Archives for : Volunteering

Volunteering & me – part 2

In the previous post about volunteering & me I was mentioning the communities I was part of in the past years and what I was doing there. In this post I want to put down all the training I benefited from (received and given for free) in these communities and more. Here goes:

  1. Leadership & Management 2009 AIESEC
  2. Effective communication 2010 AIESEC
  3. Public speaking 2010 AIESEC
  4. Product Management 2010 AIESEC
  5. Global competency model 2010 AIESEC
  6. Entrepreneurship 2010 AIESEC
  7. Become a trainer 2010 AIESEC
  8. Communication & presentation skills 2010 AIESEC
  9. Audience management 2010 AIESEC
  10. Needs assessment 2010 AIESEC
  11. Delivery methods 2010 AIESEC
  12. Preparing a session 2010 AIESEC
  13. Briefing & debriefing 2010 AIESEC
  14. First given training on “Presentation skills” 2010 AIESEC
  15. Goal setting 2010 AIESEC
  16. Ar of Feedback 2010 AIESEC
  17. All about coaching 2010 AIESEC
  18. Management & leadership 2011 BEST
  19. Effective meetings 2010 BEST
  20. Communication weekend training 2011 BEST
  21. Giving and receiving Feedback 2011 BEST
  22. Knowledge Management training 2011 BEST
  23. Entrepreneurship course 2011 at TU Vienna
  24. Myer-Briggs Type Indicator training 2011 BEST
  25. Strategic planning 2011 BEST
  26. Motivation 2011 BEST
  27. Delegation 2011 BEST
  28. Leadership styles 2011 BEST
  29. Coaching course 2011 TU Vienna
  30. Effective meetings delivered by P&G 2012 BEST
  31. Critical thinking 2012 TU Vienna
  32. Creativity (6 hat concept) 2012 TU Vienna
  33. Startup weekend training – pitch training 2013 Ideen Triebwerk Graz
  34. Growth hacking 2014 ABC BEST
  35. Pitching training 2014 ABC BEST
  36. 360 community management 2014 GDG
  37. Presentation skills GDG
  38. Fund raising BEST
  39. Unconscious bias at Google GDG
  40. Motivation GDG
  41. Design thinking GDG

And then I lost track of them.

I also started delivering on my own on topics that are dear to me: Impostor syndrome and Unconscious bias (and also some technical talks all mentioned in the previous post).

And lately, here in Vienna, I like to go to workshops offered by PWN . I joined so far:

  • Financial sustainability
  • Salary negotiations
  • Finding your purpose

If you look at my list you could say I did an entire school of social skills on the side of university. Well yes. Some of the courses were at university but the most are not offered there, so you gotta do self development somewhere else. This is what organizations are about: self development! Becoming a better you, exchanging ideas, becoming a “change agent”.

During all these training, I got to meet amazing people and I got amazing feedback that helped me improve and have a healthier and open mind, be more tolerant.

So what? you might ask.
Truth is, it is a personal story of how one can make use of such a rich palette of knowledge. Using it in the right moment and in the right way is a challenge for me too at times. This does not mean that the teams I work in always has effective meetings nor that feedback is my main tool to communicate. Not at all! Especially in professional life, where unfortunately, social skills STILL come last, (I am not saying EVERYWHERE but majority) it is much harder to establish yourself as… ultimately as a leader. It all adds up in the end. These training gave me the skills to be a good leader!

I leave this post here as a q.e.d: https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/why-do-people-quit-their-jobs-exactly-heres-entire-reason-in-3-simple-words.html

Volunteering & me

SO lets see… (searching in my memory)

Dry intro

When I sometimes (still) get to talk about my motivation to spend quite a lot of my free time on volunteering I always start with: I’ve been volunteering since I started University. I’ve been involved in different communities since 2007, for more than 11 YEARS!

When I get asked WHY?… Honestly, nowadays, it is simply because: this is what I know to do! In my free time, I am used to. going to organizer meetings, be volunteer responsible at a conference, take care of conference registration, make sure speakers are introduced or evolve partnerships and bring in sponsors and most important mentor/motivate/empower people… (these are the usual, these days).

