Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Christmas Speaker

Breaking News!

The speaker for the Christmas party is the fabulous Pia Waugh talking about...

Volunteerism - your ICT skills can make a better world.

Pia will be discussing how she came to realise that she could work in ICT _and_ contribute to helping the world. She'll be covering her experiences in volunteerism, including he most recent projects involving One Laptop Per Child.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Girl Geek Dinners Sydney 2008 Christmas Party

Come one, come all to the Girl Geek Dinners Sydney Christmas Party.

We are having a very Aussie BBQ to celebrate the great community we have built in 2008. Places are limited so register below by the 16th of December.

When: Thursday the 18th of December at 7pm

Where: Level 9, 155 George Street, The Rocks

The Twist: 'Tis the season to be merry! So this year, along with a host of festive food, drinks and geeky merriment, geek girls will be involved in the jolly act of giving (and receiving) with a break from the tired old tradition of Secret Santa...

We bring you: Geek Girls Christmas Swap-Off

The theme: 'geeky' or 'girly'

What's it all about? Social networking with an added twist! All you have to do is bring along a 'gift' based on the theme above (value $10-15), the rest you'll find out on the night...

Hosted By: Geekdom - Queen(King)dom of Geeks

Sponsored By: Geekdom, Microsoft, Atlassian, Google, ThoughtWorks and the delightfully generous André Pang of

Registration Closed

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A dinner with Dave Thomas

Come along for dinner, a drink and an opportunity to hear Dave Thomas speak.

When: Thursday the 4th of December at 7pm
Where: ThoughtWorks Sydney Office, Level 8, 51 Pitt Street, Sydney CBD
RSVP: Via the facebook group or email Damana

Other groups have had to share his time but he is enthusiastic to speak to GGD Sydney members.

Dave Thomas is best known as the founder and past CEO of Object Technology International, Inc., now IBM OTI Labs. OTI was responsible for initial development of the Eclipse open source IDE and the Visual Age Java development environment.

He is a popular, humorous, albeit opinionated keynote speaker with a unique breadth of business experience and technical depth. He is widely published in software engineering literature. Dave remains active in various roles within the technical community including ECOOP, AOSD, JAOO, Agile Development Conference, OOPSLA Onward, ENASE and Dynamic Language Symposium. He is an adjunct research professor at Carleton University and the University Of Queensland as well as a founding director of the Agile Alliance, an ACM Distinguished Engineer, President of AITO and an advisor for IEEE Software. He also writes an expert column in the Journal Of Object Technology.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sydney Girl Geek November Dinner @ Bungalow 8

When: Tuesday 18th November @ 6pm
Where: Bungalow 8 on King St Wharf
Booking: Under the name Damana

Come along for an informal unsponsored dinner with all your can eat mussels at Bungalow 8 on King St Wharf.

Come early to hear Pia talk.

You don't have to eat mussels if you don't want to. There is a menu with non-seafoody food.

It's at the end of the wharf, right down the other end from the Cargo Bar.

RSVP on the Facebook event:

If you are not on Facebook, email me to say you are coming. I've only booked for 10 based on previous responses but will extend the booking if more people are interested.

Monday, 3 November 2008

World Usability Day 2008

World Usability Day 2008 is quickly approaching on November 13.

The theme this year will focus on transportation.
We are focusing on how to improve the design of transport systems and infrastructure to:
• Better support the people that use them
• Move towards more sustainable forms of transport in the future

Here’s what’s on and how you can get involved:
• Guest speakers / transportation experts
• Interactive workshops & discussion questions
• Photo and design exhibition highlighting transportation challenges and solutions

Cost: Free!!! Just come along - no registration required
Who: Everyone is welcome (including students, usability professionals, people who work with or use transport)
When: Thursday 13 November 2008
Where: University of Technology Sydney
More information:

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Drinks at the Clock in Surry Hills

Come along for a drink at the Clock in Surry Hills.

I plan to be sitting upstairs so I'll grab an area when up there when I get there.

