Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Learned Web Development in 24 Hours

As some of you may know from my previous post, I attended a hackathon in Tampa that was sponsored by J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. This blog post is a more indepth tale about how it happened and what happened during my experience. Enjoy...!


How did it happen?

1. I APPLIED: One of my mentors emailed me an opportunity to attend a 24 hour hackathon competition sponsored by J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. in Florida and they would potentially cover travel and expenses.
2. I GOT ACCEPTED: I received the acceptance letter at work and did the happy dance with my boss and co-workers. 
3. I PREPARED: I received my flight confirmation and packed my bags for sunny Florida. When attending a hackathon, your must-bring items start with your laptop, all necessary charging cords, and toiletries. 
4. I ARRIVED: Upon touching down in Tampa, I did the happy dance to be in 80 degree weather and headed straight to Chick-fil-A THEN I taxied over to the J.P. Morgan headquarters. I was the furthest attending participant so everyone knew who I was and greeted me with questions like: Are you liking our weather? How was your flight? Is it snowing up there? Etc.

I arrived a few hours early which gave me the chance to tour the grounds. Their campus had a swamp/small hiking trail in the backyard and was such a pleasure to explore! 

I am used to really big hackathons with upwards of 500+ attendees. This corporate sponsored hackathon only accepted 50 participants (made me feel super special to be selected out of all the applicants). 

Finally my team arrived and J.P. Morgan had a small snack set up for us to get acquainted with our teams (when I say small snack I mean, a chef came out and did a spread of mini burgers, appetizers and such… no big deal… but actually a big deal). We received our challenge, matching book bag/sweater/shirt and headed to the open ceremony. After all of the festivities the challenge finally begins. 

Now here is where WE GOT TO WORK:
My group and I brainstormed about what type of app we could make to aid the paralysis community, which was our given challenge. None of us had prior experience of building an app from scratch and the J.P. Morgan mentors advised against trying to learn and accomplish such a feat in 24 hours so, we settled on a web application. Now my team set out to learn html and web development in 3 hours. The most useful tools for us were: Brackets 1.6 and bootstrap. Feel free to check out those sights for your own web development purposes (not an endorsement).


I can proudly say that my team finished our app and had one of the best presentations of the entire competition. I would totally attend another J.P. Morgan sponsored event and grateful to have had this opportunity.

If your company hosts events or you know of any STEM or tech opportunities please feel free to send them my way! Semirah.dolan@gmail.com or tweet me

I am very eager to learn as much as I can about my industry as a mechanical engineer but also tech enthusiast. 

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. Code For Good Tampa
More Sound of Charm Women In Tech Post

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Do you know your bias "Blind Spot"?


Title: Fixing Your Blind Spot - The Science Behind Making Better Decisions


Professor Mahzarin Banaji

Workshop Snippet That Says "Hey! You should come to this": 

Did you know that how our brains work may be preventing us from being great leaders, building the best teams and making the best decisions? Did you know there is research and data that shows what these barriers are and how to overcome these hidden biases? Do you want to unleash your full potential as well as unlock the potential of your teams?

More info about the speaker: 


For more than 30 years, Harvard Professor Mahzarin Banaji has been researching how our minds operate and make decisions.  The science behind her groundbreaking work on implicit associations demonstrates how unconscious bias affects many of our decisions in the workplace.  


A Resume Tip That Might Help You:

Presenting good information before other sections of your resume helps!

For example , what if I told you that this person was evil then listed their resume OR what if I gave you the resume then said that the person was evil


For the person that I said was evil after listing off a great resume…You would compensate for the evilness with their good resume, whereas, you would automatically judge someone and disregarded everything I said if I told you they were evil before giving their resume. (Does that make sense? Say it out loud or digest that slowly, it took me a while to understand the message was: sugar coating does make your resume sweeter…)


“Our discrimination comes in who we help” - Professor Banaji

Who do you help with their career? Who do you take out to lunch?


Not to say that I would say yes to everything but, this piece of knowledge made me reflect on the people I’ve helped or rejected. I’ve made some pretty biased decisions and am now cognizant about an updated, less biased, process of decision making.


If you don’t give people a chance, how will they improve?


P.S. Any college student seeking a job has this written all across their face during that post-graduation job search.





I really enjoy going to events, meeting inspirational figures, and hearing other people's perspectives on relevant topics. It's a great way to meet like-minded individuals and dig deeper into your own morals and boundaries.

