Ada Lovelace Colloquium is an event for women studying degrees related in Information Technology, and took place this year at the University of Sheffield with support from Sheffield Hallam University, my place of study.
I arrived the day before the conference for a social with some of the other attendees, organised by students from Sheffield Hallam. They had prepared a treasure hunt for us using QR codes at various locations across the city. Each QR code had a question about Ada Lovelace and the location of the next QR code. We were in teams of 4 and were encouraged to talk to everyone. The treasure hunt was great fun, and our team won by seven minutes. It certainly helped that we had a home advantage!
The day of the conference was brilliant. There were a number of talks throughout the day from inspirational speakers and people in industry, with each discussing a range of topics from starting out in a male-dominated industry to computational neuroscience.
Part of the day consisted of the poster competition for undergraduates and master students. This offers chance to present a poster on a topic that we are enthusiastic about. In order to be invited to present, we are asked to submit a 250-word abstract about the topic of our poster. This is then judged by a panel who inform you whether you have made it to the presentation round.
This year was the second time I’ve had the opportunity to present. Last year I presented a poster entitled ‘The dangers of social media and the effects on employability’, and this year I chose ‘Limiting the Human error’. I felt this would be a good topic since I am currently working in security operations, and also wish to pursue this area further for my final year project at university.
Each attendee gets two minutes to present their poster to the two judges and points are awarded on the layout, technical content and the actual presentation. I had great feedback from the judges, who commended my enthusiasm about the topic. Despite facing tough competition and placing second, I had a fantastic time talking to like-minded people and learning about a range of interesting topics.
With my placement year drawing to a close at G-Research, I can definitely say that I have enjoyed the experience and can see not only the knowledge I have gained but also how I’ve grown as an individual by being in a fast-paced work environment. Emmersing myself in female networking events such as this one has also allowed me to meet women in the same field with similar aspirations to my own which has been incredibly inspiring.
Returning to university is going to feel a little strange, but I’m grateful to G-Research for providing me with such an invaluable experience.
Eleanor Wardman – Information Security