I attended the #112 Girl Geek Dinner at Salesforce on  March 24th and I was so inspired, I literally started writing this post the same night. The lightning talks’ speakers were so good, I absolutely loved each one of them and found it tough to pick a favorite. Brutally honest and charming, their talks peppered with anecdotes and real life events, they inspired and drove the message home. The key mantras from the event – 1. Be Focused. 2. Be True to Yourself. 3. You can convert any crisis into opportunities with the right mindset.

Bala Subramanian, their Systems Engineering Architect and Salesforce Veteran(been there for 16 years, gasp!!) narrated her journey as she watched Salesforce’s fast growth over the years. She had to recognize when previously engineered solutions stopped working and what she needed to change.
Some key takeaways from her story were:
1. Learn to recognize your approach to its tipping point.
2. Good engineering is having a plan to transition between the states and without breaking too many things.
3. To remember that you are never really done.
4. Be prepared for things to become big tomorrow.
5. Plan, anticipate and implement as required.
When is big too big?
Molly Ford, their Senior Public Relations Manager was absolutely enchanting as she spoke about her success story. She dreamed up a conference to empower and elevate women in tech and introduced the first Women’s Leadership Summit at DreamForce 2015. Her mantra – If you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly! Translation : Whatever you want to be, be the best of it.
Be the best you can be!
Chris Duarte, one of the 50 top Salesforce influencers on twitter shared a personal and honest account of her top goals for this year. Her mantra –  “Focus is rad and so are you!” She discussed the importance of being focused towards your goals .
Her Strategy:
1.Identify the 3 things that make you feel rad.
2.Create 3 strategies to spend more time on them.
3.Tell the world what you are doing.
She believes that you dont need permission to be rad.She went on to present the three things she is  focussing  on for the next 3 months.
1. Wear the same outfit for the next 90 days. She accessorized them with glittery green kicks!
2. Spending time with her family
3. Community service.
She shared her personal strategy and her results in her 90 day journey.(She was only three weeks in and killing it.)
Focus is rad!
Caroline Roth, Senior Director of Doc Tools, shared her personal story about how you could convert crisis to opportunity. Being humble, accepting your mistakes and owning up to the people impacted can completely change the course of the outcome. In her exact words – and my thoughts.
1. Mistakes will happen. (d’oh, all the time. )
2. When mistakes happen to you, own up. (Really tough, can I hide somewhere?)
     – Not just to your boss and your team, but to anyone who’s impacted.
3. Don’t hide from the folks who are really angry at you. (Nooo, can I disappear or become invisible? Too much Harry Potter influence.)

4. Crisis is opportunity. (Whaaatt???!!! That doesn’t even make sense.)

    – Including crises that weren’t actually your fault. Seize them all!

 5. Share your mistakes (No, not happening, never ever!!)
      – Mistakes are part of the innovation process. Help your group avoid the fear of    failure by talking about them openly. (Wait! This is amazing and it all totally makes sense. Ofcourse you don’t want to repeat any mistakes.)

This is not something we all can do, because of our insecurities or fear or myriad reasons. But this will definitely take you to the top. Her honest rendition of the mistakes they made while developing the new docs portal and how they fixed it step by step was really interesting.

Crisis is opportunity.

Along with lightning talks, they also had giveaways – caps/sweatshirts/rasberry pie3/ a polaroid camera and headphones.
They also had demos of a couple of their products(Heroku, Trailhead, etc). Interacting with the engineers as they passionately showed off their projects was simply great.
It was my second BAGGD event and I am looking forward to attending a few more to meet up with many more women in tech! Hope this inspires you to believe in yourself and turn your dreams into reality.
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