my first tech conference experience

#signalconf 2017

May.25.2017

Twilio’s first SIGNAL Scholarship Program winners!

It feels like only yesterday since the big gathering at Pier 27, and here is my take away from the SIGNAL convention. I was a part of Twilio’s first Scholarship Program! Thank goodness, because I don’t think I would’ve been able to comfortably afford the ticket price on a college student’s budget. Most people were sent there by their company, to see what’s in and new with tech. For example, what’s Twilio’s next greatest API? I met a girl in market research whose job was to chat with the developers attending the conference and write about why the tech scene is so hot.

This was my very first tech convention, and I’m not going to lie — it was quite overwhelming. I felt like a little guppy in the big blue San Francisco sea. They aren’t kidding when they say there are not a lot of women in tech. Everyone I met seemed to say… “Hello, my name is ________, and I do, Buzzword Buzzword Buzzword.” I wanted to wear a name tag that said, “Hello, I’m new. Please speak slowly and use less jargon.”

The second day was a lot better, there was a Twomen lunch! Basically a Twilio’s women’s employee lunch event. A.k.a. a more comfortable space to not be awkward, and talk to fellow female developers. I did enjoy this day a lot more. I didn’t feel so out of place. I remember a kind female developer once told me: “You won’t always connect with everyone you talk to, but don’t let that stop you.”

And that is so true — don’t be afraid to talk to people. Through this SIGNAL conference experience, after breaking out of my comfort zone, I have made connections that will last a lifetime, and I learned all kinds of things I can carry with me on my journey in technology.