Last night, attendees (including myself) at Microsoft’s Codess Dublin, which facilitated skills sharing and networking for women in the IT sector, were told that adopting a ‘growth mind set’ in the workplace is key to advancing their careers. Codess, which aims to aims to inspire, connect and support females in technical roles and help them achieve their goals, took place in the Marker Hotel in Dublin and was attended by professionals facing into promising STEM careers.

The event encompassed breakout sessions on setting oneself up for success in the workplace and building up a professional profile, as well as tech-focused sessions on cloud computing, coding and user experience design.

Biz Dsk Microsoft Codess Dublin -7[1] copyThe picture shows from left speakers Ramya Chitraker and Joyce Chia-Hsun Chen from Microsoft at Microsoft’s Codess Dublin,

Speakers included Ramya Chitraker, a Principal Software Engineering Manager who joined Microsoft after college and has switched roles a number of times over the course of her career within the company. Attendees also heard from Joyce Chia-Hsun Chen, a Principal Engineering Manager Lead at Microsoft. After 9 years at Microsoft, Joyce left to work as a stay-at-home mum. In 2010, she returned to Microsoft and joined the Windows Server and System Centre division. Ramya and Joyce spoke at the event about big data and the value of data analytics to organisations as they strive to deliver products that meet their customer’s needs, while Peter Fitzgerald, who is part of the Bing Search Team at Microsoft and who has held roles focusing on sales, operations and IT, spoke about the concept of the ‘growth mind set’ in the workplace. Growth mind set teaches us that the fear of failure is limiting and we need to change the conversation to change the outcome.

“Women embarking on STEM careers are setting out on a path where they have an immense opportunity to utilise their skills to make a difference. At Microsoft, we work to nurture those women and help them progress, and the Codess event was about making the expertise of our speakers available to them, while also helping them to grow their own networks of contacts,” said Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland.

“No two career paths are identical but we can learn a lot by sharing our experiences and expertise. Throughout my career at Microsoft, I’ve fulfilled many different roles in areas across the business. There’s no question that I’ve relied on mentors to advise me and help steer my path – others can often spot your potential faster than you can and their advice can help channel your efforts into the most productive paths. The technology sector has grown a lot over recent decades in Ireland and it continues to offer a lot of scope for advancement. For those unsure where to focus their careers or for those who have already embarked on roles in the IT sector, I would say the future for STEM careers is very bright. If you have a growth mind set and you are unwilling to settle for the status quo, a future in technology is the perfect fit,” she added.

Codess Dublin – Ignite Your Future was delivered by Microsoft as part of a wider series of events it is offering around the world in the lead up to Girls in ICT Day on April 28th. Microsoft is encouraging women of all ages to #MakeWhatsNext and to pursue STEM education and careers.

More information about Codess is available at, @MicrosoftIrl and #codessdub.

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