By Nahia Orduna
The WiBD Afterwork event took place at Intel in Munich during the Oktoberfest, the famous celebration joined by millions of people from around the world who come to Bavaria to enjoy beer and a unique atmosphere. We had around one hundred attendees who enjoyed our event with us while the rest of the city was celebrating.
The first speaker was Oliver Buschmann, Client Business and Platform Planning at Intel Corporation. He delivered a presentation around “AI: from Buzzword to reality”. Artificial Intelligence has moved from a buzzword into reality and is enabling impressive applications like natural language understanding at a super-human level, generating art, autonomous driving, and more. The presentation shared the latest state of AI, how Intel is embedding AI into most businesses and products, and how Intel can help to accelerate the AI journey in big data & beyond. He also shared a glimpse into the future of AI and what we see coming next. The presentation was followed by many questions from the attendees around the business uses of AI and the future. We definitely learned about new topics, such as neuromorphic computing and the possibilities of AI at the edge.
The next presentation was from Emma Grasmeder from Thoughtworks. She introduced herself as a “code witch”, and it was a pleasure to have her with us. She shared what it is to think like a data scientist. According to her, the field of data science is having an identity crisis. The fundamental question of who or what a data scientist actually is remains largely undecided. Regardless of where the answer will fall, there are a number of tools and techniques that every data scientist should have in their tool belt. Although the software languages, frameworks, and algorithms will come in and out of fashion, the fundamentals behind the trade of data science, which she covered in her session, have existed for centuries and will continue to be used for ages to come. We learned about visualization with a story about cholera. Her presentation was very engaging, as we could see in her slides, which ranged from unicorns to John Snow. A role model for us!
The last presenter was from Mario Mueller, Head of IT Sales at Infineon Technologies. He highlighted how the environment is continuously in motion and the speed of change increasing even faster. Data volumes grow rapidly and the complexity of information and processes make it an ongoing challenge to find the right answers. Hence, the understanding of existing, overlapping and potential new Ecosystems is key and requires continuous adoption to cope with the dynamic internal and external influences. How should we approach this challenge as an individual? What is required to successfully perform as a team, and how should leadership perform? He explained us that we should consider following “C-factors”: Cross-functional thinking, clear Communication, tight Collaboration, enCouragement to Creativity and empowerment for Change—all parameters for innovation to keep up with markets speed. It is about the team, the teams and leadership mindset! The next question is…how to achieve a sustainable approach? He explained the framework ThreeQ, which brings existing puzzles together in one comprehensive picture and could guide your perspectives on career development.
We finished a session with a game organised by Katharina Brass. Three of our members won three prizes: a LinkedIn profile and CV review from Astrid Neumann, a 60-minute coaching session from Nahia Orduna; both Astrid and Nahia are from Women in Big Data team. The first prize was a coaching session from Elena Alvarez. Elena introduced herself as an aeronautical engineer, a wife, and a mother of two with more than 27 years of international experience in the corporate world of Airbus leading different aerospace programmes. Through all these years, Elena’s passion for helping people led her to become a coach. Now she is combining both worlds as transformation manager at Airbus and as an executive coach developing and bringing out the best in people and helping them to find their purpose and to unleash their utmost potential within their core values. She is happy to answer your questions regarding coaching sessions via email or LinkedIn. Lucky winners!
We then had networking time over a dinner and drinks. I am sure nobody missed the Oktoberfest that evening! The event would not have been possible without the effort of many organisers, and we want to give special thanks to Anka Roeglin, who made it possible to host the event at Intel, and also to Kendy Rannenberg from the Women in Big Data Munich.