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.
- 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.