Last week I attended my first ever Bay Area Geek Girl Dinner. I had never been able to go previously because of scheduling and the fact that they became waitlist only after the first few minutes of tickets being opened up every month. My mom is visiting me so for the first time I could sign up freely, without wondering whether Stewart would be able to get off work in time or even be in town that night! The dinner that night was at Box. If you haven't downloaded it already, whip out your brand new iPhone 5 and download Box. For a limited time, Box is offering users who sign up through iOS 10 GB + sync FREE. If you rely on the other major cloud sharing app that offers 2 GB free, you know this is a great deal!
Back to the dinner. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!! First, I loved it because everyone who walked in there was self-selecting so nobody had to preface anything they said with things like, "oh, this is for you out there who are interested in tech" or assume that we wouldn't be able to understand and thus dumb down the language. The presentations started with a talk by Tamar Bercovici, Senior Software Engineer at Box, on Scaling MySQL for the Web. My brain must have been starving for knowledge because I could not stop nodding my head and smiling when she was talking about sharding and ways to segregate information across servers. Now that I've been working at Wikets for over a year, this was really interested and made me want to contact our engineers and ask them how we were doing it at Wikets, vertical or horizontal scaling.
Second, the energy in the room was palpable. I know people write that a lot but really, if you were there, you would have agreed that is the best way to put it. SMART WOMEN!!!! Lots of them!!! And most of them young, in their 20s and early 30s with no kids. I could feel the ambition, the quest for global domination, the hanging on every word of the next talk, when Kimber Lockhart, the DIRECTOR of Engineering at Box, revealed 10 Ways to Become an Engineering Leader. Not being on the engineering side of things, I devoted more attention to dessert than to the talk but it was still fascinating. One thing that stuck with me was "Take Out the Trash." If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to do anything and everything, a mantra by which I've lived my entire life.
I hope to be able to go to more of these dinners. It's definitely a different scene from mom blogger events. Even though many of these women were working crazy hours, they had an energy that a mom of three just can't muster. One woman literally had sparkling eyes. I have not seen that since my analyst training in investment banking. She was so excited to talk to me and network. She asked if I knew a good Dev Ops Lead because her company was hiring. So if you are a good Dev Ops Lead and live in the Bay Area, let me know and I will connect you. Another woman I met was confident enough to say about herself, "I'm brilliant and I'm hot." I can't divulge the context but it was awesome to encounter such confidence from a software engineer. LOVE IT!!!!
I'm a geek and proud of it!