Please introduce yourself! Hello, I'm Heather Newman, and I live in Los Angeles, California, and enjoy traveling the world speaking about Office 365, SharePoint, Personal Development and Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. I am a two-time Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services and am the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda: the customizable, inexpensive, easy-to-use technology platform to support employees, ease adoption and accelerate change for all Office 365 applications and all web platforms. I am also head maven and CEO of Creative Maven, a marketing consulting firm that accelerates client marketing strategy through clarity, consistency, and experience via workshops and online courses.
I was on the original SharePoint Marketing team back in 2001 and was an event producer for Microsoft for over a decade, producing thousands of events, campaigns, and experiences in the high-tech and entertainment industries. I also host the Mavens Do It Better Podcast, that features interviews with extraordinary everyday experts who light a spark in our world. I lead planning for our SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles and our Office 365/SharePoint User Group. I believe that empathy makes us human. Action makes us warriors.
I'm a writer on Medium and Forbes LA Business Council, a published playwright, was born and raised in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois and was a theater major at University of Washington School of Drama, Seattle WA. My personal why is to spread joy and connect people. #alwayslearning
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting their career in tech, what would you tell them? Believe in yourself, always keep learning, and make those deep connections with your peers and people who inspire you, and there is nothing you cannot achieve so go for it. Find your people and be a purveyor of belonging in everything you do.
How do you stay up to date with changing technologies and updates? I am an avid reader and consumer of content from many places: Microsoft Tech Community is a big one, Office 365 Roadmap, Office 365 Champions Program, Coffee in the Cloud, Office 365/SharePoint product team blogs, MVP and influencers Twitter accounts and posts.
How has technology changed since you first started your career? Technology is moving at the speed of light these days, and the addition of AI, machine learning and data science have advanced us since the days of my little Nokia phone, modems. With context sensitive help, voice activated electronics and computers that can slip into a purse we are light years away from my humble beginning growing up. I had an Atari, record player, corded to the wall phone, film cameras, floppy disks, and walkie talkies. I cannot believe I can run two businesses and a podcast from my iPhone and Surface.
What advice would you give to a first-time Microsoft Ignite attendee? Do your homework and don't wait until you get on-site to connect with people. Review the session schedule, and make your plan, look on EventBrite and Meetup for parties/events, start following people on social media (especially Twitter). Wear and bring a few pairs of comfortable shoes, use a backpack, a water bottle, snacks that you like and go as light as you can. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to anyone, a hello, and a smile go a long way.
What are you packing for Microsoft Ignite? My hot rollers, of course, multiple comfortable, cute shoes, red dress for the Red Party, sunglasses, sunscreen, backpack, Surface 6 pro and mouse, iPhone XS Max, Zoom H4 podcaster, FitBit, power strip for my hotel room, earpods, extra battery chargers (multiple), coffee mug, Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place coffee, instant electric immersion water heater, water bottle, backpack, nuts, beef jerky, electrolyte chews, lip balm, and my nap blanket that goes with me everywhere,
Why should people follow you for Microsoft Ignite coverage? I bring the glitter, fun, and joy for what I do with me wherever I go and with everyone I meet. Talking tech with people that I have known for 18 years and also those I haven't met is going to be a blast. I have a great passion for Diversity and Tech program, and I cannot wait to have those conversations with more people this year. I believe everyone has a story, and I love that part of my job as a human is to help share the goodness that we all bring to the world. I'm am thrilled and thankful to be on the Community Reporter team this year to do that for our community. It is going to be an epic Microsoft Ignite.