Go the geek girls

I am really excited that there’s another Girl Geek Dinner coming up the week after next on April 13. Girl Geek Dinners, if you haven’t heard of them can be explained like this:

Girl geek dinners are an opportunity for like-minded ‘girls’ to talk about technology over good food and to learn from some of their best fellow girl-geeks in Wellington. Attendees are usually geeks by profession such as software engineers, computer scientists, database experts, engineers and the like but anyone is welcome to attend as the primary objective is socialise and network.

I spoke at the first one in Wellington in 2008 about my career so far, and In the past I’ve helped with the events by organising prizes and goodie bags, but this time round I get to just relax and enjoy the speakers. Although the work that I’ve done and continue to do is often less technical than many of the speakers, I learn a lot from their presentations. For example, When Trudy Rankin from the Department of Conservation spoke at the last dinner, it was very clear that she absolutely gets ICT and social media, and that was really gratifying to see that a government department could actually be that proactive and supportive of online participation.

As far as the networking side of things go, sitting at big communal tables is a great way to get talking. When I was at the SSC, it was a great chance to share the work I’d been doing on things like SMS guidance, and find out what vendors were offering. Now that I’m looking for a permanent full-time job, making contacts is even more important. At the last dinner I sat next to Amie McCarron who runs her own web design company. After getting to know her then, I ended up doing some data entry for her recently. Data entry is obviously not very glamorous, but it did enable me to get some basic training in Joomla, which is a content management system I hadn’t used before, so that’s quite handy in my quest to become a Jack of all CMS.

But back to the ‘Girl’ part of the Girl Geek Dinners –  I hope you’re not questioning why we need our own separate event, but if you are, here’s a good post from Brenda to get you started if you haven’t realised that women in tech are in the minority.

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