“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we erect ourselves.” -Ronald Reagan
This year the Grace Hopper Conference focused on how to overcome many fears. GHC offered everyone a great opportunity to meet and learn from experiences of some of the world’s most successful leaders.
It was inspirational and motivational to hear from leaders who have reached heights in their life and career, and the entire conference was filled with rich content ranging from technical, to management to early career advice.
Some major highlights from the conference this year were:
1. Former Intuit CMO Nora Denzel (and current member of the FirstRain board) presented a keynote session. She had a very memorable quote that I haven’t forgotten since she said it: “It’s not about who you know or what you know. It’s all about who knows what you know”.
2. A session on cloud computing with an excellent overview of benefits, the risk, the lack of standards and where it is headed.
3. A great session on SDETs (Software Development Engineers for Test)—which I was pleased to see bore a strong correlation with what FirstRain Testers do daily. Some prominent speakers from premiere companies discussed how the testing industry has emerged over the last twenty years and how SDETs are gaining the necessary cross skills and complimenting the development life-cycle.
4. Dr. Noor Fathima, Behavioral Scientist and OD (Organization Development) Consultant, carried out a workshop called “Unleashing the Power Within”. The workshop was dedicated to today’s women who are multi-talented, juggling the work-life balance and dealing with the multitude of challenges that come their way. This session was completely sold out!
5. Aparna Gupta, Managing Director of FirstRain India and the rest of the panelists in a session called ‘Road to Executive Leadership’. They discussed the ongoing problem about the lack of women in executive roles. Aparna and the panelists discussed how this is an important issue we need to continue to address. She revealed the hurdles she had to overcome to reach the level of success that she has today.
6. Lastly, the highlight that stood out most during the entire conference was the sheer energy and camaraderie throughout all of Grace Hopper. The excitement of technical women from all over the world, networking and learning from each others’ past experiences was very inspiring and made for a great event.