Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Employers at BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium 2015

I think this year's Lovelace Colloquium was notable for the strong employer presence, both in sponsorship and in having employer stalls. This seems to be a year when computer science students are generally in demand. A conference of computing undergraduates presenting their work consists of ambitious students, who are ideal targets for recruiters. And the fact that it's a room full of bright women undergraduates is a very good thing for companies looking to increase their diversity.

Some of the companies who sponsored this year's Lovelace have been strong supporters for many years, including Google, FDM, EMC, UTC Aerospace, Interface3 and VMWare. They understood this a long time ago. But newer to this event were a whole variety of other companies, some small, some large, including Twitter, Slack, GCHQ, Scott Logic, JP Morgan, Bloomberg and Kotikan. We hope they enjoyed it too, and return in future years.

Kate Ho provided the keynote speech. She started her own software (games) company right after her PhD, and has gone from strength to strength, running a variety of startup companies since then. Her three tips: have side projects, be distinctive, keep a diary, were all good advice, both for technical work and for career development.

The friendliness of the Lovelace Colloquium never ceases to surprise and motivate me. Part of this is driven by Hannah's organisation style, pre-conference and during-conference, where nothing is too much trouble and everyone is made to feel at home. But I think it's also genuinely a room full of people having fun, getting to know others and make connections, and finding inspiration for their future careers.

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