Joan Nayiga is a final year Computer Science MSc student at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. She got a chance to participate in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women In Computing Conference that was held in Minneapolis USA (2-5 October 2013) as a first time attendee. This is what she had to say about the conference:
Being part of the GHC 2013 conference was such a great experience for me. This gave me an opportunity to present my poster entitled “Developing Computer Aided Tools for Pre-School Children”. The strengths and weaknesses of my research and poster presentation were pointed out and am now working towards improving these. Meeting with more experienced women in computing gave me a better understanding on how to plan my career in computing.
Sheryl Sandberg (CEO of Facebook and Author of Lean In) one of the keynote speakers made a statement: “What would you do if you were not afraid” which really inspired me. We met with so many inspirational women in computing. Some of these women received ABI Change Agent Awards like Dr. Shikoh Gitau and Violette Uwamutara who kept telling us never to be afraid no matter what but to go on and follow our dreams. This is the same message I would like to put across to other women in technology even those that are upcoming – to ALWAYS THINK BIG AND DRIVE FORWARD.
I am very grateful to the following: Anita Borg Institute for the scholarship, AfChix Network for reviewing my poster and encouraging me and my family for the moral and financial support.