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Women ITPros - Post your intro here!

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Microsoft

Wow we had a wonderful kickoff meeting last week and I'm already chatting with several people who attended. One of my action items was to create a thread where people can introduce themselves. So here it is! (NOTE: be mindful that this is a public forum, so if you want to connect with someone, I suggest using the Private Messaging feature in TechCommunity - click the name and in the profile, use the Send a message button.)

 

Here's a list of suggested things to tell us about yourself:

1) How did you get into working in tech?

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

 

You don't have to be a woman or an ITPro to introduce yourself - we welcome everyone who wants to support women in the ITPro world! 

 

44 Replies
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@Cathy - Might be worth creating a new thread in the Member Resources page where people can pile on with recommendations on books they liked/found useful! What do you think? :)
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1) How did you get into working in tech?

Out of school, I managed large scale spectator events; many of which took me all over the US.  At 21 years old I learned what it means to be 'thrown to the wolves' and have my 'feet held to the fire'.  Planning and managing events took a lot of physical work, long hours, excellent organization, and ability to track multiple 'issues' at one time in a very fast paced environment.  The show must always go on - even if something doesn't turn out as expected.  I was recruited to join a team at Microsoft that managed online events using many of the skills I already had, minus the physical part.  I eventually moved into user-adoption for our UC solutions and, while doing so, learned enough about our technology to build user-feedback programs.  This allowed me to use my gift in building relationships along with the technical muscles I was starting to stretch to bridge our engineering team with users out in the real world.  I never considered myself "technical" - and that might be something most people don't say when they work in IT.  Truth be told, I still find my strength in communication and relationship building more so than understanding the details around how our technology is built.  The great thing?  That part is super important when trying to build a product outside of a vacuum.

 

2) What is your current tech job? 

I think I have the greatest job in the world. I get to create a space for thousands of customers, and partners to collaborate with one another and with some of the best and brightest engineers in the world to improve the Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams products and the overall customer experience. Outside of the online Microsoft Tech Community, I collaborate with community events and user groups and represent our product with our MVPs.  The Community is a place to ask questions, get answers, find information, and hear stories. It's a place to share passions and learn from others'.  Working together with community-led user groups is important for us to be able to scale our efforts.  I urge you to be active in the Community - both virtually, and in person - to share your own knowledge and experiences and ask for the same from others.  

 

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech? 

Technology moves fast and Microsoft Teams moves incredibly fast.  It's exciting to watch a product develop and evolve - and finding ways to positively impact product development is awesome.  It feels really good to see those "ah-ha" moments when our engineering team listens to members of our community talk and to see changes in product based on the way people work.  Technology is about people and understanding their needs to create something useful.  When people think about "tech", they think of coding.  Really, relationship building and listening is an integral part of product development.  

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

Every IT company needs all kinds of people - accountants, marketers, researchers, coders and testers.  Don't put yourself in a box.  I've advanced in my career by showing the value of listening to the customer.  In 'Hit Refresh', Satya Nadella says we should "obsess about our customers and meet their unarticulated needs.  When we talk to customers, we need to listen".  What better way to understand the importance of your work than to have your CEO speak those words.  "We learn with a beginners mind then bring them what they need".  If you don't consider yourself technical - or don't have interest in being an engineer, that doesn't mean you can't work in IT.   

 

Would love to connect - feel free to PM me or connect on Twitter @lauriepottmeyer 

 

 

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Hi,
I find that this community is a great idea ! So here's my introduction.

1) How did you get into working in tech?
I pretty much always wanted to be an archivist or a librarian, so I graduated in Information Science. And despite what we might think, there was a lot of IT classes that we had to do. The purpose was to be able to understand (not especially do) IT and to discuss with IT people. And I loved those classes. I still tried to find a job as a librarian since this was my vocation but the first job I got was in an Information and Knowledge management unit in an IT department. And I'm still working in this department. I started slowly in tech, being records manager, knowledge manager but the content management part of my work took more and more time since we are moving to a digital workplace environment and we had to rollout SharePoint to all the organisation.

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)
Right now, I'm the Data and Information Manager on a Collaborative Platforms Migration project and I love doing that. So doing data analysis, data mapping, information architecture and fitting information management best practices with the business requirements and the possibilities of SharePoint.

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)
The challenges it has to offer. Putting all together the business needs, the security, legal, technical constraints, information management best practices. Finding solutions. Bringing more efficient ways to work collaboratively to the business. Explaining something to a user and seeing that it will be helpful.

