When earlier this month I was offered a chance to attend the Grace Hopper conference, I jumped at it. What I didn’t expect is that I’d find myself enjoying sessions largely aimed at women in computing. I left wondering why I’d never attended this before.
Unfortunately, I missed Day 1 and decided to make up for it by attending as many sessions as possible over the next 2 days. My experience began with a session on human computer interaction with panelists discussing artificial intelligence, machine learning, design and interaction with humans. I loved how they discussed machine learning and how somewhere along the way, we forgot to differentiate it with AI. AI’s original intent was to assist human beings (McCarthy papers) vs taking over most human tasks. AI at some point had failed but generations later has taken over the imagination of people once again. On the other hand, ML never lost its charm. I also loved the discussion around ethnologists and technologists working together. This was without doubt my favorite session of the day.
The rest of my day revolved around sessions that made a compelling case for open source and of course, the enchanting session on the science behind Amazon Echo. While Day 1 largely focused on technology-focused tracks, there was something for everyone.
For those with minimal computing background, Day 2 was eye opening. Given the plethora of talks lined up, I had a tough time deciding which ones to pick. My favorite of Day 2 was the session on mission-based teams. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the concept and look forward to knowing more about how organizations across can adopt this. I also loved the witticisms brought to the conference by the many speakers.
What the conference did most of all was that it seeded ideas in my head. It did exactly what I expect a conference to do – to leave me with an idea I’d love to pursue in 2017. It isn’t directly related to any that floated around in the conference but the electrifying environment sparked an idea and that’s all that I really needed.
Thank you Grace Hopper!
P.S: For more, Twitter comes to the rescue. Follow the #GHCI16 for more on the sessions at the conference.