Jillian Venters - A Goth inside the Deathstar

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Jillian Venters is a technical editor for ASP.NET within the developer division, editing documentation for Visual Web Developer to ensure all text and copy is clear and concise.  With a diverse background in games and music engineering, Jillian is another fantastic example of how you can have a happy and successful career at Microsoft without being a hard-core programmer or developer.  But, even more interesting (at least for Ritzy) is that Jillian is a full-fledged Goth.  What’s a Goth, you ask?  Goth has roots back to the 1700’s, the current incarnation is an off-shoot of the punk and new wave movement that includes influences from Victorian mourning clothing, so good they’re bad horror movies, Dracula and more.  Guess what else?  Goths aren’t just disgruntled teens trying to upset mom and dad!  Lots of adults are Goths (there’s a formal group of them at Microsoft), and as Jillian describes one of the best ways to think about Goth is that it is an aesthetic preference which finds beauty in unconventional things.    Wanna know more?  Check out her etiquette and advice blog site, Gothic Charm School.  Not only that, but Jillian is writing a book coming out next year on the Goth movement! (Good gig for an editor, eh?  It should be well written.)  It takes all types, and Microsoft proudly accepts them all.  Enjoy!

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Ion Todirel
      sweet
    • User profile image
      Charles
      One of the things I loved about this interview is that is explicitly demonstrates how open minded Microsoft really is. In fact, when I worked in Windows I remember a tester (who was also a male of the species) who would dress in a dress and high heels once a week for no apparent reason. Nobody really flinched and certainly there was no meaness. There are a lot of smart people at Microsoft, but even better; there a lot of genuinely good people who roam the halls of the Deathstar.

      The empire's flagship battle vessel really does have a caramel sweet center.

      C
    • User profile image
      ZippyV
      Gothic people scare me.
    • User profile image
      intelman
      One would hope that acceptance isn't just limited to Microsoft. It is great there is acceptance there. Companies without dress codes are the best Wink
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Not only do we have no dress codes at Microsoft, but if you do your job you can wear your robe and slippers to work every day. It goes beyond wardrobe, however. Microsoft is very accepting of lifestyle in general. Of course, disrespect (like here on Channel 9) is not acceptable. You can speak your mind freely at Microsoft and thinking outside the box is encouraged and incented. Smiley
      C
    • User profile image
      Carla Holley
      I have am an acquaintance of Jilli... she's always fun, gracious, charming. Nice to see this video interview, good job all around!
    • User profile image
      Ion Todirel
      lol, that looks like a strange dude Smiley
    • User profile image
      stevo_

      Cross dressers still make me think... wow ok.. but maybe thats cuz where I work (manchester), you literally get cross dressers like this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPSJvkdbUGY

    • User profile image
      jason818_25​3.33
      I loved this interview. I got a kick out of how many times Charles said "interesting" in this interview.
    • User profile image
      Ion Todirel
      I don't know, I really liked this interview, is Charles's old school style, let the interviewee do the work accordion to a plan and get involved only is really necessary, the transition between the interviewee responses and interviewer questions was smooth
    • User profile image
      icelava
      Is Tim Burton working at Microsoft too?

      Big Smile
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Indeed. Jeff put it best in a private mail on the subject: This interview is classic C9. Why? Because it's human focused, highlighting the person behind the job, behind the technology, behind Microsoft. Somewhere along the way we've lost our human-first focus on C9. Scoble really did a good job of capturing the human-ness of Microsoft. I got too caught up in the technology and lost the focus on our most valuable of assets: people. This is something I need to work on going forward. After all, it is people who make Channel 9 Channel 9. You can learn about technologies on any number of blogs and, of course, MSDN. We started CHannel 9 to showcase the technologies we create, of course, but we we always wanted to do so through a human voice. People make software. Who are these people? Why do they do what they do? Certainly, the technology is not a second class citizen, but there's got to be a balance betwen code, science and people.

      Sometimes we forget to be human centric in our approach. This interview really woke me up.

      What do you think?
      C
    • User profile image
      Steve411

      Was Microsoft recently sued for discrimination? Did I miss something? Because we've never had a video on C9 focusing on "goth" or any other type style of living before, besides techy. This seems like MS is trying to cover up or appologize for something.

      Specifically looking at this:
      One of the things I loved about this interview is that is explicitly demonstrates how open minded Microsoft really is.

      And this
      But, even more interesting (at least for Ritzy) is that Jillian is a full-fledged Goth.  What’s a Goth, you ask?.

      Eh, just came to mind, disregard it. Cool vid none the less!

      ps. Didn't Russia recently set out to ban this type of style?
      Stevan Veselinovic

    • User profile image
      Charles
      No. There is no litigation driving any of this... Did you read the post you replied to? Smiley
      C
    • User profile image
      Steve411
      Yeah! I just had a thought it's alright. Big Smile Haha, and yeah the guy with the high heels kind of creeps me out, lol.

      "It takes all types, and Microsoft proudly accepts them all.  Enjoy!". I like that.

      Stevan
    • User profile image
      alex904
      What MPUD stands for? What am I doing here.... I love this company already. So many weird people who don't know what they're doing. Smiley
    • User profile image
      Ren

      Yay for goths making it in big companies!  I love her office decorations like the beautiful picture of Siouxsie on the wall, and Emilie autumn's head in the upper right corner of the band wall. I wish I could get a closer look.  I wonder if she would mind me hiding under a hoop skirt.

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