I’ve gone to a good number of conferences this year and have realized that I haven’t been the best about writing about them. I think it’s important to reflect and share as it allows the conference’s influence to spread as well as me to look back on the quotes and lessons at a later point.
I haven’t had the chance to attend a Lesbians Who Tech meet up. Mostly this is due to me being introverted as well as not really enjoying the bar scene. With that said, I was incredibly excited for this conference especially after all the male dominated and coding centric conferences I have been to.
Wow – there are so many people who look just like me. Where have you all been? And why am I being so painfully shy? Not only were the people just awesome at first glance but the Castro Theater proved to be the perfect location for such an event.
Upon the conference starting, you could just feel the power and the vibe in that room. It was incredible.
“If you’re in the minority you have to learn how to operate in both worlds. We know more languages when we do this.”- Aliya Rahman
“They (employers) should ask in screening “what have you done to help increase my diversity?” They should ask about cultural schools. You shouldn’t be in let in the door if your answers are wack.” – Aliya Rahman
“We have less years past Slavery than of slavery. We need to plant trees that we won’t sit under. ” -Danielle Moodie Mills (I think this is who said this!)
“Much easier to be one of the guys than be a queer woman. We may both like women but I actually respect them.” -Dominique DeGuzman
“Careers are not ladders. It’s rock climbing. There’s no one way to the top but you can still get there.” -Dominique DeGuzman
“There are a lot of big minds chasing small ideas.” -Kara Swisher discussing SF
While the conference was amazing, there were two obvious flaws in my mind. The first was that there was STILL too much of an emphasis on coding. I don’t know why SF thinks that all there is to technology is code but it drives me nuts. This also left the person I attended the conference with a bit uneasy and left out. I think allowing for a diversity of topics within technology itself could have made this conference even better. The other flaw was the location of the breakout sessions. Not only could you not actually hear anything at these sessions but they just were a bit awkward and chaotic. As a result, I missed hearing some people share their stories.
There are people out there fighting the same fight in technology. I can lean on these people and I can find them. I need to put myself out there more and I need to embrace this tech side of myself. I’ve spent the past months really critiquing the use of technology in our society and it’s about time I start doing something to change the downsides. I have some things up my sleeve and I can’t wait to see it come to fruition.
Also, I sat a row behind Megan Smith – you know the CTO of the U.S. It was pretty freaking awesome.