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers?
I think it's good to see that doing literary studies doesn't restrain you from working in IT. You can still enter in this world via another way and find your place in it. Technical skills doesn't matter that much, you will get them and it's evolving fast. Maybe it's more about having an evolving and adapting mindset.
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First of all I am so excited to have found this group.  I always see groups for women coders but this is the first one I have seen focused on Infrastructure.  THANK YOU!!!  I cannot wait to see what this develops into!

 

1) How did you get into working in tech?

When I started out over 20 years ago, it was not really a career decision.  I was faced with an old application that was running on DOS that no one knew how to modify and I wanted to figure it out.  Before I knew it I was getting asked questions about general desktop support stuff since we really only had one IT guy and he was extremely busy.  Before I knew it he was moving on to another role and they needed someone to fill his position.  To my surprise he recommended me to take over and so I spent a great deal of time learning SCO-Unix, Netware, Networking, Telephony, Windows, printers, desktops, and pretty much any other technology I could get my hands on.  That was before the internet really provided any good information and so I read manuals and learned how to troubleshoot on my own.  For the first time, I really felt like I could fix anything I faced and it was invigorating.    From there, I continued to challenge my self in various technical leadership roles to really learn everything I can about all areas of IT.

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?) 

I currently work as the Manager of Infrastructure Engineering for a large manufacturing company.  My team helps to bring in new infrastructure technology and set standards in telephony, email, hardware, virtualization, OS, networking, containers, automation, etc.  It is exciting to get to learn about all of the new technologies and how we can improve the environment for not only our customers but also others within IT who do the day to day support of the environment.

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

I really just love the technology and learning about it.  Although I am not as hands on anymore, I spend time talking about the technology with my team and brainstorming on developing the solutions.  I also spend time in my off hours reading about technology changes in the  infrastructure space.  My husband, who also works in IT, and I also enjoy talking about complex issues or new features.  

Being a manager in this part of IT is also exciting.  I enjoy helping to bridge the gap between my team and others by improving communication, fixing processes and even helping to develop the non-technical skills of each member of my team. The only downside is that I rarely come across women who work in my area of IT so my hope is that one day I will actually get to add a woman onto my team of all men but first I have to actually have one apply when I have an open position!

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

Although I like to think I am pretty good at the technical stuff, I think my strongest skill is team building\mentoring.  I am typically able to take a team that seems dysfunctional and build them up to be what the company needs.  There are many things I do to accomplish this and each team is different based on the environment and personalities.  In most instances those that are non-performers become performers, those that have trouble communicating become very good at collaborating and those who want to move into a leadership role end up accomplishing that goal.  I say most instances because there are always one or two on a team that will never change no matter what I try.  But typically I am able to provide some subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, feedback to really make a change.  When those changes happen though it is like winning the lottery which is why I really love the role as a manager in IT.

 

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Hi Cathy,

Your personal mission statement is awesome!  I also love that you started this group.  I look forward to seeing this group grow.

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Hi Ami,

That is a pretty big transition from horses to tech.  What an exciting job though to travel and talk about managing Windows 10.  Like you, I am not a good coder but there is real value in those who can do it.  That is one skill I always wanted but could not really get my brain to do it well.

 

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Adrienne,

What a great quote.  I agree that much of it is hard work and taking risks.  It may seem scary at times but the challenge is well worth it.

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1) How did you get into working in tech?

Interest, timing luck, passion and trail and failure, 

 

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

 

Systems Administrator at a private all boys catholic high school

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

 

Everyday is a new challange and you must relay on what you already know in addition to having a strong google-fo and have lots of fortitude. 

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

I know O365 admin inside and out, Palo Alto firewalls guru as well, Cisco IOS and some powershell. 

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1) How did you get into working in tech?

Interest, timing luck, passion and trail and failure, 

 

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

 

Systems Administrator at a private all boys catholic high school

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

 

Everyday is a new challenge and you must relay on what you already know in addition to having a strong google-fo and have lots of fortitude. 

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

I know O365 admin inside and out, Palo Alto firewalls guru as well, Cisco IOS and some powershell. 

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1) How did you get into working in tech?

I was trained in Architecture (building buildings) originally, and one summer working in a computer store my Dad ran, saw AutoCAD 1.0 and realized the world was changing--I already really enjoyed building computers and computer graphics software.  Did Consulting for 10 years before joining Microsoft.

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

Digital Advisor for US Public Sector Civilian (government, federal)

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

Problem solving, making a difference.  Envisioning and watching the crazy ways our customers use the technology.  The juncture of people, process, and technology is endlessly fascinating.

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

Experience, over 22 years, and dozens of engagements each year.  Talking to CxOs, innovative thinking on how to put together and execute on the technology.  My specialty is mass deployments, which tends over overlap many technologies, not just Microsoft products. 

