On Wednesday of the first week of winter quarter, WICS held its first general meeting. Over 50 of our members swarmed in as our president Angela Liu and vice president Stephanie Eng announced our plans for this quarter. After learning all about the events and projects this quarter, various members stayed to play board games with each other and bond. Make sure to come by next quarter to see what events we have!
Facebook Women Panel
by Nikita Thakore
In Week 5 on Monday, November 3rd, WICS was proud to host a Facebook Women Panel, wherein a recruiter and five engineers from Facebook took the time to answer questions about their experiences working for the world’s biggest social network. Their backgrounds ranged from developing Facebook’s Android apps, to being on the iOS Messenger team, to working on a secret, still-developing Facebook application. It was a great opportunity for attendees to get a glimpse of what jobs at Facebook have to offer, while enjoying delicious food, courtesy of Baja Fresh.
When asked what they enjoyed at Facebook, the ladies unanimously remarked that they enjoyed the freedom to work on projects of their choice, and the creativity of their work environments. “Everyone all has the same title – Software Engineer,” Lynn explained, “so it’s very easy to go up to someone and ask them anything. The people at Facebook are really humble.”
The team also highly praised Facebook’s Engineering Boot Camp program, a six-week program designed to introduce new engineers to the company’s code base. Jess, a former intern who recently went full-time, noted that it greatly helped her to figure out what she wanted to work on, while Kathy described it as “the best summer camp ever!”
The panel ended promptly at seven, due to the engineers’ having to catch their flights back home, and the night closed with attendees being able to submit their resumes and pick up some Facebook swag. We had a great turnout, with over 60 people attending, and overall, the event was a terrific experience for everyone involved. Hopefully, it’s indicative of the popularity of the panels yet to come!
WICS & VGDC Resume Workshop
by Michelle Tjoa
On Monday, the 21st day of October in the Donald Bren of ICS building, WICS and VGDC had a joint Resume workshop. Around 50+ people came to either help others or be helped. What was amazing about the event was the great amount of inputs from all those who were experienced and wanted to help by sharing their knowledge and experience with others and also the deep interest those who didn’t have experience or wanted to learn. All the members learned how to improve or start resumes which can help in the long run with resume building and career searching. When I went to the resume workshop I was also amazed at how many people were really involved and really wanted to improve their resume and what they had in their resume. It was also interesting to see people quickly build the resume they didn’t have before coming to the workshop. I also brought a resume and got tips and pointers on how to improve the resume and learning new tips and lessons I didn’t know or thought about before. There are simple little things that could be overlooked, like a bigger name, better organization of resumes and the list goes on. The people who were helping out were also really reliable and professional, so the sources were very trustworthy. It was also a great experience to meet other people, who were just as involved, excited, and friendly. Can’t wait for the next resume workshop to meet new people and improve my resume once again.
iOS Beginner Workshop
On Monday October 13th, Phillippe Navarro and kendrick parks taught a beginner workshop on iOS development. Phillippe taught the basics of Swift, and he has taught a Full-Stack Development class in Irvine and was previously an instructor for General Assembly.
The student turnout for this workshop was MUCH greater than expected. We had about 100 students show up for the workshop! All in all, it was a very informative seminar, and it gave students interested in iOS development a brief introduction.
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!
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.
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.