and help them take their rightful place at the table. Both of them started off as software engineers and later got into consulting in public speaking and other topics. They’ve co-authored a book on the topic – Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking. I got the amazing opportunity to attend a workshop where they shared some tips from their book.

Karen Catlin


The workshop was presented in a ‘I show then You do‘ fashion where the presenters talked us through the steps to achieve, walked us through a real-life example and then made go through the exercise ourselves. 

Poornima Vijayshanker


They walked us through the steps of identifying what we can speak afer inventorying our achievements over the past year, whetting interest in the topic with others at the table and coming up with a suitable story to open our story with. Almost every attendee walked away with a topic they could potentially present on. That was the best part!

They shared some tips to overcome stage fright, prepare good slides, practicing etc.

Apart from the techniques to identify what you can speak on, my key takeaways were the following – 

  1. Power Posing ala Amy Cuddy
  2. Meet and greet your audience before the talk to overcome nervousness and gather data for Q&A
  3. Story telling to draw the audience in
  4. How to handle Q&A (crowd source if you do not know the answer, use the meet & greet data to create questions)
I’m looking forward to develop my speaking topic further and see where it takes me. For more details on the session, refer to the handy notes on the systers wiki.

Also, I’ve started reading their book to learn more. If I’ve intrigued you enough, you can get your copy from here.
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Harnessing Technology for the Public Interest — Lessons from Latanya Sweeney

Arbitrary design decisions dictate the way we live our lives.

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#GHC16 Daily Download: Wednesday, October 19

#GHC16 Daily Download: Wednesday, October 19

Read about all the highlights from Day 1 of #GHC16!

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Women in Future Tech @GHC16

Have you ever seen almost 15000 women in a single place? You should have been at the Toyota Center this morning. The excitement was palpable in the huge auditorium while waiting for the opening keynote of the 16th annual Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) to begin. Music DJ Roonie DJ entertained us with popular numbers while we waited.

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GHC16 starts with a bang!

Ever seen almost 15000 women in a single place? You should have been at the Toyota Center this morning. The excitement was palpable in the huge auditorium while waiting for the opening keynote of the 16th annual Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) to begin. Popular music numbers by DJ Roonie DJ fed the frenzy in the audience.

The crowd at the keynote


Dr. Telle Whitney, the CEO and President of the Anita Borg

Dr Telle Whitney

Institute (ABI) opened the session welcoming the attendees and talking about the progress this event has made since its inception in 1994. They had about 500 attendees then and today it has grown to over 15000 attendees from across 83 countries (also includes 1000 men attendees) and the keynotes are being live streamed as well. Women, it seems, are ready to drive change on a global scale.

Dr Latanya Sweeney, Professor at Harvard, is an impressive

Dr Latanya Sweeney

lady. She is the pioneer in Data Privacy as we know it. With some concrete data-driven examples, she made it clear that we as computer science engineers need to ‘algorithmically accountable’. We should not just be concerned with developing new technology and programs but also be mindful of the consequences of these technologies i.e. ethics/data privacy issues ideally in the design phase. She drove home the point that we shouldn’t just think about data in my application but what information this data along with all available public datasets together can provide. Her call to action is that we should train/help the policy regulators help formulate the data policies in a rapidly changing technocracy we are living in.


Dr Anna Patterson, this year’s technical leadership ABI award winner

Dr Anna Patterson

and VP at Google, is the most humble person I’ve seen in a while. She isn’t afraid to say the hard things. Her leadership style is to be transparent and be over-trusting. It makes people go overboard to deliver their goals. She hoped that any struggles or difficulties women see at the 

Let your light shine

workplace will soon be as distant in memory as the fight for the right to vote. She was passionate about women exercising their hard-earned right to vote this election year. Thank you for reminding us of this responsibility to our nation.


The 2016 ABI award for the Top Companies for women technologists 

Dr Rebecca Parsons

went to Thoughtworks. Their CTO, Dr Rebecca Parsons, said that technology is at the epicenter of social growth and there has never been a better time for women technologists with attitude, aptitude and integrity.



Ginni Rometty, CEO and President of IBM, spoke next. So

Gnni Rometty

down-to-earth! Loved her 3 mantras for success – never let someone else define who you are, growth and comfort never go together and work on something bigger than you are. She reminded us that ‘past is prologue’ and this is the cognitive era. She also had a mini-panel where she pulled in 3 of IBM’s best engineers and had them speak about their specialities – agile/user-centric design, Watson-based genomics and innovations.

The 2016 ABI Student of Vision award winner this year is an

Alyssia Jovellanos (pic courtesy ABI)

inspiring and cool 19-year old Alyssia Jovellanos. She talked about how a chat with a single software engineer changed her course of study. She said that letting new people into your life, finding a mentor and being a mentor can expand the world beyond your imagination. Someone to look out for in the coming years.

The keynote was so inspiring – listening to women working at the cutting edge of technology and being in a room with so many women was strangely empowering. Definitely an experience of a lifetime.


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Grace Hopper 2016: Insights from the Top Companies Leadership Index

Earlier today, during the morning keynotes at the Grace Hopper Conference, the highest scoring companies from the 2016 Top Companies…

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Quiet: How to Harness the Strengths of Introverts – a GHC 2016 Lecture by Susan Cain

“Have any of you ever read a book that you loved so much that you wrote an over-the-top gushing fan letter to the author?” Susan Ali asked the audience.  Many hands went up.  “How many of you got a response from … Continue reading

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