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@Cathy Moya 

 

Hello Ladies! 

I've finally found you!! I've been looking for my "tribe" for sometime now!!

 

1) How did you get into working in tech?

Since 1994, I have officially been an IT Professional, back then you didn't need to know too much to get a job in IT.  I worked at CompUSA as a Software Sales Associate, took advantage of the free classes and learned Windows 3.1.  

 

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

Now, I am starting up an MSP, I am a Microsoft Partner and building my stack to offer clients. 

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

 

I love figuring things out I did not know the answer to before, it makes me feel accomplished to resolve an issue that a client is struggling with with my mad tech skills!

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

 

I have a side project besides my MSP business, It's currently still in the works, but it will be a tool for women to connect - just like facebook or other social media platforms - specifically focusing on women and girls who are interested in STEAMM.  

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@Cathy Moya 

 

I was thinking the other day how most of the other WIT groups focus on coders rather than women in the technical areas of IT ... and then I stumbled across this group!   I attended the Ignite conference in Sydney earlier in the year and was delighted to see the Diversity and Inclusion stream which is what finally led me here today (since I finally got around to joining the MS Communities).  

 

1) How did you get into working in tech?

I got first place in High School for my final two years in Computer Studies, I knew more than the teacher since we'd had a computer at home since I was 8 (the first in the street).  Leaving school I was too young to join the police force so Mum encouraged me to go to Polytech (technical college) to study Business Computing since she felt that all jobs would eventually need computer skills or some description.  

 

I was the only girl in my class of 14 full-time students and the younger by 10 years from the next oldest student.  The first few weeks the men were offering to "help" me with tasks until they realised I was finishing the classwork and waiting for the next instruction instead of being "stuck".

 

I took an evening part-time job in the Polytech library, which had opened a computer suite for student use.  The job was to issue/return books primarily but also to assist students if something computer related was needed.  I was also able to help with some summer work with the Polytech computing department.  These jobs then lead me to obtain a full-time position with The University of Canterbury in the library as a software tech - basically supporting apps and Windows.  When the hardware tech left, I picked up his job too and incorporated it into my role.

 

Following 4 years there, I got a job with an MSP and worked my way up from (junior) engineer to Systems Architect and was there for 17 years.  I only left there when we moved from New Zealand to Australia, else I probably would have been there until I retired :)

 

Once in Australia I took a bit of a step down from Systems Architect back to Engineer with an MSP for a couple of years.  This position took me to my current role...

 

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

 

Since January I have been the IT Manager for Youpla Group.  This is a sole IT position within the organisation so everything from "this doesn't work" through recommendations to the management on pretty much everything technology related.

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

 

Flexibility within the role, every day is different.  It's interesting and challenging.  I literally get to play with a computer all day! :)

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

 

I'm passionate about technology and having it help people achieve their goals.  I always say my job is half about technology and half about people.   I am a generalist with a wide technical skill set and unlike a lot of IT people, I love documentation!  

 

 

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Welcome Paula! We're so glad to have you in the D&T Community - power to #WomenITPros who tirelessly work important roles (often behind the scenes/away from the spotlight) to help IT organizations #GetModern and run smoothly!
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@Cathy MoyaI am delighted to see this group! Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself.

  • How did you get into working in tech?

I reached a point in my career where I realized I needed to make a change. I was working for a publishing company, and my days were full of deadlines and monotony; I just wasn’t challenged. Co-workers would often ask me for technical help with things ranging from fixing printers to software issues. I quickly realized I enjoyed helping people in this way, so I took a leap of faith and enrolled in a technical school. I immersed myself in all things tech. I was in school, working as a traveling computer/network repair technician, and a single mother. I had my fair share of challenges along the way, but I had a strong sense of motivation. I also had a great instructor who helped teach me soft skills as well as technical ones. For example, he would often have students give presentations. One day, after I gave a presentation, a member of the audience come up and introduced herself. She was the director of the school, and asked if I would develop a curriculum for a night class. That was my way in. From there, other opportunity spawned, leading me to my current position as an IT instructor.

 

 

  • What is your current tech job? 

I am an Edutainer at ITProTV. I teach tech skills and IT certification exam prep courses via video live and on-demand.

 

 

  • What do you like best about working in tech? 

I love continuous learning and being challenged.

 

  • What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

There are a few things I could share; however, I believe the most important skill I possess is helping individuals learn how to learn. That is why I do what I do every day. The tech I teach you today could be irrelevant in 3 years, so I focus on helping individuals become continual learners, and stay relevant in their current roles.

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1) How did you get into working in tech? 

