The next time you hear someone talk about debugging a computer program, think of Grace Hopper, the U.S. Naval officer and pioneering computer scientist who once removed an actual bug (okay, a moth) from a glitchy machine. Hopper is also known for being one of the first software engineers, inventing the compiler, and generally being a bad-ass lady computer scientist when that world was very much closed off to women. And although things have changed, the computing world is still overwhelmingly male. Which is why it’s extra-exciting (and important!) that Baltimore plays host to the international Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing this week.
The celebration/conference/networking extravaganza includes a career fair, workshops, research presentations, and special sessions focusing on the role of women in today’s technology fields. According to its website, “it is the largest technical conference for women in computing and results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing.” Nearly 3,500 women will attend — and the conference almost always sells out.
One of the cool things about this conference is the many opportunities for talking, brainstorming, networking, and plain-old socializing, including lunch tables for Sudoku fans, a senior women’s summit aimed at older programmers, a Tech Entrepreneurs Lab, and a big party at the Maryland Science Center.
The conference starts this Wednesday, October 3, and runs through the weekend. For more information about how to get involved, look here.
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