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.