Coding Grace at Hopper Local Dublin demoing MicroPython on Micro:Bit and CircuitPython on Circuit Playground Express

As with all good (in this case, fantastic) things, it started off in a very small way.

The ever amazing Stephen Howell invited me to be involved in an event called Grace Hopper Local held in Dublin later this month.

If you haven't heard of Grace Hopper Celebrations (GHC), it "is the world's largest gathering of women technologists.", and if you are curious, their upcoming conference is in Orlando, Florida in Oct 2-4. They had 20,000+ attendees from 78 countries (read their 2018 impact report here).

Back to the Dublin event, it's a 1-day locally organised conference modelled after GHC. Besides being the inaugural event, they will be launching the local community as well! It's in partnership with Anita, and is sponsored by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stripe, SFI, Allstate, Mastercard and SAP.

My involvement is being part of the "Maker Workshop on Wearables" and will be demoing MicroPython on the Micro:Bit.

This gets better, I tweeted what I'll be doing:

Next thing was quite unexpected:

After gathering my bearings, I put on my organiser hat as I know ordering and deliveries on a tight turnaround and politely turned them down:

And then my fan-girling came out because I do follow Adafruit, and tell folks at various maker workshops about them and their amazing founder, Limor (Fried) aka ladyada:-

Then this tweet happened, and I went 🤯

The world did slow down for me, before I gathered my jaw off the ground and followed up with Limor Fried via email, I explained I'm quite new demoing electronics and not sure what to choose with regards Adafruit components to demo with CircuitPython. In my head, I'm going... "Omgerd, I have to demo CircuitPython! 😱". I was lucky enough that Mick got us a couple of Circuit Playground Express, so I mentioned that. And what came next made me pick up my jaw off the ground (again), she offered to send me along Circuit Playground Express Advanced Pack. That was so super generous as well as being so supportive of what we are doing.

And now I have no excuse to demo it outside of Hopper Local Dublin, therefore I'm aiming to give a demo/talk at PyLadies Dublin in April or May this year. I realised I haven't been giving many tech talks at it, so "walk the walk, Vicky! 😊".

Now that amazing gift is on-route, I'm back to planning the extra content for my demo at Hopper Local Dublin Conference later this month.


🙌 Competition time!

Hopper Local Dublin Conference has kindly offered me to give away a ticket to their event on Wed Feb 27 at One Microsoft Place. If you are interested in attending, the first person to email me will get the ticket.

Note: This ticket permit the holder to attend the full Hopper Local in Dublin event, including the three tracks

About Hopper Local Dublin

To mark International Women’s Day 2019 and to celebrate it in style, Microsoft is so very proud to host the inaugural Hopper Local Dublin event, here in One Microsoft Place on Wednesday 27th February 2019 in partnership with Anita This event is sponsored by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stripe, SFI, Allstate, Mastercard and SAP.

This event, the first of its kind in our region, is an inspiring celebration of all things STEM, which aims to bring women technologists of all levels together, along with members from industry leading companies, academia and research to build relationships, learn and advance their careers and is named after the “Amazing Grace” Hopper, world renowned pioneer of computer programming. The theme of this year’s event, in keeping with International Women’s Day is “Balance for Better”

The event will be opened at 8:30am by Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director with Microsoft Ireland and Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of Anita Borg with a keynote address from Peggy Johnson, EVP Microsoft Business Development.

This will be followed by a leadership panel at 9:20am, chaired by renowned journalist Dearbhail McDonald (who is also MC for the event) on the topic “Balance for Better” with Peggy Johnson, Charlotte Yarkoni CVP Cloud and Enterprise with Microsoft, Tara Roth CVP Engineering with Microsoft and Colm Buckley SRE Director with Google and Helen Tynan Director of People Operations Ireland with Google.

Attendees will then choose from the following three tracks:

Here's more info:

About Author

Vicky Twomey-Lee

Pythonista, but normally found organising various tech events, and now heavily involved in diversity initiatives like Coding Grace, PyLadies Dublin, and Women in Technology and Science (WITS Ireland).

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