CAPWIC 2017

I’m sorry that I’ve been scarce on here lately. I’ve been having trouble balancing my two jobs, school, and extra-curricular activities and my blog has suffered as a result. I’ll try to be better at updating from now on.

Anyway, If you’ve kept up with me on twitter, you’ll know that I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. for CAPWIC 2017 which is conference that caters to women in computing from the high school level to the professional level.

One of the cemeteries on the campus

Day 1

I woke up at 6 am with the intention of leaving at around 7:30. I left myself that amount of time because I was driving two of my friends up as well. Although we got a bit of a later start (and the drive was over 4 hours), we made it in into Georgetown just in time. As we emerged from the dark parking garage, we were totally awed at our surroundings. Not only was the campus beautiful but it was also warm (around 75°F or 24°C) and I was surprised to find that a couple of trees on the campus had bloomed, despite the fact that it’s late February and it’s supposed to be freezing.

One of the first views we saw as we exited the parking garage

After the initial keynote, we had a snack (where I found out that coconut isn’t as evil as I thought it was) and proceeded to some talks.

The first talk was about resume and I got some helpful tips (and later implemented them). The second talk was done by some representatives at APT who gave us some tips on technical interviews and even walked through one with us. I definitely feel better prepared for that aspect of getting a job.

The third talk was about juggling work life and maintaining your sanity. I really liked this one because the women was someone who highly involved in the political aspect of Computer and Information Science, having worked with Obama Administration and (to her dismay) the Trump Administration. She reminded us that we don’t have to be Superwomen and do everything.

After that there was the career fair where I met some great recruiters from different companies. When they mentioned web development, I freaked out a bit and I told them about my experience and that I was looking for an internship. Although I got a lot of free stuff from the companies, my most valuable items are the business cards because those are the keys to contacting the recruiters for follow ups and further information.

When we had our fill of the career fair, my companions and I went outside and enjoyed the afternoon. We marveled at the scenery and architecture of the campus. I couldn’t have been more grateful to be there.

One of the classroom buildings

 

Me…it was late afternoon and I was exhausted

Soon it was time for dinner where I had a little something but I ended up ordering pizza to the hotel we stayed at.

Speaking of which, the hotel we stayed was really nice. I remember feeling extremely out of place was pulled my little Nissan up to the main entrance and behind a nice expensive car. But it was all good. I checked in and sent my companions up ahead of me while I parked my car.

We spent the remainder of the evening working on homework, talking, and listening to homework. I crashed at around midnight but my friends crashed later than that.

My iPhone doesn’t do this view justice but looking across the Potomac and into Arlington

Day 2

After waking up a full hour before my friends, we caught an Uber back to Georgetown. One of my friends was doing a flash talk so I attended the event in order to show my support. She did hers on firewalls and security and I really enjoyed it. Some other talks included data exploration, artificial intelligence, and other topics.

After that, we proceed to lunch and we were given the opportunity to relax for a bit. After that, my companions and I split up as I wanted to listen to a presentation on how to get involved in undergrad research. I then proceed to attend a workshop on Git/Git hub which was very informative.

After that, we attended a short closing ceremony before wrapping up our little adventure and heading home.

 

Overall…

I really enjoyed the experience! I got to meet a bunch of different people and learn a bunch of different things. It was also really cool that I had my friends with to share the experience. I will definitely try and attend the conference next year.

Also, I saw DC in a new light. Growing up, I’ve always lived near the city and most of my grade school field trips involved visiting the city. But I think this trip made me see it like someone without that background.

Until next time, stay awesome.