By Natasha Green
Founder of Hidden Gems Solutions, a consulting group that helps hack tech projects.
This year, I went to the inaugural GHC/1 event, organized by ABI.New York and hosted by Time Inc. It was a conference to celebrate women in technology and to build connections amongst among women in technical fields. The event definitely did that and so much more!
I arrived at the venue uncertain about what the day would hold. But the minute I stepped into the conference area, the “Welcomers” signed me in and gave me an agenda. I was there a little early, so it was nice to see that they had snacks waiting for us in the reception area. They also had great sponsors in attendance. I picked up shirts, bags, books and other nifty things from Vimeo, Bloomberg, IBM, Goldman Sachs and American Express.
I enjoyed all the presentations, but the session I enjoyed the most was the talk on IBM Watson. Sherri Comes told us about Watson and the work they are doing in Africa. She also made us aware of the ways Watson can be used to collect large amount of medical data to help doctors make diagnoses and determine treatments.
Besides the seminars I also love the “Un-Conferenced” part of the day, in which attendees could lead or pick a topic they’d like to discuss. Anyone interested put their name on a Post-it note and placed it on a standing board under a specific time slot. I thought this was a great idea, so I signed up to lead my own seminar.
My topic was on “Hacking Projects You Love!” I had eight women signup for my discussion. In our time together, I shared how I built my passion projects while working full time. I told them I was realistic on how long it will take to build my Web application, and that I was just doing it for fun. I reminded them that non-work related project —however small — they decide to take on will give them “intellectual energy.” This energy will prevent the boredom some people feel when they are not creating something they personally care about.
Leading this seminar at GHC/1 allowed me to meet more technical women, and I was even invited to be a mentor at a Hackathon held at Yeshiva University.
GHC/1 was a great opportunity to connect with others and allowed me to feel a part of the larger Women in Technology community.
Women in Tech Rock!