Monday, January 12, 2009

a new track!

Earlier this year, I read a book that was recommended to me: Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing, by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher. The book was a bit dry (in my opinion), but the points it made were spot on. From the first page, my feelings and experiences were validated. I love what I do - I love to build things and make them work. But I have always felt more insecure/less confident than at least most of the men around me appear to (and maybe the key word is appear...). I *feel* like my lack of interest in dissecting my laptop makes me less serious an engineer. And I feel like my desires to read novels, knit, and other outside interests make me less serious an engineer. And of course I am a perfectly serious engineer, and even know it on other levels - but it's about how I feel inside. This book made me realize - it isn't just me!

I had dinner with Kristin Keene at DNUG when I was reading this book, and was talking to her about it and how I felt. And she had this eureka moment - and decided that we should have a Lotusphere session on this! And a BOF! So if you're going to Lotusphere, on Tuesday, from 11:15-12:15, in Swan Mockingbird, some of us will be participating in GEEK102 "Nerd Girl" Panel: Making Geek Chic! The BOF is on Wednesday, from 5:45 to 6:45 pm, in Swan Toucan 2. The experiences of women in computer science affect all of us - male and female - let's see what we can learn when we share our thoughts!

7 comments:

Bob Balfe said...

Awesome, this could be the one place to pick up all of the hot, I meant smart, chicks at Lotusphere!

Kristin Keene said...

And yes Bob, that's EXACTLY why we've built this new track. Good to see that you too are "smart" and get it.

Lissette said...

....but we'll still talk about shoes right?

Anonymous said...

My husband is an avid knitter! and he's an architect at Polycom. Knitting is actually very mathematical, with all those patterns and counting and things...

but people make fun of HIM because he knits! Picture this: on all our family trips, I drive, while he sits in teh passenger seat and knits.
Mary Beth Raven

Anonymous said...

@lissette
shoes: yes. I bought 2new pair for Lotusphere. one black, one yellow.

and... lots of men appear to be obsessed with recommending wearing comfy shoes at lotusphere.. in case anybody thinks that only women talk about shoes...
Mary beth raven

Pete Lyons said...

Hey Maureen, I completely relate. Though from a bit of a different angle. I can get very distracted by tech toys like programming languages. I even recall walking by your office one time as I was off on a mental tangent more interested in my personal technical interests than in the code I was supposed to be working on and thinking; "There's Maureen diligently working away on the Designer, day after day, never being bored or being distracted, I wish I had her discipline." I think a bit of insecurity is a healthy sign you're aware of the value of people around you.

chrisboote said...

Bob, for most Lotus geeks, smart == hot 8-)