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Be the Change You Want to See In the (Tech) World

The only thing that stays the same is change….

As the time flies by and the world turns, I often am jarred back to reality when I discover how the little things we do can have a larger impact on the world around us.

Flying back from Interop ITX and StarEast conferences last week, I was reminded of this.  While reading the latest copy of Wired , I came across a story on D-Tech High School.  This is the school that resides on the Oracle headquarters campus, in its own building(s). The story was interviewing different students to discuss how they were making an impact on the technical world and how STEM schools, like D-Tech were changing the future.  What struck me, was that the lead in picture and student interview was with a young woman I’d worked with two years earlier as part of the Oracle Education Foundation.

When I was at Oracle, I’d volunteered some of my time to writing/teaching one of the classes curriculum and technical content using Python and Raspberry Pis.  There wasn’t a school onsite at this time.  In fact, they’d announced the campus build at a ceremony just a few weeks before the two week, onsite program at Oracle.  Of the 24 students in our class, there were only four female.  That I was the one who wrote the curriculum and instruction on writing code was something Oracle Education Foundation highlighted to these female students.  Unlike the other three students, Vani stuck out as she already knew what she wanted and had found her “voice”.  Young women are less likely to be assertive due to cultural expectations and I recognized right off, that Vani was already beyond that. 225w, 1300w" sizes="(max-width: 408px) 100vw, 408px" data-recalc-dims="1" />

At the end of the first week, they had me present to the class on why I had chosen a career in technology and what lead me to success and why I give back to the younger generation.  As this is a topic I feel very passionately about, it resonated with the students who may not have previously considered being part of the technical industry outside of what’s commonly presented.  I was a real-world example of a woman in technology.

I refuse to take any credit for what this young woman has accomplished or what she will do, but I do hope by setting an example of a deep technical specialist and as a strong representation of a technical mentor, it gave her one more example to draw from.  With the challenges in retaining women in technology, we often discuss the “death by a 1000 pin pricks” of small slights, over sights and cultural impacts that deter women from staying in the industry.  I discovered a long time ago how just as small, positive changes appear to have the most significant ability to inoculate from reaching the dreaded 1000.  This was the focus of the talk I gave to those students-  offering positive inspiration that a job doesn’t have to just be a job and that the benefits outweigh any drawbacks.

It also reminded me of what I felt most passionate about in my career.

  • deep technical challenges and pursuits
  • giving the next generation the opportunity to discover a passion for technology
  • use data to offer answers to what challenges us today

Although I have a number of skills that companies appreciate and need to help them be successful, I am also aware of what gives me the greatest satisfaction.  I had distinct goals put in front of me when I started and  as these goals have been reached or surpassed, I’ve made the careful decision to take on a new opportunity outside of Delphix.

This new opportunity offers me the following:

  • A new technology focus to challenge me.
  • Work with the Technical Education, (K-12) sector
  • Uses the data from schools and institutions to help our next generation succeed.

I will start at Microsoft on May 28th, as a TSP in the AI and Power BI team for Tech Ed. 

I will continue to speak at events, blog and write articles, but my technical focus will change towards doing more with your data vs. how to get your data where you need to be to take advantage of it.  If you’re in the BI space, save me a spot, I’m coming to join you.  If you’re into AI, you know that AI can’t do much without data to learn from.  This is a huge new world and I’m thrilled to become part of it.

I want to thank those who recommended me for the position, to those who believed in me and know how excited I am to be taking on this challenge.  I’m now working hard, transitioning with Delphix to make sure the momentum to make Delphix a household name continues.  Too many companies are challenged by how to accomplish the next big thing and how to make data part of that success.


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