Women Techmakers Montréal 2016

written by Marie

Last updated on: January 27, 2017

Published on March 19, 2016

Women Techmakers

Last Saturday, I attended to the first Women Techmakers (WTM) event in Montreal. This event is organized for the International Women Day (March 8th). WTM was founded in 2012 and is a program created by Google to offer visibility, community, and resources to women in tech.

The opening ceremony was very great and they showed us this great video:

For WTM Montreal, the conferences were all day long, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They lasted 30 minutes. We had 2 breaks of 30 minutes and the dinner was an hour and a half. In total, I attended to 8 conferences!


Talks I attended before dinner

The first conference I attended was “Codelab: iOS Application Development with Swift”. Fatih Nayebi showed us to the basics of Swift programming. It was really rewarding to me because I had never seen a single line of code in Swift before.

Next, I went to Alessaia Bellisario‘s talk about her journey into tech. The title of her talk was “From Bitmaker to Breather : A QuickStart Guide to Making Things on the Internet”. She started by talking to us about numbers and the survey of StackOverflow about its users. For those who doesn’t know what Stack Overflow is, it is a forum for questions and answers in tech. It’s a reference for all programmers.

I didn’t remember these data were so surprising and confusing…

Women Techmakers Montréal 2016

Indeed, out of 25,744 responses, 92.1 % were males and a little 5.8% of women. That’s too little! She went on to say that everyone is able to become programmers. However, these qualities are assets in the field: motivation, speed and desire to learn, be able to communicate well, be oriented details (for implementations but also for debugging).


At 11 am, I went to “Set Yourself Apart: Finding & Engaging your Audience” led by Maeghan Smulders. It was really a very surprising half-hour! This woman has dared to throw the challenge to find the perfect position in the company of her choice. Although she had 29 jobs offers when leaving university, she did not know which to choose. She decided to decline all the offers and instead realize 10 stages in 112 days. All this without being paid. Her discussion was about his extraordinary experience and how she ended up in the start-up “PasswordBox” later acquired by Intel. She highlighted three points that have served as a lesson: know your audience, learn and grow with your users and build a relationship with them.


Talks after dinner

Later, I was to “Software Analytics: challenges and opportunities”, led by Latifa Guerrouj and then “Demystifying Big Data: Theory and Applications in the music industry” by Mahtab Ghamsari. The latter works at Bandsintown. This workshop was very interesting for me and opened my eyes a little more to what is Big Data. She gave us a very good example of someone who downloads the application Bandsintown on his cell and he adds to his favorites the bands he or she likes. Its current location is Montreal, but if that person goes on a trip to Toronto, then this new information will be added to the database (DB) and stored. Not replacing Montreal by Toronto, but completely adding a new line in the DB.

Bandsintown now has 20 million users. Can you imagine the amount of data that owns the company with so many users? It becomes very interesting to sell this data to developers of music festivals … How many users like Jay-Z but Drake? Knowing this, it might be profitable for them to organize a festival with these two artists if data is favorable!

My 5th conference was “How to measure your e-commerce business” by Françoise Provencher. The gist of her presentation is written here.

Then I attended “Performance metrics and ease of use in web frameworks” to introduce me to Ruby On Rails and Nodejs. It was nice because I could tame little pieces of code and know a little more about the performance of these two languages as Rita Lu, who led the talk, used graphs to compare the speed of execution of queries issued to the database.

I followed up with “Chromium, Chrome, and tools to Chrome.” Finally, at 5 p.m., the day ended!



In conclusion, I was very tired but very happy for this wonderful day! I really have to say it was a very well organized event, even if it was done in only 2 months! I’ll be at Women Techmakers 2017, as the organizers, Annie Caron and Laurence De Villers, confirmed the holding of a second edition!


Women Techmakers 2016

Women Techmakers Montréal 2016

Everyone who had a talk during the day.

Special thanks to Nicolas Crevier for these 2 beautiful pictures. 🙂

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