My experience at Grace Hopper Conference in India, 2014

There are 2 types of people I have seen in the software industry. One who just wants to hold on to his/her whatever job he/she has got, doesn’t want to learn new things, doesn’t want to try new things and definitely doesn’t want to take any initiative. And there’s another type – and I must say that I met very few of this type – who are passionate about their work. They drive new things. They bring new ideas and execute them. And I must also confess that before coming to this conference, I haven’t met any such women in the IT industry. I am not counting the women in FLOSS community. They are passionate about technology and open source software but I do not get to see them in the IT industry. GHC India 2014 surprised me. I got to see women, who are passionate about their work, talking on various technical topics that includes machine learning, cyber threats, secure cloud, tends in hardware. These are women who are mothers, wives and they are at senior positions at big multinational companies or have started their own startups.

They are passionate about their work and technology. And it filled my heart with hope. I won’t say that I was clueless or pessimistic about my future, but seeing women entrepreneurs or women at senior positions working in challenging and interesting fields did motivate me to believe in myself and work hard on what I want to achieve.

So my message to all the women in technology, if you are passionate about your work, if you wish to achieve something in your life, then do attend it next year. It will definitely going to be an awesome experience attending GHC.

Day 2 of Grace Hopper Conference India 2014

It’s one thing to know that you will see more than thousand women in computing in one place and it’s completely another thing when you actually see technical women all around you talking, laughing, networking with each other at the conference venue.

The day 2 of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in India started with a bang. The huge Kalinga hall at the Hotel Lalit Ashok was jam packed with women from different cities in India and abroad.

Jayshree Ullal, the President and CEO of Arista Networks gave an inspiring keynote. “Be passionate about what you work”, “Take risk, follow your instinct” were some of her key messages. I do suggest you watch her keynote here.

There were so many sessions going on in parallel that I wanted attend, that I really had a tough time in selecting where to go. The session on Wearable Technology was nice. Also the session on “Technology Trends – Hardware and Software” was informative.

Networking and bonding are very important part of GHC. Everyone of us were encouraged from the very beginning to connect to women working in other software companies. There were booths established by various companies offering quiz and goodies and collecting contact details if any one is interested to explore opportunities. And oh! the food was awesome too!

Day 1 of GHC India 2014

It’s super exciting to attend Grace Hopper Conference India 2014.

The first day had 2 parallel day-long events – a hackathon and a bootcamp on Ruby on Rails. Since I didn’t pre-register for the hackahon, I attended the Bootcamp during the first half and some time in the second half. But most of the second half I sat through the Hackathon presentations! And they were amazing. Women from Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore teamed up and built amazing stuff over a period of 2 months. There were students and as well as working professionals who took time out of their professional and personal commitments and worked on their ideas to create a product with value to the society.

One of them was a mobile app which connects people who have stuffs which they want to give away with the people who needs that stuff and there’s no money involved in the transaction. Coincidentally, a few days back a friend was looking for just the same thing after he faced the problem of loads of not-being-used-anymore stuffs that he had bought for his baby.

Then there was another app which converted voice to sign languages which can be used to communicate with a differently abled people. Another app made it easy to lodge complaints related to civic amenities and that complaint gets registered to the BBMP website. It was amazing to learn about every one of the presentations!

The presenters at the bootcamp were good too. And Ruby on Rails being a framework where you can actually make your app online in just a couple of minutes it was a good choice. But there were a few technical glitches. But I think it was good enough to invoke interest among those who wish to implement their ideas quickly or pursue learning more about Rails framework.