Sunday, August 29, 2010

Places to Eat while at GHC10 from the local chair

Well, eating at good places has always been an adventure when traveling. I got to thinking that some of you may want to know about restaurants in Atlanta while at the conference. So my first group of restaurants will be ones that I personally have visited in a random order.

Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View on top of the Westin Peachtree Tower
American, New American & Specialty Cuisine. The food and ambience are exceptional. Expensive. Reservations are required. 210 Peachtree Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30303-1704 (404) 589-7506

Ted's Montana Grill on Luckie Street
American & Buffalo Cuisine. I have never had a bad meal at this restaurant. Moderate. No reservations, but sometimes a wait. 133 Luckie St NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303 (404) 521-9796

Azio Downtown Downtown
Italian Cuisine. I do have a weakness for pasta and this did fill the bill. Moderate. Walk-ins and reservations. 229 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303-1601 (404) 222-0808

Max Lagers Woodfired Grille
American, Continental, Brewpub Cuisine. Burgers and beer, great combination. Moderate. No reservations. 320 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30308-3210 (404) 525-4400

Hsu's At Peachtree Center
Asian, Chinese Cuisine. Everyone in the party enjoyed their meals. Moderate. Reservations recommended. 192 Peachtree Center Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303-1712 (404) 659-2788

Friday, August 27, 2010

Things to do in Atlanta when attending GHC10

Enjoy a truly unique experience at World of Coca-Cola, a grand museum dedicated to the world’s most popular soft drink. Coca-Cola’s world headquarters is in Atlanta, so it ‘s fitting that there is a museum devoted exclusively to that sweet brown liquid in the bright red can. Along with decades of marketing imagery and product chronology, there are more interactive features such as the working soda fountain and Coke tastings. The exhibits take you on a truly magical tour telling the story of Coca-Cola’s evolution from nineteenth-century beginnings to its global expansion in over 200 countries around the world. World of Coca-Cola is adjacent to Underground Atlanta.

A fun thing to do on a rainy or steamy day in Atlanta is to take a tour of CNN’s World Headquarters studios. You will get a behind-the-scenes peek at CNN’s off-camera persona, as well as that of some affiliate networks, such as Headline News. The brief but informative 50-minute guided tour will lead you through the studio trenches to show you what it takes to produce and maintain a world-renowned, live, 24-hour news channel. You’ll see a working newsroom, control room, learn the wonders of the teleprompter and meet Ted Turner himself—on video, of course.

Underground Atlanta is a historic building containing five blocks of cobblestone streets home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars and special events. There’s even a guided history tour that introduces tourists to the building’s past life, commonly unknown to locals. During the day, an assortment of street vendors and entertainment makes this a great place to bring the kids. When the sun goes down, Underground Atlanta heats up with live music, dancing and the usual after-midnight scene. No matter when you choose to go, there is always something to see.

IMAGINE IT! - Children’s Museum
A child’s heaven! Imagine It! is a place where kids can have fun and learn, without knowing they’re doing both. With everything at kid level, they can touch, explore, create and invent. For kids and adults, boredom is a foreign word. Along with special programs, the museum’s exhibits are innovative, interactive and educational. For those traveling with young children, this is a must-do experience.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Make the Most of Facebook for Grace Hopper

Those of you who have been to GHC know what a great opportunity it presents for networking - and those of you who haven't been before are soon to find out! Facebook is a great tool to help you make new connections and maintain them after the conference, so I wanted to share a few tips on using it to help you get the most out of this year's GHC.

Setting up Your Facebook Account
If you don't have a profile on Facebook, you can set one up by going to the site and signing up. If you have concerns about privacy, there are options on Facebook that let you secure your information. For example, I tend to keep my profile fairly locked down - I don't turn up in public searches and if you aren't my 'friend' on the site, you can't see any of the details of my profile, including photos, my wall, and videos I'm in. I don't list the year I was born or give out my specific address or phone number, either, and I'm pretty careful about who I add as a 'friend'. Facebook's Safety Center has more tips and advice on staying safe on the site.

Just because you've locked down your profile doesn't mean you can't use Facebook to network, however! I'll mention several tips throughout the post, but one neat feature of the site I use is its 'lists' (Facebook has a useful FAQ with details on how to set them up and use them here). For example, you can set up a list called 'ghc10 attendees', and if/when you decide to connect with someone from the conference, you can add them to this list. This is useful for two reasons: first, you can keep track of where you met people and when you follow up with them after the conference, it will be easy to find them in your contact list. Second, you can restrict your profile for that list, so that you only reveal some of your personal information. That way you can maintain your privacy but still use the useful features of Facebook to keep in touch with your new GHC buddies.

Before the Conference
Before the conference you might not yet know any of the other attendees - but you can still interact with them (even without adding them as friends) by perusing our Grace Hopper Celebration page on Facebook and discussion boards. You'll find conversations on all sorts of topics, from introductions, to your favorite memories of the conference, to the very helpful rides & roommates discussion, which several attendees have successfully used already to find accommodations, roommates, and transportation for the conference! Finally, don't forget to RSVP to the GHC 2010 event on our Facebook page to let others know that you'll be attending!

