Sassy Saturday: Women Techmakers 2016 Summit in a wrap.

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Holla everyone, How’s the weekend going? I bet you haven’t eaten as much as I did. On today’s edition of Sassy Saturday, I’m sharing an interesting summary of how my day went.

About 09:45A.M today, I and few of my colleagues hopped into a ride that took us to Civic centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Lagos to attend the Google International Women’s Techmakers summit. On arrival, we proceeded to the registration point to obtain our I.D cards after which we moved upstairs to the main venue. It was thrilling to see several other women at the event. We got there just right on time when the event was about to start.

The first session was a panel discussion between four speakers (Chioma Chuka of TechHer , Kathy Cooper from Google, Affiong Osichukwu also from Google and Helen Anatogu from ideaHub) and an interviewer.  The topic was: Women Driving Innovation – “Think it, Build It: Developing the Future of African Tech”. I’m sorry I don’t have much info on this because my Tablet S-pen decided to mess up at that point. I have no idea why I couldn’t write with it at that point. So disappointing. But the summary of the whole session is that we actually need a balance in everything technology, after all, women need to partake in building the future too and the fact is Technology has come to revolutionize and change a lot of things. They also emphasized on how we should not be talking too much about bringing women into tech but more about bringing solutions to problems. Helen Anatogu talked about  how we have very few women employers compared to female founders, She also advise entrepreneurs to start from product and not from the users else you might have a product that people will not love, hence, making it not to scale. One of the attendees also talked about how there’s a disconnection between Techies and people from other fields. I so much agree with this because I also believe if we “Techies” relate more with professional from other fields, this will enable us to have an insight to some of the problems faced and probably help bring a solution to it with our tech skills. I think this was my biggest take home for that session:)

After the first session, it was breakfast time….. Yayyyyy. I had club sandwich,  sausage and a cup of ginger tea. I enjoyed every bite of my meal. I did a little networking with new faces I’ve never met and exchanged contacts. After all, meeting new people is an hobby for me :)

We came back for another session where we had different women and tech related organizations pitch what they do which includes WITIN, SheLovesCode, Women in Tech Africa, TechHer and WTEC. I have just one presentation to show you from SheLovesCode which is an initiative by female developers from Andela to mentor and bring more ladies to Andela. FYI: I’m also part of this wonderful initiative, here’s our presentation.

We had lunch break after this session. I had me some Chinese dish, I don’t think I can stop loving Chinese dishes though, their course makes my mouth watery anytime I see it. I also did more networking and chit-chat before I proceeded to the second session.

The second session was like the main attraction for me, They organized two workshops;

  • Code workshops using html,css and Javascript.
  • Design Sprint.

Did I attend the code workshop? No, I didn’t. I’m sorry to burst your bubbles. I write code everyday of my life and I decided to go for the Design Sprint. Did I enjoy it? EVERY BIT! The Design Sprint class was led by Laura Thompson and Kathy Cooper from Google. I have an highlight for you below:

What is a Design Sprint? A Design sprint is simply a structured brainstorm based on design thinking and agile development.

Methods involved in Design Sprint

  1. Understand the problem you want to solve
  2. Sketching – This involves coming up with tons and tons of idea and iterating over each with well thought up solution.
  3. Votes for the best sketch from each member of the team.
  4. Prototype – All team members vote and the one with the most votes wins after which the Team lead assigns specific feature to a team member. This phase also involves building static mocks or more like an MVP(Minimal Viable Product).
  5. Test products with users. 

Sprints are great for: driving concerns, validating your product with your users and also for improving team collaboration.

They also talked about 5 opportunities to practice bravery:

  •  Jump in and try something new.
  • Ask stupid questions.
  • Share your work before it’s done.
  • Stand up for your opinion.
  • Kill your own project..this was quite interesting because she shared a story of how they killed one of their projects.

After the talk show, we actually teamed up by our sitting position to plan a design sprint on an application for people to save money. In a nutshell, see it like a Thrift Business. Should I talk about that? Hmmm. Okay, let me give a summary of the whole process.

I was in a 8 woman team. The first thing we did was to introduce ourselves and reveal our super powers. Guess what? Mine was aiming and shooting the right target. Some other people’s were flying, being invisible,etc. After that, we selected two people from the team to be an interviewer and interviewee. The interviewee who were to act as a user of the product were all swapped across tables to answer various questions from the chosen Interviewer. After that we moved to the Sketching phase where various members of the team share their ideas based on the questions and answers. After a sketch on sticky notes from each team member, we voted for the best ideas in each phase of the development of the product. Next was to build a prototype of the product on blank sheets based on the highest voted idea of each phase. After what seemed like an hour, each team pitched their various ideas and why it was considered. It was a beautiful event after all, one that I will liken to one of  the best days in life. :)

I don’t want to bore you with too much stories, See the rest of the stories in pictures.

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