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WTM 2019

Saturday 9th March 2019

Computer Science Building, QUB


WTM 2019

Aaaand Breathe! Thank you to everyone who helped make our 2019 IWD conference a success! Be sure to check out the videos on our YouTube Channel!




Barriers to Automation? Lets Remove them

This talk is based on my own experience of moving out of my comfort zone as a manual Tester and into the world of automated testing. When I started out in testing everything was manual. I had done a Computer Science degree but was never a natural programmer. I had a good understanding of how code worked and was meticulous with the details so testing suited me down the ground. Then in 2013, everything changed! I had returned from maternity leave after having my third child and all of a sudden, I was expected to pick up test automation using Selenium WebDriver! To put it bluntly, I was terrified. It’s hard coming back to work after maternity leave with trying to find out where you fit in again and remember how to do your job but to come back and have to do something completely new and different made it so much more daunting. In this discussion, I would like to outline some of the main hindrances to people moving into automation and how we can mitigate against them to encourage more of our Testers to expand their skillset and hopefully make their jobs more interesting and enjoyable.


Why being a Female Entrepreneur has never been more achievable for Women in Tech

What makes a good Founder? And why are women more than qualified?

  1. A balance of Humility and Confidence

  2. The importance of Empathy and Networking

  3. Don’t underestimate the skill of Delegating and Asking for Help

Two founder stories: How did you get started? The craziness of idea generation and taking that leap into the adventure Co-Founders and Propel Pre-Accelerator

Hacking your life style: This is your venture. You decide your work life balance. More hours does not mean more productivity. You cannot do it all, set your boundaries and stick to them. Being a Mother is an advantage to your Founder appeal and not a disadvantage.

Make the Leap! You’ll not regret the Adventure!


Tech, meet tourism.

Tourism is booming. New hotels are springing up on the skyline and jobs are being created. While most of Northern Ireland’s economy remains stagnant, tourism is a beacon of growth and commercial opportunity.

But how do we remain competitive in a constantly-evolving global travel industry? How do we ensure sustainable growth which brings wealth to all of Northern Ireland and not just the popular hotspots? How do we tell Northern Ireland’s cultural and heritage stories in a way that engages younger audiences? And how do we ensure visitors enjoy seamless journeys, without having to download a dozen apps?

Tourism has problems to solve. And together, Women Techmakers are going to come up with solutions.


From problem solver to leader

A light hearted talk about how I became a leader (COO) in a young tech company that now has almost 60 employees. It will start back in the 1990s when I was at a secondary school in Cregagh, Derry where most people left to join the factory. (Honestly, not dissimilar to an episode of Derry girls) and include 5 things that I have learned and am still trying to believe and implement to be a leader. It will touch on the imposter syndrome, (as COO I have no discernible skills, I no longer develop! 😟 ) which is I still feel most weeks, being your authentic self (as an out lesbian in the tech world in Derry in the 90’s, when I should have got danger money 😄), you can’t lead if your hiding somethings, and how it’s OK not to know the answer right away! Now that i’m The older person in the room, it would be nice to be able to hopefully pass on some of the things I’ve learnt in my tech career of almost 20 years, help some of the younger women and have a few laughs along the way.


What I Wish I Knew Before Making A Game

Congratulations! You’ve made a game! You’re 10% of the way there! There’s an entire production side to making and releasing a game that can get lost in the excitement of being a small team actually making something tangible for the first time.

When we self-published our first game, we got hit from all sides by so many unknowns that nobody bothered to warn us about. So, consider this your warning about:

  • approval times

  • store listings

  • localisation

  • image dimensions

  • hardware differences

  • developer license costs

  • Apple’s weird tax requirements

And much more!


What Even is a Dataset?

Starting a new job is a daunting experience. Especially when it’s in a new subject area that you’re clueless about. It’s a situation we’ve all been in; and even after studying for years I’m sure a lot of us will question how much we know about the subject area. I started my first software developer job and was thrown into the weirdly interesting and frustrating world of CSVs and Python. But what is data, and what even is a dataset? How can it be used with Python to create something useful and awesome? How can natural language processing help with this? It turns out, you don’t need to be massively qualified to work with data, you just have to be willing to learn, make mistakes, and keep on trying - just like in any job!


Proofing your career for a year off

Once you start your career in IT taking a year off from it for whatever reason can have a massive impact on it, by taking a number of measures before during and after you can really minimise this impact. This talk will be largely focusing on maternity leaves since they are the most common but a lot of the advice is applicable for someone who wants to go traveling for a year.