During the Conference
During the conference is a great time to add your connections on Facebook. I found that you meet so many people it can be really overwhelming, so keeping up as it goes along is much easier than trying to do it all later, especially once you are back to your regular work/study schedule. When adding people, Facebook allows you to add a message to your invitation to connect. I strongly suggest adding a personalized message so they can easily remember who you are and the context they met you in - especially since they will likely receive a tonne of invitations during the conference! Something like "Hi ____, it was great meeting you at GHC today and chatting about our careers in networking. Let's keep in touch!"

After the Conference
Facebook provides several ways to keep in touch with your new-found connections. You can send private messages, write on your connections' walls, and of course keep posting on our Facebook group page! Keeping your profile updated can help you too - you never know when you might meet your connections again. I've found that several friends joined my company long after the conference was over - and since they updated their profiles I knew about it and was able to reconnect with them once they had arrived, which has been pretty cool!

All Year Round
Keep in mind that our GHC page and discussions are up long before the conference, and are useful for other things than just logistics. For example, for GHC 2008, I met several other female students from around the world on the GHC page. We discussed presentation ideas and put together a BOF that was eventually accepted for the conference! If you've got a cool idea for GHC, keep it in mind and feel free to share with us. You might just find some great co-presenters or get the perfect feedback to help make your proposal the best it can be!

Do you have Facebook tips, advice, or recommendations? How have you used Facebook to aid in networking? We'd love to hear them, so feel free to share them in the comments below.

You can learn more about other Grace Hopper communities on this blog all week, or by checking out the communities page on the Grace Hopper site!

How to Make the Most of LinkedIn for Grace Hopper

While Grace Hopper is a great technical conference, it is also a wonderful place to network and find jobs. When you're preparing for the conference, you should consider creating a LinkedIn profile or updating your existing one. LinkedIn is a great professional networking site, ripe with opportunities to reconnect to past colleagues and find new employment.

Once your profile is created, you can join the Anita Borg Institute group and the Grace Hopper Celebration subgroup, where you can join the conversation that's already buzzing about the upcoming conference, start scanning job opportunities posted to the ABI group page, and making connections with the recruiters that will be coming to Grace Hopper this year.

Setting up a basic profile in LinkedIn is pretty easy - the website will walk you through the steps, but if you want people to feel comfortable with you and start connecting, then you need to go beyond just the basics.

LinkedIn is like an online resume, but unlike your resume you don't have to worry as much about going over one page. In addition to listing your past employers, fill in details about the work you did at each place. You should also fill in your education details, listing any activities you participated in at school, like ACM. LinkedIn will then allow you to find connections at your school and employers, which will help increase your network and exposure in the site.

The more you personalize your page, the more it will look like it belongs to an actual human and people will be more willing to link with you. You can do this in several ways. I suggest adding a recent photograph, but make sure you look professional (pictures from spring break doing shots on the beach would probably not make the best first impression :). A summary, or bio, at the top is a quick way to let people know what you do and what type of technologies you're interested in.

Find connections! LinkedIn makes searching for people you may know very easy, as it finds people who worked at the same employer at the same time, or attended the same University at the same time. Once you start making connections, you can go through your connections' connections to find more people you know, and request that they connect with you.

Adding links to your personal website and blog, if you have them, is another great way to let people learn more about you without cluttering your page.

One thing to keep in mind is that while LinkedIn is a great place to find a job, you should also keep your page updated even when you are not actively looking. You never know when you suddenly may need a new job, or when a great opportunity may find you through LinkedIn. Growing your network is valuable all year round!

A word of caution: people generally don't like to see the generic spam from any social networking site when you load in your email address book. So, instead of doing that, send only specific, targeted invitations to people that have not yet joined that you want to connect with - and take time to explain why you want to connect.

Once you have everything set up, join the conversation in the Grace Hopper Group!

Any more LinkedIn tips or tricks? What have you done to grow your network?

You can learn more about other Grace Hopper communities on this blog all week, or by checking out the communities page on the Grace Hopper site!

Monday, August 16, 2010

How to Make the Most of Flickr for Grace Hopper

With the advent of digital cameras, we can all consider ourselves photographers. But what happens to the hundreds of photos you'll inevitably take at this year's Grace Hopper? Instead of letting them sit unopened on your hard drive, why not share them with fellow attendees and those who couldn't make it? The best place to do this is on Flickr!

Each year, a new Grace Hopper group is set up on Flickr where attendees upload their favourite images. For instance, check out the groups from 2007, 2008, and 2009. There's even a group up there for 2010 already. I still enjoy opening up the group for a year I attended and letting the happy memories return. I think this pool of photos is also an excellent way to get first timers excited about the next conference.

Here are a few how-to's to help you get started with Flickr.

