Tag Archives: web start women

#WITSPHL Delivers

7 May

A few months back I casually brought up the WordPress classes being offered by both Girl Develop IT (GDI) and Web Start Women (WSW) at an IT committee meeting for an organization I volunteer with. I was planning on a taking a class myself and figured that others might be interested too since our website was being built on the platform. Part of me hesitated to mention the classes, since half the committee was comprised of men, and my intuition, or more accurately my anticipation, that the exclusionary nature of WSW and GDI would generate a scoff from one of the men was realized. To be fair, he self-corrected, and, knowing this person, his dismissal was more of the “why do you need your own group?” variety rather than the “women don’t belong in tech” one. I’ve asked myself that question many times. Attending Philly’s first Women in Tech Summit this past weekend reminded me that just as you have to leave the city to appreciate space, space is exactly what these women-only events provide. Space to talk about the things that impact us in different ways than they do men in our careers, space to share stories of gender-specific barriers or sexist attitudes we’ve endured and how we overcame them, and space to honestly and candidly discuss why there is such a shortage of us in our chosen field. The conference delivered on all of the above and more, both in formal sessions, and informally in the hallways, at lunch, and at the concluding high tea.

The track I followed tended to be the workshop-geared one. Having just taken a MOOC (massive open online course) that introduced me to test-driven development (TDD), I was eager for some reinforcement of the concepts, and dropped in on Audrey Troutt’s session on TDD. Her ten-minute overview went deeper in presenting a broad overview of testing than I expected, and I was happy to learn a few new terms, especially exploratory testing, which just sounds fun. Her demo was in Java, a language I haven’t touched since college, but it was very clear and easy to follow. I also enjoyed Cat Farman’s presentation on Responsive Web Design… not only because it validated some of my concerns about having splintered approaches to dealing with our multi-device world, but also because it was funny. She did a very nice job of incorporating humor into her slides when showing the downfalls of having a mobile-separate strategy.

Additional highlights included hearing and meeting someone I’ve been following on G+ for a while, Lynette Young, and hearing from the very accomplished women on the panels on being second in command and giving back, all of whom spoke with refreshing candor. The tone of the conference was more tough love than it was fluff. Being in an industry that’s highly sensitive to hyperbole, saturated with snark, and constantly spinning on its heels after chasing every change in the wind’s direction, spending a day with realism was a welcome breath of fresh air.

My deep appreciation goes out to all the organizers who pulled this off – Tracey Welson-Rossman, Gloria Bell, Kimberly Gress, Amy Larrimore, Yasmine Mustafa and Pam Selle, and to the speakers and attendees who made this event what it was. I hope this is the first of many more.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Member, Sondra Willhite
Sondra is a developer between gigs who has been attending every GGD, GDI and WSW class and workshop she can as she explores her career path. She has a particular interest in switching to a LAMP environment, and would not consider it rude if you contacted her about any developer openings in the CC area. You can find her on Twitter: @sondrawi.

A Recap of GGD PHL #4 (Encore Presentation of GGD PHL #3, Hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney)

22 Feb

On Monday, January 30th, Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia welcomed Jessica Ivins, Senior Experience Designer at Happy Cog, to do an encore presentation of her sold-out talk, “On Shrink It and Pink It.” The event was hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, and was a collaboration with Web Start Women. Again, there was a huge turnout, and after we ate some pizza (provided by our gracious hosts) and quickly introduced ourselves, Jessica took the floor.

Jessica began by breaking the ice with some of the more amusingly obvious marketing failures, discussing the growing pains that first occurred when people heard the name of the iPad, and moving on to the debacle Dell had when they alienated women with their stereotype-ridden “Della,” a netbook for women… to track their carbs. The marketing strategies behind – and commercial for – “Dr. Pepper Ten,” which has “10 manly calories” and is supposed to be a diet drink for men, got more than a few chuckles from the crowd.

The heart of Jessica’s talk can really be summed up in one sentence: that we should not design with gender in mind. When we do that, we end up going to the extremes and alienating men and women instead. This is especially important to think about as Jessica shows research that states women are the ones who are making 80% of consumer purchases in America. Improper marketing can become very costly very quickly.