This is an informal unsponsored event.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
6:30pm - 8:30pm
The Clock Hotel
470 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Sydney, Australia

Coding Dojo tomorrow (18 Sept) at Atlassian

SyXPAC is running a Coding Dojo tomorrow, 18 Sept, at Atlassian. So if any girl geeks are interested in learning what pair programming and test driven development feels like (albeit with an abnormally high switching rate), please drop by and join in. We'll be doing Madlibs from Ruby Quiz, probably using Ruby unless the people vote differently on the night.

Coding Dojo is intended to be a non-competitive, collaborative, fun event where all skill levels are welcome and it's safe to try new ideas.

173-185 Sussex St, Sydney 2001, 18:00 to 20:30 ish.

Sorry for the short notice but I wasn't sure I was going to be in the city...

Thursday, 28 August 2008

GeekGirlBlogs Podcast about Girl Geek Dinners Sydney

Catherine Eibner has started a series of podcasts with and about geek girls.

She recently interviewed me about how you can go about setting up a GGD and what it's all about.

This is a great initiative. I always look forward to the monthly podcasts.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Sorta like a Girl Geek Dinner #5

Microsoft, in conjunction with Girl Geek Dinners Sydney is holding a Women in IT luncheon at Tech Ed 2008 in Sydney. Register now (on their site) using the ticket code wit08, as places are limited. I hope to see you all there even if you aren't Microsofties.

Ticket Code:
Topic: Women in IT - an International Perspective (Keynote & Panel Discussion)
Wednesday 3rd September, 2008

1.15pm - 2.05pm (lunch available in foyer from 12.45pm

Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour

Bayside Terrace, Level 2

Cost: complimentary for Tech Ed Delegates and Geek Girl Dinner members (limited seats available)

The highlight will be a panel discussing women in IT in an international context. Panelists include:
  • Tracey Fellows, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia
  • Anna Liu, Microsoft
  • Pia Waugh, Waugh Partners
  • Fran Foo, Technology Reporter, The Australian
  • Antonietta Holzhauser, Group Manager LAN Services, Health Support Service

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Girl Geek Dinners Chicago Dinner 0

GGD Chicago has organised their Dinner 0 and you should go along if you are in that part of the world at that time. It's at ThoughtWorks so it will be a good night. Show them your support and pass this on to anyone you know who might know girl geeks in the Chicago area.

Aon Building: 200 E Randolph 25th Floor (ThoughtWorks office)

Friday August 22, 2008
5:30 Doors open
6:00 Event begins
8:30 Event ends

Food and Drinks: Appetizers, Wine, and Chocolate fondue fountains

For any questions that evening on directions or building entry, please call Carrie at: (773) 882-1916

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sydney Girl Geek Dinner #4 was a hit!

On Thursday the 14th of August, GGD Sydney held our latest event. It was a night of champagne, cheese and a chocolate fountain brought to 70 girl geeks by ThoughtWorks.

Maria Milosavljevic, CTO of Capital Markets CRC spoke about looking at an academic career as an alternative to the usual industry track that we take in our lives. The description of roles that would allow people to put their computer science degrees to full use was attractive to many in the audience.

ThoughtWorks engineers Liz Douglass and Julian Parry gave a hugely popular talk about Test Driven Development. Their talk had audience participation, coding examples and lots of laughs. If you'd like a copy of the slides for their talk, just ask me. Jules was our first male speaker.

Cyndi Mitchell, the Managing Director of ThoughtWorks Studios spoke about Dynamic Languages and how they can be used to solve the current issues with Enterprise bloat. Cyndi is our first international speaker.

Suzi Edwards was a fabulous hostess and kept the crowd going with spinal checks, speed networking and lots of good humour. She also took a lot of fantastic photos which you see in this post. For more pictures, see Suzi's flickr photo stream.

Monday, 28 July 2008

GGD Sydney Dinner #4 Registration Closed

Registration for GGD4 has met it's quota and is now closed. Those who are registered will receive a confirmation email soon.

If you want to be on the waiting list, you will be contacted when a space becomes available.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Girl Geek Dinner Sydney #4

Yes, it's that time! Time for another swanky Sydney Girl Geek Dinner with tech talks, sparkly wine, sparkly t-shirts and geek girls.

