Arming Women with the Tools to be Successful in Tech at Grace Hopper 2015


Arming Women with the Tools to be Successful in Tech at Grace Hopper 2015

As part of the Student Opportunity Lab at Grace Hopper, Kacie Houser and Sara Safavi will present “Yes You Can! Be a Software Developer: Building Your Career” on Fri., Oct. 16 between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Hall A3 Level Three GRBCC. 

Kacie Houser is a seasoned software developer who has worked on web applications from CRMs to e-commerce. She started her career in 2007 after earning a bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

Sara Safavi is a developer who leads two community groups in Austin: PyLadiesATX and Austin Open Source GIS. Before joining Rackspace, Sara spent several years working in GIS writing code while making maps.

In their own words:

Our own story together starts when we met at a tech meetup in Austin that Sara organized, called PyLadies. Not long after, Sara inspired Kacie to start a PyLadies community in San Antonio, and Kacie encouraged Sara to interview at Rackspace.

Today, we each continue to lead our local PyLadies groups, and we now both work as developers at Rackspace. As leaders in our local tech communities, we both are passionate about helping other women succeed in their technical careers, and we want to share some of the tools we’ve used or seen others use to be successful.

We have come across an array of issues through our own personal experiences as well as hearing many other women’s stories. Through all of this we have seen good solutions to common problems women face, and we have also seen what has failed. In a very real sense, neither of us would be where we are today without the help and support of other women in tech.

In our session we will go over ways you can choose the right company for you, red flags to look for when interviewing, and how to be successful in an interview. We’ll talk about preparing for your first developer job as well as each job further along in your career. We will also go over dealing with diversity issues and the difference between exclusion and sexism. We will go over how to get involved in the community and build your network. All of these things play a key role in finding and staying in a place you will be happy in.

By sharing our own experiences, we hope to demystify the idea of a software development career to interested students and recent grads, while empowering young women who choose to pursue a career as a software developer. We want participants to leave armed with confidence to follow this career path, and able to make educated decisions about their own future.