Technology, much like every other aspect of human activity, tends to unite people, forming communities around products, technologies and ideas in order to promote understanding and increase the value they enjoy from their everyday occupation. It is hard to underestimate how important it is to foster these communities to make a product transform from a “nice-to-have” to something invaluable with enough tooling, support and fresh flow of ideas. But, as an interesting side effect, communities tend to be grounds of cultural exchange, where lots of people come together and, through technology, can share ideas that affect their view of society itself.
Being a woman in technology has benefited me with a perspective that is quite rare and that I have found is very interesting to share. Trying to build communities around Neo4j in a variety of societies starting from Europe and ending in the US has been a struggle, the main obstacle being the different ways women are treated by groups with diverse cultural backgrounds. Overall, I discovered that it’s hard to be a woman and be immediately, or at all, accepted as a “techie” by predominantly male audiences, regardless of which of the 11 countries or 23 cities i was in during my first year in Neo Technology.
Regardless of all the hurdles, I spent more or less a year of work from graduating in “Information Architecture” to getting our community to grow by 200%. It took 150 days of travelling, organizing and talking at more meetups than i can count and of course connecting to many of the interesting people that make up our community.
This talk will distill my experiences and lend my perspective in building developer communities around a product. It will do so by imbuing the emotional rollercoaster that is being a geek girl and it will attempt to show that by including women in tech we can empower ourselves towards a better future
Pernilla is the Community Manager at Neo Technology, the company behind the open source project Neo4j. Pernilla loves to connect and spread the word of graphs and bring new ideas into life. She is an engaging speaker and teacher and hasthe mission in life to spread knowledge about technology.Pernilla spent some times in Kenya with the massai people for a year to build up their infrastructure and engage their community to do income generating activities. Before that she lived in Gambia to help up a womens organization.
Pernilla is also an engaging member and organizer of Geek Girl Meetup, a network for women in tech in Sweden, where she plans and organizes conferences and meetups. She is always involved in different technoogy ecosystems and loves to meet new people and learn about new cool tech stuff. To be a role model and stand up for peoples right it’s something Pernilla always do.
Cats, people, philantrophy, graphs, open data, women in tech, innovation, crazy ideas and Doctor Who are subjects Pernilla can talk about forever.
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