Where: ThoughtWorks Sydney Offices @ Level 8, 51 Pitt Street
When: Thursday the 14th of August at 7pm

Stay tuned for our line up of speakers.

Register Now as places are limited. You will get a notification closer to the event. You might have to scroll for the Submit button as all this technology stuff confuses me.

Registration Closed

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Brisvegas Girl Geek Dinners!

The fabulous Bronwen and Jenine are kicking off Girl Geek Dinners in Brisbane and are hoping you can spread the word. If you can think of a geek girl you know in Brisbane then let them know. Tell the guys you know there too and ask them to pass on these details...

Who is invited? If you are a geek and a girl or know of one who is willing to escort you then you are welcome and encouraged to come along. There is a technical focus with the intention of having fun and connecting with other women in IT.

The plan
The first dinner will be an informal dinner where we can all meet and discuss what we want to see and get ideas for future dinners.

Register here:

Who pays for dinner?
This is our first gathering and we don't have sponsorship yet so you'll pay this time.

Where + When
Date: Thursday 28th August
Time: 6:30pm
Where: Caravanserai Turkish Restaurant, West End

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Ready to go retro?

Hey geeks!

Ready to go retro? Lets all meet at The Retro and not only enjoy music from the 70's and 80's but enjoy each others geeky company

Come early, we have booked 2 tables at the back and they will be labeled "girl geek drinks". We get a bottle of bubblies per table and some pies, curry puffs and other fried things for free! so be quick!

Time and Place
Start Time: Friday, July 18, 2008 at 6:00pm
End Time: Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 1:00am
Location: The Retro - Bristol Arms Hotel
Street: 81 Sussex Street
City/Town: Sydney, Australia

Organised by the fantabulous Claudia

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Us on Yahoo

A story about Girl Geek Dinner 3 in Sydney appeared on the Yahoo developer network. Thanks to Claudia for the glowing review.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Sara's Slides from GGD 0b11

Check out Sara's slides about Happy Programmers from the last dinner.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

GGD 0b11 at Yahoo!7 Rocked

Our third big dinner was a raging success. Yahoo!7 were the ultimate hosts. 100 guests were kept entertained by speakers Sara, Pratibha and Claudia with topics from Yahoo APIs to why testing makes happy programmers :)

Some pictures from the night

There was also guitar hero, foozball, a geeky quiz and delish cupcakes. Geek Girls seemed happy with the opportunities to network, the interesting talks and the fun vibe that blanketed the night.

Maybe we should quit now because I'm not sure how I'm going to top this :)

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Add GGD 0b11 to your Calendar

Add the next GGD Sydney event to your...

Monday, 2 June 2008

Join our linkedin Group

Associate yourself with us by joining our linkedin group.

Photo by ♫ marc_l'esperance used under the flickr Creative Commons license

GGD 0b11 Registration Closed

Photo by Jasoon used under the flickr Creative Commons license

After hitting our 110 guest limit for the Yahoo!7 GGD, we've closed registration. There is a waiting list and people always pull out so send me details if you are still interested and I'll do my best to slot you in. No promises but lots of hope :)

Monday, 19 May 2008

Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne

Melbourne now has a Girl Geek Dinner group. They are meeting at 100 Mile Cafe, Level 3, Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe Street.

They also have a facebook group so join if you live and work in Melbourne or will be around for one of their dinners.

Yay Melbourne GGD!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

"Old boys network" still in science, engineering, and technology?

Via Clo Willaerts on the Girly Geekdom Blog,

The New York Times provides a preview of an upcoming Harvard Business Review article about a study conducted by the Center for Work-Life Policy:

An exodus occurs around age 35 to 40. Fifty-two percent drop out, the report warned, with some leaving for “softer” jobs in the sciences human resources rather than lab bench work, for instance, and others for different work entirely. That is twice the rate of men in the SET industries, and higher than the attrition rate of women in law or investment banking.

The reasons pinpointed in the report are many, but they all have their roots in what the authors describe as a pervasive macho culture.

