Supporting female entrepreneurs with Sprinters

I’ve been involved with supporting diversity in tech roles for a long time, so it was great when I was recently asked to feature on the Sprinters blog, which aims to support and inspire female entrepreneurs.

Being given a platform to tell my own story in support of other women in business was a great opportunity, and I hope that my experiences might resonate with someone and encourage them to continue on a tough path, or even to transition to a happier one.

The interview covered some of the challenges I faced in my early career…

“When I was 24 I was the IT manager at a German manufacturing plant. They did not want me there: young, female and English; it was probably the toughest year of work I’ve ever had.

They insisted on speaking in German, which I wasn’t good at, even though they were all fluent in English. I faced roadblocks on everything that I wanted to implement, and every day felt like an impossible battle”

… but also the things I’ve learnt as a result:

“I find that the biggest help has always been to surround myself with the right people. People who inspire me and make me feel accepted, but also won’t accept half measures.”

If you’re interested in reading the interview, you can find it here.

Sprinters is a not for profit organization creating a network of empowered women who feel confident in their abilities to build amazingly successful businesses. If you’d like to get involved, we’d be happy to have you!

 

Bauke Scholtz (BalusC) awarded Oracle ‘Java Champion’ status

M1 and our clients already knew that we were onto a winner with Bauke, but we’re extremely proud to announce that he has been officially chosen as an Oracle ‘Java Champion’: one of an exclusive group of Java technology and community leaders.

Bauke was awarded the honour for investing his time assisting others in the developer community and progressing understandings of JSF, Java EE, and Java EE frameworks. He has previously been named as a hero of Java, and we can personally attest to the love of Nespresso coffee he mentions in his part of the hero series. All that caffeine also fueled the creation of zeef.com, a  social platform built with Java EE 7 that lets people find and share high quality development and tech resources.

You can learn more about Bauke’s award here, and about Java (or Bauke himself) by following his blog or visiting his personal Zeef page.

Congratulations Bauke!

Evgeniy organises developers’ conference ‘Yappi Days’

Over the past few months Evgeniy has been hard at work preparing for Yappi Days, an IT conference he organised in Yaroslavl, Russia. Hundreds of attendees were expected to participate in a programme built around the architecture of enterprise applications, BigData processing, IoT (Internet of Things) and best practices in software development. Speakers were drawn from experts and leading developers from IT companies, and the event attracted multiple sponsors.

I asked Evgeniy to tell us a bit more about his inspiration, and what it was like to organise such a big event.

Where did the idea for Yappi Days come from?
I planned to create an IT event in my city last April. In Yaroslavl we have around a thousand developers and QAs of all different kinds – working with Java, .net, Javascript, etc – and we also have a local university that trains programmers for the market. The thing we were missing was events: we didn’t have any IT professional-oriented events for local IT folks; that’s why I started conference preparations in June.

What was your motivation for the program?
My main intention was to invite experienced speakers from other cities so that we could show developers in Yaroslavl that giving a tech talk is awesome! By both giving and attending talks we increase the value of our local IT community, and this type of event could potentially drive new IT companies to the market. Yappi Days now also provides a platform for Yaroslavl programmers to share experiences and communications in an informal setting.

I know a lot of work went on behind the scenes – were you able to relax and enjoy the day?
Well, I was exhausted Friday evening, but now I’m okay! Most of the attendees were programmers with experience from our local companies, but there was one young boy of 16 years old who approached me after the conference to tell me that he was so amazed by developers and how awesome they are. His mom said later that the boy has decided to become a programmer when he finishes school. I accidentally affected this boy’s life, hopefully for good 🙂

It sounds like it went really well?
Yes – it was the first ever full-day IT conference in the city, and to my surprise more than 300 developers took Friday 13th off and attended the event! We did some surveys afterwards, and more than 85% of the attendees said that they liked the event and the program, and 95% said that they would gladly join the event next year.

Aha, so there will be more?!
For sure – the question is: can I handle the creation of a second conference?!

Richard Branson’s stamp of approval

It’s not every day that a world-renowned business leader selects your story to tell, but that’s precisely what happened when Nat described, as part of Branson’s ‘Finding my virginity’ campaign, her experience of overcoming her fears during a recent canyoning adventure.

I can personally vouch for Nat’s fear of heights, falling, and swinging on a rope (particularly sideways), from years of rock climbing together. I’ve often wondered why, given her fears, she returns to the sport time and time again. Surely something on the ground, not requiring safety equipment or the potential to fall into the unknown would be a more comfortable choice?

Nat was, of course, delighted to be featured in Branson’s article but, more to the point, the lesson she shared is one worth repeating:  we should always try something twice, even if we don’t like it, because it’s a great way to build confidence.

 

Read the article here https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/how-have-you-found-your-virginity