Most of my traffic sources to charmaineklee.com in the past year have predominantly been through Twitter. So, I really wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how your eyes ended up on this page as well. Why is that though?
At one point, Twitter was everyone’s go-to social media platform—I remember this because I didn’t have it, and my best friend would beg me to make an account every single day. So one day, I caved in and made a Twitter account under the handle @misscharmainerockz (carefully chosen by my classmate at the time). All I saw on my timeline were tweets from my friends announcing that they are bored, I followed the pattern for a bit until I decided that Twitter just wasn’t for me. The next day, I deleted my account and skipped happily back to Tumblr. I always loved Tumblr because of the freedom I have on there. I was recently speaking to the PR Manager at my work and she described the platform perfectly, “Tumblr feels like a black hole that you can yell into”. It was true, that’s why I loved it so much. But when I finally gave Twitter a second chance this past year and made what is now @charmaine_klee, I realized that Twitter filled in the gap of a platform like Tumblr (which I love oh so much)—a place where people could not only feel safe to share anything to their little heart’s desire, but also to have their voices heard and amplified. For me, I built a network of support within Tech Twitter. In other words, I found a family on Twitter where I felt more than a CS student from UBC— I was part of something greater, and I belonged. And of course, Twitter always comes through with those fresh memes and exclusive threads. But for others, well, name a platform with something that comes remotely close to Black Twitter, I’ll wait.
Needless to say, I was #ecstatic to attend #DevelopHER at Twitter’s HQ in San Francisco this past week. I went inside a company that I thought I could only ever get behind. 😉
The camp was a series of ice breakers, workshops, #tern panels, selfie with @jack, lots and lots of delicious food, office tours, networking opportunities, resume revamps and coding challenges.
As a hackathon organizer, I’m always on the lookout for fun ice breakers that don’t have everyone in the audience sweating to find 7 “fun facts” about themselves, and I’m pretty sure Twitter’s nailed it this time. So to let my fellow event organizers in on the secret, the ice breaker rolled out in 3 rounds. The first was where we guessed who had more followers between two Twitter accounts, the second was “Name That Song” where we wrote down song names of instrumental tracks they, and the last was “Who D@” where we guessed whose Twitter profile pic was shown on the screen along with their handles (@TheRock, @KingJames were definitely some fun ones). They might be a little Twitter specific, but they’re definitely easy enough to modify to suit any audience. These ice breakers gave us the opportunity to actually get to know each other down to our interests and preferences, and you really couldn't get through the rounds without learning something new while contributing. I loved it! Between the uniquely valuable workshops and panels (I don’t want to spoil anything because I want future #DevelopHER attendees to be as pleasantly surprised as I was going in!), we also had a lot of fun competing in a series of coding challenges. It was inspiring getting to collaborate with these incredible women, I definitely felt that adrenaline rush from the challenges.
As the camp wrapped up, we all bid our farewells to Twitter and hung out for the rest of the night. #DevelopHER was a good one. It was a really good one. I loved everyone I met from there and I can’t wait to see what they all get up to next. If you're a rising Junior, you can (and absolutely should) apply for it here!
In the meantime, I am now officially in SF for the rest of the summer—hit me up if you’re around, I’ll be hanging out at Pinterest (and probably a lot of Pug Sundays @ Alta Plaza 🐕)