Written by: Gurveen Sekhon
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!
WICS members got the opportunity to attend the Celebration of Women in Computing in Southern California (CWIC-SoCal) Conference held on April 5th and 6th. WICS provided attendees reimbursement for signup fees as well as free transportation!
The event kicked off with a welcoming ceremony that consisted of talks from inspirational women in the computing field. The talks were held by a broad scope of women all united by the core concept of computing. The backgrounds of these women ranged from industry to research. In fact, Gloria Mark, a professor from the Informatics department of UCI also held a talk of her research of multitasking.
The WICS members learned about grad school, what these speakers do, and about women in the tech field in general. There was also a Q/A panel with company representatives as well as a mentorship panel. At the end of the first day, CWIC-SoCal also held an Academic/Career Fair with quite a few company booths, swag, and networking opportunities. That night ended with a Lego Challenge and a game of CS jeopardy. The winners of the lego competition, 5 groups of 5, all received $25 Amazon gift cards, congrats to one of the WICS’s teams that won!
All in all, it was a very exciting weekend that consisted of fun and networking with other women students and professionals in computing. Next year, WICS will be hosting init(Together) once again, stay tuned and don’t miss out!
On April 4th, Friday of Week 1, Western Digital held a company tour from 10 AM to 3:30 PM for students from Cal Poly Pomona, UCR, and UCI.
After breakfast, the first thing on the to-do list was to break apart a hard drive, which was given to the attendees along with free swag to take home! As the hard drive was opened, everyone got to see what the inside looked like as the Western Digital speakers described the individual parts and their usage.
Before lunch was served, there was a tour of the Western Digital Shop (items were discounted for attendees), and the company in which we saw the employees in their natural habitat.
The tour concluded with a talk held by a panel of 10 women engineers that was provided just for WICS members. They described their work environment, gave school advice, and explained the benefits of working at Western Digital. It was definitely an informational and hands-on learning experience. WICS plans on having more future events with Western Digital so stay tuned!
The first general meeting of the quarter was held on Thursday, April 3rd. With the last quarter wrapped up with the Android Development workshops, this quarter brings more projects, information sessions, and social events for members to look forward to!
In terms of professional development, WICS will be holding a total of 5 Python Project Meetings on Mondays at 6:30pm. There will also be a couple tech talks and tours, such as the Western Digital Tour, The Portal Open House, and the WITI Talk on Agile Development. There are also quite a few social events planned for WICS members to network and socialize with other students. A few events, just to name, are the ICS Quarterly Potluck, Bowling, and the SWE & Phi Sigma Rho Mixer.
Some major events of this quarter are the CWIC SoCal, ICS Day, and HackUCI! Check out more information on our events calendar and our Facebook page. Also, if you want to be more involved with WICS and interested in writing weekly blogs and recaps of the events, fill out this form and you will get an email with more information!
As the Winter Quarter comes to an end, so does WICS’s Android App Development Projects. This quarter, WICS’s projects meetings have been mostly targeted towards completely inexperienced students who have either never built an app or have never even coded before. Over the course of 5 weeks, 30 students (8 teams) successfully submitted their completed drawing apps that they have made with the guidance of WICS.
WICS wants to thank the students who have attended the meetings and kept up with their project this whole time. As for all those that submitted their work, WICS provided them with lots of swag provided by Google as well as free pizza and beverages on Thursday, March 6th.
After a few games of Hangman with the group, WICS raffled off TWO Google Headsets! WICS hopes that everyone that attended the projects meetings got to have a taste of what it is like to develop an Android App and hopefully be able to start making one of their own in the near future!
Monday, Mar. 3rd, WICS hosted a series of mock interviews. Around 20 people signed up for this great opportunity! Representatives from participating companies such as 21st Century Fox and Northrop Grumman held one-to-one mock interviews with students. They allowed students to practice their interviewing skills and receive feedback on how to improve these skills from industry professionals.
WICS hopes to host more mock interviews in the future to allow students to have more practice for their future job or internship interviews!
Thursday, February 20th, WICS hosted a training workshop to teach students and potential volunteers how to use LittleBits and Snap Circuits! These simple snap on circuits are fun to play with and makes circuits easy to understand. Students enjoyed trying to create really cool things out of them and some came out to help at our LittleBits Workshop with Brownie Troops.
Monday, February 24th, 6 volunteers from WICS assisted over 20 Brownie Troops as they played around with LittleBits and Snap Circuits to build an understanding of circuits! The Brownie Troops had lots of fun using their creativity to test and make the LittleBits and Snap Circuits do entertaining things such as lighting up, changing the color of the light, making sounds, and so on.
WICS is looking forward to working more with Brownie Troops! Volunteers are welcome anytime to join the fun experience!
Over 20 people came on Monday, February 10th to join WICS for a study session. Topics such as ICS 45C, ICS 6B, and many other classes were being covered by some students that were willing to help teach those in need of help. Popcorn and soda were provided by WICS to help replenish some lost brain cells in the process. Even though it was a study session, there were still some socializing and de-stressing involved.
WICS would like to thank all those that came to help others in their studying and hope that everyone did well on their midterms!
On Sunday, February 9th, 6 volunteers from WICS came out to help 7 Brownie Troops with earning their Computer Expert Badge! It was an educational yet fun day for the Brownies; they got to experience using computers to paint a picture, take a virtual museum tour, play an online game, and much more! (To see more details, see their event website) This was an insightful experience for the volunteers as well, seeing that the 6-8 year old girls having a lot more knowledge on computers compared to phones; it looks like there is a new generation of Computer Scientists!
The workshop was very successful and WICS plans to do more with girl scouts in the future to continue teaching young girls about technology.
On Monday, February 3rd, over 40 people came to de-stress at the potluck with all the ICS clubs over some delicious food and fun boardgames! There was a variety of food such as sushi, buffalo wild wings, dumplings, curry, chicken alfredo, bacon siracha cookies, and cake pops! Besides food, there were also groups of people playing Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, and Uno! It was a fun and stress-free night full of some nice home-made food and all of your fellow ICS friends; we will be having more potlucks later in the school year, stay tuned if you want to come join the fun next time!