womENcourage experience by Ferdinand Ward Ådlandsvik and Eivind Syrdalen Dovland

Each year we meet incredible women at womENcourage™ celebrations. We ask womENcourage participants to tell their stories in blog posts. We continue 2022 with Ferdinand Ward Ådlandsvik and Eivind Syrdalen Dovland who attended the event in Larnaca, Cyprus and who will be hosting the next year in Trondheim, Norway.

They talk about their experience at the latest conference and also tell us a bit about what we can expect from the next one.

Hello everyone! 

We are Eivind and Ferdinand, two Norwegian students currently writing our master’s thesis in Computer Science together at NTNU in Trondheim. Together with our research group, we attended the womENcourage 2022 in Larnaca, Cyprus, and in this post we will give you some insight in our experiences from the conference and tell you about next year’s conference.

There were a lot of interesting events we were able to attend at the conference, including workshops, panel discussions and keynotes, but in our minds the hackathon did stand out positively.  With the challenging task of creating software solutions for blending arts with science, our group of five computer science students came up with different ideas for solutions. With this being our first hackathon of this kind, it was inspiring to see how many good ideas the group came up with in such a short period of time. To see the amount of work that can be done while working efficiently (due to the time pressure) is something we appreciate having experienced through this hackathon.

We also think the task was interesting, and we found the hackathon to be an exercise in how to make the most out of our team, with good help from experienced mentors, to collectively produce the best possible product for our final presentation. Being able to see the other groups present their solutions is something we valued, inspiring us with their method of work and solutions. 

This was our first academic conference, and we appreciate having been able to meet so many like-minded people from around Europe and being able to hear experiences from other students from different countries as well. These opportunities don’t come around too often, so we are glad we had this possibility. 

We also want to use this post to urge more people to attend next year’s womENcourage taking place in our university town; Trondheim, Norway. This will be the 10th ACM Celebration of Women in Computing and will take place at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 20-22 September 2023. The theme of the conference will be Computing Connecting Everyone. Being able to attend this year’s event we are really looking forward to attending the next one, and we believe that it is going to be a great event. Norway is one of the leading countries when it comes to inclusion of women in computing, and we believe that this conference will be an inspiration. There will be a lot of interesting events and the possibility to meet and talk to great initiatives and companies working for equality and towards the goal of 50/50 men and women in computing. We therefore encourage all of you to attend this event, where you also get the chance to visit beautiful Trondheim and Norway, this is really something you don’t want to miss out on. There will be more information about the event as it is getting closer, and you can find all information at this website: https://womencourage.acm.org/2023/. Hopefully there will be a lot of people taking the trip to Trondheim, and the team is looking forward to welcoming all of you!

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