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International Women's Day Recap

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International Women's Day Event

For this year's International Women's Day, we hosted a live event with Women Techmakers, featuring talks and a panel discussion on this year's topic: progress over perfection. It was a great conversation on what it's like to be a woman in tech, and how you can help yourself and others thrive in our industry.

In case you missed it

We have the full event on YouTube if you'd like to watch it yourself (which I highly recommend)! Here's a recap of everything that happened.

Getting started in DevRel - Pachi Parra

Pachi Parra was up first, sharing her journey into DevRel, and tips on how you can get started too! Some highlights include:

  • Roles that are available
  • What a day in the life might look like
  • Her journey into DevRel
  • What a DevRel professional actually does - things like public speaking, live coding, writing blogs, and giving talks at conferences.

Her best tip for getting started? Find the type of content you like doing, and focus on doing that well! In DevRel, it's easy to spread yourself too thin between all the different types of content available, so focus on the one you like most, find a supportive community, and get yourself out there. :)

Breathing Fire: Success and Growth as a Technical Woman - Stacy Devino

Stacy Devino was up next, providing all kinds of insight into the cycle women go through in their career, as well as tips for each stage of the journey.

She opened with an amazing quote:

Assume all women are technical and capable of breathing fire. - Jessie Frazelle

Other highlights:

  • Igniting your world through learning, timing, your network, and leadership.
  • Staying warm by managing your focus and chores, recording your achievements, maintaining relationships, and researching ideas.
  • The key to avoiding burnout - keeping a long-term perspective, doing things for yourself, and allocating time for the things you enjoy and the people who support you.

Riding the imposter wave to senior - Jessica Janiuk

Jessica Janiuk wrapped up our talks today, providing insight into her journey through tech and the ways we can think about imposter syndrome and allowing ourselves to grow. Some highlights from her talk:

  • A few things to consider: what being "senior" means to companies and to yourself, if you're in the right place, and what you want in your career.
  • A great diagram of the imposter wave - the balance between our confidence and feeling like an imposter from this post by Ricardo Luevanos.
A visualization of a sine wave, counting the peaks as confidence and the troughs as imposter syndrome
  • Considering how often we're comfortable, and that there's an inverse correlation between feeling comfortable and feeling like an imposter (they're opposite each other).
  • We have two choices: we can let it control us, or use that discomfort as a tool.
  • Looking back on our growth and realizing that our current lows are higher than our past highs.
  • Some senior advice: Be authentic, be proud of your work, have good mentors, remember that your work is not your life, and stay uncomfortable.

She wrapped up with a brilliant reminder for us all:

You are capable. You are valid. You are important. Please take care of yourself. People care about you. If you're struggling, you're not alone.

Panel Discussion

We rounded out the day with a panel discussion featuring these accomplished women:

The conversation flowed naturally, each panelist feeding off of each other's ideas, and we covered some very powerful and helpful tips and reminders for women in today's developer world. Here's a few of my favorite topics or ideas we talked about:

What did you learn in the past year?

  • Have hobbies that don't involve tech.
  • Learning to let go of your previous tools.
  • How valuable close personal friends are - people you can trust and rely on.
  • Listen to yourself, and take time to introspect and evaluate.
  • Don't over commit!

Finding a community and actively contributing to it

  • Women Techmakers! (Our joint sponsor)
  • Make use of social media.
  • "Reach one teach one" - always be willing to share your knowledge, and be the person you needed when you were getting started.
  • Engage people who align with your goals and values - reach outside your level of age, career scope, experience.
  • The interconnection between you and your people is not exclusive, it's inclusive! The more expansive your sphere is, the better you are at your job.
  • Also - we can find community in open source! The way people comment, commit, and support each other within a project counts too.

Foundational knowledge vs tooling

  • Understand what problems you're actually solving and what to reach for, more than worrying about the specific tech stack itself.
  • This helps you build your own knowledge map, and pick up skills as you grow.
  • For more senior folks - realize when you've mastered something, and focus on clearing the road for those who come next.
  • Learning to delegate - if you always do something yourself, you're taking that opportunity away from someone else.
  • Knowing when to ask for help, and that asking is NOT a weakness or failure! It's a strength to know when you need to ask for help.

Find your learning method

  • Ask multiple people if you need to until you find the answer that clicks for you! Ask why.
  • Not understanding the answer someone gives you is also not a failure - it's different viewpoints.
  • Also learn how the people around you learn - so you can help them in the way that best suits them.

Communication and collaboration

  • Have compassion for everyone on your team.
  • When you collaborate, you get more done.
  • Being able to communicate and collaborate is a HUGE strength. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for being strong in those!
  • Being the person who's able to "glue" the team together is foundational to a strong team.

Fighting stereotypes

  • Things that are commended in men and reprimanded in women, and fighting against those biases
  • Being authentic is the best way to lead your team - don't play into a stereotype you don't fit.
  • You don't have to sound "nice" or "pleasing" - you're still a strong woman and you're going to be judged a certain way, so don't compromise!
  • Unpacking all the social conditioning and learning to be comfortable with yourself all the time, in all the situations we find ourselves in.

Wrapping Up

The entire event was filled with wisdom, laughter, and camaraderie. We're so thankful to the ladies who came to speak with us, and hope to see you at the next one!

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