My Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2020 Experience

By: Allyson Yamasaki

I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year! I know the situation wasn't ideal for the conference to be switched to virtual, so I appreciate that the conference wasn't canceled, and new virtual avenues were being created to facilitate conversations!

Throughout the week I attended many info sessions that focused on career development or new technological advancements in the industry. It was so empowering to learn from such passionate and knowledgeable women in the tech industry. It was also really cool to be able to meet other like-minded people from around the world.

Overall, I had a positive experience at GHC; however, I think it was definitely harder to connect with people than it would have been in-person. I feel like there could be some slight adjustments to the conference that would help people feel more connected. I wish that the sessions had a live chat feature that would allow the audience to interact with the speaker. I also wish that the career fair hadn't been canceled altogether; I think a video chat queue system could have been implemented.

A silver lining to GHC being virtual is that if you decide that you are not interested in watching a certain session, you can leave and check out another! If GHC wasn't virtual, I would be limited to attending only a small fraction of the sessions available. I was able to attend a lot more sessions than I initially signed up for!

I'm so glad I got to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year, albeit virtually. I got to learn a lot about new technologies in the industry and I feel inspired to make a difference in tech. A big thank you to ICS-BRAID for making it possible for me to attend! <3