Today, technologists from around the globe are landing in Houston for this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). It’s the ultimate meeting of the minds—over 20,000 women and allies from different backgrounds get together to learn, share ideas, and most importantly, get to know each other. The sense of community at Grace Hopper is one of the reasons women come back every year, including many Googlers who will be in Houston this week to participate in talks, panels, workshops and hanging out at our booths at the Career Fair and Technology Showcase.
There's a lot happening at GHC and large conferences can feel a bit overwhelming at times, so we spoke to a few Googlers (and experienced Grace Hopper-goers) to find out their tips and tricks for getting the most out of GHC:
Reena Lee (right) at #GHC16
I always look forward to that awesome energy the first time I enter the keynote room and find myself surrounded by thousands of amazing women in technology from all over the world. - Alejandra Estanislao, Software Engineer
There’s inspiration everywhere at GHC. Check out the “Beyond ‘Be Confident’” panel or the “Pivot or Die” panel to learn from the career journeys of inspiring women, including Googlers Karen Ng, Group Product Manager and Sara Khoury, User Experience Design Director.
Pick up new skills
I'm looking forward to helping attendees create their first Actions on Google action that will be published so the world can try it with the Google Assistant right after the conference! - Reena Lee, Product Manager
Take advantage of hands-on learning experiences like the “Getting Started with Actions on Google” workshop led by Mandy Chan, Developer Community Manager, and the “Nail Your Promotion” workshop with Catherine Courage, VP, Design.
Meet new people
I'm pretty sure everyone says this but my favorite part is always meeting some pretty baller women! I can't tell you the number of times I've just been blown away by what pretty much everyone has accomplished and I have yet to meet anyone at the conference that didn't have an interesting story to tell. - Arathi Mani, Software Engineer
Look for opportunities to strike up a chat with your fellow conference-goers. We’ve got plenty of conversation-starting experiences at our booth at the Career Fair, the technology showcase, and our Google on the Green activation at Discovery Green before and after conference hours.
Arathi Mani (second left) with Alan Eustace (second right) and other Googlers at #GHC15
Connect with your community
Catch the “Effective Networking” panel to hear from Michelle Duffy, Engineering Director, Site Reliability Engineering and other technologists about building community across organizations. Learn how conversations at events like GHC can turn into lasting relationships!
Words of wisdom jotted down by Soujanya Aithal at #GHC14
Get a different perspective
This year my aim is to understand the challenges faced by women in tech from different backgrounds, benefits and challenges posed by societal norms and cultures, and understand the technical projects attendees are working on. - Soujanya Aithal, Software Engineer
Seek out opportunities to get a new view on things, such as the Machine Learning for Everyone workshop, where software engineers and research scientists discuss creating inclusive machine learning algorithms.
Take time to recharge
Incorporate the downtime you need into your schedule. Also don't give in to FOMO—it's OK to miss some things in order to have a good experience at other sessions. - Tod Hilton, Technical Writer
This is important. There are many exciting things to do at GHC, so make sure you prioritize the events that matter most to you and make time for rest.
Join the online conversation
If you can’t make it to Houston for #GHC18, no worries, we’ve got you covered. Follow the @LifeatGoogle and @GoogleStudents social media channels, where we’ll be sharing event highlights and behind-the-scenes content all week long.