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Suzan DelBene: From referee to VP

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What’s the best way to become bullet proof?  Be a high school football referee!

Meet corporate vice president Suzan DelBene as she talks about the smallest but fastest growing division at Microsoft, the mobile and embedded devices (MED) group where they produce software for everything that isn’t a PC.  Suzan talks about what is hot in MED right now, and reflects on her early days as a football referee where time on the field helped prepare her to be a Microsoft VP, all this and more in another edition of WM_IN.

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  • question, are we going to get any demos for any of these interviews anymore?
  • If you guys are looking for motivating VP's you guys should hire him http://www.navyseals.com/community/navyseals/famous_ns_marcinko.cfm

    ...dude's freaky just looking at.
  • Nope... 

    The WM_IN series is fundamentally flawed anyway... So you want to get women into technology, so you post videos on a technology site who's entire audience is already in the technology industry...

    Does anyone else see a chicken and an egg problem with this little scenario? 8-)

  • DuNuNuBatman wrote:
    If you guys are looking for motivating VP's you guys should hire him http://www.navyseals.com/community/navyseals/famous_ns_marcinko.cfm

    ...dude's freaky just looking at.


    wtf?
  • Can we get Scoble to revist the Vista team to find out when we are getting the beta 2? - Get some more in depth looks at the OS as well.
  • Seriously guys... enough with the WM_IN series already.  C9 is getting pretty boring these days as I count 3 of the last 6 vids being WM_IN videos and 1 a four minute impromptu video.

    Learn some moderation.  1 WM_IN video every couple weeks or more would be fine, but I get the impression you're now very heavily focused on making those videos.

    Which brings me to why this series is flawed anyway.  Show the female geeks!  The women that will make the niners think, "I wish I had her skills."  Not the PMs. Let the femGeeks impress with demos just as the manGeeks would and then maybe spend 5 minutes at the end of the video discussing the finer points of being a woman in technology.  Treat them equally guys.  If I only watched the WM_IN series I'd think: "Gee wiz! At microsoft, woment can only be PMs.  There really aren't doing any of the powergeeking."  Which is really a disservice to what I assume you want to accomplish.  Let's see more Molly Brown.  There are women on the Avalon team (Lauren Lavoi, I think.  I saw her PDC presentation) and women working on the .NET GC (Maoni Stephens).  Let's see them guys if you want to make this series worth anything at all.
  • daytrip00 wrote:
    Let the femGeeks impress with demos just as the manGeeks would and then maybe spend 5 minutes at the end of the video discussing the finer points of being a woman in technology.  Treat them equally guys.


    That was my point in the other thread... It seems C9 does more to make women feel like outsiders than most of their male peers... I mean can we not just have a employee, who HAPPENS to be female show us a demo?

    Or does Microsoft fast track women into PM roles so quickly that C9 can't source any actual developers?
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    The videos will get better soon. Come back tonight for some fun ones.
  • LaBombaLaBomba Summer
    Booooooring,

    Where's the Vista vid's?

    There was a big gap in between vids on Vista, then they said a lot more is coming on Vista/In Deep. 

    They gave us Larry O. and that was it.

    WM_IN is nice and all but....
  • Martin Ennemosermawcc Make it so
    scobleizer wrote:
    The videos will get better soon. Come back tonight for some fun ones.


    The WM_IN videos aren't bad at all, there are just too much of them at once. People would even get tired of Windows Vista Audio Stack videos if there would be a couple of them each month.
  • I attended MEDC last year and Suzan gave a very formal keynote then disappeared.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    This week we hosted a women in technology conference on campus and so I wanted to highlight some women at Microsoft on Channel 9. In general, we'll relase WM_IN episodes on a regular basis, like once or twice a month. This week was special, but I'm happy that we released 3 WM_IN videos, highlighting some excellent Softies and real leaders. 

    It's interesting that your reaction to the release of three women-in-technology-oriented videos is so negative. My advice to any of you who feel compelled to complain about this issue is simply this: Just don't watch the videos here that are of no interest to you, rather than complaining about how they are of no interest to you to the rest of us. We always relese a variety of content on Channel 9 so that people are free to choose to watch or listen to what they find interesting. I find this constant b*tching about the WM_IN series annoying. If you don't like it, then don't watch it. Sorry about being terse, but I'm a little angry about this and not afraid to share it with you.
     
