I have been to several conferences but none came close to Write/Speak/Code in terms of content, inclusivity, support and camaraderie. As a recipient of the woman of color scholarship, I wanted to take full advantage of all that Write/Speak/Code had to offer. I was looking forward to write and speak about my experience. I even set up my own blog (something that had been put aside for years) before attending the conference.
Day One was Write day. The mission was to find our expertise, address imposter syndrome and write a blog post. I started writing a technical blog post about monetizing apps on the Google Play Store. Soon after we were paired with women sitting next to us so we that could give each other feedback. My fellow attendee Gwen suggested that I could convert my unfinished blog post into a talk since the topic was so huge.
Day Two was Speak day. We were given time to write down ten things that we were experts in. We then formed teams led by facilitators. We went around and everyone listed their ten topics of expertise. As we went around, I realized that I could speak about a lot more topics than I had initially written down. The previous day I had spoken with one of the attendees and panelists, Corey Latislaw about my blog post. She sought me out and helped me write a description for my talk. Through her help, it became an abstract.
— Corey Leigh Latislaw (@corey_latislaw) March 20, 2015
The second half of the day was converting the talk description into a 5 minute lightning talk. Corey and I brainstormed, put some slides together and got a talk ready in less than 2 hours. We volunteered to be the first ones to speak and received great feedback from the facilitators and other women in our group.
— Yash Prabhu (@yashvprabhu) March 20, 2015
This abstract has now been submitted as a proposal to an Android conference!
Day Three was Code day. Our mission was to contribute to an open source project using Git/Github. On Speak day, I was introduced to a lot of women who work on the mobile platform. Three of us got together and started working on our own open source project: an Android library that would bring Material Design and FontAwesome to Android.
I was finally in my element. I committed as much code as possible and was one of the attendees who won a prize for highest contribution to open source that day.
— Elizabeth Ferrao (@MusingMurmurs) March 21, 2015
Write/Speak/Code was an eye opening experience. There were so many people from underrepresented communities doing so much in tech. We were all there to announce our expertise to the world. Just showing up at Write/Speak/Code meant that we were ready to be thought leaders and tech trailblazers and claim our own “corner of the internet”.
Thank you to the wonderful women who organized Write/Speak/Code. You pushed us out of our comfort zones and into the limelight!