A couple weeks ago, the Anita Borg: Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Technology took place in Phoenix, Arizona, from October 8 -11, 2014. A Platinum Sponsor of the event, HP sent many women from across the organization to attend the conference.
HP Vertica had a significant presence at the event. Bo Hyun Kim, an HP Vertica developer, was chosen to present a technical paper she authored on Sentiment Analysis and Big Data. Shilpa Lawande, now General Manager of HP Software’s Big Data Platform Business unit, spoke at a breakfast given for technical women at HP. Seven of our own HP Vertica women attended the conference with the purpose of recruiting and screening talented candidates for the growing HP Vertica team.
Bo Hyun’s Presentation on Sentiment Analysis
In March 2014, Shilpa Lawande reached out to the technical women of HP Vertica, encouraging volunteers to submit session proposals for the conference.
Bo Hyun Kim, of the HP Vertica Management Console team, accepted the challenge. She collaborated with Lina Chen in authoring a paper called “Lexicon-Based Sentiment Analysis Using the Most-Mentioned Word Tree.” After several months of waiting anxiously, Bo Hyun learned that her paper was accepted!
Bo Hyun’s presentation became part of a larger Data Science in Social Media Analysis presentation. On Friday, October 10, she presented to a room packed with technical women of all ages and backgrounds.
Bo Hyun rocked—she handled the presentation with good humor, poise, and confidence. The presentation was held in one of the large ball rooms, and Bo Hyun prepared herself well before she stood in front of hundreds of bright, technical women who came from all over the world. She engaged with the audience right away by stepping down from the podium and asking them questions related to her research work, which was enhancing the sentiment analysis analytic package by HP Vertica. She had proposed to improve the performance of HP Vertica Pulse earlier this year, and the proposal was accepted. With many nights of hard work, Bo Hyun created a presentation that was both informative and educational. Bo Hyun made sure the audience members followed and understood each slide.
After the presentation ended, audience members asked her various questions about her work on sentiment analysis. Most were students, seeking advice and guidance in knowing more about sentiment analysis for their senior thesis research projects. Students also asked about the skill set required to work at a software engineering company. Bo Hyun did not have enough time to answer all their questions, so she handed out her business card so that the students could contact her later and ask as many questions as they wanted. On her way out, Bo Hyun was stopped by the Panel, who congratulated her on the talk. After the conference, Bo Hyun received many emails from the eager, enthusiastic students, who completed the presentation questionnaire, and she was happy to be able to help them further.
HP VertiGals at Bo Hyun’s talk.
HP Technical Women’s Breakfast
On Thursday, 10/9, conference attendees from HP were invited to a technical women’s breakfast. Shilpa Lawande, General Manager of HP Software’s Big Data Platform business unit, was the key speaker at the breakfast. Shilpa shared stories of her own journey as a woman in the male-dominated field of computer science. She spoke of the experience of being “the only woman in the room,” spanning from her undergraduate education in India, as an individual contributor at Oracle and Vertica, to her leadership roles as VP of engineering and, most recently General Manager of HP Software’s Big Data Platform business unit. Among the questions she answered for the attendees, Shilpa shared that her own personal role model is her mother, who raised her family while pursuing a career, and always met every challenge with a smile.
Shilpa Lawande speaking at the HP Technical Women’s breakfast
Lina Chen, Beth Favini, Dan Huang, Bo Hyun Kim, Shilpa Lawande, Pratibha Rana, and Amy Miller were among the women from HP Vertica who staffed the HP recruiting booth located in the career fair area of the conference. The staff met countless talented young candidates eager to learn more about HP and about Vertica. The recruiting team collected literally hundreds of resumes and even held several “on-the-spot” interviews.
The HP Recruiting Booth
One of the big attractions of the HP booth was the daily raffle. At the end of each of the three days of the college fair, an HP Slate was raffled off. The raffle was immensely popular, drawing visits (and repeat visits) from women across the conference.
Crowds gathering at our daily HP Slate raffle
The HP Vertica women also scoped out the surrounding scene. Companies like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest brought incredible creativity and enthusiasm to their booths. The team gathered ideas and hope work with HP recruiting to make HP recruiting booth even more eye-catching and memorable than ever.
The conference was nothing short of a success for HP Vertica attendees, who gathered a large pool of candidates, in addition to cheering on both Bo Hyun and Shilpa at their presentations. And, last but not least, everyone got to know each other a bit better, laughed a lot, and enjoyed a sense of camaraderie, teamwork, and enthusiasm at being part of HP Vertica.