Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Adventures at GHC - part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent 3 days last week at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. In this post, I'm going to write about the first two sessions I attended: the opening keynote and a new managers session.

Since these sessions were at the start of the conference, I feel like they're already partly lost to time in my memory ( :( ), but I'll see what I can do, for my own record as much as anything else! Here goes:

Opening Welcome and Keynote - Shafi Goldwasser (MIT)

I had to leave early to conduct an interview during this session, so I didn't get to see much of it, so I'll just add some links, because other people can say it better than I can...

Shafi Goldwasser is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and in her keynote, she talked about cryptography. A major theme of her talk was about paradoxical abilities enabled by cryptography (e.g. securely exchanging secret messages without meeting first), and how the presence and ability of an "adversary" (a malicious entity who wants the data you're attempting to protect) defines and determines the solutions to a problem.

I really enjoyed the first 10 minutes of this talk, would attend full session if it was offered again. Here are some links about this talk:

Recording: http://gracehopper.org/2014-grace-hopper-celebration-wednesday-livestream/

Nice write up by Huma, who also did good writeups of several other sessions: http://i-thinq.blogspot.com/2014/10/ghc14-keynote-shafi-goldwasser.html

AZ Tech Beat: http://aztechbeat.com/2014/10/shafi-goldwasser-cryptography-grace-hopper/

New Managers - What's your challenge? (Birds of feather session) - Emily J. Leathers (Brigade)

This session was primarily for mildly guided discussion between attendees who are new(ish) managers and tech leads. While it was an interesting discussion, I didn't feel like I learned very much. - I think I'd been a tech lead / manager of interns for a little longer than the other people in my group. (Interestingly, writing that feel funny, even though it's factually true and easy to check. Impostor syndrome?) It was nice to hear that the kinds of issues I've had are not dissimilar to other at least. I hope that the other attendees had something interesting to think about when they go back to work...

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