Why You Should Apply for Conference Scholarships

At last year’s CSSconf EU we had the pleasure of meeting Jane Kathambi from Kenya. Jane had been awarded a grant to travel to Berlin and attend JSConf EU, and we subsequently invited her to come along to CSSconf EU, too. Both JSConf EU and CSSconf EU are running scholarship initiatives this year, in the hope that we can make it possible for more people from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds to attend the events. We approached Jane to talk to her about her experiences in Berlin and the impact they’ve had on her work.

Portrait of Jane Kathambi

CSSconf EU: Hello Jane! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Jane Kathambi: Hello! I’m Jane Kathambi Igoki, a computer scientist based in Kenya. I’m passionate about empowering the less privileged groups in society. I believe that everyone has the capability to be the best they can and this begins with discovering one’s interests and what makes them happy. Thus, I founded NAKSHI, an initiative that is geared towards building the capacities of female undergraduate students in the IT related field so as to enable them to take up more challenging IT & leadership roles in the industry.

CSSconf EU: How did you learn about JSConf EU and the opportunity to attend and what made you apply?

Jane Kathambi: I learnt about them via Google Travel Grants for women in technology. I applied because I needed to sharpen my skills in JavaScript as well as network with professionals in technology, especially women. Networking with great women in the technology world would give me ideas on how to go about actualizing my own idea to establish a workshop for female undergraduates pursuing technology. The workshop would help these ladies explore career options and get trained on industry skills before they go to work for companies.

CSSconf EU: What did you include in your application?

Jane Kathambi: I talked about both my strong motivation and my idea of establishing a workshop for undergraduate female students of technology. I think that's what made my application stand out.

CSSconf EU: What was your highlight of the CSSconf EU and JSConf EU week 2014?

Jane Kathambi: I learned about live editing whereby one can edit code and the changes are reflected immediately without having to refresh the web page. This was something completely new to me. I also had the chance to network and I met Kristina Schneider who gave me great insights into conceptualizing my workshop idea. We are still in touch and she is of really good help. I also met Kimberly Turnage who was transcribing the talks. She linked me up with someone who helped me further with implementation ideas for my workshop. Finally, the food was veeeery delicious. I didn't know most of it, so discovering it was an adventure which I really enjoyed!

CSSconf EU: How has the experience impacted you and your work?

Jane Kathambi: By using the live editing tactics I learned about, I was able to save time while programming my fourth year project since all changes were visible in real time. The insights I get from Kristina and Kimberly have been of great help since I founded NAKSHI.

CSSconf EU: Why should anyone apply for a conference scholarship?

Jane Kathambi: I think attending a conference is an eye opener to skills you need in order to improve the performance of software products. Another reason is the opportunity one gets to network with great-minded people from all over the world. I would encourage everyone eligible to apply!

Thank you, Jane! We are really happy that this year we are able to offer dedicated attendance scholarships at CSSconf EU, and we encourage anyone who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend to apply! The applications also include JSConf EU, Reject JS and travel and accommodation, and you can apply here until July 12 2015.

Part of the international CSSconf family