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.