In its biggest and most diverse event to date, Women in Big Data’s™ North West Chapter Networking Committee presented Technology Panel: Big Data and Machine Learning to an enthusiastic audience of 150 people. The event took place August 9, 2018 at Intel’s Hawthorne Farm Auditorium in Hillsboro, Oregon, and the topics covered included technical challenges, bleeding edge technology and steps to take to enter the field. The event was also well attended by men (~at least 25%).
Technology Panel was a great platform to network, exchange ideas and explore a hot topic from diverse perspectives. Panel speakers represented an outstanding combination of business acumen and technological experience. Speakers were diverse in terms of thoughts, experience and ideas. In the course of the evening, we saw senior technical leaders emphasizing the importance of technical expertise and how each of us can shape our career in a world where change is the only constant. We also had panelists from the startup world discussing key skills needed to survive as an entrepreneur, and others who leveraged their background in data management of critical cloud products.
This broad line of speakers fueled the minds of our audience with technical insights and advice. It also provided a great medium to ask questions, with the panel fielding nearly two dozen substantive questions before time ran out.
The panel discussion kicked off with an a welcome by Soumya Guptha and an introduction to Women in Big Data (WiBD) by Bhakti Hinduja, who shared a profound quote form Sheryl Sandburg: “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
The actual panel was divided into two segments: a brief introduction of all panelists with Q&A from moderators and then Q&A from the audience. The goal of the panel was to provide the audience with broad horizontal knowledge of Big Data/ML from many different angles. Questions were tailored to each panelist’s expertise.
Richa Khandelwal, Sr. Software Engineering Manager @Nike received questions related to the software industry. Some of them: What is the greatest challenge you have faced when rolling out first Machine Learning applications to consumers? DevOps aiming to unify software development (Dev) and software Operations (Ops)? What are best known practices to shorter software development cycle? How to be relevant? How to make others listen to you?
Parham Parvizi, Co-Founder and Architect @Tura.io received many questions related to opening your own business. Some of those questions and topics: How to evaluate if a startup idea is worth the effort? Top skills/qualities that are needed to thrive in the startup ecosystem? How to determine if the startup ecosystem is a good choice for oneself? Is timing a key factor?
Kelly Hammond, Open Source Technologies Manager @Intel received questions related to effectively managing artificial intelligence (AI) projects. Some of those questions: What is the next bleeding edge technology in Big Data/ML? Where do you think Big Data will be in 10 years? How do you measure the success of project and engineer in Big Data/ML? How much about Big Data/ML do I need to know before making a permanent transition into Big Data field?
Sherine Abdelhak, AI, Platform Architect @Intel received questions related to AI for client platform and transitioning between two different fields. Some of the questions: Are we preparing our platforms for AI, and how? Why is AI applicable to client? Are there specific AI technologies that client predominantly might benefit from?
The Technology Panel wouldn’t have happened without a fantastic team working behind the scenes. Many thanks and congratulation to:
Many thanks to all panelists, who in a coherent way educated, energized and catalyzed enthusiasm for getting into Big Data and ML. Thank you audience for warm and encouraging feedback. Some of their comments:
“This was such a great event! Heard so many perspectives and learned about what inspires people. Thank you very much for organizing!”
“Yes, I would recommend because it helped me stay updated and learn more about AI and ML. Despite the fact that Intel is shifting its focus to become a data-centric company, I believe AI can also be used to improve our internal operations as well.”
“Great event! I hope to see and hear more about big data in the future.”
The number of attendees and the positive input from participants confirms we are doing important work and there is a need for similar events.