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I am a Female SharePoint Developer (a platinum unicorn). I have been working with SharePoint since I attended the Portal University in 2005. I hold a BA in Computer Science from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. I love playing Rockband, organizing user group meetings, working with code, attending events as a speaker or organizer, and having bizarre conversations about geek things with cool people. If you have any comments or questions fill out the contact form and I will try my best to help.



The Guide of a MOSSLover Becky Isserman's Blog

I am a woman in technology and I am very proud of what I do.  I love SharePoint and I love the community.  I automatically get involved with anything I can that I think would help in the long run.  I run the Office Geeks and I try to help Michael Lotter out with SharePoint Saturday.  No one has once told me I could not speak at an event or participate due to my gender.  Yes sometimes a conference may be harder to get in due to the amount of submissions that the coordinators may receive.  I understand I may not get in because someone better was chosen above me.  That’s how it works out occasionally with TechED or SharePoint Conference or some of the other events.  I am also the new kid on the block and I don’t expect automatic admission until I improve my skills, but it will never stop me from trying.  There may be some women who do not submit and that I can’t help.  If you are not submitting then you are not going to get into a conference.  Telepathy doesn’t work.  I have tried it many times hoping it would it just doesn’t.  I am all for more women in technology, but we need to promote that more women push themselves harder to get into conferences.  We need to encourage them to submit.  We need to encourage them to take the initiative.  I have never met a single person pushing women back because of gender.  If you look at the conference attendee list for .Net in general and not just SharePoint you will notice people like Rachel Appel, Dana Coffey, Kathi Kellenberger, Susan Lennon, Jessica Moss, Kathleen Dollard, and many others.  There are some groups out there that are not going about how to get more women involved the correct way.  It is splintering the community.  We need to make sure that we encourage a more professional community.  I understand there are social aspects to the community, but picking fights is never a good idea.  So if you take one thing out of this blog post please understand that we should encourage more women to get involved without instigating a rift of men versus women when there is no male versus female oppression.  I am not trying to name names or point fingers, but don’t you agree we all have much more fun when there is no drama involved?  I hope that you all have a good weekend.

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 3:59 PM MOSS , Life, The Universe, and Everything | Back to top


Comments on this post: My Experience as a Woman in the Community

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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You nailed it!

I love the line about telepathy not working.
Left by Paul Galvin on Jun 17, 2009 4:09 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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"Have a good weekend" ... saying that on Wednesday? Geez... you slacker!
Left by Andrew Connell on Jun 17, 2009 4:38 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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AC - ROFLMAO...I vote we move the weekend to now...Wednesday is the new Friday!

Paul - It's too bad that's the reality...Wouldn't it be nice to have Deanna Troi's abilities?
Left by MOSSLover on Jun 17, 2009 4:50 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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Great post Becky. Look forward to seeing you again this weekend. WHOOT
Left by Heather Waterman on Jun 17, 2009 4:55 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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Great post. I completely agree.
I posted my reaction here http://www.sharepointblogs.com/mirjam/archive/2009/06/17/my-experience-as-a-woman-in-technology.aspx as it was too long to be a comment.
Left by Mirjam on Jun 17, 2009 5:01 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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I was wondering when someone was gonna bring up this point. Its about time. Thanks!
Left by Anon on Jun 17, 2009 5:21 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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I agree with you...

I'm running two usergroups together with Mirjam. And for SDN (Software Development Network) we created a magazine writen by Women in Technology.
Just to show girls this industry is not a man only work environment. (http://information-worker.org/SDNmagazine.aspx)

Also we recorded a podcast for Sodthis on DevDays:
http://www.sodthis.com/podcast/2009/06/17/sod-this-5-women-in-technology

The outcome of the interview is pretty much the same as your arguments in your blog.
(interview starts after 15 minutes :-))

I like my job. I like doing community stuff, speaking and writing articles. And that has nothing to do with gender...but all about being a professional!
Should we encourage other women to join the field. Yes... should we encourage women to be speakers and writers .. absolutely! But that is the responsibility for men and women!
Left by Marianne van Wanrooij on Jun 17, 2009 6:05 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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You are very much appreciated and respected in the community Becky. And your blog post enhances that fact.

