Sadukie on WiT and Diversity for the Sake of Diversity

After some recent discussions on personal branding, I realized that some people don’t get me.  Some people don’t understand just who I am and what I am about.  So let me tell you a bit about who I am and where I stand on things.

Who I Am

  • I am a geek.  I love tech, and I’m not afraid to admit it or show my love for it.  I blog, speak at conferences, appear on podcasts, wrote a book, and continue eat/sleep/breathe tech.  I’m also married to a geek, so to say that I live surrounded by tech is an understatement.
  • I am still ever-curious about things in the tech realm – wanting to play and explore with .NET Core on Linux and also looking into the security world, especially looking at AppSec.
  • I love sharing information and learning from others.
  • I am all about the community – participating when I can, leading, growing it, and fostering it as best as I can.
  • I have a wonderful group of people close to me who I consider mentors, friends, and like family.  They have been supportive of me throughout my career – from my early days continuing through today.  I am blessed to be collaborating with such an amazing group.
  • My life’s accolades and successes (as well as failures and tribulations) are due to the work I’ve done, the effort I’ve put in… my gender and background does not factor into this.
  • I only mentor people who are in this field for similar reasons – curiosity for tech, wanting to grow in their tech career, wanting to get involved in the community.  If the passion for tech isn’t there, I am not the right mentor for you.

What I Am Not and Some Dislikes

  • I am not a poster child for the women in tech movement or diversity in tech.  Absolutely not… because…
  • I don’t like the exclusivity of those movements.  I don’t like seeing WiT and diversity events filtering out their attendance to be geared strictly for those demographics.
  • I also don’t like the discrimination that comes out with the movements.  Diversity scholarships and scholarships for particular demographics are used to lure people into the field – seemingly promoting diversity for the sake of diversity.
    • I am for merit-based scholarships – give the scholarships to those who show the interest and willingness to go the distance for the field, regardless of gender/creed/age/hot demographic of the moment.
  • I do not play the gender card to grow in my career.  My gender does not define who I am all the time, especially not in my career.
    • Yes, I’m a wife, mom, sister, aunt, niece, daughter, goddaughter… lots of feminine roles there.
    • Yes, I do things like sometimes read Cosmo magazine and used to watch Sex and the City.  Yes, I can totally relate to Carrie Bradshaw’s random questions at the beginning of the episodes.
    • No – none of these things impact how I approach tech.
  • That said, I don’t like it when people think they should play my gender card for me.  Did I mention – I am not a poster child for these movements?
  • When it comes to conferences that I support, I urge the organizers to steer clear of diversity for the sake of diversity and to choose the best content for their events, to put out the best event possible.  Do not sacrifice the quality of the event for the sake of diversity.

Conclusion

Yes, I am a woman – and as my husband reminded me, I’m a woman phenomenally.  However, I am getting tired of people telling me that I need to get involved in the Women in Tech movement more and urge more women and minorities in the field, especially when that’s not how I operate.  I want to see more people in the field – but I don’t care about their race/creed/gender.  I want to see more people who are passionate about tech and want to have fun learning, people who are respectful of each other, people who are all about collaborating to help grow each other’s careers as well as the community.

Sarah’s Must-Have Apps on Windows 8

Tonight, I got my Windows 8 RTM installed on a VHD.  I have to admit that I was skeptical of seeing the Metro interface that looks a lot like Windows Phone on a desktop.  I didn’t think I’d like the user experience, especially being on a laptop with a touchpad and no touchscreen.  The only thing I’m grumbly about so far is that it told me to install the Zune software to sync my Windows Phone with my PC.  Yeah, I don’t feel like ruining my fresh install (and my happiness) with that awfulness, so my phone will have to deal without a relationship to my laptop for now.

While looking around the Windows 8 Store, I found some apps that I just had to have.  These are some of my must-haves and why.

 

Xbox SmartGlass– This app encourages my laziness with the XBOX.  It’s bad enough that my 4 month old son hears me commanding the XBOX with voice commands thanks to my Kinect.  But now, while I’m tending to my little guy’s needs, I can also control my XBOX from my laptop with this Xbox companion app.  I no longer will startle my son with Kinect voice commands while he’s eating as I have this to control the XBOX.  Did I mention this encourages my laziness?

 


Microsoft Minesweeper – Oh dear… did I just recommend Minesweeper?  Yes, yes I did.  This is a game of the past that continues to get more awesome – complete with themes, achievements, daily challenges (coming soon), and yes, even an adventure mode (coming soon).  It’s nice to see how this game has grown over time to look better than the battleship grey sad thing it used to be.

 

 

 

TEDw – If you aren’t familiar with TED talks, you can find out more about these motivational talks on TED.com. This app puts recent TED talks right at your fingertips.  For example, when I look at the app now, I can easily access talks such as Rob Legato’s “The art of creating awe” and Timothy Prestero’s “Design for people, not awards”.  These are truly ideas worth spreading, and the TEDw app is great at spreading those ideas!

 

 

Microsoft OneNote MX – As I am writing this post, I have OneNote MX docked to the right with the list of apps that I’m recommending.  I’m a OneNote junkie – love using it to organize ideas and take notes!  So for me, I love keeping it docked while working on things to jot down that one idea that happens to come at the wrong time.

 

 

 

How Stuff Works – I love the site, and my father-in-law and husband are both huge fans of the How Stuff Works books.  Some random articles from the app include 5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Car Safer for Driving in Foul Weather, Does the Higgs boson exist?, How Hackers Work, and 10 Remarkable Exoplanets.  If you ever wanted to know how random things work, this app could probably quench your thirst for figuring out how things work.

 

 

 

Conclusion

These are some of my must-have recommendations for Windows 8 apps as of this point.  As time goes on and I stumble across more fun apps, look forward to future recommendations.  Meanwhile… do you have any Windows 8 apps that you recommend?  Either blog about it and leave me a link to your post or leave me a comment with what you recommend!  I look forward to hearing what others are recommending!