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WICS Resume Workshop

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On Monday, January 11th, WICS hosted a resume workshop, inviting anyone who wanted to improve upon their resume to attend. This workshop brought together over 20 people who were all eager and ready to learn about advice for enhancing their resumes. We had 3 lovely Career Center resume critiquers at the event, allowing everyone to have a professional and personal, one-on-one resume session on site. With the Internship and Career Fair coming up next week, the WICS resume workshop allowed members to strengthen their resumes in time for this fair and for any other job opportunities hereafter.

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Grace Hopper Celebration 2014

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During Week One, seventeen female students were sponsored by the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona. This three-day event from October 8-10th featured keynotes from several influential women in tech and offered useful workshops ranging from technical talks to panels on wearable technology to professional advice on communicating and working in industry. Over 8000 attendees came to this annual event, making this the largest gathering of women in computing.

One of the best parts about the Grace Hopper Conference is the career fair. Attendees get a chance to network with representatives from big tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, and other smaller companies. Every company was offering full-time jobs or internship opportunities, which is a great way for students to get into industry. Some people were even able to interview at the career fair. In addition to networking, attendees were able to collect swag, which including stuff like shirts, chargers, earphones, stickers, and other electronic gadgets. Snacks were provided throughout the day. There were also cool giveaways and raffles where attendees could win video games, iPads, and even an Xbox One! One of our members, Nikita Thakore, won an iPad mini!

At night, there were dances and parties where the attendees can socialize and network with other women. Dessert and other appetizers were provided. It was fun and definitely a highlight of the trip.

From talking to company representatives and other women in computing to listening to presentations to going to parties, the Grace Hopper Conference is an unforgettable event that every woman in tech should attend.

Next year, WICS will be sponsoring members to go to the Grace Hopper Celebration, which will be held in Houston, Texas. Join the committee for a higher chance to attend!

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WICS First General Meeting and Mentorship Mixer ’14

Written by: Gurveen Sekhon

On Monday October 6th, WICS held our first general meeting of the year and kicked off the 2014-15 Mentorship Program. We gave a brief overview of what our club is about and introduced this year’s board members. All this information can also be found on our website in case you missed the meeting. There were also prizes given out for the raffle right before the Mentorship Mixer began. There were prizes such as Google blankets, Bags full of swag, T-shirts, a copy World of Warcraft, a Kindle Paperwhite, and much more!

Our Mentorship Program had a really strong kick off this year. A lot of students and mentors came out and got to know each other in groups based on where their interests laid. Make sure to join next year’s Mentorship Program, whether as a mentor or a mentee.

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First Annual WICS Games

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On Wednesday, October 1st WICS held its first ever WICS Games! Over 40 students and 7 teams participated in our games to be the first team to ever win WICS Games. Each team worked together along with a mentor for each team to solve rounds of questions with varying level of difficulty to accumulate points to win. Subway sandwiches were served for dinner to munch on while solving problems! Everyone that came to our meeting received really cool Google swag!

Make sure to come out to our annual WICS Games and start the year by meeting many people and having fun!

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HackUCI Spring 2014

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Written by: David Dinh

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UCI’s first annual hackathon was a huge success! HackUCI was hosted at PeopleSpace, where people can collaborate on common interests in computers, technology, science, art, entrepreneurship and start-up business. The small, cozy venue was packed with awesome ideas and much energy during the Memorial Day weekend. HackUCI was so spectacular that some preferred to call it a hack festival!

When the HackUCI opened on Friday evening, buses streamed participants five miles from campus to PeopleSpace. As attendees entered, they were greeted by a live performance from Blake & Kurt. As the event started, hackers had access to everything they needed to work on their project during their stay. There was lots of free food, including muffins and croissants for breakfast, Veggie Grill and Chipotle for lunch, Ray’s Pizza and Dos Chinos for dinner, and Domino’s Pizza and 85 Degrees for midnight snacks. Caffeine from coffee and energy drinks were, of course, a necessity for those who wanted to stay awake for the entire time.

By far, however, the most popular item among the hackers was none other than UCI’s Ring Road specialty: Lollicup Boba! This free drink was probably a first in the history of hackathons judging by the overwhelming response of the participants. Another rare attraction was the dedicated sleeping area located at the back of the venue. Because the area is primarily a martial arts dojo, people were able to rest on the mats. The isolated location and dim lighting made it a better place to sleep than inside the bright and noisy hacking areas.

