Friday October 24, 2014




Giving women a computer voice

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Rohatensky

Eden Rohatensky believes there should be more women working in the field of computer programming and the former Yorkton resident is becoming proactive in an attempt to help that happen.

Rohatensky, who now resides in Regina, is herself active in the computer sector.

“I am a user interface designer and I work primarily on mobile apps. I’m currently completing my Bachelors in Computer Science with a minor in French at the University of Regina,” she said.

The interest in computers has grown beyond her own career in the field.

“In addition to my day job, I also organize and run events that seek to promote engagement surrounding Saskatchewan’s


tech community, including Ladies Learning Code, BarCamp, and Girl Geek Dinners,” said Rohatensky.

So what is a Girl Geek Dinner and what is it needed for?

“I first started speaking at conferences because I noticed a lack in diversity at the events,” offered Rohatensky. “I think encouraging women to become more involved in the tech community will both help the community to grow, and also help women feel more comfortable submitting talks to events and being involved with conferences.

“Girl Geek Dinners is an opportunity for that. We aim to have both women and men gather in a room, recognize that there’s a problem, and discuss how we can make improvements with respect to diversity in our workplaces.”

In terms of speaking, Rohatensky has herself become an active speaker including at the Prairie Development Conference.

“PrairieDevCon is a tech conference that runs twice a year throughout the prairies,” explained Rohatensky. “It is the first conference that I had the opportunity to be a speaker, and is now one of the many that I regularly speak at.

“I became involved with the conference when I noticed that there was only one woman speaking at it and complained about the lack of diversity on Twitter. D’arcy Lussier, the organizer, invited me to come speak and ever since I have been actively speaking at tech conferences as well as trying to promote diversity.”

Speaking engagements are now taking Rohatensky across the country.

“I attended both PrairieDevCon and SDEC (Software Development & Evolution Conference) in Winnipeg,” she said. “SDEC looks at methods of project management in software development, focusing on a particular branch of project management called Agile. PrairieDevCon is more focused on software development.

“In Toronto, I spoke at DevTeach, which has similar subject matter to PrairieDevCon. I became involved with both SDEC and DevTeach through meeting other speakers at PrairieDevCon who encouraged me to submit proposals.”

And there are more opportunities to spread the message woman can play an equal role in the industry ahead for Rohatensky.

“Most conferences send out a Call for Proposals, which asks potential speakers to submit talks that they’d like to give at the conference,” she said.

Once the Call for Proposals ends, there is a selection process that determines which speakers will speak. I was encouraged to send in proposals for all of these conferences, and did, and I am very grateful that I got selected. My talks range from HTML to CSS to communication between software developers and designers.”


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