Reflecting on Philly Women in Technology Summit

Now in its fourth year, the Philly Women in Technology Summit provided a powerful connection between supporting women who are currently working in technology and supporting adolescent girls who want to enter the industry. As the main fundraiser for TechGirlz, the summit raised $35,000 for this local non-profit dedicated to reducing the gender gap in technology jobs.

Women in Tech SummitThis was my second time attending the Women in Tech Summit. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I knew that I wanted to meet other women in the industry and was eager to attend skill-building workshops.

As I reflected on my ride home that evening, I have to say that I had a great time listening to the many talks about supporting other women in technology, digging into workshops to sharpen my skills, and engaging in open-ended sessions where experts answered attendees’ questions.

What Did Lauren Learn?

Building a Digital Brand with Cecily Kellogg

Cecily Kellogg is a writer focused on content marketing. Cecily highlighted the importance of developing a personal digital brand through social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn. She suggested thinking about what it is you are selling. Are you trying to position yourself as a thought leader in a particular industry? Do you have a physical product to sell? Are you trying to raise money for your own charity? Decide what it is you are promoting and what your goals are so that your content strategy can work to that end.

One of my favorite takeaways from this session is the idea that it is okay to promote yourself! Cecily has never had a man ask her “How do I not pitch too much?” For whatever reason, women have a tendency to feel that they shouldn’t promote themselves too much. From Cecily’s presentation, I learned that it is acceptable to promote yourself. In fact, please do. If we want more women to follow us into technology, we need to promote ourselves and our work in our respective sectors.

Sublime Text Shortcuts with Lisa Yoder

Lisa Yoder is a front end developer at Urban Outfitters. In fact, it is Lisa who informed me of the job opportunity at LBDesign last year. In her presentation, Lisa demonstrated the many shortcuts available to Sublime Text users. Sublime Text is a powerful text and code editor with many optional packages available for install which greatly extends its functionality.

Lauren’s favorite tips:

  • cmd/ctrl + / comments out the entire current line
  • cmd/ctrl + p to search for the file you need
  • cmd/ctrl + shift + f to search in files
  • Color Highlighter package underlays HEX codes with their actual color
  • Live Reload package helps automate reloading the browser
  • Using the setting "highlight_modified_tabs": true in your user settings file will show which files have unsaved edits by coloring the file tab orange

SMACSS: Design Patterns that Make Life Easier with Ashley Chapokas

Ashley Chapokas is a developer at SeatEngine and she spoke about the SMACSS design pattern. SMACSS stands for Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS and is a set of guidelines to modular and reusable chunks of code. Its aim is to organize code in a way that makes it easier for teams to work with it. SMACSS also makes it easier to make quick changes that don’t break other sections of code.

Introduction to Git: Take Chances with a Safety Net with Kate Green

Having several years of experience with version control, I helped TA this workshop. I enjoy teaching as it is a great way to learn more about the subject. As a Mac user, I was surprised to learn that the command line application on a Windows machine is simply called a command prompt, as opposed to Mac’s Terminal.

About TechGirlz

TechGirlz is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to minimizing the gender gap in technology occupations by getting middle school-aged girls interested in technology through hands-on experience. The organization runs workshops and an entrepreneurial summer camp, enabling girls to connect with “lots of cool women” working in technology.

Why middle-school aged girls? Research has shown that girls are as interested in technology as boys up until about high school age when they begin to turn away from technology. TechGirlz aims to keep girls interested.

Posted in News

Comments are closed.