Ironically, the New York Times publishes this in their Fashion and Style section...
The 147-page report (which was sponsored by Alcoa, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Pfizer and Cisco) is filled with tales of sexual harassment (63 percent of women say they experienced harassment on the job); and dismissive attitudes of male colleagues (53 percent said in order to succeed in their careers they had to “act like a man”); and a lack of mentors (51 percent of engineers say they lack one); and hours that suit men with wives at home but not working mothers (41 percent of technology workers says they need to be available “24/7”).
What I'm curious about are the tales of the 48% that do stay, especially those that are thriving.

What are the lessons to be learned from the best current experiences that go beyond just removing the factors that cause women to leave?

Monday, 12 May 2008

GGD Discount @ Next FITT Lunch

FITT is delighted to welcome members of Geek Girls Dinners to the FITT May Forum Luncheon on Wednesday 21 May 2008 from 12 – 2.30pm at the Star Room in the IMAX Theatre at Darling Harbour.

The lunch discussion is about a hot topic – Unified Communications. We have a panel discussion with Patricia Scott, Secretary of the Federal Department of Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy, Holly Kramer, Group Managing Director, Product Management, Telstra, Adele Whish-Wilson, CEO Momentum Technologies (Australian Innovator of mobile video streaming technology) and Dr Anna Liu, Group Manager, Emerging Technologies, Microsoft Australia.

You can submit your own questions to the panel, which is moderated by IT journalist Beverley Head, at

Because of sponsorship, as a special introductory offer to GGD members, we are able to offer $15 off the normal FITT member’s price of $90. To register go to and use the promotion code FITT15OFF in the booking section and then pay $75 by credit card. For more information about the event, see

I've booked my seat. Hope to see you all there.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Join the Get Stuff Done Gang

If you have ideas for what you want from the Girl Geek Dinners Sydney group, then come to our first organiseyness event. Get in there and organise the events that appeal to you and others. Help with events that other people want to push.

If you want something done, do it yourself. We want you too.

Where: Lindt Chocolate Cafe, Cockle Bay, Sydney
When: 6pm on Thursday the 15th of May
What: Let's get organised since attempts to clone Damana have not been successful

Important: Not sponsored. Chocolate consumption is highly recommended but not compulsory.

I know you all have opinions and ideas so let's make them happen together. Or just come along to hang out with some really cool geek girls and co :) I love to chat.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Dinner 0b11

Girl Geek Dinner 0b11 brought to you by
Dinner 0b11
The next Sydney dinner will be hosted by our friends at Yahoo!7 at their fabulous office in Walsh Bay on the 12th of June. As requested, we have technical talks, networking activities, drinks and food. RSVP by email to me (see details at bottom of this page) by the 31st of May to get your name on this very hot list.


Claudia Jayne Mikaelian and Pratibha Gannavarapu from Yahoo will be introducing you to Yahoo!7 Maps, Search and flickr api's and also the Yahoo! user interface library(YUI).

Sara Falamaki, a brilliant software engineer and life long member of GGD Sydney will give a talk titled Happy Programmers for Happy Code.
"Programmers want to be able to write code, write it quickly and write it efficiently. To do this, we need appropriate tools and infrastructure in place. In this talk I will outline some of the tools every programming shop should have: version control, build system, wiki, bug tracking system, nightly builds and testing framework. I'll also talk about the importance of testing, different types of test, and how to incorporate tests into your codebase and build system. Finally I'll open the floor for a group discussion about what tools have helped you and your organisation."
-- Sara Falamaki

7pm to 11pm, on Thursday the 12th of June

At the funky Yahoo!7 Office
Lot 2, Level 2, Pier 8&9,
23 Hickson Road Millers Point (Walsh Bay)

by 31st of May by email to Please do not register on the blog or only on the facebook group

Saturday, 19 April 2008

GGD Blog Post on Google-Au

This geek girl thing definitely does compute. Read about the latest event on the Google-Au official blog. There is a slide show from the night with some great pics.

Courtesy of Sun-Hee's Picasa Album

Friday, 18 April 2008

Girl Geek Dinner #2 a Success!

