Women In Tech: A look into the Women in Tech Conference
On June 29, Robinhood’s Women In Tech Employee Resource Group held their inaugural Women in Tech Conference: an all-day internal conference for members of the ERG, allies, and anyone from Robinhood, regardless of their technical background or experience. This conference was established to give access to highly technical content put on by the women engineers of Robinhood. We interviewed various attendees of different backgrounds to discuss their involvement and key takeaways from the event.
How was the Women in Tech Conference different from others you have attended in the past?
The Women in Tech Conference hosted by the WIT ERG was the first official internal conference targeting women & allies within Robinhood engineering. It is amazing to learn about how many talented women we have in Robinhood & learn about what they have accomplished. Honestly, I felt so energized after attending the conference! — Youngjae Park, Engineering Manager, Software Platform
This conference was designed for women, and did not hesitate to feature a heavy focus on the ‘technical’ aspect. Other similar conferences that I have attended have been heavily focused on career development and leadership. The Robinhood Women In Tech conference was different because most of the conversations at this conference were very technical AND led by women. — Samantha Klonaris, Staff Software Engineer, Brokerage
How has your perspective changed since attending (or organizing) the event?
As an organizer, getting so many people together to share their work and learn from each other was very gratifying and it made me believe that even small projects or moments can have profound impact. — Aashna, Engineering Manager, Crypto
It was a fantastic reminder of all the corners of Robinhood and the ways we make an impact as an engineering organization. It also reminded me how much I miss in-person gatherings — meeting so many women in Eng for the first time was a treasured memory. — Sarah Sachs, Engineering Manager, Customer Care
As a non-technical individual, my perspectives on the tech atmosphere changed drastically after realizing that anyone has the potential to enter the field as long as they put their heart into it. I attended the conference remotely and truly felt empowered by the Women in Tech group through the screen. After listening to the keynote speaker talk about her journey as a first-generation I pondered the impact I could create in the tech world. — Alma Hernandez, Talent Brand Intern
Did you meet any new people?
I met multiple new people from different orgs across the company but also had the opportunity to meet engineers that I’ve been working with for a year! There was one workshop I attended in particular that was not only incredibly interesting but also helped people, including me, make new connections. — Johann Kerbrat, Director of Engineering
Yes! I also ran into some familiar faces of people whom I got to meet in person for the very first time, including the organizers. — Youngjae Park, Engineering Manager, Software Platform
Yes — this conference was actually my first time at the Menlo Park office so it was especially exciting to meet some people I’ve been interacting with virtually for the past year-and-a-half in person. — Samantha Klonaris, Staff Software Engineer, Brokerage
The event was hybrid — Did attending virtually impact your participation in the event?
Robinhood has been able to adapt very well to the hybrid remote culture model in general, but conferences are usually a bit more difficult to fully engage with remotely. However, thanks to the organizers and the team on site, I did not feel that there was a barrier between people who were remote or onsite. Everyone had a chance to ask questions, participate in the workshops, and learn from both attending in-person or remotely. — Johann Kerbrat, Director of Engineering
Robinhood does a great job in making everything accessible for employees, including major conferences and other company-wide talks. While we were bummed that we had missed the in-person aspect of the WIT Conference, we were truly captivated by the great speakers and hosts, always feeling like we could offer input and ask questions. — Alma Hernandez and Cindy Mata, Talent Brand Interns
What are some of the technical skills you took away from this conference?
I enjoyed learning about the common pitfalls of Go — a programming language. While I have not yet had the opportunity to work in Go, it was interesting to see how explicit certain elements and aspects had to be to safely work with the highly concurrent language. I can now see how much we, as engineers, are able to take for granted while working in python. — Danlin Lillemark, Backend Engineer, Customer Care
I was able to attend the workshop titled Building a Golang gRPC service with ADP (Robinhood’s Application Developer Platform) and lightning talks that shared knowledge of Golang best practices vs. Django best practices and server driven frontend UI. — Youngjae Park, Engineering Manager, Software Platform
I also attended the ADP workshop and it was fantastic. I felt that it was incredibly beneficial and I hope we can adapt this workshop into an onboarding lab for new engineers. This workshop was a great introduction into ADP, gRPC, and in general Golang best practices and code structure. — Samantha Klonaris, Staff Software Engineer, Brokerage
What is one thing you took away from the conference?
Our keynote speaker and panel discussed topics relating to their personal lives, involving their family or other relationships which had impacted the development of their professional careers. I think it is very easy to be caught up in grind culture and forget that your professional development does not solely depend on interactions. Being a woman in tech does not limit the impact of your workflow. — Cindy Mata, Talent Brand Intern
I really enjoyed the keynote speaker. It left me feeling inspired by their mission to always advocate for yourself, but also remembering that it’s not a path you can really do alone. It’s important to ensure you always have the best mentorship and guidance from your peers and managers. — Danlin Lillemark, Backend Engineer, Customer Care
There was a consistent theme across each of the keynote presentations — we, as women, have the power to build our path for success and support. — Youngjae Park, Engineering Manager, Software Platform
We are always looking for more individuals who share our commitment to building a diverse team and creating an inclusive environment as we continue in our journey in democratizing finance for all. Stay connected with us — join our talent community and check out our open positions!
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