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WE Local London: Four talks that I can’t wait to hear  

WE Local London: Four talks that I can’t wait to hear   - WE Local

It’s less than one month until SWE’s WE Local conference in London. It’s been a while since we attended in-person conferences. One of the aspects that I enjoyed most from past conferences was listening to the stories. Tales of how an idea was implemented to bring about a novel solution, how personal experiences led to new insights, tips on ways we may tackle a similar topic that we face. I always learn something new!  

Over the 2-day conference, there are a range of informative and fun breakout sessions planned. Here are a few of the ones I’m looking forward to.  

Do you still think Crypto is a Ponzi Scheme? by Renee LaRocca.  

Cryptocurrency? Blockchain? You can’t throw a stone without hitting these words. It’s something I ‘should’ know more about, but I usually skim over or scroll past articles relating to this subject.  Am I the only one?! I guess I’m not.  The Crypto retail user profile is 95% male with an average age of 34 years, according to the 2021 Global Crypto User Index Report by Binance Research. Renee wants to change this through her talk. She’ll break down the concepts and help us understand how it is relevant to us. I’m looking forward to dabbling in the cryptoworld in the future. 

Master of none: Why technology leaders need to be multipotentialites by Afiya Chohollo  

Are you a technology leader?  

“A leader: anyone that takes the responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes.” –  Brené Brown.  

Have you ever had the feeling of not knowing enough? Everyone else in the team are technology specialists, and you’re not. I know I have. It’s easy to feel intimidated in these settings.  

What if I told you that your power doesn’t lie in knowing everything but knowing enough of everything? In her talk, Afiya talks about being a multipotentialite (a fancy word for generalist 😉) and how you can use this to your advantage. Even though you may not have the deep technical knowledge possessed by some team members, the variety or breadth of the technical knowledge is just as important when leading a team. I know I can benefit from her perspective. 

The Agile Inclusion Paradox: How to build inclusive engineering teams by Jo Stansfield 

Since I found out about agile techniques some years ago, I’ve never looked. Agile practices are seen as the gold-standard particularly for tech and engineering teams.  However, is adopting agile or lean practices enough for creating inclusive teams? Jo’s Masters research shows that it isn’t. People from underrepresented groups often have slower career progression and increased likelihood of leaving this career path.  

Jo discusses why adopting agile practices is not the panacea for inclusion and in which ways teams   can apply these practices to make sure no one is left behind. 

As someone working closely with engineering teams, I’m interested to understand where teams are going wrong in their adoption of agile practices and how we can better utilise these skills to build more inclusive teams.   

The Power of Personal Branding by Shawnice Meador 

As I progress through my career, my CV gets longer but I often wonder if everything on there is still relevant. What parts can be left out without misrepresenting myself or my experiences? Does it matter that I was a volunteer 15 years ago for 2 weeks? We don’t have time tell people everything so we must select what matters most.  

How do you present and communicate your value to the world, or put more succinctly – what’s your personal brand? In this interactive session, Shawnice is going to give us some tips to help us curate our individual brands. It’s not easy to get this right and I know I still struggle. With Shawnice’s advice, I hope to nail this when the opportunity next arises.  

There are so many other exciting breakout sessions to attend. Check out the agenda here to see the full list of talks.  

Which ones are you looking forward to? I’d love to hear 😊  Share with us @SWETalk on Instagram!


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  • Femi Adedimeji

    MEng, Innovation Project Manager, AVEVA Femi is currently Innovation Project Manager at AVEVA, Frankfurt, where she nurtures and drives a culture of innovation by collaborating across technical teams to create opportunities for new ideas to flourish.