Women/Hack Silicon Valley

Earlier this month I was invited to take part in Women/Hack Silicon Valley as a Developer. I missed the one up in San Francisco, and I found the format intriguing.

“WomenHack gives you 15-20 face-to-face meetings (5 minutes each) with top tech companies in your city. Events are organized in a rapid format to keep it engaging and include a happy hour where you can meet even more companies and network with fellow female developers.”

Basically a two-way elevator pitch then you move on. Now, I took this to mean there were 15-20 companies participating. It’s the Bay Area. You can gather that in a couple of city blocks in the right neighborhood. Also, I had missed a previous Power to Fly meet, so I wanted to be sure to get in on this.

In addition to the concept, they promised to send out a list of participating companies ahead of the event in the case that your employer is there, and you’re interviewing on the sly.

Sounds fun right?

I ran into a few issues before even getting there:

  • They didn’t send the list out until after 2 pm. This doesn’t work for me. I’m a mom. Even on a free ticket, by the time I get to work, my schedule is pretty committed. To go to this event, I had to arrange a separate pick-up for my kids and that I covered my hours at work. If I had reason to not go to this event, it would be difficult to back out.
  • There were 7 companies. That means even if I met with every company twice, it still wouldn’t meet the suggested 15-20 meets. It’s not a good sign. For this to be worth my while, I have to have a good shot at least one of these companies.
  • I am barely qualified for any of these jobs. I’ve done Java and Javascript, sure, but most of the jobs were looking for either mobile developers, Python, or Data Science. If this list was sent out even yesterday, I could have easily bailed on this event.
  • One of them is a Recruiting firm. They have no jobs listed on their website. This is always suspect for me. I can never tell if they’re hiring you to work there or as a future client.
  • One of the companies has two jobs on their website in this country: One for a product manager and one for a QA Engineer. That doesn’t bode well for me.
  • One of the companies has no jobs I am qualified for.

That leaves four of the seven companies that I can even loosely consider. Remember, 15 – 20 meets. That means I have to talk to them at least four times. Have you spoken to the same person four different times in five-minute bursts? That’s awkward.


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