Rick
Left by Ricknology on Jun 17, 2009 7:26 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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I agree, there is no divide and we definitely don't need any drama or exclusivity. Or any special treatment. Take the gender-neutral approach, let's not self-identify because in the end that's just focusing in on "differences". We can all share a love and passion for technology w/o discussing our gender. It's the 21st century, time to move towards a more evolved path...
Left by S Henry on Jun 17, 2009 10:29 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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We are doing a job like others. But we are female. Where's problem? The problem is in the heads of people. And it's only to solve with doing our work. And with speaking to our children and showing that both men and women can think and work in technical areas.
I'm a German woman from east, formerly GDR. There,almost all women worked and many women learned or studied in technical occupations. Nevertheless, I was often the only woman in the team. I then developed hardware.

Now I'm almost 50 years old and I was moved to the IT caused by various circumstance. I like my job - least most of the time ;-)
I'm a consultant in Networking, especially in Microsoft Technologies. Also I work in administering customer networks. Sharepoint, Exchange and so on are a part of my tasks.

I do my work and love it and I see this as normaly.
The differentiation between female worker and male worker is a discrimination (if no hard physical tasks to do). And we womens discriminate us self with our cry for more adherence of women in Technologies.

are normal, that mathematics, physics, technics, computers are normal for all. Everyone is able to learn this things independ from gender. This is the message.

All other things come the alone.
Left by Tobia on Jun 18, 2009 4:30 AM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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I am so very happy for the women who have not had negative experiences because they were women. That hasn't been my experience all the time but I never really sweated it. Here is the thing: it can be fun to just hang out with other like minded individuals and I do mean females who do what you do. We gals often do approach problems in a different fashion than the average fellow and that is awesome because it is just this sort of diversity that adds to the rich mix of experience making us all better at what we do.

Truthfully, NCWIT.org can provide much data that shows that in fact, Women are NOT heading in to technology at all, rather into the life sciences. Heard an awesome talk by a researcher who explained what she discovered in her studies.

I have no problem having fun with other women & building a bit of camaraderie. We can and should be supportive of one another with our different interests because that is just what we do in the SharePoint community, no matter what stripe you are.
Left by Deanna McNeil on Jun 18, 2009 9:49 AM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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Here, here Becky!! I'm ashamed I didn't see this sooner to when you posted it - but guess better latge than never. I've been a woman in technology for over 30 years (GASP! And yes, I DID start when I was 4! ;> ;> ) I've always found that hard work, skills, dedication, good work ethic, good communication skills, etc would always pay off. And while it may take a while for some to appreciate your abilities, I'm sure there are plenty of guys that happens to also. I've always been able to do the work I want in this industry, and advance solely based upon my qualifications. The only difference I see now over 30 years ago is just there are more women. I'm with Becky - we just need to do our work and our work will speak for itself. And for those of us involved in the SharePoint side of IT, c'mon - our platform is ABOUT collaboration for goodness sakes! Nuff said.
Left by Susan Lennon on Jul 01, 2009 6:24 PM

# re: My Experience as a Woman in the Community
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Ok,ok - I know I said "nuff said", bot those who know me know I often have a lot to say.....

My other point I want to make - as a woman with decades of experience in the technology industry, is one of the MOST important things in my opinion is always be open to learn - from any and every one. I'm old enough to be Becky's Mom (more self gasping) - but she's taught me something today. Or rather she's motivated me. I've been very involved in the user group community ( have run the Hampton Roads SQL Server and SharePoint User Group for 14 years - no, it wasn't SharePoint for all 14 years!!) and I've been involved in the SharePoint Saturday concept - and have been involved in running the Richmond Code Camp since it's inception (5 or 6 years??) - but Becky has motivated me to reach higher and think about starting to submit abstracts to bigger tech conferences. My biggest hesitation has not been fear or lask of self confidence, it's just hard to justify the time it will take away from my successful consulting business. But I think I'll just have to learn some more time management techniques and prioritize better. Thanks Becky for challenging me - keep up the pressure!

Susan
Left by Susan Lennon on Jul 01, 2009 6:40 PM

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