In March I attended an event run by Google Women Techmakers which celebrated International Women’s Day 2018. Google Women Techmakers is an organization which provides support, community and resources to women working in the technology sector. Anyone who identifies as women or non-binary can sign up to be a member of Techmakers, and being a member means that you receive weekly emails with interesting articles, careers advice, and notifications of upcoming events (such as this one).
The first talk was the keynote speech by Radha Narayan, Product Operations Manager of the Mobile Infrastructure at Google. She talked about how she had studied a mixture of philosophy and computer science at university, without much thought about what she would do afterwards. I thought this was interesting since my background is similar (philosophy and linguistics) and I never would have thought a few years ago that I’d end up being a software developer.
Next up was the panel discussion, in which several women from various areas and positions in the tech sector discussed their career paths and experiences in the sector. The panel speakers were Jessie Link (head of software engineering at Twitter), Susan Standiford (COO at ZEAL Network), and Afrah Farooq (Co-founder of Muslamic Makers – a network which encourages and supports Muslims working in technology).
The last talk of the evening was the tech talk by Ruth John, a senior developer at Google. After a while spent convincing us that Google’s ever-increasing ability to collect massive amounts of data about people’s lives is exciting rather than creepy, she gave a talk about integrating audio into web development. She mentioned was about how web design has changed rapidly over the years, from clunky but bright pages absolutely crammed with colourful icons and unnecessary features (such as loud music) to sleek, minimalist sites which still offer an immersive experience, but a more harmonious one. The future library website is a cool example of this (https://www.futurelibrary.no/ ) .