However, I want to take this opportunity and present my volunteering CV (which I was postponing for years to do) and ALL the trainings and skills I gathered in 11 years. These are points, which in my CV, land under hobbies or I mention only maybe 25% of them as social skills. Why? Because a CV should not be longer than 1-2 pages, maximum 3! Also because, too little, HR people looking for developers/engineers are interested that you live a double life. Usually this is mentioned, by me, in face to face interviews when required. Do you have better suggestions?

My volunteering CV (about my second life) ūüėČ

2012 Nov. – present days – member of GDG Vienna

  • My biggest achievement in GDG Vienna is creating the Women Techmakers Vienna community. This is the 6th year since it exists and a lot of people appreciate us and like what we stand for:
    Equality & diversity in STEM regardless of gender. Community builder, people empowering and networking are key skills that helped me achieve this together with like-minded people I met through GDG (locally and globally).
  • I was organizer of DACH level tech conference DACHfest.
  • I was 6 times organizers of DevFest Vienna.
  • And I organized numerous meetups and delivered tech and social content.

2011 Oct. – 2014 May – member of BEST Vienna

  • Vienna Summer Course 2011 project – I was main organizer of one of the biggest projects which bring, yearly, to Vienna, around 20-25 European students from other different technical universities to share culture and knowledge. I was leading a team of 6 people making sure the event happens on time and in the budget and that team members, participants and professors are happy (all stakeholders).
  • Board member – HR responsible – board membership is a year long engagement. Along with 6 other dedicated persons on dedicates roles, we devised and executed the strategic plan meant to create and leave a local sustainable organization while leading by the European level vision: “Empowered diversity“. My responsibility was recruiting, motivating and empowering community members.
  • I was involved in numerous other local projects over the years and towards the end I was more in a mentor role. Now I am proud BEST Vienna ALUMNA.

2007 Oct. – 2011 June – member of AIESEC Cluj-Napoca

  • IT Challenge project – while in AIESEC I was a participant and main organizer of IT Challenge. The project was bringing technical students closer to tech companies who offered case-studies to be solved by participants. At the 3rd edition of the project I was leading my own team of 5 people and making sure we are reaching our goals. I learned project management, team leading and about motivating volunteering student. It also brought me my first tech internship at NOKIA R&D in Cluj-Napoca.
  • I was also an aspiring trainer and “graduated” while delivering content at the biggest Romanian intercultural preparation seminar conference, which had over 400 participants (if I remember correct, were probably even more..)
  • On my road of becoming a ‘change agent‘ I took part in a AIESEC internship done at the Technical University of Graz, Austria. Which changed my life!
  • Now I am proud ALUMNA of AIESEC Cluj-Napoca

In the next post I will mention the numerous trainings and content I had the opportunity to be exposed to due to these volunteering opportunities.

Women Techmakers Vienna 2015

The second edition of Women Techmakers Vienna took place on the 7th March 2015. For this one day event me and my team worked voluntarily 4 months. Rather short organizing time and still the event was a full success! This was due to our driving motivation and commitment to the topic. Read more about the composing team on our website.
The success of the event was due to a combination of different factors. Fist of all was probably the motivation of the team, the wonderful venue at the Microsoft Vienna Office and the interest in the topic of the event which came from the community and the participants.
The agenda of the day was split in 3 tracks: talks, adult workshop and kids workshops.

WTM15 schedule
We tried to invite speakers from each STEM field. The only one we didn’t manage to find was someone with Mathematical background. Instead of this talked we decided to go for a social aspect talk which was the first one opening the conference. We also looked to keep the talks rather technical but combined with personal experiences. The final Panel Discussion was intended for more sharing and QA session with our speakers.  The Discussion Panel session exceeded my personal expectations because we managed to create a comfort place where our participants also started to share, ask questions and add advice. It left me personally with an inner satisfaction about the community in Vienna which is interested in gender issues. A lot of positive energy was transferred and exchanged at the conference day.

Some statements from our participants:

  • “my kids loved the children workshop!!!”
  • “Was a great event, much more than I expected, will definitely like to be part of the next event.”
  • “it was a very nice event to network”
  • “great job! I had a great time, met wonderful people, and there was a lot of food for thought. I am looking forward to WTM 2016!”

For this event we decided to try something new: offer workshops for children. I met Horst Jens a while ago and he offers programming courses for children. He teaches kids how to program through games. Read more on his website spielend-programmieren.at.  We had a round 17 kids at the morning and afternoon workshops and a lot of positive feedback.