An important way to approach marketing for women is to not give over to myths, stereotypes, or assumptions, Jessica explained. (One popular myth is that women are not into video games – which is false when you consider casual mobile gaming, which is predominantly women.) Marketers need to understand how to market to women. Holly Buchanan, who specializes in marketing and selling to women, said, “You make an emotional connection with a woman when you show you respect, understand her, and value all of her contributions and roles in society.”

There are so many facets to Jessica’s talk, which is as humorous as it is intellectual. She brings to light the stereotypes so inherent in marketing, drawing out the ways they can alienate the very people they’re trying to draw in. Her complete slides can be found on slideshare, and are worth reading through. The truth is that her delivery and stories bring it to life in a way that slides can’t, so here is a video, recorded by Kit from Kit Farman Photography.

“Don’t stereotype your audience. Instead, take the time to understand them,” are the words Jessica ends with. And truly, her talk is aimed at both men and women, in an attempt to improve communication and bring thoughtfulness and respect to the forefront.

Photos of the event, courtesy of Pam Selle/thewebivore.com, can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Slides from the event, courtesy of Jessica, can be found on slideshare.

Video of the event, courtesy of Kit Farman Photography, can be found on YouTube.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Co-Founder, Nicole Kline.
Nicole is a Philadelphia native who loves to write, play video games, and shop for socks. She has a regular day job as a secretary, but by night, she’s the Senior Editor of video game site Warp Zoned, a columnist on popular culture for literary magazine Press 1, a contributing writer at local blog Geekadelphia, and has recently gotten back into Dungeons & Dragons with a serious vengeance. Her current goal is to write a novel and get super famous.

A Recap of GGD PHL #4 (Encore Presentation of GGD PHL #3, Hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney)

22 Feb

ggd-wsw-bipc

On Monday, January 30th, Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia welcomed Jessica Ivins, Senior Experience Designer at Happy Cog, to do an encore presentation of her sold-out talk, “On Shrink It and Pink It.” The event was hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, and was a collaboration with Web Start Women. Again, there was a huge turnout, and after we ate some pizza (provided by our gracious hosts) and quickly introduced ourselves, Jessica took the floor.

6833317433_5b25e51d29_mJessica began by breaking the ice with some of the more amusingly obvious marketing failures, discussing the growing pains that first occurred when people heard the name of the iPad, and moving on to the debacle Dell had when they alienated women with their stereotype-ridden “Della,” a netbook for women… to track their carbs. The marketing strategies behind – and commercial for – “Dr. Pepper Ten,” which has “10 manly calories” and is supposed to be a diet drink for men, got more than a few chuckles from the crowd.

The heart of Jessica’s talk can really be summed up in one sentence: that we should not design with gender in mind. When we do that, we end up going to the extremes and alienating men and women instead. This is especially important to think about as Jessica shows research that states women are the ones who are making 80% of consumer purchases in America. Improper marketing can become very costly very quickly.

6833313477_5ce45252db_mAn important way to approach marketing for women is to not give over to myths, stereotypes, or assumptions, Jessica explained. (One popular myth is that women are not into video games – which is false when you consider casual mobile gaming, which is predominantly women.) Marketers need to understand how to market to women. Holly Buchanan, who specializes in marketing and selling to women, said, “You make an emotional connection with a woman when you show you respect, understand her, and value all of her contributions and roles in society.”

There are so many facets to Jessica’s talk, which is as humorous as it is intellectual. She brings to light the stereotypes so inherent in marketing, drawing out the ways they can alienate the very people they’re trying to draw in. Her complete slides can be found on slideshare, and are worth reading through. The truth is that her delivery and stories bring it to life in a way that slides can’t, so here is a video, recorded by Kit from Kit Farman Photography.

“Don’t stereotype your audience. Instead, take the time to understand them,” are the words Jessica ends with. And truly, her talk is aimed at both men and women, in an attempt to improve communication and bring thoughtfulness and respect to the forefront.

Photos of the event, courtesy of Pam Selle/thewebivore.com, can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Slides from the event, courtesy of Jessica, can be found on slideshare.

