Last year I was part of their discussion panel on brainstorming ways to encourage female youth into tech. Its amazing how much as changed since then; quitting my career in non-profit, moving to San Francisco, graduating from Hackbright and now I am teaching at Hackbright. I remember sitting on the education panel last year, day dreaming what it would be like to be a software developer.
The goal for International Women’s Day is to gather women in the community and this year’s theme is Our Time to Lead.
The event was hosted at BitWise South Stadium – the newest building in Fresno that fosters and grows technology. The building was beautiful and had amazing local art. The day started at 9am with registration and informal socializing. It was wonderful to be able to see people that I hadn’t seen for months and to catch up with the community.
Rio went over what the day was going to look like and got everyone pumped up! Then they went right into the lightening talks:
- Jenny Tong, Google, talk was about breaking things and keeping the curiosity of a child. She shared her experiences of pull things apart and creating different projects. She shared one of most recent project of making a amazon box arduino robot – it was fantastic!
- Shel Moore, Moore Than SEO, talk was about overcoming obstacles and continuing on your path – you are stronger than you think!
- Jessica Dene Earley (me!), Hackbright Academy, talk was about my journey into Software Engineering (slides)
After the lightening talks, the audience was broken into smaller group discussions – to connect participates, celebrate accomplishments and brainstorm ways as a community we can be more inclusive to all persons.
During these small group discussions, lunch was served. We had amazing raw, vegan food from Raw Fresno. The group I was leading had amazing stories of people starting in the tech field, teenagers “just looking” and others who have been in the field for 20+ years. It was interesting to have such a diverse group of people sharing their thoughts and opinions. Once lunch and discussions were over, there was a “Chose your own adventure”:
After that there was the final “Chose your own adventure”:
The event ended in the auditorium with the organizer thanking everyone who supported the event and an invitation for everyone to take on active role for next year. Overall, this was a fantastic event that has grown over the years- I believe they had over 90 participates, up from about 40 participates from last year. Thank you to those who volunteered their time to organize this and those who supported with their attendance!