My experience at the Women TechMakers Summit in Prague
This is my very first post to medium! I would love to take this opportunity to share my experience as an attendee at #womentechmakers #wtm summit in Prague.
The night before
Arriving in Prague at 23:30 the day before the event [#wtmsummit] was very astonishing!
I took a pleasant uber ride from the airport to the hotel where I was roomies with Gen Ashley. The uber driver was very happy to speak in English and shared a bit about the culture in Prague. He said it is a very non-violent place, and the worst you can get from people is they being rude some times. (For example when I asked the taxi driver if there was an exact spot to wait for the uber I got a very non-friendly answer, but again…I guess I asked the wrong person).
So I finally got to the hotel. I met some Women Techmakers leads at the lobby, some of them introduced themselves others mentioned oh hi — I have seen your posts on social media, I know who you are! which was exciting!
I had my shower and prepared for the day after, sleep time.
The first day of the summit
I woke up quite early and went to the #wtmsummit ready to fill my tummy with delicious food. I was already so pleased to see different people in so different styles, speaking different languages and representing 21 countries with one goal in mind — becoming better, more inclusive, more conscious community organisers by learning and networking with each other.
A melting pot of cultures
I don’t know about you, dear reader — But my mother is Brazilian and my father is Italian, I was born in an environment in which two cultures co-existed.
And now, that I live in London, I interact daily with people from different countries and backgrounds, and so many of them do not even have English as the first language.
Assume positive intent
If I were to assume the way people talked to me was meant to be offensive I would be too naive.
How many times when trying to translate expressions from Portuguese to English I have a hard time and get no one to understand me. (Example I tried to translate the Brazilian Portuguese expression “Eu não tenho sangue de barata” as I do not have cockroach blood and everyone was very lost).
Or even worse, I sometimes try some literal translations in which I can seem offensive or imperative.
So, when talking to people even inside of your country, people from different neighbourhoods, cities, states have different slangs, a way of speaking. Please — assume positive intent!
We found our seats and there were an agenda, a pencil and a sticker waiting for us!
Nat Pereira kickstarted with the opening remarks, and mentioned something quite important — where to get coffee!
And then Melissa Munoz, who came all the way from California shared her experience with us. I have “seen” Melissa managing the community on the Women Techmakers slack channel, and it was very exciting to see her in person. She shared her inspirational story that actually was pretty life-changing to me. How sometimes little kids dream about something that just does not seem tangible, and then at an adult life they grow up to be what they thought it was never possible before. She mentioned how she would drive by as a kid to companies with big names and never imagined one day she would work for Google, doing what she loves.
Then we had women TechMakers from different parts of the world share their experiences, best practices and point of views with us — other leads.
We then had an Open Feedback Panel where Melissa Munoz, Katharina Lindenthal and Dirk Primbs answered all our questions regarding the Google Women Techmakers program. They were very transparent and answered all the questions. I felt really glad to feel part of a program which is always looking after us leads and the members and is researching and studying on how to improve it.
Then…amazing lunchtime! Me as a pescatarian, I must say I ate very well. At many conferences, I attend sometimes the catering is not as inclusive, but everything was beautiful and inclusive here. I took this time to rush to the hotel to get my power banks, stop by TESCO to buy some chocolate for my fiancé, and manage to get back in time for the next speaker!
Dirk Primbs gave an inspirational talk about very important key points: unconscious bias, role models in tech, impostor syndrome. And I guess I took pictures of 80% of his presentation slides, SO INSPIRING!
Then, we had an outstanding Icebreaker where we sit in groups, shared one fun fact about us, talked about our professional lives and groups we organise.
Dita Přikrylová shared about https://twitter.com/czechitas and I was really impressed about all the hard work they are putting together for a more inclusive community by empowering and teaching kids, elderly, women and minorities in technology.
Melissa Munoz was the moderator of the Panel Discussion: Collaboration between communities and the panellists were: Gen Ashley, Ewelina Wołoszyn, Dita Přikrylová.
Daniel Franc then talked on Inclusion and the 3 Pillars of Community Building. I quite liked his talk especially for the fact that it was very real, real-life examples and he gave us space to share our thoughts and experience and made it really engaging.
We then had the closing remarks, a group picture and even a tour at Google Prague! I took the time to make a video inviting attendees in Japan for the event we are organising there next week.
We then took a 30-minute walk to this amazing restaurant. It was at an open place, beautiful environment, self-service buffet, filled with good food and dessert, and great service, well-done staff!
We then headed to the hotel! I shared the uber with the Women Techmaker Leads for London.
I woke up at around 8, took a shower, put my luggage at the correct place at the hotel, headed for the event, had AMAZING breakfast and great conversations with the Italian leads!
Ola Krainska shared updates, strategy and feedback on Google Developer Days Europe. There are some very important upcoming events that will soon be shared :)
Katharina Lindenthal — Best Practice Development 2017, and then we had the time to team up and talk about very important topics regarding women attendees and speakers during tech events!
I do not even have to mention how good it was. I had pasta and chocolate cake. (I hope my dietitian does not read this — I promise it is not a habit.)
I could not leave the event without taking a picture with the London Leads!
Tim Messerschmidt finished the event by giving the outstanding Public Speaker Training. It was very dynamic, with live examples and exercises for us to think and practice.
I will share one of them with you try to fill it in:
In a world…
Thank you for reading my first post up to here, if you would like to read the other attendees’ posts you can do so by searching the #WTMsummit on social media!
Now Gen, Corina, Roxy and I will enjoy some Starbucks before heading to the airport!
In case you are not a member yet make sure you apply here: www.womentechmakers.com/membership
If you would like to find me on social media:
The GDG Cloud London group I co-organise