The Women in Big Data SoCal Chapter partnered with PyLadies of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California (USC ) Marshall School of Business Masters of Science in Business Analytics program to host our first tech training in June 2018. Our goal was to help members gain additional skills to excel at technical interviews. PyLadies is a MeetUp “mentorship group with a focus on helping more women become active participants and leaders in the Python open-source community” and with a “mission to promote, educate, and advance a diverse Python community through outreach, education, conferences, events and social gatherings” (per their MeetUp platform statement). 45 people gathered together at USC for a hands-on tutorial on creating compelling and interactive visualizations of geographic data in Python. PyLadies organizer Sylvia Tran led this interactive coding workshop with Folium and Bokeh, two popular visualization libraries. Sylvia is a data scientist at OpenDrives and was previously a teaching assistant and graduate of General Assembly’s Data Science Immersive program, a director at Wells Fargo Capital Finance; she has 10 years of experience in business risk analysis, as well as financing for mergers and acquisitions. Sylvia holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from UCLA.
Keying “Claire” Que, the lead for WiBD SoCal mentorship, kicked off the event by announcing the new mentorship program, created to serve as a platform for members in the data field to connect and support each other. The program consists of two parts and has the flexibility to accommodate participant preferences and busy schedules: mentorship matching and mentoring activities. Mentorship matching allows mentors and mentees to connect at their own pace and availability, while mentoring activities are designed to connect to our greater community of peers at events, where they can share experiences and expertise women, or supporters of women, in the big data and analytics field. Proposed mentoring activities include speed mentoring and resume reviews to date. We are open to working with employers to host event space.
Sylvia spent the remainder of the evening demonstrating how to use the folium and Bokeh library to visualize geographic data. Participants were able to learn:
We concluded our event with open networking. Feedback from attendees has been extremely positive. We look forward to hosting our next tech training and mentoring events with an open call to professionals and employers to lead a session or share event space for co-branding and a shared effort to develop our community around the cause of women in big data.