CSS for the Modern Web

Many people view CSS as complicated and confusing, or as overly basic and rarely changing. I hope to show people how modern CSS is powerful and constantly improving, while also taking away some of the fear surrounding it. In this talk I will start with an introduction to CSS and then walk through some useful and new features of CSS that can have a huge effect on web development and make it much less complex. I hope to show that some things can be done in CSS without the need for Javascript, and why this can be a benefit. For each feature I will provide a description, a working example, and a potential real-world use of it.


Applying Scrum to Supercharge Software Delivery

How the influence of the Scrum Master supercharged software delivery at ShopKeep. If you want to use the word “excellent” instead of “good” when describing the results of software engineering projects, then the Scrum Master is a critical role.


For anyone who works in or with a software engineering team and seeks techniques that can improve the overall software development lifecycle. Learn how ShopKeep has succeeded in releasing their iPad point-of-sale app from monthly to weekly.


Getting Lost on My Own (*&%!)Path: Impostor Syndrome on the Factory Floor

Impostor syndrome is rampant in technology–the gap between what we could know and what we do know is always vast. Being a woman in tech means being a minority, particularly working on a DevOps team providing a crucial bridge between data science and enterprise. Events like Women in Tech are a great inspiration but what is it like to start a career facing these challenges? How do you navigate new hardware, new culture, new workplaces, new languages (R? Anyone?) while finding and building a career?

This talk explores the questions of what challenges do women face and what are some of the tools we can use to meet them. The perspective comes from starting a career–going from university to that first role and working as a developer/engineer and uses this experience to highlight not only the pervasive and destructive ‘impostor syndrome’ but also the real-life steps taken to maintain sanity and grow a career.

Softer skills, but still useful advice on how to learn to stop worrying, start believing in one’s own abilities, how to find allies, how to have a laugh and how to keep going when your tests fail for the seventh time in a morning. Find out why failing is a really effective way to learn, how to embrace an ‘every day is a learning day’ philosophy, and recognize the importance of the women and allies around you. Its the true life story of how tech is hard, tech is easy, and how it is the best fun I have had in decades.


How to Give a Compelling Technical Talk

Knowing how to code is one thing, but showing someone else how to do it is another. Ever feel like you want to share your knowledge, but don’t know how to communicate it efficiently? Or want to challenge yourself to speak in front of an audience, but don’t feel confident enough?

Come along to learn how to give a compelling technical talk, or see me try explaining it all in 5 minutes. This technique is suitable for everyone regardless of who you are and what level of experience you have, and focuses on conference talks but can also be applied at meetings or presentations.


Data science and machine learning in stratified medicine 

Mathematics, statistics and computing are being used in biomedical research to uncover new biological insights from patient data. The field of bioinformatics is a broad church and can cover the prediction of the three-dimensional structure of proteins (drug discovery) through to the randomisation of patients to different treatments in a clinical trial of a new chemotherapy drug combination. Separating patients into different subgroups, based on the complex biological patterns found in tissue or blood samples, can help to speed up treatment response and patient recovery. Just as there is not a one-treatment fits all, different patient data may require the application of different statistical modelling or machine learning techniques. In this proposed talk, within the context of cancer and inflammatory disease, I shall look at other domains, eg geology, for mathematical and computational tools that can help us to harness the power of existing patient data. I shall also consider the ethical side of analysing patient data and the potential of human error.


Release It!

Based on the book ‘Release It’ Design and Deploy Production Ready Software By Michael T Nygard. This talk applies if you are putting any kind of system into production and want to be able to sleep at night. Examine ways to architect, design and build software for the real world. Software delivers its value in production. The development project, testing, integration, and planning…everything before production is a prelude. Build systems that survive the real world, avoid downtime, implement continuous delivery and make cloud-native applications resilient. Failure is inevitable, so it must be accounted for and planned for. The goal is not to eliminate failure, but promote durability and quick recovery times.


Quality - The Price of Inaction

Quality practices aren't new, but we've all lost our way at some point in our quest for speedy delivery.

Quality applies to more than just code. It applies to how we apply our processes and our drive for continuous improvement; how we treat folks in our teams AND how we build software. 

I'll challenge your mindset - whether you're brown field, green field or need to move at the speed of light. The price of inaction is far greater in the long run...let's get some enthusiasm back!



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From our headquarters in Austin, Texas, to our offices across the globe, Bazaarvoice brings a people-first approach to advanced technology, connecting thousands of brands and retailers to the voices of their customers. Each month, more than a billion shoppers view and share authentic user-generated content, from ratings and reviews to curated social photos and more, across the 12,000+ brand and retail websites in our network




We're delighted to have RealTime involved again as our 2019 Recruitment Sponsor.

Realtime are experts in tech & transformation recruitment since 2005. With offices in Dublin & Belfast, we help clients of all sizes successfully scale their teams to deliver projects all over Ireland and the east coast of America.


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2019 Team

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