The meetup experiences of a non-techie that changed her life!

Malavika Venkatesh
Apr 18 · 6 min read

It is already April and 2019 made me realize how progressive it is going to be for Women Tech community. Before starting this blog, let me tell you guys that I am a newbie in blogging and I know less than nothing about blogging but I thought that it is a fantastic way to express myself and share things with you!

WHO AM I ??

I am Malavika, an undergrad currently into my 3rd year of computer science. I was more of a non-techie, but not someone who can’t code as the term in the context refers. In my first year of college, I spent most of my time in music and every other extra curriculars and finally a day came!.We girls were asked to attend an inauguration of a club called “Girls who code” , a coding club only for the girl geeks of our college.There were two speakers :Bhavani, a chat-bot specialist from Orangescape and Bhuvana, an aspring data scientist and the founder of ThinkDiff S’kool . I started spending my weekends usefully because of the BUILD2LEARN sessions which gave me confidence that I can also code . Thanks to Bhavani who introduced about it to us.

How do I find a meetup??

I personally suggest this app called “Meetup” which helps u find a community of your interest .It is a great plug into a crowd that has common goals and likes thus opening up opportunities for learning and growth.

Why are meetups important??

  1. Meetups help share knowledge. When you dream of conquering the world and fill your agenda with daunting projects ,its often necessary to equip yourself with a large mug of coffee and with right people..oh wait, I’m not a fan of coffee..maybe a mug of boost will do :P . It’s important to share and teach others, as well as to take in knowledge from others in your interest. We all have different paths in life and each one picks up different lessons along the way.
  2. It helps you grow. The question is not whether we have the right skills; Its whether you can learn the new ones!
  3. It helps you to connect yourself with other like-minded souls in the city. You can always reach out to your peers-you’ll be amazed of what they can teach you in no time.
  4. They say two heads think better than one. When different skills and experiences collide, eye-opening ideas and solutions come to light.**Tingg** The creative idea of brainswarming can generate faster and you will get more relevant solutions to your current assignments, supporting you in successfully achieving your tasks.
  5. Meetups are much more than learning platforms but they are only a waste of time(you will feel like you are inside a wrong movie)if you do not know why you are there.

My takeaways from the recent meetups and technical events:

  • The “GIRLS WHO CODE” club of our college that I mentioned earlier is now lead by us. We organised a coding event called “Tech-O-Girl” on the International Women’s day . Organising is not a simple task. Though it did not go well as expected I understood the fact that I should try to surprise people , create a WoW effect and exceed their expectations in the most ordinary things.
Geek goddesses of the college ;)
  • PYLADIES Chennai : Pyladies is a women community with a focus on helping and mentoring the women in Python and its officially in Chennai! They have planned one-on-one mentorships, tech talks and hackathons to help kickstart this chapter. I attended the chapter launch where amazing ladies from the industry gave techtalks . Right from developers of the WIT community , enthusiastic student pythonistas to women trying to rebuild their career after a break, the community is filled with amazing brains.The second meetup happened roughly after a month and it was a Machine learning hands-on with kaggle! Wohooo..I was super excited because it was the very first time I used Kaggle. Kaggle has literally become the home for data scientists around the world. Sowmya,the speaker of the day did an amazing job by explaining the concepts in a very simple way and made us understand the math behind the Linear Regression.
A picture of me and the peers of the community during the workshop :D
  • Womentechmakers2K19: Women techmakers is a global program for women in technology. WTM hosted a tech conference in Chennai where both men and women from the industry actively took part. It was a day -long conference filled with speakers and panels all led by women who work to bring a difference in the tech industry. I had an unforgettable experience hearing inspiring stories of the womentechmakers. I personally liked two of the talks. One was about deep learning with fast.ai by Bhuvana . I’ve met her in most of the meetups that I attended. She is an energetic,passionate learner who is committed to work. She talked about her learning experience with fast.ai and also made the talk sound interesting by presenting her project on bus name board classifier. The second was by Shruthi,a final year student from College of Engineering,Guindy. She was the youngest among the speakers and damn..she was fantastic!. Her talk was about Natural Language Generation .NLG in simple words can be described as a technology that simply turns data into plain English language. It can simply look into your data and write a story from it just like a human analyst. I also liked a talk titled “ I relaunch, I rise” by Navya , the winner of “Inspiring Second Career woman award of 2K19”. Success doesn’t come easy,it takes everything you’ve got and even more.But in the end,it’s worth it all and Navya is the best example for it. She talked about her career break, her relaunch and how she rose crossing all the hurdles on her way. She was so motivating and I liked her confidence and the “never give up “ spirit.I also got a chance to network with many industry specialists and on a whole it was not just a day but an experience!
not a clear image but the people in it has clear visions:)

I couldn’t cover all the events that I’ve attended in a single blog but all I want to convey is — No matter which scenario applies to you, there’s always a sure-fire way to get more out of attending a conference and a meetup by using it as a means to connect with your peers and friends and enhance your experience.

Let me end my blog with a message shared by Navya.!

The lion is not tagged with any labels like “the largest,the tallest or the fastest” and yet it is the king of the jungle! Why? It is not only because of the fact that lion possess a royal look, a great attitude and social pride among all other animals. Lions are the true rulers. They are extremely aggressive and fearless which makes them unique.Our uniqueness,individuality and life experiences molds us into fascinating beings.

“Embrace those things that make you unique:)”

So that’s it for the blog guys! Thank you so much for your time and do give me feedbacks so that I can improve and come with better ideas in my next blog.