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Last week on March 11,  I participated in the first meeting of the Women on Snowflake user group. In the technology sector, it’s widely acknowledged that women are frequently underrepresented, a situation that demands attention. To address this disparity, the two experienced women Anastasiia Stefanska and Isabella Renzetti decided to create this group. They gathered women from around the world from the ones who are already experts in data and Snowflake but also the ones who are fresh and want to enter this industry.

User groups

But maybe let’s start with what the user groups are and why they are so valuable. In general, user groups are a very popular type of gathering of people with similar interests and have many valuable pros! Let’s look at them closer:

Share knowledge

where they can share their knowledge, experiences, and best practices. This facilitates learning and allows members to gain insights from each other, ultimately helping everyone improve their skills.

Network opportunities

User groups offer excellent networking opportunities, allowing members to connect with like-minded individuals, potential collaborators, or even future employers. Building a strong network within the user group can lead to valuable professional relationships and career opportunities.

Community and support

Being part of a user group provides members with a sense of community and support. Whether facing technical challenges, seeking advice on software or hardware purchases, or simply looking for encouragement, members can rely on the user group for assistance and camaraderie.

Access to resources

User groups often provide access to resources that may not be readily available elsewhere. This can include guest speakers, workshops, tutorials, or exclusive content tailored to the interests and needs of the members. Such resources can greatly enhance members’ computing experiences and skills development.

Hands-on Learning

Many user groups organize hands-on workshops or demonstrations where members can gain practical experience with new technologies, software applications, or computing techniques. This interactive learning environment fosters skill development and experimentation in a supportive setting.

Social Interaction

In addition to professional development, user groups offer opportunities for social interaction and friendship. Regular meetings and social events provide members with a chance to relax, unwind, and forge personal connections with fellow enthusiasts or professionals in their field.

Motivation and Inspiration

Interacting with peers who share the same passion can be highly motivating and inspiring. Seeing others’ accomplishments, learning about new technologies, or participating in group projects can ignite members’ enthusiasm and drive for further exploration and innovation in their computing pursuits.

Small conclusion

In summary, user groups serve as invaluable resources for knowledge sharing, networking, community support, access to resources, hands-on learning, social interaction, and motivation. By actively participating in a user group, individuals can enhance their skills, expand their professional networks, and enrich their overall experience.

Women on Snowflake: First Meeting!

But it is a theory so let’s come back to practical experience. During the opening meeting of the Women on Snowflake user group, the first speaker was Veronika Durgin who is the Vice President of Data at Saks, the premier luxury e-commerce platform. She is responsible for the data strategy at Saks. But she also has an impressive list of various data engineering and management roles at tech-enabled sustainable agriculture companies, Indigo, and Sonos, Inc. In her speech, she told us not only about her career but also a bit about her life path.

There are many statistics about the percentage of women in STEM, computer science, or generally tech industries. It is usually no more than 25%. It is still a very low number. Moreover, while talking with other women in tech but not only, I noticed that most of us, are facing or have faced in our careers with the feeling of staying behind the rest, and underestimating our skills. Sometimes it is caused by the non-technical background and entering IT in general might be challenging in that case. But sometimes it is not the background…

I think this kind of groups, like the Women on Snowflake, are very important and valuable. They encourage and support women to join and enhance their skills in data related world. I wrote down some of the main thoughts (not only for women!) that I liked from Veronica’s talk and that I want to remember:

  • Learn from your mistakes!
  • Accept your weaknesses!
  • Understand that you don’t have to be good at everything!
  • Remember that you always have something valuable to bring to the table!

But it was just the opening day and I can’t wait for the next (also more technical) meetings!


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