Hackbright Academy Joins Developers at Google I/O 2014, Participates in Women TechMakers Events

.“You have to acknowledge the problem. We can’t debug it if we don’t,” said Google VP Megan Smith. In fact, Women TechMakers dinners were held restaurants across the city of San Francisco for the attendees to meet other female Google I/O attendees before the conference. Technical woman leaders at Google stood up and gave welcoming opening remarks.

“You have to acknowledge the problem. We can’t debug it if we don’t” – Google VP Megan Smith

By Angie Chang (Director of Growth, Hackbright Academy)

Thanks to the support of Google Women TechMakers, Hackbright engineering fellows and alumna participated in Google’s annual developer’s conference – Google I/O.

But first, we attended an intimate Women TechMakers dinner before the Google I/O conference.

Pictured (from left): Kristen Judd, Lauren Turner, Aimee Morgan, Nahid Samsami, Ingrid Avendano, Angie Chang, Christina Liu

There were so many female attendees that Women TechMakers dinners were held in half a dozen restaurants in San Francisco! The purpose of these dinners was to meet other female Google I/O attendees before the conference on Tuesday night, as well as technical woman leaders at Google who gave opening remarks at the various Women TechMakers dinners.

“First day at my first tech conference! So excited for #io14” tweeted Kristen Judd. She is a software engineer at Turnitin and a Hackbright Academy alum.

Many stood in line for the keynote and packed into sessions, from the Ignite talks to the developer sessions on APIs and new Android wear developments. The Google Cardboard was a fun/cheap Oculus Rift, and the Android Wear Google I/O giveaway a nice nod to the Internet of Things (IoT) zeitgeist.

One of the final sessions was presented by Women TechMakers, with Google VP Engineering Pavni Diwanji (pictured) introducing the robotics panel. She talked about her young daughter’s enthusiasm in building robots in her opening talk for the robotics session at Google I/O –

Nest VP of Technology Yoky Matsuoka shared her inspiring neurobotics stories at Google I/O 2014 –

Next, Google X hardware engineer Gabriella Levine shared her passion with the audience. She talked about going from fighting wildfires to starting a robotics startup –

Google X systems engineer Jaime Waydo spoke to the interesting challenges involved in engineering the wheels on Mars rovers at JPL. Now working on self-driving cars at Google X, Jaime made several jokes about engineering humor while speaking about robotics at Google I/O –

The final speaker at the robotics session hosted by Women Techmakers was last but certainly not least – Megan Smith, VP of Google X, spoke about the importance of increasing visibility of women, building a community, and being mission-driven –

Special thanks to Megan Smith, VP for Google X, for the shout out to Hackbright Academy onstage at Google I/O 2014 – Hackbright was recognized as an early partner of the Women TechMakers program!

Photo credit: Meggie Mahnken, software engineer and alum at Hackbright Academy.

Watch the entire robotics session, presented by Women TechMakers, from Google I/O 2014 here:

Uber software engineer and Hackbright alum Ingrid Avendano tweeted, “This was by far one of my favorite sessions at #GoogleIO2014 with @WomenTechmakers!”

Thanks again to Google Women TechMakers for partnering with Hackbright Academy! Special thanks to Women TechMakers champion Natalie Villalobos for all her work in making Women TechMakers come to life at Google and for bringing Hackbright Academy into the conversation!

“Amazing and inspiring final talk by #womentechmakers Thanks for a wonderful time #io14” tweeted Kristen Judd

“At the silent disco #googleio2014” tweeted Zivi Weinstein, a software engineer at StubHub (eBay) and Hackbright Academy alum.

More blog posts about Google I/O:

Google I/O and My Project