Top 3 tips for attending Grace Hopper
- Posted on October 13, 2016
For those who have attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, you know what I mean when I say that the event is one-of-a-kind. At face value, nothing about it seems groundbreaking: keynote speakers, technical sessions, career expo...but the moment you step foot in the convention center you feel part of something special.
Grace Hopper is not just a technical conference, it’s an experience that truly lives up to its name: a celebration of the outstanding women – past, present, and future – who have had or will have an enormous impact and influence on the shape of technology. Now that I’m heading back to Houston next week as a seasoned Grace Hopper(er), I’m heeding some of my own advice to make it as meaningful as possible.
1. Listen as much, if not more, than you speak. This was my biggest take away from last year. You will be surrounded by 15,000 brilliant minds! If there was ever a time to stop and soak it all in, this is it. Whether I was attending a keynote session or chatting with a prospective candidate in our booth at the career expo, I realized the collective fabric of experiences that have been brought together under one roof is staggering. And it’s those experiences that are going to change the future of our world.
2. Come with a plan, but have an open mind. I know for many attendees GHC offers an incredible opportunity to learn about and interview for jobs—and all the players are there, from global tech enterprises to the latest start-up. So do your research and come with a plan of attack, but don’t forget to be curious. Stop by a booth that catches your eye, or chat with that person who asks you to tell them more about yourself. Where you choose to build your career is like any other personal relationship–you can’t always explain why it works but you know when it feels right. (I should point out that Amanda Watson, an intern we hired from Grace Hopper last year, only came into our booth to pick up the EOS lip balm we were giving away. But that was just the start—read her story).
3. Wear comfortable shoes. I apologize for letting practicality take over, but these three days are long and the convention center flooring is unforgiving. I know I’ll be tossing an extra pair of flip flops in my bag for the walk back to my hotel each night. I’d rather be thinking about the great experiences I had that day than my aching feet!
If you are heading to Houston next week, we’d love to see you! Stop by the Avanade booth, #1230, to try out the latest tech innovations (HoloLens!), meet with our technologists and leaders, or chat with a recruiter about career opportunities.
And don’t forget your chance to make history! On Thursday, October 20, we will be attempting a Guinness Book of World Records for most participants to a computer program. Learn more about all of the Avanade events and activities at this year’s Grace Hopper Conference.