Let me start this blog post off with my strongest motivator for attending GHC14: I want to change the world. Cliché? Perhaps, but GHC is a prime opportunity on the journey to achieving this goal in the tech industry for everyone attending. I'm a 24 year old software engineer with a passion in the mobile industry. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and I'm currently working at Microsoft in Redmond on the Windows Phone. I've been at the company for about a year now, and have previously worked at Electronic Arts, Research in Motion (now known as Blackberry) and the Network Management and Artificial Intelligence Lab at Carleton University.
I found out about the Grace Hopper Celebration from chatting with my female engineering friends at Microsoft. Last year, over 4,500 participants and 350 companies were represented from over 53 countries. This year, Grace Hopper will open its doors to 8,000 attendees! Talk about networking opportunities, collaboration and girl power celebrated at its finest.
Initially I had no idea how to navigate through the busy three-day schedule.
- Which lectures do I go see?
- How many business cards should I print?
- What do I pack?
- Where should I stay and how do I get around?
- How do I make the most out of these networking opportunities?
I'm hungry to connect and collaborate on a variety of topics and fresh ideas. Interested in becoming a manager in the future and leading a team? Improving on your leadership skills with high impact? Building your professional network? Discussions on reverse engineering, security, gaming, or cloud computing? Deciding if working at a start-up is the right career decision for you? All of these topics and PLENTY more will be discussed over the three days, with a link to the full schedule here.
Your passion is contagious! As GHC14 approaches, I can't help but think, "The Phoenix Convention Center will have its roof blown off with the amount of energy these women are going to bring!" The opportunity to meet all of you, who share the same passion as I do for technology and engineering, is the top reason why I think the conference is so beneficial as a part of any woman's career growth and personal growth.
Your story as to how you found yourselves in the tech industry serves as an inspiration to the thousands of girls who are about to take or are already taking the steps in advancing their careers. As Bill Gates said, "As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." All 8,000 of you leaders are empowering women all over the world to embrace the field of technology, make a difference and truly change the world. This is the revolutionary tone that Grace Hopper has been setting for the last 13 years and will continue to set for years to come.
What are you most excited about for #ghc14? How will you #changetheworld? Connect with me at Twitter with your story!
See you there superwomen!