Posts Tagged ‘Ada Aarhus’

29th June
written by

Back in December ’09 a friend of mine and I decided to found a community for women working in IT in the Aarhus area. We named this community Ada Aarhus after the famous female “programmer” Ada Lovelace. The idea for this community started at a geek girl themed night at the JAOO conference in October ’09.

The community started out with three main focus points:

  1. Recruiting more women to work in IT (presenting role models and work on concrete projects)
  2. Coaching and mentors (facilitate the contact between mentors and mentees)
  3. Networking (share stories and network in the IT-business in general)

And in addition we defined what Ada Aarhus is NOT: a place to go and cry about being a minority in the IT-business. The women in Ada Aarhus love to be in IT even though we are not shy about talking of the problems that arise being a minority.

The first meeting was set up through Facebook and we invited all our female geek friends and they invited their friends and so on and we got the local union to invite their female members… We were 10 women at this first meeting, WOW. We decided to meet every two months and after a couple of meetings we elected (asked) some people to run this community with more than 50 members on LinkedIn and almost 50 members on Facebook.

Now we are on Facebook and LinkedIn and we are working on a network site with blogs, messages and profile pages, so that we can network online as well as offline. Any woman living in the Aarhus area willing to call herself a woman in IT  is welcome to join us on LinkedIn or Facebook.

26th June
written by

Working behind the scenes at the JAOO conference the last few years has been a great inspiration for me. I have met great conference speakers like Linda Rising, Michael Nygard, Mary Poppendieck, Jim Coplien, Ola Bini, Dan North and many more that I really respect and admire. This year I left JAOO for a glamorous job as a full-time programmer and even though I can’t wait to go back and experience JAOO from the other side of the fence I must say that looking at this years JAOO speaker lineup, I am less than impressed. My favorite speaker Linda Rising is not coming and even though the usual suspects seems to be there except Linda I’m just not as excited as I have been the other years I have attended JAOO.

One of the first things I noticed was that in general there is not many female speakers on the program this year. I would have liked to see names like Rachel Davies, Aino Vonge Corry, Linda Rising, Rebecca Parsons, Amanda Laucher, Gabrielle Benefield and maybe even some new female names up there with all the guys. And usually there is quite a few female speakers at JAOO – even a few obscure cool female geeks and not just the cool authors of geek books – just not this year. Weird. And yes, I know I’m one of the few that notice this gender disparity but as a geek girl you are always looking for new geeky role models.

The second thing I noticed was that JAOO doesn’t seem to be featuring a lot of talks about topics from every day life as a programmer. I am a Java programmer by day and a C# programmer by night and both C# and Java seems to take a backseat to the more obscure languages at this years JAOO (but you could argue that this is a continuing trend from the last few years). There is no pure .NET-track this year but a “mainstream languages” track where Java, Javascript and C# can battle for the presentation slots. And they couldn’t even fill one track with mainstream languages – they put F# in there too. I could only count 9 presentations tagged with .NET but a few of them can’t be called .NET-topics – they are just vaguely related. The Java side of things looks a bit better with Spring-topics,  Android and of course all the languages built to run on the JVM like Clojure and Scala.

Of course this is all concerns I have with the conference schedule as it is now – things can look quite different in October when the conference starts. There is still open presentation slots on the schedule. And even with a less than JAOO average lineup this years conference will probably be much better than the other developer conferences. I love JAOO!

See you there?

P.S. I will even forgive the team behind JAOO for chosing a pink venus sign as the logo for my usergroup Ada Aarhus, but only because we haven’t chosen a logo for the group yet. The sign of venus is just a bit too cliche to use for a usergroup of geek girls.

P.P.S. I call Ada Aarhus my usergroup because I co-founded the group back in December ’09.

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