This month Women Who Code (WWC) held their CONNECT Empower conference. It was a one-day virtual event with different technical sessions and social talks. I had not been able to attend the conference in previous years but highly recommend it. Women Who Code is a global non-profit organization that promotes women in technology and has resources for career-building, networking, and continuous learning. Their CONNECT Empower event incorporates sessions that represent the group’s mission goals.
The event is formatted to have two parts to cater to attendees across different time zones. I opted for talks in the morning and afternoon in EST, but for those who cannot attend, sessions are recorded and can be found on WWC’s YouTube. Certain parts of the event like virtual career fair booths or networking are draws for attending the event in real time as well. Compared to conferences I have attended previously, it impressed me that WWC chooses their speakers based off anonymous proposals to eliminate bias that could be created based on background, job title, or years of experience.
A couple main takeaways from the conference were:
- Work to celebrate and help fellow technologists. Having a sense of community in the tech field can help build confidence and dispel feelings of imposter syndrome.
- Practicing consistency with learning goals, like the 100 Days of Code challenge, can be helpful for progressively building programming skills.
- Inclusion and access were two of the major themes for the WWC keynote, and both are core values worth building upon across organizations. This can be in the form of open-for-all events or content.
- Be open to asking for feedback from technical interviews.
- Don’t worry about if you think a question you need to ask is stupid, it’s better to own up to ignorance and be open to learning.
- It can be helpful to expand your interests outside your main area of focus in order to increase adaptability.
Overall, the WWC CONNECT Empower event is a great opportunity to meet fellow tech-minded folks and attend talks that encourage further skill-building and a greater sense of community.