I often question whether or not I fit in the industry I love so much. I do not fit the stereotypical “geek” image.
Nor am I one of the FABULOUS new images of women in tech. You know the gorgeous reserved librarian type of women that can stop hackers, save the world through code, have the physique of a supermodel and wear stilettos to sit at computer all day. Yeah you know the type of woman I’m talking about…. FELICITY SMOAK from Arrow (played by actress Emily Bett Richards):
I mean c’mon!! Give me a break, already.
I openly admit my priorities in life have not allowed me to network and immerse myself in the culture that seems to be directly correlated with computer geeks. You know the “culture”:
- Loving, not having a mild interest in but absolutely loving and knowing all the characters, plots and back ground information for Star Trek.
- Being mathematical and/or scientific geniuses.
- Having little to no business knowledge, experience or real life expertise.
- Young, male, White, Asian, Indian
- Gamers, poor fashion sense…
The list goes on and on and on… However, I have found events, classes, networking cohorts and boot camps that I have slowly increased my skills in open and non-intimidating environments.
Knowing all of this I continue to pursue a career in technology in the hopes that staying connected, engaged, and simply in the room with all these smart people will rub off. The dream being that I would be invited to join their merry band of computer geniuses despite my differences based on my intuitive technical skills and passion for computers. So after earning a degree in Computer Information Systems, in 2011 I landed my first IT support role. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to fill my dream of being a TECHNICAL GENIUS!! However, transitioning from software support to developer is not as encouraged as one would think, I’ve heard it all.. there also seems to be a true lack of vision as to how these two roles could be merged. There also seems to be a disconnect where all the business and soft skills I have acquired over the years is completely unappreciated within a technical environment. Is it me or is this just weird? I read articles all the time now about technical professionals lacking business experience, professional communication and other such “soft” skills. Talk about mixed messages….