What an amazing conference! I don’t remember the last time I’ve been so happy! The GHC1 was the first of its kind in London and after attending the US GHC last October, I can tell you, this one was just as good and offered me the same “oh my God, how amazing these women are” kind of feeling!
The reception on Tuesday evening was an incredible opportunity to network and meet exciting women in technology. Held at Google’s offices in Soho, I had an amazing time and felt great that I recognised so many faces and got the chance to chat with old friends.
Then on Wednesday, even before the opening keynote, I had the chance to mingle in the career fair, where companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg or Palantir had their own booths. Then Sarah Wilkinson, CTO of UK’s Home Office, opened the conference and shared with over 250 attendees, priceless career advice. She particularly outlined the following 4 ideas:
- believe in yourself
- don’t be afraid of failure
- work for people who believe in you
- believe in each other
Even though they may sound stereotypical, the way she supported each claim with sound real-life examples, made the entire speech so inspirational and motivational. She has seen a lot of women step back from a chance in their career just because they didn’t believe in themselves.
After that, the conference was divided into 3 main tracks : technical, entrepreneurial and leadership. Before I left for my team’s day out (cooking classes in Soho), I attended 2 technical track talks, about emerging technologies. One discussed 3D printing and one explored an individual’s experience with learning new technologies and viewing the entire process based on the software craftsmanship principles. I promised myself I’ll explore these principles in more detail. This book is a very good starting point – The Software Craftsman : Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride, by Sandro Marcuso, a book from Uncle Bob’s series.
The ending keynote was Katharine Zaleski, CEO and Co-Founder of PowerToFly. She created this amazing platform that empowers women to get in touch with hiring managers all over the world and find job opportunities that align with their flexible work hour needs. In her speech, she outlined her career path and the benefits she sees in companies hiring more diverse people.
I can’t wait to join the next one and I feel so incredibly lucky to live in London and be part of such an amazing community of women in technology!