Video of the event, courtesy of Kit Farman Photography, can be found on YouTube.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Co-Founder, Nicole Kline.
kline_nicole_150x150Nicole is a Philadelphia native who loves to write, play video games, and shop for socks. She has a regular day job as a secretary, but by night, she’s the Senior Editor of video game site Warp Zoned, a columnist on popular culture for literary magazine Press 1, a contributing writer at local blog Geekadelphia, and has recently gotten back into Dungeons & Dragons with a serious vengeance. Her current goal is to write a novel and get super famous.

Announcing Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia #3 ENCORE PRESENTATION – Hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

9 Jan

GGD PHL 2011 Fall/Winter Dinner ENCORE Presentation

Due to the popularity — and how quickly the event sold out! — Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia is excited to work with Web Start Women to organize an encore presentation of Jessica Ivins‘ “On ‘Shrink It & Pink It': Designing Experiences for Women,” hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

Space is limited! RSVP will be required and you will be asked to check in at security. This event is open to both men and women.

A Note Regarding Ticket Availability
Due to the overwhelming response to the November event and the number of people who were waitlisted, RSVP for the encore presentation will work as such:

  • thru Sunday, January 15 – priority RSVP opportunity for those who were on the wait list for the November event
  • Monday, January 16 (mid afternoon) – remaining seats will open to general public until sold out

The event will be held on Monday, January 30, with socializing and networking beginning at 6:30 a opening remarks starting at 7:00.

Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Fall/Winter 2011 (GGD PHL #3) ENCORE PRESENTATION Details

Topic: On ‘Shrink It & Pink It': Designing Experiences for Women
Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t quite know how to design for them.

The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills.

This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.

Jessica Ivins, Senior Experience Designer | Happy Cog
While in college, Jessica took a class devoted to HTML and CSS, fell in love, and never looked back. She began her career as a front-end developer, and while working in the real world, she fell in love again with the principles of user-centered design. In March of 2010, she joined the team at Happy Cog as a senior experience designer.

A strong advocate for universal usability, Jessica is the first to admit that she’s befuddled by a lack of clarity in everything from road signage to food packaging. She’s passionate about making things easy and enjoyable to use and regularly contributes her time and experience to the UX community. From 2008-2010, she served as an officer for PhillyCHI. She has also organized meetings for the Philadelphia UX Book Club.

In her spare time, Jessica busies herself with reading, cooking, and enjoying a fine glass of wine. She’s also mildly obsessed with the TV show Forensic Files.

Location
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC [Two Liberty Place]
50 S. 16th Street
Suite 3200, Elevator Bank for Floors 21-37
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC is located in Two Liberty Place. Enter the building from 16th Street. The entrance is located between the Residences at Two Liberty Place and the R2L Restaurant and Lounge. Security should direct you to the 32nd floor (use elevator bank for floors 21-37).

Dinner
Our gracious host, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, will be providing food for us during the evening.

Volunteer
If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us at info[at]ggdphl[dot]com. We could use one or two ladies to help out with check-in and write our event recap!

Big Thanks
A big thank you goes out to Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC for hosting and feeding us during the event, Web Start Women for working with us on this event, and Jessica Ivins for bringing and sharing her expertise with us.

Last, but not least….
Men are welcome at this event and everyone must RSVP.

Can you bring a friend? Yes! Just have the person RSVP so s/he’s on the list.

If you have any questions or ideas, please reach out to us at info[at]ggdphl[dot]com. We look forward to meeting you!

We encourage tech and geeky ladies come on out to the Dinner to network, mingle, and support Girl Geek Dinner Philadelphia, Web Start Women.

Announcing Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia #3 ENCORE PRESENTATION – Hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

9 Jan

ggd-wsw-bipc

Due to the popularity — and how quickly the event sold out! — Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia is excited to work with Web Start Women to organize an encore presentation of Jessica Ivins‘ “On ‘Shrink It & Pink It’: Designing Experiences for Women,” hosted by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

Space is limited! RSVP will be required and you will be asked to check in at security. This event is open to both men and women.

A Note Regarding Ticket Availability
Due to the overwhelming response to the November event and the number of people who were waitlisted, RSVP for the encore presentation will work as such:

  • thru Sunday, January 15 – priority RSVP opportunity for those who were on the wait list for the November event
  • Monday, January 16 (mid afternoon) – remaining seats will open to general public until sold out

The event will be held on Monday, January 30, with socializing and networking beginning at 6:30 a opening remarks starting at 7:00.

Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia Fall/Winter 2011 (GGD PHL #3) ENCORE PRESENTATION Details

Topic: On ‘Shrink It & Pink It’: Designing Experiences for Women
Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t quite know how to design for them.

The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills.

This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.

JessicaIvins_150x150Jessica Ivins, Senior Experience Designer | Happy Cog
While in college, Jessica took a class devoted to HTML and CSS, fell in love, and never looked back. She began her career as a front-end developer, and while working in the real world, she fell in love again with the principles of user-centered design. In March of 2010, she joined the team at Happy Cog as a senior experience designer.

A strong advocate for universal usability, Jessica is the first to admit that she’s befuddled by a lack of clarity in everything from road signage to food packaging. She’s passionate about making things easy and enjoyable to use and regularly contributes her time and experience to the UX community. From 2008-2010, she served as an officer for PhillyCHI. She has also organized meetings for the Philadelphia UX Book Club.

In her spare time, Jessica busies herself with reading, cooking, and enjoying a fine glass of wine. She’s also mildly obsessed with the TV show Forensic Files.

Location
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC [Two Liberty Place]
50 S. 16th Street
Suite 3200, Elevator Bank for Floors 21-37
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC is located in Two Liberty Place. Enter the building from 16th Street. The entrance is located between the Residences at Two Liberty Place and the R2L Restaurant and Lounge. Security should direct you to the 32nd floor (use elevator bank for floors 21-37).

Dinner
Our gracious host, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, will be providing food for us during the evening.

Volunteer
If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us at info[at]ggdphl[dot]com. We could use one or two ladies to help out with check-in and write our event recap!

Big Thanks
A big thank you goes out to Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC for hosting and feeding us during the event, Web Start Women for working with us on this event, and Jessica Ivins for bringing and sharing her expertise with us.

Last, but not least….
Men are welcome at this event and everyone must RSVP.

Can you bring a friend? Yes! Just have the person RSVP so s/he’s on the list.

If you have any questions or ideas, please reach out to us at info[at]ggdphl[dot]com. We look forward to meeting you!

We encourage tech and geeky ladies come on out to the Dinner to network, mingle, and support Girl Geek Dinner PhiladelphiaWeb Start Women.

A Recap of GGD PHL #3 (Fall/Winter 2011, Hosted by Digitas Health)

9 Nov

 

Usually people go to the Wanamaker building to go to Macy’s or to hear the world-famous organ around holiday time. On the evening of November 3, 22 lady geeks and 4 gentlemen geeks arrived to pass by the already-erected Christmas trees and holiday sales to ascend the elevators to the office of Digitas Health, a brand management company and host of this month’s Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia and Web Start Women co-organized event.

Digitas Health provided a savory spread of Mexican food catered by 12th Street Catering with beverages courtesy of their free vending machine. Girl Geeks mingled and ate, enjoying the ambiance of the unique Digitas’ offices. The offices feature an open design with bright splashes of color, funky chandelier-style and track lighting, with an architecture that resonates of something we might see from Tim Burton’s cheerful side.

With full bellies, the group settled down for the night’s events. The Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia co-organizer, Tristin Hightower, welcomed the group with a game of “Around the World” where everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and share how they like to geek out. The group, over 75% first-time Girl Geek attendees, varied from roles such as Graphic Designers to WordPressistas to Linux admins to Fitness designers.

For the main event, Tristin introduced the night’s speaker, Jessica Ivins, a Senior Experience Designer at Happy Cog. Jessica’s passion for providing smooth, useful, enjoyable experiences for end-users shines through her presentation, ‘Shrink It & Pink It: Designing Experiences for Women’. And by ‘end-users’ she’s referring to use of anything, from visitors to a website to the user of a chair to hospital employees using scrubs.

Do you know how many women shop online as opposed to men? Do you know how to recognize when marketers are talking to women, men or demonstrating gender-neutrality and why? Chock full of poignant statistics and demonstrative examples, Jessica makes the argument to restructure how we design for women. Jessica wrapped up the talk with a Q&A discussion.


(note: you may need to refresh if the slides don’t load)

Tristin invited Erica Nardello of Digitas Health to talk briefly about the company. Erica expressed Digitas Health’s commitment to the community and respect for what the Girl Geeks group is all about.

