This weekend marked the beginning of the fifth annual Philly Tech Week, which celebrates innovation and technology with over 150 events spanning April 17-25.
The Philly Women in Tech Summit (or WITS for short) celebrates women in the tech field, ranging from developers and programmers to managers and executives. WITS provided a daylong event that connected these talented women through networking events and educated them with a vast array of workshops and presentations.
This year the event was held in Old City at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. I was very fortunate to have bought a ticket early when I was offered the opportunity to TA for a friend’s workshop. All 300 tickets sold out long before the event, leaving 200 people on a waiting list.
This year’s theme was “Inspiring Women to Take a Chance,” and the WITS set the bar high early in the morning with their opening keynote speaker, Kelly Hoey. She is a speaker, strategist, and board member for several tech startups, and was recently named “1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship” by Forbes.
“Build your expertise, build your networks, and build your bank account,” Hoey told the packed room full of women.
After the opening keynote, women were invited to participate in hour-long sessions, ranging from hands-on development workshops to presentations on career development and hot topics in the tech world.
The event concluded with closing keynote speaker, Renee Chenault-Fattah, a news anchor for Philadelphia’s NBC10.
“What would you dare to dream if fear of failure was off the table?” Chenault-Fattah asked the audience. She discussed how failure is necessary for success, giving examples from her own professional life.
After the WITS concluded, John and I joined up at the Arcade at Dilworth, which featured dozens of local game developers and makers, as well as DJ performances and a beer garden. We were blown away by some of the innovative and exciting things we saw!
John and I are both big gaming nerds, and three games we really enjoyed were:
- Dragon Fin Soup by Grimm Bros, a traditional 2D RPG with great artwork and storyline potential
- Earth Knight by Cleaversoft, a runner game on top of dragons that have taken over earth
- Monster Want Burger by Cipher Prime, a fun and simple burger-stacking game created as part of a 2 week competition
We also saw fun creations from local makerspaces and a large, light-up Connect Four screen!
Check out the Philly Tech Week website for more information about upcoming events!