Welcome to the Women in Kaggle blog!
It struck me as a fun idea to try and document the progress of this meetup, as it’s still relatively new, so that we can keep a record of our meetings and events etc whilst we’re learning and then look back and see how far we’ve come, when we are pro Kagglers!
There are a couple of people to thank firstly for its existence at all and then for its promotion and then others who have helped in different ways, by supporting and mentoring and just being there!
On March 8th, I sent a message to a friend:
Went to a fantastic workshop today at the Code Node Techknow event and I asked if there were any Kaggle groups for women. The presenter’s answer was…not to her knowledge, but start one…so, all inspired, I did?! Aaah what have I done?! Seriously though, there were lots of ladies there who got very vocal and said they’d love that, including the presenter, so here goes!
I quickly arranged the first meetup on March 21st and, with a room kindly donated by City University, posted a quick welcome message:
Thank you, we already have 50 members! I think this shows a real desire in the London tech community for a space for women to learn and teach together, more collaboratively than competitively and to network whilst doing so. This is our first meetup in every sense – mine too – so bear with me while we find our feet! The ‘plan’ will be to meet each other, assess the different levels, languages, and needs of the group.
I threw together some slides about Kaggle, set up a twitter account @womeninkaggle and a slack group for us all to share ideas and progress and we were away! I brought some hope, some crisps and some cider along, and as one lady said “it’s like being 16 again!” and it was – great fun! Fantastic turn out and what a lovely bunch of ladies, all keen to chat and network and help each other, sharing experiences and tips – woohoo!
The workshop presenter, Nicola from Thoughtworks, was good to her word – she looked us up and came along to the second meetup that hosted an even bigger crowd of inspired coders. I’m happy to say that Thoughtworks are sponsoring us now, and hosting our next meetup on June 21st in their office space in Soho (see pics below) – can’t wait!
In addition to Thoughtworks, H2O stepped in to sponsor us by supplying welcome pizza to sustain our coding frenzy (er and some chat)…
Worrying slightly if the relaxed, chatty environment was productive enough for some of the ladies, I was delighted to get some wonderful feedback, and to hear that personal and professional connections are flourishing!
Our fourth meetup is fast approaching and I’m very excited to say that one of our members, Kim, is going to talk to us about her previous competition experience, not in Kaggle, but in a similar challenge, in which she was highly placed, and I think it will really provide a brilliant insight, not only into the secret sauce of a winning methodology, but also the invaluable insight that comes with hindsight!
If you haven’t signed up yet to hear Kim speak on the 21st June, do it now, there are only a few spots left! If you miss getting a spot this time, keep an eye out here for a blog post to be published after the talk and make sure you sign up in good time for the July meetup!
I said earlier that I wanted to thank people – that means all of you who offered help and everyone that’s come along and joined in, whether in a mentee or a mentor capacity, I hope it’s been fun! Onwards and upwards….
Keep Kaggling till the next time,
Founder of Women in Kaggle