The evening was closed with Catherine (Cat) Farman and Sarah Galbraith from the Girl Geek Dinner Social Committee talking about the upcoming November and December events (details posted online soon), Tracy Levesque from YIKES speaking on behalf of Web Start Women on their upcoming WordPress classes for women, and Tristin thanking everyone for attending.

Be sure to get your tickets early for future Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia events as this one sold out in under 9 hours. Also, keep an eye out for Jessica Ivin’s next appearance to be a part of this topical and formative conversation.

Photos of the event, courtesy of Kit Farman Photography, can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia member, Meg Widholm.
Meg has been in IT for over 13 years. From developing websites, to managing an IT team, to providing Helpdesk support, she can’t eat enough computers. Her dentist told her that she’d better stop, so she has started a locally-sourced vending machine business, Snack Like a Local, with snacks such as brownies by Better Together Baking, Uncle Henry’s pretzels and Joe’s Chips. She will transition to the vending world allowing her to play with tech in her free time. She is currently working on building her first Android app.

A Recap of GGD PHL #3 (Fall/Winter 2011, Hosted by Digitas Health)

3 Oct

ggdphl-2011fallwinterdinner

Usually people go to the Wanamaker building to go to Macy’s or to hear the world-famous organ around holiday time. On the evening of November 3, 22 lady geeks and 4 gentlemen geeks arrived to pass by the already-erected Christmas trees and holiday sales to ascend the elevators to the office of Digitas Health, a brand management company and host of this month’s Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia and Web Start Women co-organized event.

Digitas Health provided a savory spread of Mexican food catered by 12th Street Catering with beverages courtesy of their free vending machine. Girl Geeks mingled and ate, enjoying the ambiance of the unique Digitas’ offices. The offices feature an open design with bright splashes of color, funky chandelier-style and track lighting, with an architecture that resonates of something we might see from Tim Burton’s cheerful side.

With full bellies, the group settled down for the night’s events. The Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia co-organizer, Tristin Hightower, welcomed the group with a game of “Around the World” where everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and share how they like to geek out. The group, over 75% first-time Girl Geek attendees, varied from roles such as Graphic Designers to WordPressistas to Linux admins to Fitness designers.GGD-10-300x170

For the main event, Tristin introduced the night’s speaker, Jessica Ivins, a Senior Experience Designer at Happy Cog. Jessica’s passion for providing smooth, useful, enjoyable experiences for end-users shines through her presentation, ‘Shrink It & Pink It: Designing Experiences for Women’. And by ‘end-users’ she’s referring to use of anything, from visitors to a website to the user of a chair to hospital employees using scrubs.

Do you know how many women shop online as opposed to men? Do you know how to recognize when marketers are talking to women, men or demonstrating gender-neutrality and why? Chock full of poignant statistics and demonstrative examples, Jessica makes the argument to restructure how we design for women. Jessica wrapped up the talk with a Q&A discussion.


(note: you may need to refresh if the slides don’t load)

Tristin invited Erica Nardello of Digitas Health to talk briefly about the company. Erica expressed Digitas Health’s commitment to the community and respect for what the Girl Geeks group is all about.

The evening was closed with Catherine (Cat) Farman and Sarah Galbraith from the Girl Geek Dinner Social Committee talking about the upcoming November and December events (details posted online soon), Tracy Levesque from YIKES speaking on behalf of Web Start Women on their upcoming WordPress classes for women, and Tristin thanking everyone for attending.

Be sure to get your tickets early for future Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia events as this one sold out in under 9 hours. Also, keep an eye out for Jessica Ivin’s next appearance to be a part of this topical and formative conversation.

Photos of the event, courtesy of Kit Farman Photography, can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia member, Meg Widholm.
megMeg has been in IT for over 13 years. From developing websites, to managing an IT team, to providing Helpdesk support, she can’t eat enough computers. Her dentist told her that she’d better stop, so she has started a locally-sourced vending machine business, Snack Like a Local, with snacks such as brownies by Better Together Baking, Uncle Henry’s pretzels and Joe’s Chips. She will transition to the vending world allowing her to play with tech in her free time. She is currently working on building her first Android app.