Friday, October 16, 2015

GHC15: Friday Afternoon Plenary

Isis Anchalee from One Login was featured in SF Bay Area BART stations as an engineer at One Login. She never thought that allowing her photo to appear in a train station would spark a dialogue on whether or not she was an actual engineer.

She then started the "I Look Like An Engineer" campaign which started many other things like "I look like a Scientist".

One of her co-workers referred to her in the thrid person as the "cute girl that I work with"- when she  brought it up to him that she did not feel respected when he talked about her like that. He said she was oversensitive, it was a complement. Such a great disconnect!

If we don't feel accepted at work, it eats away at our soul.  There's a lot of companies out there that value diversity and will pay you for it. If you're not valued, move on.

It's important to remember that "diversity " doesn't just mean adding women. Its a multifaceted issue. It's complicated, so we need to try different things and share results and help each other improve.

Miral Kotb, Founder of iLuminate.

Miral's talk started with a possibly cool dance display from iLuminate, alas for unknown reason the A/V people turned the volume up the max so much it made it feel like my ears were about to explode, so I could only focus on blocking the sound as much as possible. The house lights had been turned off (and remained off), so it wasn't safe to try to climb over people to leave.

Miral has always loved dancing, ever since she can remember - she was dancing! Her father was also a folk dancer.  She was always curious about math and science, so her parents enrolled her in BASIC programming at the age of 9.

She worked at Bloomberg and she would get frustrated with her male colleagues as they liked to sit around and talk about what they know... she wanted to DO!

But she wanted to get back into dance, but not just dancing... she was also obsessed with this new wireless stuff.  Her dancers are covered with computers - there is a central computer that times things to a millisecond.  They use C, C++, Java, Javascript, Perl, Python.

What we do in software development is ART!  It's not just what you see, it's what you don't see.

And ... another dance. I love dance, but love my ears more :(

Post by Valerie Fenwick, syndicated from Security, Beer, Theater and Biking!