This month we have a special blog post from Edyta who was one of the competition winners for our Women of Silicon Roundabout 2017 conference passes. Read on for the full low-down on what took place that day...
“You can’t choose what happens to you in life, you only choose how you respond.” These words by Jody Davids Global CIO @ PepsiCo stuck with me ever since after the conference. Her heartbreaking story received standing ovations, and what touched me the most during her talk, was her unbreakable spirit, she was standing there strong like a warrior - to prove that it does not matter what happens to you in life, however sad and painful, all that matters is the way you respond to these events. As it will shape you as a person. So keep your faith and work hard. Life shapes leadership indeed.
Women of Silicon Roundabout is not just any conference, it is a life-changing event, it is getting inspired by the journeys the more senior of us have already travelled, it is getting to know other like-minded women, and it is us getting together and making a change, right there, right now, for the next generations of female technologists have it easier and are able accomplish even more during their lifetimes.
What is the most impactful about this event was the wide range of expertise. You will meet the women of all levels, such as Managing Director of ThoughtWorks, for example, who gave the speech on how to market yourself and improve your communication skills. Not the usual story you would expect to hear from a MD, but that is why it was so powerful. She was talking about struggling with confidence and despite the fact she reached this level of seniority, her fears are not any different than mine.
One of the most uplifting moments of the conference happened when Lucia Pino-Garcia, Head of Global Investment Management EMEA Technology at J.P. Morgan, brought with her to the stage not only so much of positive energy, but also a crew of her female technologists. Lucia shared her inspirational story, and then each of the team contributed with the advice they would give their younger selves.
As a developer, I was naturally bound to attend the technical track as well. I went to two hands-on workshops and learnt about the new technologies from Google and PwC. Google’s workshop on transfer learning with TensorFlow showed one approach to the hot topic of machine learning. During the workshop, we explored how to leverage pre-trained models to learn on much less data, and we trained our python-based application to recognise famous landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace or London Eye. Did you know the technology of this type could also recognise the skin cancer?!
Probably one of the most intriguing titles on the conference agenda, and one not to be missed by people curious about the future, was the workshop by PwC on how technology will disrupt our future. We worked in groups to build a project that combines various emerging technologies from IoT through AI, to Data and Analytics. My team successfully built the temperature telling tool.
Finally, as Alexa owner and big fun of voice assistants, I went all curious to hear about a Telegraph Story told by Solution Architect there, Francesca Cuda. She shared the recent statistics and proved that personal digital assistants are on the rise. But also she showed the other side to the story, they are still quite limited in what can do, and on my question to how can we develop them further, Francesca said it is up to us, developers, to go and play with them and keep changing the world!
All in all, truly inspiring experience, beautiful venue, beautiful weather and beautiful content and beautiful people. I cannot thank enough Code First: Girls for enabling me to be the part of this event. Already looking forward to next year’s!
Code First: Girls