Here at Nextdoor, we’re all about community. And the best way to further community is to have a healthy one of our own. That’s why we were so excited for the opportunity to attend the Tapia Conference in Atlanta this year.
The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing is a conference dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and rich diversity in the computing community. While we usually think of diversity as it pertains to race or gender, the term is much more holistic: it encompasses everything from race, to gender identity, to sexual orientation, and disability. All of that is celebrated at Tapia. And for us at Nextdoor, it was an amazing opportunity to meet talented and passionate engineers.
A particularly useful portion of the event was the orientation where we learned about the history of the conference, the host of diverse groups in attendance, and were taught best practices on how to engage respectfully with individuals with disabilities.
The schedule was filled with exciting events ranging from tutorials on machine learning to workshops on LED crafts. At another event, we listened to Randall Pinkett, CEO of BCT Partners, moderate a panel on AI and Machine Learning. It was fascinating to see how companies like Square, GE, and Microsoft were using the technology.
For us, one of the most exciting events was the career fair. Tapia is a small conference, but it’s growing quickly: this year alone, Tapia boasted 1,200 participants. The conference is small enough that you can meet almost everyone, but big enough to host incredible companies, research groups, and schools. What more can you ask for?
As we wo-manned our cheerful Nextdoor booth, we spoke to hundreds of people: from undergrads looking for internships, to PhD students looking for industry opportunities. Having the chance to meet and interview these people face to face was invaluable – and not to mention fun.
As the career fair ended, the fun continued. We met representatives from other booths: swapping stories and swag. And as a team, we bonded over our new-found enthusiasm for Southern food.
Tapia was a truly phenomenal experience. It was a great way to meet potential future teammates and industry peers, hear talented individuals speak, and bond with co-workers. We’re truly excited to attend Tapia in the future.