On April 23, 2018, WICS hosted a Debugging session with Blind Squirrel Games. First, we ate pizza and socialized with other members. Then software engineers from Blind Squirrel told us all the cool stuff they do that their company. They taught us that debugging is an important part of their workday. After, the engineers talked about the basics of debugging. Their in-depth presentation showed us different ways to debug code, an important skill that is super useful to know in class as well as the workplace. Attendees left with a better understanding of how to debug code!
On Monday, April 9, WICS held an interactive React Workshop led by Intuit. About 100 people came to DBH 6011 to join in on the fun. First, we learned more about Intuit and what they do. Then Harris, an Intuit representative, led a step-by-step tutorial. Attendees brought their laptops and eagerly coded along, learning more about JS and React on the way. In the end, we had a fully-functional dog quiz app! Those who attended also got to eat great Mediterranean food and get some swag from Intuit. Thank you to everyone who attended, this event was a lot of fun!
It is never too early to introduce Computer Science to girls and the #GirlsKnowCS Conference was a perfect example! This year, the Santa Ana Public Library hosted a conference for girls who are interested in Computer Science and invited WICS to come speak and lead a hands on activity. Ninety-five girls of all ages ranging from grades 4-12 gathered together at the Santa Ana Senior Center to listen to empowering women talk about their success story and participate in the fun workshops that were held.
Speaking of guest speakers, WICS had the honor of sending our very own Community Outreach Co-Chair, Rosetta Pendleton, to the #GirlsKnowCS Conference to share her journey of how she became involved in Computer Science. Rosetta’s story of how she taught herself programming skills due to the lack of CS resources in Hawaii and how she decided to move to the mainland in order to find more CS opportunities inspired the attendees. Rosetta demonstrated that despite one’s background, anyone can succeed in the Computer Science field.
There were two main workshops at the #GirlsKnowCS Conference: app development and binary bracelets. A representative from Microsoft provided Surface Pros to each group of attendees to help them develop an app idea using a drag and drop program. WICS led the binary bracelets activity and taught the attendees the concept of binary numbers through converting their birthdays to binary and representing it as a bracelet using alternating beads. Overall, the girls seemed to really enjoy the workshops as they were able to express their creativity in bringing their app idea to life and making something of their own using a CS concept.
WICS looks forward to collaborating with the Santa Ana Public Library on more events such as the #GirlsKnowCS Conference. Together, we hope to spark the interest in technology in more girls and close the gender gap.
On Monday, February 26th, 2018, WICS held an interview workshop with Amazon in DBH 6011. This event had more than 100 RSVPs and approximately 80 showed up in the event. The first half of the event was a presentation presented by Angela who is currently a software engineer at Amazon. The presentation included tips on resume, career fair, and interview. Angela also talked about two types of questions recruiters usually ask on interviews which are technical questions and behavioral questions. The presentation ended with a Q&A session for students with all the recruiters who came along with Angela. The second half of this event was led by Kevin, an interviewer from Amazon. Kevin simulated a mock tech interview with a student volunteer in the front. After discussing the tech interview question with Kevin, we took a pizza break. After the break, we did more tech interview questions with the recruiters. This event started at 6 pm and ended at 8:07 pm. We could see that everyone was curious and eager to learn from the recruiters. Overall, This event was a success!
On November 6, WICS held an Amazon tabling event and info session. Approximately 200 people attended in total–one of the highest attendance rates for a WICS event! Students who arrived at the event early received Amazon t-shirts. For the tabling event, a table was set up on the patio outside DBH 6011, where students were able to speak with an Amazon recruiter about internship roles, give out their resumes, and ask questions that they had. After the tabling, the recruiter as well as two Amazon software engineers held an information session to provide more details about the various opportunities at Amazon. As usual, food and drinks were provided!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Written by: David Dinh
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!