Our third dinner was held at the offices of Google Sydney. We had 70+ geek girls and guys in attendance for talks from Lindsay Ratcliffe and Stephanie Hannon and a cameo by Rob Pike. We wrapped up with a session to collect ideas for future events and to gather volunteers.

Rob Pike welcomed everyone and spoke about some of the stuff that is going on at Google

Lindsay Ratcliffe spoke about the Customer Experience

An audience filled mainly with geek girls

Stephanie Hannon talked about Google's GeoWeb projects

Everyone listening to Stephanie's talk


Gathering ideas for future events

Discussing ideas for future events

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

GGD #2 Update

If you registered correctly then you would have received the details and NDA via email.

Be sure to get to venue by 6:30pm.

Cameras can be used in the event room but not on the office tour.

Come and have fun!! I can't wait.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Dinner #2 - Registration Closed

A week after opening registration, Dinner #2 has reached the guest limit we set.

Thanks for all those who got in quickly and got a spot. See you all there.

If you missed out, stay tuned for details of the June event.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Dinner #2

Dinner #2 is happening at 6pm on Thursday, April the 17th at Google Sydney's Cafe Jest.

There are 2 amazing geek girls who are speaking on the night - UX guru Lindsay Ratcliffe from ThoughtWorks will speak about how designers and developers can collaborate to create the optimal user experience; and Google's Stephanie Hannon will discuss the development of Google's Geo products, including Maps, Earth, Google Maps Mobile and Maps API, and insights into trends in information sharing and user generated content that have been stimulated by innovative tools and open standards.

Be sure to register early as places are limited. Non-Geek Girls must register as a guest of a Geek Girl. Even Rob Pike is being accompanied (no seriously, he's going to be there).

It's going to be a great night.

Where: Cafe Jest Google Australia, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney CBD
When: 6pm, Thursday the 17th of April 2008

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

IT News

We made an appearance on one of the local IT news sites. It's mostly right :)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Dinner 01 - Picnic in the Park

International Women's Day 2008 is a great reason for women to get together to celebrate our achievements and discuss what still needs to happen to help women in the world.

Since there are so many events happening on that day, GGD Sydney is organising a Picnic in the Park at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney on Sunday the 9th of March (yes, the day after IWD) with the intent being to extend the celebrations by one more day :)

This event is not sponsored but if your company would like to sponsor, let us know!


When: 11am - 2pm on Sunday 09/03/2008
Where: The Camellia Garden enter via the Woolloomooloo gate (see map) @ the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Why: International Women's Day

Bring: A throw rug, a plate of food to share and whatever you'd like to drink
Wear: A flower of some sort so we blend with the gardens
Speaker: stay tuned - same fruitbat time - same fruitbat station

RSVP: By Wednesday the 5th of March

Friday, 22 February 2008

GG Dinner Zero Delivered!

The first Girl Geek Dinner to be held in Sydney was a major success. We had 40 fabulous women and a few male-geek-girls turn up for a delicious dinner and lots of drinks at Chinta Ria restaurant in Cockle Bay, Sydney.

There was a lot of girly geekiness on the night - Pia's not so well-formed shirt brought out the obsessive compulsiveness in a lot of us; The many references to Hitchhiker's and the mice being in charge; and a fabulous line about "not having to explain myself tonight" really summed up the night.

There are more pictures from the night on the facebook group.

Big thanks to our wonderfully generous sponsors - ThoughtWorks and Google!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Dinner Zero Venue Change

New Dinner Venue: Chinta Ria, Cockle Bay
Time: 6pm (get there early to grab a seat)
Specs: On the roof terrace of Cockle Bay Wharf, next to the Pyrmont Footbridge entrance

Reason for change: Although I expect to be lynched for denying a lot of fabulous women access to free chocolate, it can not be helped. We expected that even if all the geek girls in Sydney turned up, there would be no more than maybe 15 of us at Dinner Zero. We were wrong.