WTM15 participants ratio

At the main event we had 78 people attending. We were trying hard to attract a 50%-50% gender balance. Talking to the participants we understood that the name of the event had a lot to do with the higher number of females attending. There was a bias from the beginning such that people thought the event was female only. The goals we set out to reach, from the gender perspective were:

  • 100% female speakers
  • 50%-50% gender balanced participants
  • at least some girls in the children workshops

You can read more about our Vision, Mission and Values we created for our event on the dedicated Women Techmakers Page on my website.

WTMVIE in the Press:

Sponsors:

sponsors #WTM15

GDG Summit & Google I/O 2014

Overview

The first Google I/O was held in March 2008. This year Google had its 7th conference. A constant topic on these conferences is¬†Android. Other topics include products that Google has been working on: Google Maps, Google TV, Google Music, Google+, Google Now and so on. These conferences are the highlight of the year, where the “googlers” get to show off their hard work of the past¬†year. They manage to amaze and push the technological boundaries every year and raise issues of the not so far future. This year, I was one of the lucky once to receive a Google I/O ticket which “teleported” me to California to attend the Google Developer Group (GDG) Summit at the Googleplex in Mountain View and the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

First of all: what is Google Developer Group Summit?

GDGs are groups of people “who are interested in¬†Google’s developer technology; everything from the¬†Android,¬†Chrome, Drive and¬†Google Cloud¬†to product APIs like the¬†Cast API,¬†Maps API and¬†YouTube API“. GDG members volunteer and organize¬†tech talks, events like code sprints, hackathons and much more. The Summit is the event¬†where some of the members of such groups, which are world wide, get together and share their experience. There are 500+ GDGs in 100+ countries to date. These GDG communities are supervised¬†by¬†some people who work at Google. They¬†work in Google Developer Relations as Developer Community Advocates. However, GDGs are independent local groups which choose which events they want to hold and what to talk about in their meetings. Next you see the map of all teh GDGDs in the world.

GDG
 


GDG Summit 2014

The 2014 GDG Summit was held at the Googleplex in Mountain View and it was a 3 day event. We were 350+ participants from all over the world, from South America to New Zeeland (see the above picture). The first day was “arrival day”. We were offered pickup shuttles from the San Francisco Airport which brought us to the hotel where we were hosted. At the hotel, everyone could check in and register for the GDG Summit by taking their name badge. Each organizer was sharing a hotel room with another participant. The official program started only the second day earlier in the morning. We were taken with the shuttles to the Googleplex where breakfast was organized, outdoors¬†this year. Afterwards we moved to our conference room where we had different sessions.Googleplex

We started with a short overview of the past events we organized in different GDGs  and went into specifics for the Women Techmakers (WTM) events. The WTM events were held in 49 countries during the month of March. We reached 10.000 developers from which 70% were female participants. 82% of the speakers of this events were women.
Another session was about Engaging organizers. We talked about motivators, the cycle of membership, rewards and recognition for different roles that organizers have in the GDGs and about solving conflicts. A very interesting chart of types of members is shown in the next figure.

model Next we had a round of lightning talks:
1. Getting money through Fund Raising
2. GDG mentorship Initiative
3. Attracting and training volunteers
4. Google community ecosystems: we are all connected
5. Cross Chapter collaborations
6. Organizing a pre-event for the Start-up weekend (in Dublin)
7. GDG Metrics
8. Collaborations with other organizations
9. Programming – for kids
10. What we learned from devFest13 (GDG Lviv)
11. Africa Android challenge
12. tech for social good
13. GDG[X] – a new GDG App
14. Massive Games over Google Cloud
15. Content is king but distribution is queen
16. Renderscript for Android

If some of them look interesting one can check out the slides here. And the full agenda of the conference can be seen here.

The first conference day was closed with dinner and a Talent Show organized by the participants themselves in the room where we had the sessions. Dinner was proceeded by a cultural sharing of everyone’s local food or drinks and swag from their different organized events over the last year. It was a multitude of colorful pieces of culture combined with different personalities of wonderful people. The Talent Show was a hit with live music and dancing in a cozy, comfortable environment created over the day.

