Life in the Data Highway

Woman on the Data Highway

Girl Geek Dinners Talk is on Data this month

Girls Geek Dinners details for the 29th of April are coming together; full details are on our Girlgeekdinners page. The first speaker announcement is from Anna Wykes on Data Engineering for Data Scientists.

Anna Wykes

Anna is a veteran software & data engineer, with over 15 years of experience. She’s tackled projects from real-time analytics with Scala & Kafka, building out Data Lakes with spark and applying engineering to Data Science. Anna is a senior consultant with Advancing Analytics, helping shape & evolve their data engineering practice. She has a real passion for data and strives to bring the worlds of Software Development and Data Science closer together. Other areas of interest include UX, Agile methodologies, and helping to organize/run local Code Clubs


A Data Engineer should be Data Scientist’s best friend, but sometimes the 2 roles get mixed up, or pitched against each other. In this session, Anna explores the core responsibilities of a Data Engineer and how proficient Data Engineering can actually make your Data Science projects more fun. We’ll look at what tools and techniques a Data Engineer uses and why they use them. We’ll also look into a history of the techniques/technologies and how they have evolved (and why)

Cyber Security Guide for small businesses

We spotted this from the National Cyber Security Centre, which we thought looked useful Small Business Guide: Cyber Security.

Cyber security needn’t be a daunting challenge for small business owners. Following the five quick and easy steps outlined in the guide below could save time, money and even your business’ reputation. This guide can’t guarantee protection from all types of cyber attack, but the steps outlined below can significantly reduce the chances of your business becoming a victim of cyber crime.

Want some positive news?

We are finding all the ‘who to hate now’ conversation slightly overwhelming as we’re sure you are too. So here’s the latest news from the positive news site:

  • Britain set a green energy record
  • Bee-friendly face masks launched
  • Seeds were sown for a community farm in Manchester

It also gave us an excuse to add a nice bee pic to this page – what’s not to love?

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Ahh – its spring, the suns out and we get to eat chocolate, what a great time of year. There’s not too many events on this week but we’ll share a couple of things we’ve recently spotted.

Girls into Electronics online course

Girls into electronics

We spotted this from our friends at the UKESF (UK Electronics Skills Foundation) and although there is a cost they are also open to applications from those that can’t afford it. We love the work that the UKESF are doing and know that we have a future issue with a lack of electronics engineers coming through the system.

Content and delivery for this online course for current Year 12 (S6 Scotland, Year 13 NI) is by UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF), in conjunction with Aston University and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Course session timings: 13 – 15 July 2021. Each day: 9:30 – 13:30 hrs. There will also be a session about careers – timings tbc.

Happy First Contact Day

Are you one of those people who is considered to be a real, committed Trekkie? Did you spend your youth trying to Vulcan Nerve Pinch those problems away? Is there a regulation StarFleet uniform in the closet and is speaking Klingon as a second language a lifelong pursuit? 

Then it’s time to get that uniform on and prepare to celebrate First Contact! Star Trek First Contact Day is celebrated by fans everywhere. Even those people who don’t know Zefram Cochrane from Zac Efron are still absolutely welcome to join in!

South West TECH Daily

Looks like there’s a new tech magazine just been launched which is actually covering the South West. It would be great to actually have a bit more Tech content and less about money – and more about the issues around diversity in the industry since we spotted that we are the worst area in the UK for gender diversity in the TechNation report recently. We’re on a lets wait and see for now but possibly worth knowing its out there.

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Unwind …….

Mental Health faces

… Wednesday

Unwind Wednesday

This has been under discussion and half on our Agenda for quite some time (years in fact). It recently came up in discussion again with the Codehub team so we’ve been looking at what we could do to support our members who are experiencing stress/anxiety/mental health issues and we came up with unWind Wednesdays as an alternating meetup with the Workshop Wednesdays. It’s based on the frazzled cafe by Ruby Wax and the hosts have been put through their paces by attending these. So Big thanks to your hosts on this: Susie Katya and James

So sign up through WTHub Pilot – UnWind Wednesday with CodeHub or CodeHub Pilot – UnWind Wednesday

Zero Suicide Alliance Logo

As we’re on the subject of Mental Health wellbeing we also came across this suicide awareness training online Zero Suicide Alliance and it only takes 20minutes – 1/2 an hour for each of the free pieces of training so worth doing if only so you’re prepared and recognise people that are struggling.

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Tech Nation report …..Sigh…..

Fed Up Woman

So we spotted that the technation report was out last week and all the great news about Bristol being a great place for tech investment, but we didn’t really see anyone mentioning the elephant in the room. See if you can spot it…

Tech Nation Diversity Map

Seriously though is it not a bit shocking? We’ve taken a look back at their previous reports but this appears to be the first one with a diversity count. Last years was all about money and the year before was about networking and meetups. There should be one counting how many meetups are now run by recruiters as that’s been the last 2 years growth in meetups in Bristol that we’ve been seeing, and less independently run ones, which is a shame.

As we’ve said from the start, it’s not a case of just pushing more girls through the education system into the industry, it’s also about stopping the large dropout. When the IET bought out the 9%isnotenough campaign we noticed the next year that the number we believe had actually gone down to 8% – although the way the stats were calculated had changed and was reported as 11%. We’ve long suggested that rather than look at growing the number, the real issue is to stop it bottoming out and it seems we still have a long way to go!

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Engineering Curiosity

Engineering cards

Curiosity Connections

We had a chat a while ago with a great group called Curiosity connections, a network for people and organisations supporting and delivering STEM education in primary schools across the West of England. They were looking for some members working in the field to feature, and a couple of our brilliant members stepped up. So Big thanks to Elena and Chew .. see if you can spot them!

Engineering Curiosity is a set of 52 ‘top-trump’ style cards, each themed on a real-life local engineer from the West of England region. Through the cards, children can explore the diversity of engineering, its people, skills and future career opportunities.

If that also sparked your curiosity and you’re interested in Engineering it may be worth popping onto Bristol Universities talks about postgraduate learning in:

  • MSc Aerial Robotics
  • MSc Biorobotics
  • MSc Robotics

Sign up under their postgraduate events page.

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