Last, but not least, there were mentors at the event. Company representatives from Cylance, Infinite Peripherals, Amazon, SendGrid, and Kloudless came to help and answer any questions. It was very inspirational to see that several hacker participants were willing to help out other teams with their projects. The core values of inclusiveness, diversity, innovation, and creativity exhibited by everyone would definitely make HackUCI’s hackathon forebearers proud.

In the end, all projects were built from scratch over the 36-hour period. The teams came up with some great hacks, but as the hacking period closed, only a handful of these would come out gloriously on top. One of these teams had created Shark Education, which allowed the player to see through the eyes of a shark with the Oculus Rift. For Legend of Zelda fans, one of the best Twilio hacks was a Hylian Transliterator, which could convert English to any of the several Hylian languages found within the games and vice versa.

With about 300 registrations from all over Orange County, HackUCI was possibly the largest event ever hosted by ICS Clubs. WICS definitely played a large part in this event, as most of the volunteers were WICS members. All in all, it was due to the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice of the volunteers, committee members, and main organizers that such an astounding event was pulled off. I can’t wait to see how HackUCI will grow next year!

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WICS Final Python Project Meeting

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Written by: Gurveen Sekhon

At the last WICS Python Flappy Bird project meeting on May 19th, everyone submitted their projects and were entered into a raffle with cool prizes! Yummy sandwiches were served for dinner and everyone that came out to the meeting received really cool Google swag such as eos chapstick, a Google whiteboard sticker, and much more!

The first place winner received a fancy set of Google headphones!!! Make sure to come out to the quarterly project meetings next year to learn new programming languages and win some more cool prizes! Thanks to all that came this quarter, hope everyone got a better insight on Python and Pygame.

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Studying and Interview Help from WICS

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On Thursday April 24th and May 8th, WICS hosted a Study Session that also consisted of interview help in order to prepare for upcoming midterms and career fairs.

Study groups were formed by classes, there were tutors that came by to help anyone who was struggling with specific topics.

At the same time, for those who came by for interview help, WICS prepared common tech interview questions for them to solve. Interview experience and questions were shared amongst those who have been in one before.WICS hopes that those who came got to learn something new and useful towards their classes and finding a job.

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Spring Potluck with ICS Clubs

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Written By: Gurveen Sekhon

Monday, April 28th, WICS held our Quarterly ICS Potluck. More than 30 students from various ICS clubs attended! Everyone brought some really delicious food! There were WingStop Wings, Pasta, Pizookie from VGDC and lots of other really good food. WICS also made our ever popular Nutella, strawberry, and boysenberry crepes filled with strawberries and bananas this time! That’s definitely a very rare opportunity!

There were also groups playing Apples to Apples, Cards against Humanity, Uno, and more. All in all, it was a fun day to let loose with fellow ICS students during the first wave of midterms.

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WICS Launches a Flappy Bird Python Project

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Written by: Katie Khuu

For this quarter’s programming project, WICS has decided to make a Python version of the popular Flappy Bird game. The first project meeting on April 21st had over 70 attendees, a combination of WICS members, non-members, and non-UCI students.

To start off, WICS guided them with a PowerPoint presentation on how to download Python and Pygame modules and explained how to start the project. WICS board members also displayed an example of their completed project–a flying anteater in a cape moving through narrow pillars–to encourage participants and to promote creative designs. Help was available for those that had difficulty installing or getting started. After the presentation, there were downtime for attendees to chat and work with others. Food was available as a quick boost.

The Flappy Bird Python project will span for 5 weeks with tutorials included every week for those that are new to the Python language. This is a great way to get programming practice for anyone thinking about attending hackUCI or have already signed up.

For more information and updates about the spring project, join the WICS project group.

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WITI Comes to UCI

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Written by: Gurveen Sekhon

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On Thursday, April 17th WITI, Women in Technology International, hosted a panel of technology experts that informed the audience on software delivery methods. The key speakers were some really successful and passionate women. The speakers consist of Diane Cochran, a software engineer at Blizzard, Kristine A. Hayes Munson, an IT leader with a successful record in completing projects in finance, printing, and construction industries, and Melissa Meyer, the lead producer for Battle.net at Blizzard.

Some of the issues they addressed are the pros and cons of using agile for building products, how traditional companies address ‘time to market’ barriers when Compliance/Safety is a concern, and the best ways to track and measure development progress against goals. Six of our WICS members volunteered at the event and got to attend the event for free! WITI provided a large amount of delicious food from Gina’s Pizza and raffled out cool prizes such as books on Agile development, hand bags, and much more!

WICS will be working with WITI again in the future, so be on the lookout for more events hosted by WITI and WICS!

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