Who would have known that there are at least 35 of you? :)

We can't complain that there are too many because too many still isn't enough in this industry! So the outcome is that the venue has changed to accommodate the new numbers. Lindt Chocolate Cafe just wasn't big enough or helpful enough to fit us all in.

See you all there, ladies!

Please RSVP on facebook event or email me to confirm venue change

Monday, 11 February 2008

Eat Chocolate and Geek It Up On ThoughtWorks

Thoughtworks has kindly volunteered to sponsor the first chocolate-filled Girl Geek Dinner Sydney on the 21st of February at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Cockle Bay. Spread the news. Bring a geek girl friend along and enjoy our introduction dinner.

This is a great chance to find out what we have planned for 2008 and how Girl Geek Dinners plans to make playing amongst those geek boys more enjoyable.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Is competitive drive a result of biology or culture?

Via Melissa Lafsky at the Freakonomics blog,

A working paper on gender differences in competition by Uri Gneezy, John List, and Kenneth Leonard:

Our experimental results reveal interesting differences in competitiveness: in the patriarchal society women are less competitive than men, a result consistent with student data drawn from Western cultures. Yet, this result reverses in the matrilineal society, where we find that women are more competitive than men. Perhaps surprisingly, Khasi women are even slightly more competitive than Maasai men, but this difference is not statistically significant at conventional levels under any of our formal statistical tests.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Star performers are not portable unless...

Via Bob Sutton,

A Harvard Business Review article on the difference in portability of male vs female star performers:

A star performer in one company will shine in another, right? Wrong. When stars switch firms, their performance actually dims, along with their new company’s market value, author Boris Groysberg argues. Everyone loses.

Except when the stars are women.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Dinner Zero

The date is set for the first Girl Geek Dinner in Sydney!

Where + When
Date: Thursday 21st February
Time: 6pm

Who is invited?
If you are a geek and a girl or know of one who is willing to escort you then you are welcome and encouraged to come along. There is a technical focus with the intention of having fun and connecting with other women in IT.

The plan
The first dinner is an open mike night. Think of topics that are interesting to you. You don't have to give a talk but you are most welcome to.

Who pays for dinner?
This is our first gathering and we don't have sponsorship yet so you'll pay this time. There is chocolate so we're hoping that is an incentive.

RSVP by commenting on this post.

The cafe doesn't accept bookings but we would like an idea of numbers so please RSVP before the event. There is no cut-off date so feel free to turn up on the night anyway. A list of people who RSVP will be added to this post so stay tuned.

So far...

Damana Madden - ThoughtWorks
Mei Zhu +1 - CBA
Jason Yip - ThoughtWorks
Zhamak Dehghani - Silverbrook Research
Anita Maehrle - ThoughtWorks
Giles Alexander - Silverbrook Research
Denise Fernandez
Alice Boxhall - Google
Claudia Mikaelian - Yahoo!
Kalinda Hatherly
Catherine Eibner - Cybner
Grisel Carreira
Alison Young
Pia Waugh
Anthony Stamfel - Yahoo!
Isis Nair - Google
Sara Falamaki
Sara Webster - SAP
Charissa +1
Sarah +2
Kate Carruthers
Anna Buttfield - Atlassian

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Girl Geek Dinners Sydney

I first learned about Girl Geek Dinners from Hugh Macleod's blog and thought it was a cool idea. I especially liked the attendance rule:
If you are male and wish to attend this event you must bring a female with you or be brought by a female. NO FEMALE, NO ENTRY!!!! Sorry Guys! (We need to keep the numbers balanced!) And ladies, one date only please!
What a clever way to create a different distribution of gender than your typical technology-related meetup.

Recently, ThoughtWorks was having internal discussions about supporting diversity in the community and remembering Girl Geek Dinners, I proposed initiating something similar here in Sydney.

So here we are.

Here's the video that Sarah made for us to help describe what Girl Geek Dinners is as well as provide advice for how to start one.

[video link]

What next?
We've created this blog where we'll post more details and updates. So the next step is to find a speaker and/or follow the example of the first Girl Geek Dinners and try an open mike night.

After that, probably look for an appropriate venue.

Please stay tuned.

Photo by Tom Harpel