#41 Inaugural Meetup of WiMLDS Kyiv, jointly with WiMLDS Paris & Poznan

WiMLDS Paris
7 min readJan 18, 2023

WiMLDS is not a political organization. Yet, as human beings, as members of civil society, it is our duty to stand by Ukraine 🇺🇦.

We are so impressed by the strength and resilience of Ukrainians 🇺🇦. They should not be left alone, while defending themselves and the world against brutal Russian aggression.

That is why we at WiMLDS Paris, together with our friends from WiMLDS Poznan, helped to organise the inaugural event of WiMLDS Kyiv.

This is a very symbolic event to establish the Ukrainian 🇺🇦 chapter during the war and demonstrate solidarity among the WiMLDS community

The meetup was introduced by Larysa Visengeriyeva, who launched the Kyiv chapter in October. She told us how she founded the chapter and introduced her fellow organisers, who all are experienced data scientists and tech leaders.

On top of the core WiMLDS mission, WiMLDS Kyiv plans to promote Ukrainian female machine learning and data science practitioners.

Additionally, the Kyiv chapter will create a mentoring program for women currently serving in the Ukrainian Military to help them in transition back to civilian life after the war and to start a career in data science. Excellent initiative, count us in!

To follow their events and to participate in their activities, please subscribe to their meetup page or reach out to the organisers. The events are online for the time being, but will move onsite when the situation allows.

Next, Agnieszka Kamińska from WIMLDS Poznan introduced their chapter and its activities, including support to Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

Then, our very own Natalie Cernecka spoke about the Paris chapter, the 3rd largest in the world.

Given that we are based in Western Europe, where many still consider this war to be a faraway local conflict, she reminded that it is our responsibility to amplify Ukrainian 🇺🇦 voices and to raise awareness about Ukraine 🇺🇦 among our community.

In our summary of the 38th meetup in April 2022, where Anastasiia talked about the cost of war, we listed some initiatives, such as Science for Ukraine, which matches Ukrainian researchers and students with open academic positions, scholarships, and grants, or this Sifted article listing multiple ways how the tech community can help Ukraine, including donating, volunteering, and offering jobs and relocation.

Additional resources on how you can help Ukraine can be found here, and here. The rule of thumb: support local, grass-root organisations and Ukrainian charities. Avoid major international charities with large overheads, whose position on Ukraine has been plainly wrong and often morally corrupt.

Alternatively, talk to Ukrainians in your professional network, they will point you to other ways to help.

You can check the introductory slides here.

Back to our event.

The first speaker was Iana Iatsun, Project Manager for Applications with Artificial Intelligence at Banque de France. Her talk was entitled “Machine learning in production: from data-scientist to the final user”.

What happens when the input data changes and is different from the training model? For example, you want to classify photos to know who is on the photo, but in production phase you feed the model with photos from new people, of wearing different outfits or masks.

ML code is only a small part of ML in production: you also have to handle plenty of other elements, such as feature engineering or monitoring.

If you want to know more, check out her slides below.

It was unexpected coincidence, but Iana’s talk was a great follow-up of a talk at our previous meetup, by Anne-Marie Tousch, Senior Data Scientist at Datadog, entitled “On Machine Learning Readiness”. If the topic of ML in production is of interest to you, check our her talk!

The second speaker was Khrystyna Grynko, Cloud Customer Engineer at Google. Her talk was entitled “My journey from Marketing to Tech”.

It had been a long time since we had a presentation about career change, so we were delighted to listen to Khrystyna.

She lives in Lyon, and, despite not being French, has managed not only to move from marketing to tech, but to land a job at Google.

Her search was not without difficulties. She had training and interest in data, but since her work experience was in marketing, it was difficult to find anything in data, because local recruiters pigeonholed her resume as “marketing”… Thus, she got a marketing job to start with, and decided to build her personal brand oriented toward data.

She gave plenty of useful tips for how to search for a job in tech. First, you need to understand what type of company you want to work for (big or small? well known? service or product?), and in which role (in contact with customers? analytical?).

This clarity helps to search for suitable roles, to decide which skills you need to develop, and to prepare for interviews. Preparation is key!

She made a heavy use of LinkedIn, by making herself visible, commenting on posts, sharing her learning any certifications. She also contacted people working in the roles she was interested in and asked them what the role actually involved, and — asked them for referrals! Asking for referrals is an excellent strategy: your resume is more likely to be selected, and, if you are hired, the employee who has referred you will get a bonus. Win win!

Khrystyna also published a post on Medium “How I left my job during the COVID crisis and landed at Google”, which complements her talk. If you want to move into data, or simply thinking about a new job, her post if full of excellent advice from someone who actually did it.

During her talk, the participants encouraged each other with additional tips. It was great to witness such an engaged audience!

If you want to know more, check out her slides below.

The third speaker was Anastasiia Tryputen, Co-founder and CTO of Data unBlocked Inc. and Myriad Tech Inc. Her talk was entitled “War in Ukraine, or how extraordinary courage reshapes geopolitical landscape”.

We welcomed Anastasiia at our 38th meetup, and are happy to have her again, now as a co-organizer of the Kyiv chapter.

Did you know that Ukraine 🇺🇦 ranks fourth in the world for the share of citizens with higher education?!

Did you know that in 2022 Ukraine🇺🇦 is ranked 2nd in the European open data maturity ratings, and, with 97%, is only slightly behind France (97.5%), and well-above the 79% average for the EU27?!

Anastasiia timely reminded us that words matter: It’s not “a conflict”, is a war.

We agree with her. To quote a famous French writer Albert Camus, who wrote 1944, in his essay Sur une philosophie de l’expression:Mal nommer un objet, c’est ajouter au malheur de ce monde”, that is, “Misnaming an object is adding to the world’s misery”.

For the first time, this is a technological war. Machine Learning can help to win the war, and Anastasiia gave some examples of what is possible: facial recognition to identify war criminals and undercover agents; computer vision to detect stolen grain; and conversational AI, to provide information about occupiers via the Ukrainian e-goverment Dija app e-vorog (e-enemy) chat.

Anastasiia and Larysa are planning a dedicated talk on this topic for the meetup in 2023, so stay tuned!

If you want to know more, check out her slides below.

Here is the video of the whole event:

This meetup was a joint effort of many people in many countries and even continents 🇺🇦 🇵🇱 🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇨🇦. We saw people connecting from different places, sharing their support. Presence of Erin LeDell, founder of WiMLDS provided us with a great dose of encouragement.

The dream team

It was an online event, so we didn’t give out our stylish blue tee-shirts. If you want one of them, see you in March for our next onsite meetup.

And of course, we all are waiting eagerly for WIMLDS onsite meetups in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa 🇺🇦.

We hope that one day, all together we will organise a giant WiMDLS beach party in liberated Crimea 🇺🇦.

If you do not want to miss our events, you can:

🔗 follow us on Twitter, Meetup, and LinkedIn

📑 check our Google spreadsheet if you want to speak 📣, host 💙, help 🌠

📍join our Slack channel for information, discussions, and opportunities

📩 send an email to the Paris WiMLDS team to paris@wimlds.org

🎬 subscribe to our WiMLDS Paris Youtube channel

📸 follow the global WiMLDS on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook

🔥 share your company or lab’s job offers for free on the global WiMLDS’ website.



WiMLDS Paris

WiMLDS Paris is a community of women interested in Machine Learning & Data Science