    C
  • Charles wrote:
    This week we hosted a women in technology conference on campus and so I wanted to highlight some women at Microsoft on Channel 9. In general, we'll relase WM_IN episodes on a regular basis, like once or twice a month. This week was special, but I'm happy that we released 3 WM_IN videos, highlighting some excellent Softies and real leaders. 

    It's interesting that your reaction to the release of three women-in-technology-oriented videos is so negative. My advice to any of you who feel compelled to complain about this issue is simply this: Just don't watch the videos here that are of no interest to you, rather than complaining about how they are of no interest to you to the rest of us. We always relese a variety of content on Channel 9 so that people are free to choose to watch or listen to what they find interesting. I find this constant b*tching about the WM_IN series annoying. If you don't like it, then don't watch it. Sorry about being terse, but I'm a little angry about this and not afraid to share it with you.
     
    C


    Hey Charles, just a little FYI.  There were 4 WM_IN videos in the last 24 days, or one every 6 days.  This is 4 WM_IN videos out of 8 total videos, or 50% of the last month! 

    It's interesting you take the comments so personally.  If we have to sift through one out of two videos in order to watch some real technical content, that is not that great.  50% is not a passing grade for those who have complained, so perhaps look at their POV.

    I would be more interested in what MS is doing in the search/ad space, in Web 2.0, in innovation in new products.  And please limit the PMs and GMs and push toward the raw, uncut versions.  I used to watch a lot of vids back in the Sparkle, Avalon demo days, but now I wonder if someone's trying to educate us in the MS MBA of Middle-management.  And  the worst question that has popped up too often recently is "How does it feel to do [something]?" 

    Furthermore, I can't speak for others, but I seriously get enough diversity training at my workplace already.  I already get the picture...

    Please don't take my comments personally ... I've loved a bit of the content over time, but I'm not too keen on the direction we've headed.  More Virtual Earth and new/related stuff would be much more interesting...
  • Charles wrote:
    It's interesting that your reaction to the release of three women-in-technology-oriented videos is so negative. My advice to any of you who feel compelled to complain about this issue is simply this: Just don't watch the videos here that are of no interest to you, rather than complaining about how they are of no interest to you to the rest of us. We always relese a variety of content on Channel 9 so that people are free to choose to watch or listen to what they find interesting. I find this constant b*tching about the WM_IN series annoying. If you don't like it, then don't watch it. Sorry about being terse, but I'm a little angry about this and not afraid to share it with you.
    The main point of my earlier post came at the bottom.  I think the WM_IN series needs to be more than just cheerleading. Highliting women for the sake of being women (especially if they're all PMs) isn't really going to do anything new.  Show us the geeks.  Have an interviewee show us some kick-(I need to watch my language) demos and then ask her about what it's like to be a woman in tech afterwards.  You'll face a much more captive audience.
  • daytrip00 wrote:
    You'll face a much more captive audience.


    Or you could do a Babes of Microsoft video.
     I keed, I keed... unless you are going to do one Wink
  • LaBombaLaBomba Summer
    I can understand why Charles is a bit angry though.

    The people who were interviewed took time of out of their schedules to grant Channel 9 an interview.

    Now after the video was posted, they probably came and read the comments like most interviewee's do; and all they see is negative comments. "What is this $#%#$..,blah, blah, blah". They must not have felt too good about that and neither did the person who interviewed them. Must have been embarrasing really for the interviewer.

    Especially, since this series partly being about "ideas on how to grow diversity in IT", and all we are doing is reacting negatively, b*tching and complaining about the videos.

    Gee, I wonder why there aren't too many women in IT?

    I apologize,

    i act a fool sometimes.

    LB
  • Hey, we ain't complaining about women in technology, I just wan't them to show me some technology.

