When I first heard about Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner (BAGGD), it was when Google hosted the very first one. I unfortunately heard about the event too late to even attend. Rumor has it that there was food galore with plenty of free schwag and sushi! I have longed waited to go to a great Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner party. Last night, may have been it.
Yahoo hosted the 7th(?) Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner at their headquarters in Sunnyvale. It was a class act party. I’ve been to their cafeteria before for previous events like P-Camp, but they transformed the cafeteria into party central. It was unrecognizable to me.
Unlike previous BAGGD events that I’ve attended, the food kept coming out and there was an open bar. The decor was in purple fashion like the BAGGD and Yahoo colors, what a coincidence! There was a computer-themed cake. The music (I think) was from Los Gatos DJ. They played top 40s and some dance. It kept the vibe upbeat. And all attendees received a “Code like a girl” womens t-shirts.
Unfortunately, the party central layout was not optimal for listening to speakers. There were two of them – Hiliary Schneider, Executive VP of Americas, and Cheryl Ainoa, SVP Global Services Engineering. To be honest, I couldn’t hear them too well. All I remember is that Hilary had no slides and was talking about tomatoes at the beginning. Oh and that there are 35% women at Yahoo. Cheryl had slides and was talking about more technical things which were interesting. I did not get all of it, but I know that Hadoop was mentioned. Maybe her slides are posted somewhere?
One thing that I would have loved is a Q&A at the end of their talks. I love Q&A. I had one question brewing that I wanted to ask the keynote speaker. So Hilary or someone else from Yahoo who has authority, here is my question, drum roll please… Sophia: “It’s great that Yahoo opens up its data sources for developers to create applications on top of. I did notice that many of the APIs are for non-commercial use only. What role does this (personal use APIs) play in being competitive with companies like Google, Twitter, or Facebook who offer APIs for commercial use? In what way does this (personal use APIs) encourage innovation?” …end of drum roll.
Of course, one of the reasons that companies sponsor BAGGD events is to share something with a captive audience (girl geeks). Yahoo did a great job of motivating attendees to visit all of their demo booths. Why you might ask? Well, they had a card that they called a passport and you needed to visit at least 6 booths to get 6 stamps. Then, you can enter to win a…..IPAD! As much as I love winning things, each booth was crowded and I heard from a friend that it took 45 minutes to get all the stamps. I was not that motivated.
I wished that Yahoo had a handout about each demo so that I didn’t have to physically visit each demo to learn about it. So of course I know nothing about the demos that they had last night. But, I did ask a friend about one of them. She told me that Yahoo has a FireFox plug-in that you can use to monitor your web performance and it will offer suggestions on where you can optimize your web site such as image caching for a longer time if the image does not change that often.
Not all BAGGD events will be as posh as this one, but you got to give credit to Yahoo for throwing a kick @ss party. I was very impressed. I suggest that you “fan” Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner on Facebook so that you know when the next one is coming up. Companies, I suggest that you host a BAGGD event if you want to share something great about your product to girl geeks. See you at the next one!