It’s not very often you see an event dedicated to women in the technology industry, or in particular, targeted at female developers. So when I saw an email advertising the Bluemix Girls Night event in London, it instantly caught my eye.
Bluemix, if you don’t already know, is an open-standards, cloud platform (PaaS) launched by IBM in June this year. It’s an evolution of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture and Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications, while tapping a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks.
The conference itself focused on the struggles that women face working in the technology industry i.e. lack of confidence in a male dominated field and “housewife duties” getting in the way – a bold and debatable topic.
There were a few interesting facts such as “women are outnumbered 3-1 by men in IT” and “17% of computer science graduates are women, which is actually on the decline”. In all honesty, this is higher than I would have guessed myself, but I admire IBM for showing an interest in narrowing this gap through events like this and their various academic initiatives.
Angela Bates, IBM’s Global Entrepreneur & Start Up Programmers Leader, said that the IT industry “needs to change the message for women” to attract more of this declining demographic. But in order to get this message right, developers also need to tell us, the IT industry, what it is they are looking for and how we can help them through their journey.
The conference finished with a demo of Bluemix – showing how it takes literally a matter of seconds to deploy a code based online survey, whereby the audience could vote in real time for their favourite Bluemix runtime.
All in all, the event was refreshing – it was intimate, relaxed, encouraging, and the speakers were very approachable.
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