    Bring back that woman, errrrr VS tester me thinks.
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    I hate the stupid technology, but I knew the videos are not only for me.  I remember I am only complain about it twice, okay, maybe more:D. I have to say , hi guys, take it like a man.
  • fivestrokesfivestrokes brrrrm! brrrrm!
    I personally enjoy the WM_IN series. I think, we should all appreciate what Channel9 freely offers to the world. We do not pay for this service and therefore should not complain to the producers about the content. Charles and Jennifer, bravo for the WM_IN series. Keep them coming. If I were you, I would simply ignore all the complaints and stay on track. You can't please everybody.
  • Charles wrote:

    It's interesting that your reaction to the release of three women-in-technology-oriented videos is so negative. ... I find this constant b*tching about the WM_IN series annoying. If you don't like it, then don't watch it. Sorry about being terse, but I'm a little angry about this and not afraid to share it with you.
     
    C


    You are absolutely right to express your anger, Charles. Keeping it to yourself wouldn't do any good. And it's fine on a site like C9, which is about showing that MS employees are normal human beings with emotions.

    I haven't watched that particular video yet, but I find the WM_IN show to be very interesting. I find it valuable when people talk about their motivations and about personal aspects of some things
    they have done in terms of their carreer. Men interviewees would probably tend to avoid this type of topic and limit themselves to showing off their technical knowledge and tend to overshadow women present in the room, like it happened once or twice during this session: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=127955
    Even Bill Hill does it here with his otherwise brilliant, but a bit too pushy wit: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=147352

    I think the problem is: why men never talk about their private motivations - and not: why women DO. Maybe if people behaved more like humans and less like machines with a short-circuited emotional system, the workplace would be a better place for BOTH women AND men.

    Charles and Jennifer: keep up the good work!
  • john.d.murphyjohn.d.​murphy John Murphy (FAA)
    Now how about some technicle stuff about MED.  It would interesting to know how to get involved in devopement for embedded devices. 

    (Not complaining, just want more tech info)
  • An_AngelAn_Angel Waterbaby
    This was an interesting piece on women in technology as a whole.  The discussion on educating children in joining technology.  I disagreed with the comment about girls being put off by being called geeks.  I think fundamentally we need to remove the old fashioned derogitory ideals of a geek and give it a new image. 

    It was great to hear how Suzan worked her way through the company, how she views the changes that occurred within MS as well.  It would have been nice to hear more from Suzan on the technical side of things and the inside of Microsoft.  I would love to hear more from Suzan about her experiences of working with the teams within MS and where she sees MED going in the future.  (I wish I could have interviewed her... I have a few questions that would be interesting to put forward... )



  • Some highlights from this interview:
    • introduction of MED = Mobile and Embedded Devices division (SPOT watch not included)
    • she talks about her start-up company when she didn't work at Microsoft
    • SPOT watches are not part of MED
    • her beginnings at Microsoft - working on e-mail product for Mac
    • she's PhD student in molecular technology and bio-tech - but obviously biological cells have not much to do with cellular phones... in other words: she has education totally irrelevant for mobility
    • she doesn't answer the question how she achieved "from internet to vice president" properly (her husband arranged her the job) but just is saying that it was thanks to taking a break from Microsoft and creating a start-up companies (that also were NOT related to mobility)
    • she talks about general managerial skills a lot but nothing about her skills or expertise in mobility
    • she makes impression of "career woman" who doesn't particularly care in which division (area of business) she works, as long as it means high job position = no passion for mobility in particular, but just passion for career.
    • talks about MED (her divisin) being in diverse businesses but cannot recognize it, that it means lack of focus on areas of biggest growth (i.e. mobile phones)
    • pep-talk about being "woman of power at Microsoft", once again irrelevant to mobility but interesting for the interviewer (also a woman - another Microsoft employee)
    • talk about being a mum and having a daughter and a son
    • feminism talk about supporting women in MED and about being successful women, etc
    • she claims that her experiences as (American) football referee help here being better manager at MED
    • talk about her mother (she and her family comes from Wisconsin)
    • Microsoft as good place to work for women
    • about being on maternity leave
    • summary: most of the talk about being woman, personal experiences, etc and very little talk on topic: mobility - the business area of division, of which she is a VP
    Conclusion: from what we know she got VP (Vice President) job at mobile division of Microsoft just because her husband was VP in other area of Microsoft and arranged this job for her. One is for sure: she brought no experiences in mobility to the job, we never saw her expertise about mobility, and we wish she would dare to get interviewed by us during upcoming 3GSM 2006 (we will be there!) instead of just relying on being interviewed by Microsoft employees...

    http://msmobiles.com/news.php/4790.html

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