Betsy Aoki: Not just a cog in this huge machine

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Meet Betsy Aoki, self-appointed queen of Microsoft employee blog sites and principal program manager for Gotdotnet (when Charles and Jennifer caught up with her) and now program manager in MSN working on Windows Live. http://blogs.msdn.com/betsya/  From her magenta hair to her magenta personality, this is one of Jenny’s favorite WM_IN technology interviews to date.  You go Betsy! 

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Zeo
      Betsy sure is cool! It's nice to finally see her on Channel 9.
    • User profile image
      Harlequin
      blatzcoder wrote:
       First post!


      Please don't start this...
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Zeo wrote:
       Betsy sure is cool! It's nice to finally see her on Channel 9.


      Yeah. It's a shame it's taken so long, but she's been really busy revolutionizing the way Microsoft employees interact with customers. Make no mistake. If it wasn't for the pioneering work of Betsy this whole MS Blogging thing would not be where it is today. Thanks, Betsy!

      PS: Please stop posting if you have nothing to say. Going forward, I am going to delete "First Post!" rubbish. Clear?

      C
    • User profile image
      Xaero_​Vincent
      Hey do you think we can have a C9 video on Erika Wiechers? Big Smile:D:D


      Regards,
      Vincent
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Xaero_Vincent wrote:
       Hey do you think we can have a C9 video on Erika Wiechers?


      Regards,
      Vincent


      Why?
      C
    • User profile image
      LaBomba
      More WM_IN, ah comon Where's the going deep videos?!?!

      just kidding...

      Interesting person, nice vid.

    • User profile image
      Charles
      She's not a Microsoft employee... When somebody makes a request for a video interviewee, I like to know why.
    • User profile image
      LaBomba
      Charles wrote:
      
      Xaero_Vincent wrote:  Hey do you think we can have a C9 video on Erika Wiechers?


      Regards,
      Vincent


      Why?
      C


      Two questions...

      a) is the person in question a microsoft employee? (she most likely is)

      b) is the person in question a female, ie. a candidate for a WM_IN video? (Judging by the name she most likely is)

      What more do you need to know "C"?
    • User profile image
      staceyw
      Charles wrote:
      

      PS: Please stop posting if you have nothing to say. Going forward, I am going to delete "First Post!" rubbish. Clear?

      C


      OMG.  Thank you Charles!  U the man.
    • User profile image
      LaBomba

      Off to google ahem, er MSN Search to find out more about this Erika Wechers...

    • User profile image
      staceyw
      Charles wrote:
       She's not a Microsoft employee... When somebody makes a request for a video interviewee, I like to know why.


      That is interesting.  I always assumed (watching the .Net Show) that she was.  Why did they not use a MS person for that?  Cheers.
    • User profile image
      Charles
      staceyw wrote:
      
      Charles wrote:  She's not a Microsoft employee... When somebody makes a request for a video interviewee, I like to know why.


      That is interesting.  I always assumed (watching the .Net Show) that she was.  Why did they not use a MS person for that?  Cheers.


      She was a Microsoft employee. She is now a vendor.
      C
    • User profile image
      mbergal
      Laphroaig 10. Nice.
    • User profile image
      Charles
      LaBomba wrote:
       This'll be interesting...

      "From her magenta hair to her magenta personality"

      "C" what do you mean, define magenta personality?


      Jennifer writes the descriptions for WM_IN posts. Ritzi, what does magenta personality mean?
      C
    • User profile image
      LaBomba

      This'll be interesting...

      "From her magenta hair to her magenta personality"

      "C" what do you mean, define magenta personality?

    • User profile image
      Xaero_​Vincent
      Charles wrote:

      Why?
      C


      Actually I was just joking. But now that you ask, it would be interesting to know what she does at Microsoft besides being a newscaster on the .NET show. The other reason is because she's very pretty and I'm interesting to know what pretty women do at Microsoft.

      But hey... "NO" works just fine for me.

