Field Notes: Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

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This was the most exhausting, most exhilarating and exciting conference I’ve ever attended. And I continue to be amazed, even weeks after the event, that it was held just a few hours’ drive from my home.

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Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, we report back on the exciting things we do when not in front of a computer.

I’d like to share some experiences from the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, where I was joined by my colleagues Marjorie Asturias, Deborah Beckett, Mo Carter, Rebecca Collins, Kelly Dwan, and Megan Marcel.

Picture an airplane hangar-sized space full of women bobbing to rhythmic pop music, neon glowing necklaces dotting the crowd. This was the closing party for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), a massive conference devoted to women studying or working in technology, and named in honor of the legendary computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral.

It was an intense few October days in Houston, Texas, where the 16th edition of GHC drew 15,000 international participants, from…

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