How to get an account on Flickr if you don't already have one:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the "Create Your Own Account" button
  3. If you happen to already have a Yahoo! account, you can just enter that in the appropriate text boxes (Yahoo! ID and password); otherwise, click on "Sign up for Yahoo!"
  4. Fill in the info and click "Create My Account" and follow any remaining instructions.

When you have a Flickr account, you can add photos to your own profile:

  1. After you log in, you will see a set of menu items along the top (Home, You, Organize & Create, etc).
  2. Click the little arrow beside "You" and click on "Upload Photos and Videos" near the bottom.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  4. Add titles, tags (e.g. ghc10 for Grace Hopper 2010), and (if you like) descriptions for the photos. These make it easier to organize and search your photos.
  5. Once your photos are uploaded you will see them when you click on "You" - clicking here brings you to your photostream, which is just a big long list of all your photos.
  6. You will probably want to organize your photos into sets (these are kind of like albums). Play around with the "Organize & Create" menu and be sure to consult the Flickr FAQ as needed.

You can join and add photos to a group:

  1. First navigate to and join a Flickr group (for example, the GHC2010 group).
  2. Once you're in a group you can start participating in discussions.
  3. Above the photos showing on the group's home page is a title called "Group Pool" - this refers to the "pool" of photos members add to the group. You will add photos that are already on your own profile as if the group pool were just another set your photos can belong to.
  4. Beside Group Pool click "Add Something?"
  5. You can choose up to 6 photos from our photo stream to be added to the group pool. You can do this as often as you like.
Link to or embed photos in other social media:

Once you have your photos uploaded to your profile, you may want to share them on other social media sites or include them in blog posts.
  1. Navigate to the photo you want to share. You can do this by clicking on "You" at the top, then clicking on the photo of choice.
  2. If you want to share just the link (say, on Twitter), click on "Share", "Grab the link" and then copy the text.
  3. If you want to embed a photo like I did below, click "Grab the HTML", change the size if needed, and copy that text. You can paste it into any editor that lets you write code. For example, on Blogger, you can switch to "Edit HTML" and paste the code where you want the photo to appear. Your photo will even be linked back to the original Flickr page so people can see it big!
Grace Hopper Celebration-9

Happy photographing! You'll find more ways to share the Grace Hopper Celebration experience at GHC Community Home.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meet the GHC10 Communities Committee!

For months the Grace Hopper 2010 Communities Committee worked behind the scenes. They created Twitter hashtags for GHC tracks, designed GHC speaker badges, determined community volunteer needs, and planned topics.

In the last few weeks they've become more visible as GHC community evangelists. Across our GHC online communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and the GHC Blog they're starting conversations, sharing introductions and favorite GHC memories, and inviting participation by community members.

Many of our hard-working Grace Hopper committees complete their tasks well before the conference: selecting program submissions and scholarship recipients, recommending speakers, and deciding on award winners. Not so for this committee, which is a new addition this year. They'll Keep working right through Grace Hopper to help you connect online before, during and (if I know them) even after the conference. So here's a quick introduction to the committee members:

screenshot from Introducing a Recent Undergraduate post on the GHC blogCo-Chair Ashley Myers just completed her undergraduate CS degree at DePauw University and will start at Microsoft later this month. She helps with the @ghc Twitter account and will co-moderate the Grace Hopper Celebrat­ion 2010 group on YouTube. Learn more about Ashley on the GHC blog in her post Introducing a Recent Undergrad Graduate.

screenshot from Hi My name is Ed post on the GHC Blog
Co-Chair Erin ‘Ed’ Donahue also started coming to GHC as a DePauw student and now works at Lockheed Martin, a career connection she made at the 2008 conference. Learn more about Ed in her blog post Hi! My name is Ed!

With Ashley, Ed helps with the @ghc account and will co-moderate the YouTube group. They also host Ed & Ashley's 5 Minute Show, featuring interviews with technical women interviewed at GHC and other events.
Gail Carmichael is a doctoral candidate at Carleton University. Gail is the lead for our GHC bloggers and note-takers again this year, and also taking a leadership role on the GHC10 group on Flickr. Learn more about Gail on the GHC blog and check out her blog The Female Perspective of Computer Science.
screenshot with link to Twitter post of a favorite GHC memoryKate Tsoukalas is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and now works at Microsoft. Kate helps moderate the Grace Hopper Celebration page on Facebook. Join Kate in Discussions on the Grace Hopper Celebration page on Facebook (requires login).
Valerie Bubb Fenwick is a Principal Software Engineer at Oracle, arriving through the Sun acquisition. Valerie helps manage the Anita Borg Institute and Grace Hopper Celebration groups on LinkedIn. Learn more about Valerie in the Introduce Yourself! discussion on LinkedIn or Facebook.

And watch for upcoming blog posts from committee members on how to make the best use of each GHC online community. Meanwhile:
  • If you're coming to the conference, introduce yourself to the community.
  • If you've attended Grace Hopper before, share your favorite memory.
  • Follow @ghc/communities-committee to connect with these evangelists on Twitter.
  • Sign up for the ghc10-attendees Twitter list when you register for GHC10.
Come join the discussion here or on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter!

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