Celebrating at my final conference of 2011

Getting to attend conferences to give training on Intel® Software Products is one of the perks of my job. And last week I got to exercise that perk when I had the opportunity to attend part of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference. I presented a poster on our Intel® Parallel Studio XE software development products and had a great time meeting and chatting with tons of smart, motivated, technical women. (Yes, there were some brave men there too!) The theme of the conference this year was "What If ?", so my colleagues and I had titled the poster "What If Your Software and Hardware Worked Together?" Since we all work every day to help software developers take advantage of the latest CPU features, we thought this title made perfect sense. However, I did get a lot of cheek from attendees making comments like "I was under the impression that software and hardware do work together!" or "Are you saying that hardware and software work against each other?" Although it didn't come across as I intended, the title proved to be a great conversation opener!

A few tidbits:
-- My favorite bit of loot from the swag bag: A nifty collapsible hairbrush/mirror combo. Perhaps a competitor to the swiss army knife in terms of purse usefulness.
-- Most parent-friendly conference feature: Free childcare. Seriously! How cool is that?
-- Grade of the youngest poster presenter I met: 9. As in, she was in 9th grade! I was very impressed.
-- Thing I found myself doing that I didn't expect: Asking for resumes from all the fabulous students I met there. I ended up visualizing them all as future Intel employees!
-- Range of people I met: An incredibly diverse mix of women, of course. Grad students, professionals, faculty. I ran into someone I had attended college with in NC, plenty of my Intel colleagues I had not known previously; I even met my career doppelganger (as in a lady with a job very similar to mine) from another company.

I also found myself feeling inspired about my job and women in technology in general, which I did expect. It was a memorable and fantastic cap off to my conference season. And now I will be spending a bit more time on content generation, so look for more VTune training and videos from me soon!
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