Hands down Black Enterprise’s 2015 Tech Connext Summit is one of the best conferences I’ve attended. Yes I said it.
As you may know, not only am I the creator of this blog, but I work on the tech industry as an IT Project Manager. I struggled to find the right words that would convey how strongly I felt about this conference, words tthat will properly explain how amazing it was to 1. Be in Silicon Valley 2. Be in a space with so many other industry people who “look like me” and 3. Find people who inspire me to be better at my career.
If you work in the tech industry you need to make sure in 2016 the Tech Connext Conference is your “must do” list, here’s why.
Networking is important!
Never has it been ever important and stressed to build a valuable network for me than here listening to sessions. When I was college I was never taught to network and therefore I didn’t. When I started this blog, years after graduating, I learned the importance of networking, but never really applied it to my professional careers. People like Ken and Caretha Coleman stressed the importance of “just one connection” that could change your life!
Building a great network can and will lead to career advancement and will open doors that you might not have known were available to you! The value of a business card and Evernote is undeniable!
I met people who worked at Intel, AT&T, Capitol One, and Google (to name a few), people who are co founders of their own companies, people recruiting tech talent, and some many others. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find another group of people in one space.
Everybody Needs a Mentor!
I was sitting in a session where Stacy Brown, COO of TaskRabbit, was the speaker and of all the things she said the one thing that resonated with me the most of “having a mentor is important!” She explained that a mentor is someone whom you’ve built a relationship over time that becomes invested in you. Mentoring is not typically dinners and long conversations, they are most often 5-15 minute conversation in transit that help give you clarity!!
I’ve been trying to move to Dallas for the last 2 years, primarily because Texas has a booming IT industry. However, after being in Silicon Valley, visiting AT&T Foundry, Google’s campus, and listening to the many speakers at Tech Connext I’ve decided I need to be in the Bay Area. Butch Graves of Black Enterprise told students of HBCUs and some Ivy League schools that you can’t have a tech conference in city that “doesn’t so tech”, he compared it to having a deep sea event in Chicago! He’s right!
If you want to excel in the tech industry you have to be in the place where tech is appreciated and accepted! Especially now when diversity in tech is so hot right now! If you are a person of color, Silicon Valley WANTS you! I don’t care that the rent for a 1 bdrm apt is 2x more than my 3 bdrm house mortgage!!!
This conference was so amazing, I’m am SO there next year. Have I convinced you to invest in your future next year?
This post is brought to you by AT&T