Garage48 Pärnu Women Special 2014 event through the eyes of Tech Sisters

30 October 2014


So the second Garage48 Pärnu Women Special event is over for this time, but luckily all the wonderful people and valuable experiences stayed! Tech Sisters was happy to confirm that out of the 90 participants 40% yet again were female and the results showed that with the help of diverse teams a lot of new innovative ideas can be brought to life.
In order to archive the magical number of 50% of women in the same event next autumn, Tech Sisters would like to share some of the stories by our own volunteers who took part of the event. We hope that by reading their stories and what it meant for them to take part of this event will help you to find inspiration and motivation to join us next year as well! Bear in mind that for Carolyn, this was the first time to participate in any Garage48 events so far. Nevertheless they were brave enough to step out of their comfort zone and change the world small steps at a time. Now it’s your turn! See you at Garage48 Pärnu Women Special event 2015! ;)

First up we have Kaisa Holsting, who took part in Garage48 Pärnu event as a designer:
“I remember my first Garage48 exactly one year ago when I was nervous as hell to take part in it. Now, when I’ve already got to the 3rd event I must say all the anxiety was for nothing and I’m a big believer in this type of startup events.
During the time I’ve been involved with Garage48 I’ve had to face other people’s misconceptions about this type of events but overall, here’s what I usually state to people who are interested:
Step 1: Register. Even if you think that you don’t have an amazing life-changing idea or superb skills in something it’s the perfect environment to put your skills to the test and to get some real experience. Sure it’s a short real-life experience but it’s definitely worth it. Besides the technical skills - development processes, programming languages, marketing and design - you also get a really good understanding about team work and learn to collaborate with others.
Step 2: Give it your all. Passion means everything. What I love about these events is the talented crowd that is there. You can’t help feel energized and inspired by all the enthusiastic project managers and participants.
Step 3: Enjoy the experience. Yes, it’s a learning experience. Yes, some of the projects end up as winners and continue to grow into a startup business. The idea is to have fun and better your skills while there… so don’t forget to live and laugh a little while being there. When you’re already sleep deprived, then there’s a tendency for that to happen organically anyway ;)”

From another perspective you can also read more about her experience as a front-end developer Carolyn Fischer:
Going there, I was already part of a team with whom we met for a couple of times for dinner and discussed our idea, to create StoryStreams, a platform to share pictorial stories about people and events from different perspectives. The idea was great, we had a multicultural team that consisted of two people with a background in filmmaking industry (Charu and Viola), one who works at a startup and fills multiple roles (Maria) and me, a system administrator stepping in to developers’ shoes. The only problem was that we needed at least a designer and one more developer to get approval. Kaisa decided to join us as a designer, no developer was ready to step in. When teams were announced, as the very last thing the organizers asked if someone would be willing to join our group and finally an exchange student from Croatia (Joel) agreed to help us out and promised he can do anything we want in an hour.

Great, we had a team and were accepted! But somehow it still felt pretty hopeless – I was a young developer, still learning and definitely needed some elbow support along the way and Joel was still in another team. After some desperation, I decided to just start cracking some code and see where I get. Surprisingly, but Saturday morning (well, two hours of sleep) there was a working first prototype with possibility to create stories and upload pictures, add tags, filter topics by tags and show thumbnails of the pictures on the home page. Not much, but it proved that given the situational pressure, I actually can write code in contrary to what I believed. On Saturday evening our room was filled with lots of laughter, cause who said it couldn’t be fun? Some people came to hang with us only cause we were supposedly the only team who could be heard downstairs. A day later we got another developer in our team (Jüri) as some other ideas didn’t work out and he helped with design. By Sunday evening the product was working fine for the demo, and even despite the lack of sleep we felt extremely energized and joyful. After all, there is nothing more pleasing than succeeding.
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