Sunday, July 5, 2009

Excitement builds for this year's Grace Hopper

Since tomorrow is your last chance to get the super early bird pricing of $500 for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, I thought I'd remind you by telling you just how much I'm looking forward to this year's conference!

This is my second time attending Grace Hopper. Last year, I travelled with the executive of our school (Carleton University)'s fairly new Women in Science and Engineering group, nicknamed CU-WISE. The opportunity to bond and team-build with the women I'd be working with over the next year was so invaluable, and I believe made a very big difference in helping us succeed. Indeed, the contacts we made, the outreach ideas we heard about, and the advice we received continue to make an impact today! Whether you are a student hoping to connect with other like-minded women in your field, or an employee of a company hoping to spend time with colleagues or meet new contacts, this is the place to do it!

This year, I will be again attending with this year's CU-WISE executive, but also with another special person. I am hoping to bring my husband (should all the finances work out), who is a computer science graduate and now a software developer. But this isn't just an opportunity for him to travel (he's only been on a plane once!), but he intends to participate in the conference, too! We're even both going to apply to volunteer as Hoppers, since that's the best way to meet people and truly feel a part of the conference. It excites me that he will be able to see what it's like being a minority in computing first hand, and bring back ideas and attitudes that will help inflict the change we hope to see in the cultures of schools and tech companies.

Finally, I have to say, the list of talks in this year's program is very intriguing. No matter where you're coming from - be it industry, grad school, college, or whatever - there will be something to interest you. There are even specific tracks laid out so you can find talks most relevant to you. But don't feel limited by that; there is something from every track that I want to see!

So I hope you will consider coming to this year's conference. Even the regular rate of $600 is well worth it, but you may as well take advantage of the discount if you can! (Note that students have until August 31 before their discounted rate of $250 expires for the regular rate of $270.) See you in Tucson!

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