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Jennifer Ritzinger - Women of PDC

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Irreverent. Strong. Fun.

Does that describe the women you work with?

It describes Dee Dee Walsh, Jennifer Ritzinger, and Mardella Brekke.

Meet some of the women behind Microsoft, what makes them successful, and hear more about the Women and Technology panel that'll happen on September 13 at the PDC.

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  • Funny people.

    Lol, they are ferocious Wink

    Boob shot, what would your wife think you horn dog Cool
  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!
    Woman: "Me on the table"
    Scoble: "You don't need to tell anyone about my past -ha -ha-ha-ha"

    Oh, by the way, I am already engaged with windows. How about a copy of a cool app for it?

    Scoble, you get that in 94 geek fest, eh? Tongue Out haha
    - Steve
  • Anyway, I've mulled over why so few women in IT and I have a few thoughts as a 23-year-old male who's just graduated with BS and MS in Computer Science.  I think these women covered some good points, so I'll see if I can run with it:

    1) Computer Science and IT in general has evolved considerably so that the important considerations include creativity, communication skills, and some business knowledge.  Women should do quite well in this, especially in communication skills.  However, I've noticed that the preparation for a career in IT involves an expectation of involvement in a ton of anti-social lock-yourself-in-a-room-with-a-computer preparation.  I know that kind of thing is rather difficult for me as male, and I can guess it can be at least that challenging for the females.  Of course, changing a CS curriculum so it encourages creativity and teamwork at a very early stage is not the quickest process.  I've really only seen this emphasized in my Master's Degree, which is quite unfortunate.

    2) I have two geek friends who are girls.  Both are in their early 20s like me.  One left the geek-o-sphere early on in college because she perceived that IT would be too unsocial for her.  The other didn't pursue a career in IT because she got married recently and is planning to start a family.  I guess she saw some incompatabilities between the two directions with the often-times longer and less flexible hours, stress, and so on. 

    3) For all of our benefit, geek guys have to stop hitting on the few gals who are geeks!  Develop some social skills and broaden your horizons...and leave 'em alone!

    On a side note, I was quite ticked off that this Raj guy interrupted their meeting twice.  All I know is that I have not watched a single C9 video before where this happened.  He could have emailed a reminder or talked later...but at least treat them with some respect while they are being interviewed!  I'm not going to judge motives, but some may think by allowing these interruptions you send mixed messages.

    P.S. BenZila, calm down...and maybe discuss something substantive.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    >He could have emailed a reminder or talked later...but at least treat them with some respect while they are being interviewed!

    Yeah, but that's reality. I actually like that kind of attitude. Get stuff done. Of course he'll probably reconsider when seeing how he looks in the video. I don't really think he realized that we were interviewing. The rule is that if your door is open you can go and talk. We probably should have closed the door.
  • dantheman82 wrote:

    P.S. BenZila, calm down...and maybe discuss something substantive.


    Oh, i'm sorry. I can't have a little fun at a fun video.

    next time i'll check with you, with what I can and cannot post.
  • scobleizer wrote:
    >
    Yeah, but that's reality. I actually like that kind of attitude. Get stuff done. Of course he'll probably reconsider when seeing how he looks in the video. I don't really think he realized that we were interviewing. The rule is that if your door is open you can go and talk. We probably should have closed the door.

    I see the open door was a bit of a caviat.  I'm glad they didn't mind that much either.  BTW, I also like having people who stop by and talk to each other rather than use IM/email.  We don't even use IM at all among our developers at work, and it promotes a althy team atmosphere where we discuss technical issues, business-related issues, scheduling, and general stuff in small groups together pretty much anytime. 


    benZilla wrote:
    >

    Oh, i'm sorry. I can't have a little fun at a fun video.

    next time i'll check with you, with what I can and cannot post.

    Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I think Scoble has some interest in keeping a good reputation.  I'd hate to see him lose interviews with women who based on rumor/hearsay will think he's some kind of perv.  Of course, Dee Dee didn't seem all that interested in behaving during the interview...
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    dan: >Of course, Dee Dee didn't seem all that interested in behaving during the interview...

    Heh! For Dee Dee that WAS behaving! Smiley

  • ZeoZeo Channel 9 :)

    "the true diversities are the differences between us"

    But somehow being a woman applicant brings more “diversity”....and they bear testament to that inane rational.

    I’m only in favour of intellectual diversity.

    At the last PDC I knew a women who was going to the conference (because she got Microsoft to pay for her entire trip….because she brought diversity….yay!)  Over drinks she spilled the beans that she was practically begged by a Group product manager to come work at Microsoft…She was offered a HUGE salary up-front(and even asked for more just because she wanted to see how much higher she could go, and she even got what she was asking for).

    And yet when I talked with her it became crystal clear that she was an intellectual lightweight…But she had breasts(and that was about it)…thankfully for Microsoft(I speak as a Microsoft shareholder) she decided to turn down the offer and instead she now works at a California Pizza Kitchen as a manager.

    Anyways, back to this video.


    "We work at Microsoft" [but they are marketers....LAME].

    She's really successful...[but she's a marketer…again LAME].

    A computer doesn't make you feel warm? huh Robert? Microsoft BOB and CLIPPY, were huge attempts to make computers more friendly and both failed.

    When I see a great algorithm or a precisely architected code snippet that makes me feel warm and fuzzy because it makes me really think long and hard and appreciate the intelligence it took to design it.

    Computers are cold and unforgiving because they are powerfully engineered machines. In the same way that a Porsche is cold and unforgiving….Both are demanding of their users and their level of intellectual sophistication.   

    Computers are primarily used for intellectual endeavours and somehow in the IT world marketing is seen as not being an intellectual endeavour.   

    SHOW ME THE WOMEN ENGINEERS. NOT WOMEN MARKETERS.

    Ughh.

    I was planning on going to their PDC presentation...but now that I know that they are marketers....I'll steer far far away.

    Robert, Marketing won't make women go into software engineering...Only Women Engineers will bring more women along.

    And as for sexism…I’d like to hear sexual innuendos brought up in another C9 video with MALE engineers….Never gonna happen. 

  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Zeo: to be fair at least half of the panel will be developers.

    And I don't know that having role models really matters. There've been plenty of famous computer scientists who are female.

    As to the coldness of the box. That's what I've been told when I discuss this with girls between 10 and 14. They see playing with the computer as an anti-social activity.
  • The few women in IT areas I have worked with (in the Healthcare Insurance industry) have been very competent...although I have seen some "control freak" tendencies in some of them which is a little funny sometimes.  Although there are very few who are really deeply into "development" on a low level.

    I agree with the "competitive" issues...I see this a lot.  I also see other things that come out of this including jealousy, people being shut out of discussions, left out of meetings...not fun.

    Hey, is that the first use of a swear word on Channel 9 video? LOL.

  • scobleizer wrote:
    As to the coldness of the box. That's what I've been told when I discuss this with girls between 10 and 14. They see playing with the computer as an anti-social activity.


    I used to think this way, however, when I saw one of my kids completely absorbed in playing a farming game on her Nintendo system (Harvest Moon)...I was floored.  She would go on the internet and dig, dig, dig for information related to playing the game. It really connected with her, as did some of the later Mario Brothers titles.

    Regarding development of software, though, she almost got interested in building web pages.  She tried building a couple, but then gave up.
  • Mike SampsonSampy And I come back to you now - at the turn of the tide
    I believe I said "kick [booty]" on one of my videos Smiley

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