After building my first custom PC at age 12, I started running the network for my parents small businesses and looking after my school's computers. From there to data entry, retail computer sales and builds/repairs, onsite printer and PC tech, CAD operator, service desk analyst/lead, sys admin, tech/team leadership, and now cloud consultant goodness.

 

2) What is your current tech job?

My current title is "Infrastructure/Cloud Consultant", but what I actually do is guide and enable clients to move their legacy and on-prem infrastructure into Azure, ideally while also modernising onto SaaS and PaaS offerings as much as possible. 

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech?

There's so much scope for interesting and challenging work, coming up with and implementing creative solutions, continuous learning, and tinkering with cool gadgets while getting paid for it. I've also met some really awesome people in and through the industry.

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

I've spent quite a bit of time as a tech/team lead and section director for both ops and dev areas, and try to put my hiring/interview experience to good use proofing CVs, helping with interview prep, and generally helping my fellow impostor syndrome sufferers be more confident in their skills and expertise.

I also volunteer with a program that connects STEM professionals with teachers at all school levels to help introduce kids to STEM careers early on, and reassure them that our fields are for everyone - and there's more to IT than coding.

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@Skyalin , great to meet you! Can you tell us more about the STEM program you volunteer with? Where is it located (or is it virtual/global?) How can people get in involved if they are interested? 

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@Cathy Moya It's run by CSIRO in Australia, all around the country. If anyone is keen to get involved, there's more info to be found here https://www.csiro.au/en/Education/Programs/STEM-Professionals-in-Schools 

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@Cathy Moya 

Hi  Cathy and All,

My name is Olena. I am Sydney Microsoft BizApps Women group organiser: https://www.meetup.com/Sydney-MS-Business-Apps-Women-Meetup/

And #PowerLabs co-organiser: https://www.meetup.com/PowerLabs/

 

1) How did you get into working in tech?

My mum was a developer. I always want to be "like mum". Computer Science degree. 20 years in IT working with Microsoft technologies.

14 years working with Microsoft Dynamics. 10 years in consultancy.

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

Currently, I am working as a Senior Solutions Architect at PowerObjects an HCL Australia.

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

I like improving things, fixing broken stuff and solving problems. Also, I like teaching people and helping them to become superheroes in technologies.

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

I can teach/train, this is what I do my spare time. I can help to organise events. I can help to promote the meetup and get more people engaged.

It depends on what you, guys, are planning to do.

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@Cathy Moya Hello Cathy and all,

 

I'm glad to have join this group, for me to improve and learn more skills. Can't wait for the APAC meting to kick off which is end of this month. Hello to all everyone who wants to support women in the ITPro world! 

 

1) How did you get into working in tech?

- I came to Australia as an International Student, and my background was in Media Arts & Production. But because I would like to continue to stay in the country, then decided to take IT and here I am now. Not a day that I am regretting this. Always amaze with technology.

 

2) What is your current tech job? 

- My official title is ICT Business Analyst data  but I do more than that as it is a small size, for 3 years now. Hence, I have additional opportunity to learn how a project should work from start till end. The company Specialists in Digital Transformation and Process Automation by using two main product, to configure based on our customer requirement. Two completely product. 

 

3) What do you like best about working in tech? 

- Best about working in tech is that we can always 'tell' the technology how we want it and what we want. Technical words, we are the creator, we are the tester and user, we configure the application based on our needs. At the end of the day, without human, technology will not be exists. We are the great mind behind those application and technology. The feeling of satisfaction during delivery gives you confidence. Another best part is, each of our customer have same but different requirements. It is a challenge as we need to analyst the requirement in a same matter but differently. 

 

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

- I have a beginner Project Management and ICT Business Analyst Skills, that I am able to help others, to think and analyse from the 3 main stakeholders and require to always be a step ahead of them:

1. Customer: how to think from their perspective and speak their language.

2. Internal team: analyse customer words and convey it to internal team. Manage and plane resources  and speak their language to ensure they understand the project requirements and scope.

3. Management team: meet the timeline and expectations as it relates to billing and company growth.

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@Cathy Moya 

1) How did you get into working in tech? I was working at BP after my science degree, and used computers so frequently that I thought I should learn more about them

2) What is your current tech job? (or if you aren't in tech yet, what kind of job you think you might like?)

I'm a uni lecturer in systems analysis and design and business analytics

3) What do you like best about working in tech? (or what do you think you might like best about working in tech?)

I like making things work

4) What skills do you have that might help women either get into ITPro work or advance in ITpro careers? 

Not sure if I need to name a tech skill here, like Visio, or Tableau or more generic like research and technical writing.