Technopreneur Myla Villanueva, founder of five startup companies, and outsourcing business leader Nora Terrado are two female techies who exemplify excellence in a field dominated mostly by men. Both have been instrumental in giving women due acclaim in the local tech scene.
In celebration of Women’s Day and recognizing the need for more Mylas and Noras, the Google Developers Group (GDG) Philippines held the first Developer Festival for Women (DevFestW) last March 9 to highlight women involvement in technology.
DevFests are community-led gatherings where tech enthusiasts learn and hone skills through sessions on Google developer technologies and platforms, and network with other local developers. The first DevFestW included talks on game development, technical sessions on Android development, programming language Python, and the Google App engine. It also had non-technical sessions on IT careers, Google Analytics and basic HTML 5.
“With the right skills and knowledge, anybody is capable of innovation in this industry,” said Chelle Gray, Google Developers Group Program Associate for Southeast Asia. “We try to impart both through the DevFests, but this event is more special because we emphasize the opportunity for women to excel as developers.”
Specific to DevFestW was a roster of all-female organizers and speakers. Among the speakers were Ria Lu, president and CEO of advergames developer KomikasiGames and Entertainment Inc.; CharoNuguid, an IT consultant, developer, trainer and founder of the Philippine Android Community; and Madiha Mudin, Google software engineer working on AdWords Frontend. Mudin is also part of “Women@Google” group which aims to grow the number of women working on technology.
GDG Philippines regularly holds meetups, talks and hackathons among its members. Last month, GDG Philippines held a hackathon titled “Hack for Fun. Hack for Love,” where attendees created seven apps that used Google technology combined with another API or platform.
The GDG DevFestW is a worldwide effort held in 19 cities in 13 countries. While intended to promote female inclusion, the event was not exclusive for women attendees.