Grace Hopper Celebrations India 2015.
It was only last year that I had come to know about this event and about how important Grace was to the field of computer science. Somewhere the same chord that was struck years ago when I took my first step in Computer Science, was struck again. I was ‘’awestruck”. Having gotten a chance to be a GHCI Student Scholar because of WeTech, I was definitely excited!
Day 1 : I witnessed women of all ages, from all walks of life, doing amazing stuff.[2300 of them btw :P] Stuff I think is ‘cool’. There you go I was awestruck again. There was Geetha, Rashmi, Arti,Telly,(a friend of Anita Borg, after whom the ABI Institute began), she was defying her age and health issues, walking (even dancing)all around the place, inspiring everyone around her, touching our lives in ways I can’t describe, fulfilling the promise she gave to her friend, 20 years back and so many more.
Day 2: I am lucky enough to meet Vidhya Laxman and Kriz Bell ( *awestruck again* ) Thank you Megha! I was so motivated by that meeting, I couldn’t sleep without writing about it in the hotel itself. (But Wi-Fi was not stable for me to put it up on my blog) They encouraged us girls (around 14) to be confident about who we were, to set a goal for ourselves and do whatever it takes to reach there. What I really liked was their advice on making something tangible all on our own, because it would not only teach you a lot of stuff, but it would give you true happiness. I remember walking out of that room, feeling deep down that this is what I want to do. I want to touch lives, leave a legacy behind.
Quoting Kriz, ‘If you can see it, you can be it’ Coming to Grace Hopper Conference was definitely one of the best choices I ever made, because I kept ‘seeing’ so many awesome women do awesome stuff. They weren’t born like this, they made themselves so. Each one had a story to share. They were all the queens of their firms, yet they were so humble. Knowledge is truly power. It is their education, their desire to keep learning that brought most of them where they were today. Women have changed the world, touched the world, in so many ways and do you know what’s the best part of all this, that any girl/woman can do so!
Day 3: We were all so happy hanging around at the booths each company had set up, grabbing goodies, I think we all wished for one more day at Taj Vivanta, and continue to be awestruck over and over. Once again, Megha and Chinmaya got us girls a chance to meet more awesome people- Naina and Rahul from intuit. They were patient enough to clear even teeny-weeny doubts like- “what would I do if I get bored with some code/lang.?”, over coffee. We were encouraged to live up to the decision we had made. (Each one of us around the table had chosen CS on our own. :D) Our doubting minds were put to ease with their thoughtful answers and I am really glad I could attend this.
As if for a closure, the final program was WEQ, where we witnessed 6 women present their startup ideas, ones that could actually have an impact in the world.[Clean water, Early detection of Cervical cancer, Effective education, Neural networks to aid doctors, making the life of a retailer easy etc.] I believe everyone in that Aura was convinced that given a chance, women can truly transform the world, with all the empathy and foresight they have when they look at the problems around them.
I have always loved using whatever technology I know of, to solve problems! ( even if it is as small as generating random nos.) This final quest certainly kindled the spirit of ‘problem-solver’ in me again :D Entrepreneurship is definitely challenging, but it is a challenge we girls are eager to take sooner or later. See thats how you feel being a GHC Student Scholar! 3 unforgettable days! Lessons for life! #GHCI2015 #OurTimeToLead
Thank you WeTech! Thank you Megha!