Day 2 started with a presentation from keynote speaker Megan Smith from Google X. Some of the notable projects mentioned during the presentation (although all the projects were noteworthy) were Google Glass, Self-driving cars, Makani Power Project, Glucose monitoring contact lens and the most interesting one for me The Loon Project. The Loon Project caught my attention more because it focuses on providing internet service to rural area. Since major portion of my native country is still pretty under-developed and this project would be useful and equally challenging due to the abundance of different kinds of terrains in Nepal. We have the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest and also an altitude that is 30 meters above sea level all within the area of 147,181 square kilometers!
After the interesting start of the day, I headed to my first session which was a technical seminar with Dr. Elaine Weyuker. Her presentation was based on software engineer process and ways to improve it. At first I didn’t know who she was. I just decided to go because her presentation was on Software Engineering. Naturally, I had to go to see what it was. It was pretty interesting so I googled her and found out she is a very accomplished personnel in the field of Software Engineering.
After the two listen only kind of seminar, it was time for a change so I headed to App Development workshop by Yahoo software engineers. This was more hands on. Presenters divided the audience into smaller groups according to the table. Each group brainstormed ideas to develop an app of our choice while the presenters led the activity. This presentation was to give you an idea of what goes through when you decide to build a mobile app.
The same day, I attended the diversity lunch hosted by Microsoft. I don’t remember if registration was required for it but it was free of cost. All you need to do was be the first 100 people in the line. Lunch was really good. You could tell it was a women conference just by looking at how beautifully everything was laid out in the table. Here is a sneak peak:
Once we were in, we could sit anywhere we like. But once we were all seated and lunch was being served, we came to know that there were xbox vouchers stuck to two random chairs! I wasn’t lucky enough. But next time I will make sure to look or at least try to feel underneath the chair 😉 However we all got $10 worth Skype credit. How nice of Microsoft!
The speaker for the lunch the Vice President of Strategic Enterprise Services IT for Microsoft, Ms. Jackie Wright. She is one tough cookie! Loved everything she said, no sugar coating, no BS!
Once the lunch was done, I had some free time before my next session. My next session was a meet up with Software Engineers from Microsoft. We were divided into different groups where we discussed about various career roles and their experience working at Microsoft.
One noticeable thing about this conference was, I never felt hungry. I am not sure if it was the organizing committee in Minneapolis or the ABI foundation, snacking or food was never a problem. Something was always available. Once all the session took a break, we headed for dinner.
Dinner was followed by ABIE Awards.
Can you tell it is female dominated conference? Even the binary codes look so pretty!
All the award winners were well deserving. Everyones speech was very inspiring. However, my favorite two were Tulin Akin from Turkey and Shikoh Gitau from Kenya.
By the way Tulin Akin gave her thank you speech in English in front of 4000+ people for the first time!
I might have welled a little bit during her speech. It was a very moving thank you note. I am pretty sure a lot of people were touched by her speech.
The night ended with celebration of ABIE Awards with the help of “dancing dots”. As ABI president Telle Whitney closed the awards ceremony the other half of the ballroom (that was closed initially) opened and to everyone’s surprise, we were treated with a night of live DJ, dancing and desserts!
ABI dancing dots!
This night couldn’t have ended better than this. I even sneaked out some desserts on my way out!