Reflecting on #GHC16

Last week, I attended the 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the largest gathering of women in tech in the world. Thanks to the support of the Maryland Center for Women in Computing, about 50 University of Maryland students and I were able to meet with some of the most successful and inspiring women (and men) in the tech industry.

Featured speakers included Latanya Sweeney (a Harvard professor and founder of the Data Privacy Lab), Ginni Rometty (president and CEO of IBM), Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce) and Megan Smith (CTO of the United States).

The week was a flurry of activities — attending workshops and panel sessions, meeting with user experience designers and software engineers, attending post-conference parties and making some new friends. My UMD peers and I even got to hang out with Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus VR for a little bit.

UMD students with Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe
Hanging out with Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe.

Here are some of my other highlights from the week:

Technica friends
Meeting up with some friends from Technica, the all-women’s hackathon at the University of Maryland.
Be something great wall art
At the career expo, many companies had awesome booth setups. This was Nationwide’s.
An inspiration wall at the Salesforce booth.
An inspiration wall at the Salesforce career expo booth.
Pinterest career expo booth
Pinterest’s career expo booth — obviously, it looks like a Pinterest board come to life.
Cisco's fancy booth
Cisco’s fancy booth
Facebook's career expo booth
Facebook’s career expo booth.
Google's career expo booth
Google’s career expo booth. There are swings and fun chairs on the other side.
Hanging out with my hackathon friends Rose and Amber at the Google booth with an image of Grace Hopper.
Hanging out with my GHC roommates (and Bitcamp/Technica friends!) Rose and Amber — and Grace Hopper — at the Google booth.
I spotted an astronaut at Grace Hopper!
I spotted an astronaut at Grace Hopper! (Always looking for some NASA love!)
The Google after-party had a campfire and make-your-own s'mores.
The Google/Women Techmakers after-party had an around-the-world food theme, which included fun items like stir fry, burger sliders, shrimp tacos and margarita shooters. Too fun! They even had campfires where you could roast s’mores.
Jenny sitting in a self-driving car at the Google after-party.
At the Google after-party, I got to check out a self-driving car. Pretty neat!
Taking a selfie with some grad school friends in the Google self-driving car.
I know we’re *super* cool and everything, but my grad school friends Julie, Alex and I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in the Google self-driving car.
An astronaut, NASA engineer and movie producer discuss the Hidden Figures movie at the closing ceremony for Grace Hopper.
At the closing ceremony, we got to see a preview of the movie “Hidden Figures” — and then, they invited a NASA engineer, an astronaut and a producer from the movie on stage. Pretty awesome way to close out the week…