We are publishing a blog series on the brilliant women we had involved in the Women in Machine Learning program last year.
Whoever you are, and whatever your background we are sure you will find their thoughts on Machine Learning, inclusion and their stories inspirational and inspiring.
Brooke is a community powerhouse. Most nights you’ll catch her at one of the Melbourne technical meetups. She also posts programming tutorials and notes on her Data Science journey on her blog Girl vs. Data. Since completing the Women in Machine Learning program, she has gone on to successfully apply to EA (Electronic Arts for the non-gamers out there) to join their team as a Data Analyst.
What gets you excited about Machine Learning, and what makes you want to learn more?
I was addicted, I was constantly learning and finding out about new things and new ways to work with data; and the insights coming from this data were really doing massive things to help out the company I was working in. From there I started learning about forecasting and predictive models, I started listening to Data Science podcasts and hearing about Machine Learning, AI, and Deep Learning.
I think one of my favourite parts of learning to code something new, is being able to watch all of the puzzle pieces come together as you’re building it. I’ll just look at something that I’ve never tried before and grab some code and just work through it until I can understand why it does what it does. With Machine Learning, I’m doing that, but it’s with this really cool, intelligent new technology that has a unique way to unlock this untapped potential of so much data. It’s got kind of a fantastical kind of Sci-Fi appeal to it, I can’t help but get excited that I’m one of the lucky people who gets to play with it!
What diversity initiatives would you like to see in the MLAI industry?
I can only write honestly from my own perspective, so with that in mind, there are a few things we can do:
– More women speakers at conferences, and more diversity in panels. I’ve been hearing the phrase “You can’t be what you can’t see” passed around a lot lately, and it’s absolutely right. Seeing people like you speak at conferences or events is hugely beneficial to everyone at the start of their careers. It gives you something to strive towards, and helps to find people who share the same passions and the same struggles.
– Teach young girls about the huge range of tech career options available to them. I hadn’t even heard of Data Science until about 3 years ago, and until then I had never even considered a career in programming. I wanted a creative tech career, and I had assumed the only options for me had to do with design, illustration and 3D animation, because these were all I was exposed to in school. I wish I’d learnt how creative coding could be!
What was your favourite part of the Women in Machine Learning program, or what did you get most out of?
What is next for you on your Machine Learning journey?
What advice do you have for anyone from an underrepresented group in entering a career in tech?
Let your passion guide you, and you’ll find your way. There are people like you out there, way more than you would ever expect! If you are honest with yourself and speak with your passion, you’ll find them.
Some of the amazing communities that I’ve found myself a part of in just the last 12 months or so: PyLadies Melbourne, Girls in Tech, Women In Machine Learning and Data Science, Code Like a Girl. I found out about Silverpond’s Women in Machine Learning program at the first PyLadies meetup I went to!
I’ve found that going to meetups and engaging with the community is really the best way to not feel like you’re the only person going through the unique circumstances that meet women in tech. Plus there are just so many talented women out there that I am learning from and building connections with, I’m excited to watch their careers evolve alongside mine!
Do you or your company what to support the Women in Machine Learning program in 2019? Register your interest here.
We will be opening applications for the Women in Machine Learning program later in 2019. Register your details here to be amongst the first to apply.
Interested in a career in Machine Learning? We are hiring, check out our current openings here.
Did you enjoy reading Brooke’s post? Check out the rest of our Women in Machine Learning blog series…