DevFest to the power of women

DevFestW is a series of community-led events that have technical sessions centered around Google developer technologies and platforms. DevFestW is focused specifically on bringing together women in the local developer community to teach, learn, code and network.

Similar in spirit to a regular DevFest, each DevFestW event should be tailored to the needs of the hosting developer community.

How is DevFestW different from any other DevFest?

1. Women focus

While both events are similar, DevFestW has an emphasis on female inclusion. What form this element takes will depend on local interest and needs, but here are some things to consider during the planning process:

Women speakers

Make a concerted effort to recruit good women speakers. Include them in the planning process and bring in their communities.

Women organizers

If no one on the regular organizing committee is a woman, this is a great opportunity to seek out potential women organizers to champion this event and diversity in your local group.

Partnerships with local women developer organizations.

You’ll likely need to partner up with an organization primarily focused on women in technology to:

  • Get feedback on what women devs would like to see at the event
  • Promote the event
  • Find women speakers/panelists

All of this is, of course, a 2-way street, so organizers should look for ways to have an ongoing relationship in the future (e.g. co-promoting events, sharing speakers, etc.)

Some examples of groups in the Bay Area are Girl Develop It, Women Who Code, Women 2.0. Here is a list of organizations dedicated to women in tech. You can also search sites like to find local groups. Many universities also have Women in Engineering clubs on campus that you may try to reach out to for potential attendees.

2. Duration

DevFests generally span anywhere from 6-hours to 2-days. In order to make DevFestW as accessible as possible, there is no minimum duration requirement for the event. Instead, we encourage all relevant events, big or small, to participate in this initiative. This means a DevFestW event may include anything from a full-on 2-day speaker series + hackathon event, to a 2-hr group code lab. It’s up to you.

Hold your event anytime between now and March 10, 2013 to be included in DevFestW season.

3. Content

Like a regular DevFest, the content should still have an emphasis on Google developer platforms/products — whether that be a free form hackathon, code lab, or technical lecture. You should also get feedback from women in your community to see if there is demand for sessions like Q&A;/panel sessions with prominent women tech leaders in the local community.

Some communities report that having a structured, beginner-friendly atmosphere tends to promote more equal gender.

Are DevFestW events women-only?

DevFestW is not intended to be women-only, but is instead an opportunity for developer communities to be more mindful of female inclusion. However, if an exclusive event is determined to be the most culturally appropriate to the hosting community, this is certainly acceptable.

Why DevFestW?

Google believes diversity and inclusion is important for thriving, vibrant communities. Focusing on women-inclusion is the first step in a larger effort to diversify the global Google developer community. The GDG community has shown great interest in this initiative, so we are offering them the reigns to push it forward with a women-focused DevFest.

Google will be hosting GDG Silicon Valley DevFestW event in Mountain View, CA on March 1-2, 2013. More details on agenda and live streaming access to come.

Hashtag: #devfestw