It was amazing to have lunch today with Angie Chang of Women 2.0 and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners and Jen-Mei Wu who is currently working with me at Blazing Cloud.
Since I’ve been working with Jen-Mei, she has spent most of her time at Honk and it was a treat to spend some time talking about our different experiences as software developers and swap stories of running our own businesses. We all brainstormed techniques about how to support more women as engineers and as founders of companies.
We talked about pros and cons of having a specific social network for women. Angie pointed out that a lot of networks and resources already exist — can we leverage those? Is it just that women don’t take advantage of what is available to them? Does everyone know how willing successful women (or really most people) are to have a conversation with someone seeking advice? Do people know how you can really go far if you are just willing to ask for what you need/want?
We all had read the book Women Don’t Ask and Angie had the idea to give one to every attendee at the next Girl Geek Dinner if she can find someone willing to sponsor the initiative. I think that would be just the thing to have an impact.
I talked about my hopes and aspirations for the SF Ruby Workshop project. I am so excited by the volunteers who are stepping up to lead workshops this year. Having read The Starfish and the Spider: the unstoppable power of leaderless organizations and inspired and encouraged by the men and women in the Ruby community, I believe that we can really make this thing self-replicating, provide opportunities for new leaders while drawing more women into (or back into) software development. I feel like there are some great stories that should be told and that we could do a better job of getting the word out. Angie suggested that post asking if anyone is interested in taking on social media / marketing. Doh! so… any one out there wanna help? It wouldn’t take a lot of work to make a big difference!
Lots of other ideas percolating from today’s meeting. It is inspiring to be in the company of other awesome women pursuing similar goals.