Tech Intersections 2019

Tech Intersections is an affordable conference for the womxn of color most underrepresented in tech to come together and learn from each other’s successes, challenges, and experiences.

Here are my notes on all the sessions I attended at this year’s Tech Intersections conference in Oakland.

Opening Session

This was intense! Enough said.

Career Skills Panel - Claim Your Future Career

Anndrea Moore

  • spreadsheet for tracking job applications
  • don’t just apply online, use referrals
  • network
  • maybe 90% of time you won’t get feedback but always keep asking because when you do get feedback, it can very valuable
  • when it comes to prepping for interviews, reach out to your network and use resources like Quora, Glassdoor, Blind, etc.

April Speight

  • develop an online presence
  • accepting job with Microsoft
  • use folders in your email to keep track of job applications
  • save job descriptions since they get taken down
  • when it comes to prepping for interviews, the “tell me about yourself” can seem terrifying but would recommend just telling a story about how your personal experience directly relates to the role you’re applying for
  • favorite ways to network: Twitter “closed mouths do not get fed”

Cindy Alvarez

  • hiring managers usually don’t know how to write job descriptions
  • feedback usually isn’t given because companies are terrified of liability issues
  • candidates will argue back
  • in all honesty, if interviewer is asking the “tell me about yourself” question, it is likely to
  • favorite ways to network: having people ask you specific questions first like “do you have a book recommendation for xyz?"; asking a small thing first will allow you to ease into a deeper conversation
  • use IDE instead of whiteboarding

Elizabeth Bautista

  • create your own job
  • if a job wants 5 years of experience, consider that open source work and hackathons you’ve done, a career development program you’ve completed - those all tie in and can be considered experience as well
  • if candidate gets rejected and the emails are confrontational, they are usually deferred back to the recruiter
  • when it comes to prepping for interviews, make sure to prepare with questions that are relevant since you’ve ideally done your research on the company when it comes to culture, demographics, etc.
  • favorite ways to network: prefer to seek out companies I’ve never heard at career/vendor fairs to talk to the recruiter and learn something new

Career Skills Panel - Is it Different? Being First Gen in Tech

Miriam Aguirre, Genesis Hernandez, Nadine Bui, Gloriane Tran
  • Toyota is a diverse company
  • organizations mentioned
  • Lesbians Who Tech
  • Latinas in Tech
  • Remix
  • Code2040
  • how to tell company culture is good
  • look at diversity stats of companies
  • see if there’s someone of diverse background in C-suite
  • check when people were last praised or last promoted
  • resources mentioned
  • huntr
  • boomerang
  • streak
  • nerdwallet
  • dealing with the vast amount of wealth in the bay area coming from someone who may have grown up struggling
  • changing expectations
  • push for more
  • learn to negotiate
  • salary
  • you can ask for pay band
  • illegal to ask for past salaries
  • always ask for more time to consider salary
  • share salary
  • how to recharge
  • humble yourself
  • ground yourself
  • have a little perspective
  • remember you’re not alone
  • remember your roots


I had lunch with a recruiter from Figma and a couple of software engineers from Slack like Kimberly, Trish & Ei-Nyung.

Career Skills Panel - Leveling Up

Adrianna Valdivia, Juanita Dion, Ei-Nyung Choi, Maira Benjamin
  • It was nice to see Ei-Nyung who also works at Slack talking about her career path.
  • diversity is important
  • try to get mentors with different skill sets
  • being an engineer is more about how you make people feel and your core principles “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou
  • leverage open source projects
  • career is not always a straight line
  • smalller conferences/meetups - easier to network smaller events means less pressure
  • sit at the end of the table
  • raise your seat
  • sit up high
  • ask for 30% more than what you want
  • whoever speaks first usually loses

Social Impact: The Road Less Traveled…

I helped Serena debug her technical issues before she started her talk.

Serena works at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.She first gave the audience different stats on Latino households…

  • 14% without a bank account
  • households increased by 167,000
  • 31.5% have no mainstream credit
  • population grew to 56.5 million or 17% of the total US population
  • since 2012, they account for 59% of new home ownership in the country

So seeing these issues down the horizon, she decided to look into creating a website that was created in Spanish and focuses on bank accounts, credit and home buying.It didn’t work out but then her team decided to focus on the portion that got the most traffic and expanded on that which were the single Q&A pages.

  • inserts on high traffic pages
  • improve SEO

Career Skills - How to Enjoy Networking: Advice from an Introvert


  • Panels
  • Might be nice for the next time I moderate a panel to use a timer so that when a single panelist takes up too much space, it’ll be easier to monitor and avoid
  • Get a sense of audience with hands like how many are students or full time
  • Website Google’s 200 Ranking Factors by HubSpot
  • Talk Topics
  • Self-Advocacy 101
  • Networking 101
  • Financial Literacy in Tech Industry 101
  • Career Tips & Tricks 101 compare 2 candidates in the audience after asking them who is struggling/feeling confident
  • Online Presence
  • Right now, I’m using Buffer to automatically post to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
  • Instead, because of Gen Z preference, I should switch Facebook to Instagram
  • keyvalues

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