RSAC 2018 Thursday Recap & Friday Preview: Girls Who Code, RSAC 2018 Bash and The Hugh Thompson Show
Depending on when you’re reading this, you may be either heading to this year’s RSAC Bash or recovering from it!
You might be reflecting on the week so far and hopefully you got a chance to attend Wednesday’s keynote session from the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. Reshma Saujani recounted her personal story of being inspired by public service and civil rights leaders, before starting her organization in a borrowed conference room. Saujani highlighted the national tech talent deficit. She pointed out the estimated 500,000 open jobs in computing while the U.S graduated less than 40,000 computer science majors last year.
“If you talk to any business executive you’ll tell me that your number one problem is you can’t find enough engineers,” she said. “I believe the solution to this tech talent deficit is women.”
But she also noted continued cultural barriers to getting women involved in computer science including a “brogrammer” culture that has pervaded the technology culture, fueled in part by gender biased marketing since the 1980’s.
So far, Girls Who Code has taught 90,000 girls in all 50 states said Saujani, promising that in the next few years hiring their graduates would be inevitable. “We are going to be everywhere. It’s coming. Get ready for it.”
While showing a slide of her corporate partners, she pointed out that 90 percent of the organization’s funding comes from the private sector. “I want to end by encouraging all of you to partner with us. If you’re not on this list I will find you,” she said. “This is a problem we can solve.”
Also on Wednesday, Public Speaker, Writer and Social Activist, Monica Lewinsky delivered a talk titled the “Price of Shame.” Lewinsky uses her own experiences to help bring attention to the destructive force of public shaming in our digital age as well as let people who suffer at the hands of humiliation know that they are less alone. She challenged the audience to see the connections between survival, resilience, digital reputation and equality and examine their own preconceptions.
One of Thursdays keynotes took attendees back to the dawn of the modern computer age to highlight an often over looked group of pioneers. Writer, Researcher and Entrepreneur, Margot Lee Shetterly delivered her talk titled, “Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race” based on her 2016 book, a USA Today bestseller, and New York Times bestseller. Shetterly is also the Founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive of the stories of NASA’s African-American “Human Computers” whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in WWII, the Cold War and the Space Race.
Thursday’s keynote lineup also included talks by Jane McGonigal, Game Designer and Inventor of SuperBetter; Andy Ellis, Chief Security Officer and Josh Shaul, Vice President, Web Security, Akamai Technologies; Social Activist, Writer and Public Speaker Monica Lewinsky; Tim Urban
Creator, Wait But Why; and Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager, IBM Security.
Friday: A Preview Snapshot
- Friday’s Sessions & Events – The week’s not over yet! Friday features more of the same exciting, relevant and informative content you’ve been getting all week long. Why not fill in those open slots on your Conference calendar before the closing keynote.
- The Hugh Thompson Show: Artificial Intelligence – This year marks the return of one of our most popular sessions ever with Dr. Hugh Thompson joined by three accomplished guests: Dr. Dawn Song, Dr. Kate Darling and Dr. Sebastian Thrun. Join us as the panel tackles the topic of artificial intelligence and asks: Savior or Satan? Promise or peril? Friend or foe? Or maybe a little bit of all the above depending on how and why it’s applied, who is applying it, and the ultimate end goals.
Heard in the Press Room