From coding challenges to showcasing the best of Dublin’s maker community, the Mini Maker Event was a must-attend for tech professionals in July. Held in Accenture, the meetup saw popular groups, Learning Tech Labs, Girl Geek Dinners and Women Who Code, team up to share their skills and expertise on the night.
With a host of coding challenges ongoing, Maria Varley of Accenture’s Centre for Innovation was in demand as she led coders through a series of fun challenges. A member of Girl Geek Dinners, Maria was prompted to join the Centre for Innovation after making connections at the meetup group. “I went to a Girl Geek Dinner and I got talking to Ruth from the recruitment team at the Centre. I really liked their approach to cross-industry innovation and multidisciplinary teams. It’s a very new and fresh approach and I’m really enjoying it,” she says.
A software engineer, Maria worked previously in telecoms before making the move. She says: “I did electronic and computer engineering in NUI. I was looking for a bit of a change and the centre was the perfect opportunity. I’m scrum master now – it’s an agile methodology for software delivery. It can be applied to all industries and my role is in coaching to make sure that the process is being followed. That’s been a really nice change.”
Diversity in Tech
With a host of tech advocates at the meetup, she adds: “We got hired from the Girl Geek Dinners so it’s been successful from that point of view, and women are underrepresented in software in general, so it’s important to have groups like this. Accenture are great in that there are 50/50 men and women employees, and in the Centre they are really striking that balance.”
Along with Maria, Pium Vaisn was on hand to lend his expertise to the meetup. An experienced chef, Pium has set his sights on moving into the tech space.He explains: “I’ve gone back to college and decided to go for a career change, so I’m studying information technology in Trinity. I was always interested in technology and in the way it can help people. My goal is to bring food and tech together to help people with food allergies.”
A popular event, speakers on the evening included Dublin Maker’s David McKeown who brought the meetup through plans for the annual Dublin Maker event in Merrion Square. Along with David, Accenture’s Sinead Doherty described the meetup as an important community event.
“We’ve brought the three groups together and it’s all about expanding our network and supporting the community,” she explains. “People are really engaged. For us, the networking aspect is very important. We have a big recruitment drive on at the moment and getting the recruitment message out is key. We are speaking to people who may not have considered Accenture to be part of the start-up tech movement. We want to share our story and the value we place on diversity and learning in our teams, something which forms the DNA of these meetups.”