Code First:Girls Conference 2017

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“We want you to leave exhausted and inspired!”

A few weeks ago I attended the CFGConf at Twitter UK HQ, and it was one of the best, and as promised, one of the most inspiring conferences I have ever attended!

Not only did the talks address upcoming issues, such as the ethics of Artificial Intelligence and the rise of drones, but also positive online presence and building your own brand, which are topics that are generally overlooked, so it was brilliant to discuss those topics.

This was my second CFG event, and like the first, they never seem to fail on delivering motivational events, and opening individuals up to meeting some amazing people in the industry!

The biggest thing that stood out at this event was that everybody was unbelievably friendly, and for the first time at a coding event, it didn’t feel competitive, you could feel the support in the room!
Have you ever stumbled across profiles on Twitter and you all start casually chatting and giving each other support on whats going on in each others lives?
Meeting some of these women was quite surreal, but it was so nice to finally have been able to meet them!

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Photo: Pauline Narvas

My favourite talk of the day had to be by Anna from LinkedIn. Her talk centred on a person’s digital DNA – so building your own brand, uniquely and properly.
She enforced the point that your brand is built on 5 principles:

  • establishing it (taking the plunge of having a work twitter, or starting a blog)
  • building a powerful network
  • thought leadership (unique insights and perspectives)
  • keep learning
  • realising your earning potential

So the TL;DR of her talk was: don’t underestimate yourself, you don’t know what is possible until you try!

She also touched on the topic of the importance of mindfulness, which as a big fan of the Calm app and its benefits, I was thrilled to hear, as work can get stressful, so it’s important we recognise when we need to take a step back to breathe.

 

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All of the talks given that day had some impact on me, however only one changed my opinion.

Eleanor McHugh gave a talk on the Go programming language. Having never had a positive experience where Go is concerned, I was hesitant to say the least.
However, the uplifting way she delivered the talk changed my mind.
She broke down how to use Go into very bitesize chunks, focussing mainly on loops, but the best part was that she had aimed the talk to those who were not developers – A JARGON FREE TALK!!!! 🙌
Having banished developer jargon, it seemed to dispel my current opinion as her breakdown of how to use it gave me a new appreciation for the language, which is something I didn’t think would change.

Upon leaving it really hit me what an amazing community I am part of in Code First:Girls and how they deserve so much more visibility for the amazing job they are doing for getting women in coding.

Whether you want to teach coding as a hobby, learn how to code or just join an awesome community of totally inspiring women who are passionate about the industry definitely check them out!
And as if you need any more reason they are trying to teach 20,000 women how to code by the end of 2020! Oh and did I mention these classes are free?!

Next year’s conference can’t come soon enough!

– Clare

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