      /me shuts up!


      Regards,
      Vincent
    • User profile image
      LaBomba
      Xaero_Vincent wrote:
      
      Charles wrote:
      Why?
      C

      other reason is because she's very pretty and I'm interesting to know what pretty women do at Microsoft.


      I think the triple smileys gave that away my friend. Wink
    • User profile image
      Channel9hawk
      I just wrote up my review of this interview: http://channel9hawk.wordpress.com/2006/05/02/channel9-the-betsy-aoki-interview/.

      I'm going to be doing a blog post for each video going forward!Big Smile
    • User profile image
      ShakesPeer
      staceyw wrote:
      
      Charles wrote: 

      PS: Please stop posting if you have nothing to say. Going forward, I am going to delete "First Post!" rubbish. Clear?

      C
      OMG.  Thank you Charles!  U the man.
      Here, here! I cannot tell you the number of times I have witnessed this happening. Quite distracting to say the least. Fine video, Charles.
    • User profile image
      inviso
      I sure like listening to Betsy explain things. She employs great metaphors, and comes across as humble and thoughtful.

      However, there was one exchange in this interview that concerned me.

      I liked Betsy's answer to his question of why the tech industry is so male dominated. Even though she spent much of her answer strategizing for how to get more women into the field, she did come to the negative anti-social stereotype, and refuting it.

      But then he comes back with weak stuff -- about Betsy not being a coder, and that most MS employees are not coders, so women don't need be afraid to join Microsoft. I like Betsy's take better -- that there is no need to be afraid of coding. His implication seemed to be that somehow coding is scarier for women, so they might want to avoid it!

    • User profile image
      eagle
      I love reading her blog because she is a really good writer.
    • User profile image
      Duncanma
      I don't know whether or not Betsy considers herself a coder... I know that isn't her job at Microsoft... but I had enough chats with her about Visual Basic .NET, that I know she can code Smiley

      Check out her article on MSDN
    • User profile image
      Charles
      inviso wrote:
      

      But then he comes back with weak stuff -- about Betsy not being a coder, and that most MS employees are not coders, so women don't need be afraid to join Microsoft. I like Betsy's take better -- that there is no need to be afraid of coding. His implication seemed to be that somehow coding is scarier for women, so they might want to avoid it!



      Perhaps you've misinterpreted my statements as I certainly do not think that writing code is any more scary to a female who doesn't know how to write code than a male...

      My point was that you can still work at Microsoft (and in the industry) if you are not an engineer... Attracting more women to technical roles is the order of the day. The question in why are women not attracted to this industry to the degree that men are? As far as the small software engineering talent pool, this is a problem that spans genders. Fact is, the US is producing less and less engineers each year.

      Writing software is gender neutral. Can I be more clear?

      Again, most job roles at MS do not require that the employee in that role spend time in an IDE designing, writing and debugging code...

      Perhaps it didn't come out right in my answer.

      C
    • User profile image
      tourist
      Charles wrote:
      

      Writing software is gender neutral. Can I be more clear?



      Maybe you're wrong. Proponents of the functional programming methods of Matthias Felleisen claim that women find them easier to learn. If Felleisen is right, the new features of C# should make it possible to create programming courses that women might be more enthusiastic about.

      I've gone through the book A Little Java A Few Patterns by Felleisen and Daniel P. Friedman and done the exercises with C#. Its quite eye-opening.

    • User profile image
      Blogus​Maximus
      Great interview. I met Betsy at TechEd Orlando (her booth was back to back with our INETA booth)... really cool person. Interesting to hear more about what she does.
    • User profile image
      wyattwong
      Xaero_Vincent wrote:
       Hey do you think we can have a C9 video on Erika Wiechers?


      Regards,
      Vincent


      Yes, I'd love to see her in C9 video.
    • User profile image
      wyattwong
      Betsy's blog http://blogs.msdn.com/betsya/ doesn't exist !

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