Girl Geeks Toronto at Google

Last night was the second Girl Geeks TO meetup of the year, and it was a big one!   It was my second Girl Geeks Toronto meetup, and once again, the lovely organizers were incredibly friendly, and the event went off without a hitch. 100 or so geeky people trudged through bracing winds and icy snow to Google’s Toronto offices (for the record, their view is lovely) to learn about Chrome Developer Tools and Google Analytics, and to enjoy a glass of wine and a tasty cookie with geeky friends.

Chrome’s Developer Tools look pretty cool, though as the speaker (Ali Honarvar) said, they’re very similar to Firebug.  He alluded to some features which were better than Firebug’s, but I’m not sure what those features are, nor whether they’d actually be of use to me.  I mostly use Firebug to hack on CSS and to write tiny snippits of Javascript in the console, so perhaps I’m not the target market.  My take-home message? “Javascript is a very bad language,” and if I want to stop cmd-tabbing a lot, I can use Chrome for debugging, rather than Firefox.  This probably isn’t going to happen.

The second presentation was about Google Analytics. Hanoi Morillo, the speaker, seems like an incredibly cool woman, and she’s clearly passionate about her subject matter. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any report being described as ‘mutli-orgasmic’ before (for the record, it’s the multi channel report)… I don’t have a lot of familiarity with Google Analytics, so I found her presentation super valuable.  In particular, she listed her five favorite reports:

  1. Page Efficiency Analysis, which looks at how people interact with your web pages
  2. Visitor Acquisition Efficiency, which helps you to understand sources of traffic, and how engaged visitors are
  3. Mobile Overview, which identifies traffic coming from mobile devices, and help determine if you need a mobile site (Hanoi bets that you definitely do)
  4. In & Out, which MIGHT be the Task Completion Rate, but the web is proving mysterious.  In any case, it’s apparently helpful for deducing which steps of a process are onerous
  5. Multi channel, which uses magic to figure out that a YouTube ad I saw last week made me get a mortgage this week.

She also described the Real Time Tracker as fascinating and incredibly distracting.  All in all, a lovely evening, met some cool people, and reconnected with old friends. Also: I’m tempted to get a Google Analytics account, so I guess they were successful there.  I think I’ll stick with Firebug, though.