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

Tags: Harvard, professor, johnson and johnson, workshop, psychology, research, studies, racism, bias, women in tech, #ilooklikeanengineer, medical, knee surgery, undergrad, recruiter, recruiting  


Monday, February 8, 2016

New England International Auto Show 2016 Recap

Next: Check out the 2017 Boston Auto Show! Bigger and Better :)



The New England International Auto Show was my first large scale automobile event. I've been to derbies, car races, etcetera etcetera. So being surrounded by high profile cars and interactively experiencing the cars was super fun! The auto show had test drives available for certain models of cars.  

Now that I know that this event is local to me and an annual occurrence, I know where to go when I'm buying my next BMW or Aston Martin. My plan: 1) Test drive at New England International Auto Show 2) Intense research on best buying period 3) Drive off the dealers lot in style.

Here's a great conversation about auto shows, new car buying, and teen driving safety that you could follow on twitter:https://twitter.com/SemirahD/status/688438109504172037



Follow me for more New England fun here

Before attending this show I vaguely knew what questions to ask when purchasing or what made a car a "good car".

1) It all depends on your auto needs
2) Other variables are considered like; budget, lifestyle, etc.
3) The car chooses you more than you choose the car. (think about it... what compels you to walk towards certain cars on the lot?)

To look at more in-depth tips and tricks check out SheBuysCars for more articles.

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

P.S. Add me on snapchat! @SemirahD I am currently (2/8/16)  jammin on the beach in Florida so come join the fun and send me snaps of your day *Smileyyy face & Convincing winky face*
OR Tweet me a screenshot of your snapchat screen and I'll add you!


Thank you SheBuysCars, Scotty Reis, #ChevyBoston, and everyone else involved for sponsoring this post and sending me to the New England International Auto Show. 



Friday, February 5, 2016

J.P. Morgan Chase Code for Good Hackathon Tampa

    This weekend, I am in Florida for a Hackathon sponsored by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (Go here for more info about hackathons and my past involvement). The hackathon is called, Code for Good, and my assigned mission is to make an app that aids the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation. I am actually still on the coding floor right now so, I don't have a review or feedback, yet.

I just love these pics of me looking all serious and nerdy earlier today. Enjoy!

#SoundofCharmCodes







Can you spot @SemirahD? Lol it isn't hard to stand out in a monotone sea of men. 




Grammarly yours, SemirahD

More Sound of Charm Women in Tech post here
My GitHub profile: https://github.com/semirahd

Monday, February 1, 2016

ELF's Valentine's Day Gift Idea for Her


Every Valentine's Day is a chance to out-do the last. Empty wallets, I'm sorry but it just is. My friend and I were talking about potential Valentine 's Day plans and all of these ideas, were plans that trumped last year's. So if your boyfriend gave you a pack of Easy Mac and a chocolate bar last year than, this year deserves actual homemade mac and cheese and some fancy Godiva chocolate. That's not asking for a lot. Good luck trying to make the day special with just roses when last year you surprised your babe with a pink Cadillac and a Sephora shopping spree.

However, you may be the type to look at Valentine's Day non-materialistically. Meaning, you don't care whether or not you get a box of chocolate or bouquet of roses. You just want your significant other to be near you. Literally just do everything with me... laugh with me, eat with me, cook with me... any other verb as long as it's --with me

Moving forward, the reason for this blog post started out materialistic so, let me tell you about the bouquet I wouldn't mind coming home from work to... 


e.l.f. Cosmetics is offering a wide variety of adorable mini gift sets ranging from lip glosses, to eyeliner sets and eye shadow palettes—all under $10! Available on elfcosmetics.com and Target stores.

Essential brushes set contains:
-1 Eyeliner Brush
-1 Concealer Brush
-1 Eyelash & Brow wand
-1 Smudge Eye Sponge
-1 Eyeshadow Brush
-1 Blushing, Bronzing,
and Blending Brush
-1 Daily Brush Cleanser
-some sets switch it up and have another variety of e.l.f. brushes


Feel free to join the conversation with me about Valentine's Day in the comments section below or @ me on twitter! (@SemirahD)



My review: The ELF brushes are super soft but after a few uses, they have also proven to be super fragile. With a $10 price tag for 6 brushes, I'm not surprised that a makeup bristle or two sticks to your foundation. I'm slightly heavy handed and store my makeup brushes all together in one bag. I'm assuming if you are more gentle than, these brushes will last longer and continue to provide nice makeup application.


Brushes c/o E.L.F.

Anymore questions about the E.L.F. makeup brushes? They do the job for like 1/3 of the price of other makeup brushes. Esthetically, their sleek matte black handles are comparable to high end makeup brush physical appearances. So look muy expensive for like super cheap.

I'd recommend these brushes for the babe on a budget and anyone needing brushes for an affordable price without sacrificing functionality.

Grammarly yours, SemirahD

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