InFrontOfAndroid

The second day, we were taken again with the shuttles to the Googleplex Campus where we had breakfast. The second day was dedicated to unconference sessions where you could choose the discussion topics you wanted to attend. We also had time to visit the Google Store on Campus and have lunch (this time at the actual Google cafeteria which has great¬†food). After a Google Glass Design session we got in our shuttles and got to San Francisco. In town we had time to check in at our hotels and most important check in at the Moscone Center for the Google I/O. At the registration I got a name badge with NFC, a T-shirt and a water bottle with the I/O logo on it. People had different evening events or just rested in their rooms but the women that participated at the GDG Summit were invited to a special Women Techmakers Dinner. At the dinner I found out that in the restaurant were over 500 women from different volunteering organizations from the Bay Area: PyLadies, RubyGirls… and of course GDG Women (from all over the world). It was this event where I met Megan Smith from Google [X] who ignited interesting women topics among us. It was amazing to see how we all connect on different issues or challenges we have in our professions no matter which country we were¬†from.

More about the GDG Summit can be read on the official event website.

 


Google I/O 2014

At the Google I/O we were offered each morning breakfast at the ground floor, in the big hall. There were a lot of tables organized and buffet food on the margin. The lunch was the same, except with more people standing in line. On the first day, everyone was standing in line outside to enter the keynote. The line got quite long. As GDG members we had a separate waiting area. This year it was in front of the press entrance. We got to enter the keynote hall before the line of the people outside. We had reserved seats right after the press line.

Keynote

To be there live and on great seats awaiting the countdown was already super exciting. At this keynote, Larry Page did not get on stage to talk but I did see him enter the hall. Watch the keynote yourself on the¬†official website. During the event there were two manifestations. The first one was a woman who stood up in the front row and held a placard with something written on it. She was complaining about the real estate situation in San Francisco due to Tech companies.¬†And the second person was a guy who started to shout quite loud disturbing the current speaker on stage. He was shouting something like “Google is building killer¬†robots”. Both people were removed by staff. At the second guy someone¬†from the public shouted back “Go home!” as a reply to his accusations. ¬†The keynote was exciting for me also because of these disturbances.

During¬†the rest of the conference more presentations and talks were held. You could chose what you are interested in and join. I had two personal favorite presentations. One was about¬†“The Pirates”¬†who work on projects like Tango and ARA which I was interested in. The second talk I liked most was the “Biologically inspired models of intelligence”. I like Ray Kurzweil’s presentation about the future of technology which I felt was missing from the keynote. Last year Larry Page answered some questions which involved this point of view.

GoogleGlass

Besides the talks, there were different stands organized where shorter talks or presentations were taking place. There also was a codeLabs corner and a Google Glass corner at the ground floor. Also, on the second floor there was a company corner with Duolingo, Runntastic and some more. At Runntastic you could win a Google Glass if you held the record in squats over the conference days. At the Google Glass corner one could try Glass and take a virtual tour of the history of so called glass wear. One could also buy the Google Glass there. At the Android Car station one could try out the new presented innovation at the keynote. For GDGers there was a GDG Lounge organized, where we could hang out, share ideas or experiences from the ongoing conference or watch live some of the talks on big screens.

After the first day, there was a dinner party organized outside in a garden like place in the center of San Francisco. There was a silent disco and life music. The food and drinks were served from different food stands and for free. To chill and network there were beds and comfortable corners placed on the grass. The atmosphere was great and the view was amazing looking over the close skyscrapers covered in mist.


AfterParty CozyPlaceAfterParty
On the second day we received our Android Wear. You could choose between a Samsung and an LG watch. Both were looking great! I chose the LG Watch. In order for the LG watch and the cardboard gadget to properly work one needed a good phone which had at least NFC or Android v 4.3.

After the second day, as GDGers, we were all invited for dinner at the Google San Francisco office. After eating we had a party corner with music and dancing. People who left sooner for the airport said goodbye sooner and the rest said goodbye when the party ended at around 23:00.  The next morning/day you could still meet GDGers in San Francisco, either shopping or sight seeing. Some people decided to stay longer or make a US trip out of it.

GDG


Closing

Now in Vienna, after almost 2 weeks after the event, the GDG G+ community is full of pictures and posts about what we all 350+ people experienced. The GDG developers already started releasing the first apps for the Android Wear. We received “Thank you for participation” E-mails where we were asked for feedback. And the GDGers already start planning their new events and talk about new dev challenges. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†More pictures from the events can be viewed here.

GDG Vienna G+ community

Women Techmakers Vienna G+ community

and also on Facebook

GDG Vienna

Women Techmakers Vienna