As a tech person involved in various community initiatives, I often visit meetups, user group meetings and other technology related events where I can meet and exchange ideas with people. Several days ago, I visited one of these events and I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and the audience there.
When I signed up, I was expecting rather standard event with 2-3 technical talks and some time for networking. What I found there, was quite different. Before I share more about my experience, let me first tell you how I ended up being there.
One day I got a mail addressed to another colleague with me in a copy telling her she should contact me regarding the Big Data topic. Knowing the sender of the e-mail, I was sure it is related to the data science events I organize, so a coffee appointment was quickly setup. There I met Christina, a new colleague from Spain that recently joined the company and was interested in technical events.
We had a chat about the events in Munich, I mentioned in what I am involved and what may be interesting for her. Then she said that a good friend of hers is organizing Women in Big Data Munich and I should definitely visit their next event.
I remembered that recently I got notification about this meetup group, but I ignored it, thinking it is one of the events only for women. My colleague ensured me that this is not the case and after I contacted her friend Nahia, she confirmed that men and women are invited and goal of these events is to promote and support diversity. Of course, I signed up and here is what I found there.
Indeed, the audience was dominated by women. There were around 70 smart ladies in the room waiting for the beginning of the event. Despite the hot weather outside, the room was full and the atmosphere was very nice. The ladies were sitting in small groups and having a chat while having a glass of wine (yes, that’s not a typo, there was a wine bar at the event :).
After the introduction from the SAP Business Women Network and presentation from the organizers about the opportunities for Big Data careers, there was a talk about Predictive vs. Machine Learning buzz words. I really liked how relatively complex topic was explained in a simple and understandable way. You can download the slides from the event here:
What surprised me even more, was the next talk. It was not technical at all, but rather motivational. And I really like it! Gretchen Nemechek, SAP Global Vice President in Sales Enablement was talking about “Leading through Change”.
Despite I am fan of technical talks, I should admit that having this talk (which was well tailored for the target audience) was bringing the event to another level. Well done ladies!
Last but not least, the atmosphere at this event was great. I was truly impressed and I would be happy to visit more meetings like this in the future.