Creating GHC India

By  Nanditha Iyer

Nanditha Iyer

Nanditha Iyer

When I heard about Grace Hopper Celebration US four years back, from a friend of mine, I was amazed at the amount of knowledge and networking one can gain through such a conference. She highly recommended me to attend one. It was then I wondered for the first time that why don’t we have such a conference in India, given the fact that there are amazing and huge crowd of technical women in India!
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Never Settle

By Yolanda Davis, Senior Software Engineer at AdvancED

Yolanda Davis

Yolanda Davis

The first and last time I cried over a computer was the fall of 1996. It was towards the end of the semester during my junior year at the University of Maryland and I was a recent Computer Science convert, who had dashed away from Mechanical Engineering in search of better fortune. Even though I had a passion for computers, I didn’t even know a whole degree program existed for them. I spent much of my childhood tinkering with computers, attending computer camp, and writing countless infinite loops in BASIC that sprayed “Hi Mom” over the black and white monitor; but I had always believed that programming was simply a tool used by engineers to get their “real work” done. It wasn’t until I found myself complaining to a good friend on how miserable I was as an ME that he suggested that I try his major, Computer Science, since, in his words “You like computers right? Why don’t you try that? Plus it’s way easier than engineering”. Those words were like music to my ears and the next day I found myself apologizing to my engineering advisor and hugging my new CS advisor as I signed up for this new world in computing. My friend’s statement of “easier” was quickly proven very wrong.
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Develop Your Voice

by Chiu-Ki Chan

Chiu-Ki Chan

Chiu-Ki Chan

When I first started working, I was happily learning all kinds of new stuff: source control, working in a team, unit testing, etc, etc. After two years or so, I felt quite comfortable as a software engineer, and decided it was time to step up my career.

No clear path

All through my life my path had been fairly clear: study hard to get admitted to good schools, get good grades to get job offers from good companies. Unfortunately “study hard” does not translate well in the work place. To get my degree, I complete the set of courses designated by the department. But in the work place there is no more syllabus, no clear steps to advance to the next level.

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What do you want to Make?

By Karen Tanenbaum

Karen Tanenbaum

Karen Tanenbaum, Maker and Ph.D. candidate

I am a Maker. I’ve been making things all my life, but only started considering myself a “Maker” recently, as part of the burgeoning Make movement. Since I was young, I have been creating costumes, props, and jewelry. I considered this my hobby, a little side project that was vaguely embarassing but that I loved nonetheless. I spent hours..days..weeks…working to recreate costumes from tv, film and comic books in the “real world”, trying to identify all the little details of a look from screenshots and partial views. I played around with technology to create special effects, like electrolumiscent wire and sound activated power supplies.

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We Don’t Need Beards to Achieve in Computing!

by Ann Gates

Ann Gates

Ann Gates

“Did you know that all great computer scientists have beards?” This was posed to me by a professor in the hallway when I was a Ph.D. student, and it had a profound impact on me. Why? Because many of the computer scientists to whom I was exposed did, indeed, have beards, and I wondered where a Mexican-American female would fit in this world.
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Systerhood and Feminism

By Ellen Spertus

Ellen Spertus

Ellen Spertus

Although I’m a computer science professor at a women’s college and have been an advocate for women in computing for more than twenty years, I wasn’t always a feminist. I used to be a male-identified misogynist. My transformation occurred because of, and on, Systers.
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Swimming outside your comfort zone

By Shruti Satsangi

Shruti Satsangi

Shruti Satsangi

Swim outside your comfort zone!” was the message Dee Mcrorey was sharing from the podium. It was 2010 and I was sitting at the Grace Hopper Conference, having found my way into the largest collaborative risk taking workshop ever (at the time anyway). It was such a crystallization of how my life had turned out thus far that I wanted to stand up and applaud (which I did do at the end in addition to thanking Dee for what was a fantastic workshop).

As the child of a marine engineer, my early childhood was spent on commercial shipping vessels, sailing the high seas with my parents. When we finally did settle down on land, it was never for longer than 5 years at one place. By my high school graduation, I had lived in 4 countries, 2 continents and various cities – from the most cosmopolitan to the most quaint.

What I gained almost organically through my childhood was enhanced ability embrace changing/uncomfortable situations and take advantage of them for the better.

I didn’t realize was how well this life skill would serve me in my career.
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Escape Velocity

by Sarah J Bell

Sarah Bell

Sarah Bell

This is not a story about inspiring young women to enter computer science. This is not advice for how to advance your career. This is not even a story about how I built a really cool piece of technology. This is simply the story of the most learning-intensive year of my adult life.

I left Silicon Valley two years ago. For anyone seeking to build the best technology that affects the greatest number of people, this is a bad idea. Silicon Valley is for tech what Florence was for the Renaissance. You want to write the world’s best code? Surround yourself with the world’s best engineers, live where they live, eat what they eat, play what they play.
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