Back from a super-successful GHC India | FirstRain

Back from a super-successful GHC India

From Aparna Gupta – Director of Analytics Reporting from the first Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in India

While most of my team in California was at Dreamforce last week, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Grace Hopper conference at India’s own silicon valley- Bangalore, in which FirstRain was a scholarship sponsor this year.  I have been to one in US few years back and I have to admit the atmosphere, the participation (~600 from 79 organizations), the choice of panels was at par if not better – kudos to the team who put together this very first India edition!

I had great fun interacting with participants on wide-ranging topics like human-machine learning (and why it can never be perfect), future of social networking sites, should exposing children to two or more languages be a norm given its benefit on development of the brain and a fully solar power driven village.

Some general take-aways from the meet which I believe will be useful to all:

  • Excel in whatever your field is
  • There is nothing like plain luck- luck is when opportunity meets preparation
  • Trying to overcome one’s weaknesses is probably over-subscribed, one needs to be very aware of one’s strengths and capitalize
  • For anyone who is an introvert or shy:

o   Make your voice heard

o   Be ‘aware’ but not hindered

o   Have confidence and believe in yourself

  • Keep emotions out- get impersonal during any negotiation
  • Do interrupt when you need to!

And for aspiring leaders:

  • Once a month challenge yourself,  do something beyond your comfort zone- which is scary to you
  • Have a story to tell
  • Communicate and have a pulse of the corridor conversations
  • Separate technical from management
  • Do your job well AND create space

It’s exciting that the Anita Borg Institute and it’s funding partners are investing in India and I am looking forward to going again next year.