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Women Developer Academy Europe 2023 - My Experience

My October was busy. I spoke at three conferences (droidcon Italy, droidcon London, and KKON, which was an online conference). I had also applied to the Women Developer Academy Europe earlier, and when the acceptance letter arrived at the end of September, I wasn't sure if I could participate. But as you might guess from me writing this blog post, I decided to attend, and it was a great decision! In this blog post, I'll share my experiences with the program.

Women Developer Academy (WDA)

Women Developer Academy is a program from Google, and the event page for our cohort (Women Developer Academy Europe) explains it in a nutshell:

The Women Developer Academy is a specialized program for female developers, aimed at increasing the diversity of speakers at tech events in the region, focusing on creating an inclusive community of speakers and mentors who can support each other.

The program consisted of weekly sessions, the I Am Remarkable workshop, mentoring, and a mini-conference with 5-minute talks. I'll share a bit more about them next.


The program had 2-3 evening sessions each week. The topics for the meetings were about public speaking, applying to conferences, online branding, and many other related topics. Many of those topics were familiar, as I've spoken at many conferences, but I also learned new things.

For me, living in the eastern side of Europe in Finland, these meetings started at seven in the evening. It's not an optimal time for someone who is definitely a morning person, and needs their wind-down time in the evening. But I was so happy that we got the sessions as recordings and could watch them later!

I Am Remarkable-workshop

The WDA program included a I Am Remarkable workshop. The website describes the movement behind this workshop:

IAmRemarkable is a global movement that empowers everyone to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.

I've heard of this workshop but never got to attend one. I can see the need for such workshops - especially within minority groups in tech. It's so easy to forget or not see the accomplishments, and this workshop is a great time to dedicate some time to acknowledging and celebrating them.

We spent one Saturday afternoon talking about ways we are remarkable, and how self-promotion matters. I can share a couple of sentences I wrote during the workshop:

I am remarkable because I care and know a lot about accessibility.

I am remarkable because I dare to question inequality.

I am remarkable because I'm really good at what I do.


The third part of the program was mentoring. The minimum number of mentoring sessions to graduate from the program was 4. To be honest, I didn't have time to even think of having more mentoring sessions. I wish I had more time, but it is what it is.

I had four interesting mentoring sessions, and we discussed many different things related to accessibility, speaking at conferences, and the GDE program, to name a few. A huge thanks to Piotr Prus, Sabrina Jodexnis, Nourhan Gehad, and Carlos Mota!


In the last session before graduation from the program, we had a mini-conference where everyone could talk for 5 minutes about a topic they're interested in. The timing wasn't optimal for me - I had a flight to London the next day, but luckily, I got to present my talk second in order.

I spoke about Android developers and the challenges we face regarding accessibility. The talk was based on a blog post I've written: Android Developers and Accessibility - Challenges and Proposed Solutions. Five minutes is a really short time, and the amount of content was almost too much for that time. I had to skip introductions to fit everything in.

I got good feedback, but it was interesting that some people said they liked my slides that had almost nothing on them - and some said that I should add, e.g., pictures. It is an excellent example of how we all are different - some like more simplistic slides, and others want more visual ones.

Final Thoughts

Despite having a really busy October, I am happy I got accepted into WDA and decided to participate. I met amazing people, made connections, and learned new things.

So, if you are in the target group of this program, and whenever it opens in your area, I highly recommend applying!

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