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May 14, 2009

I’m Man Enough To Be At WomenBuild Tonight. Are You?

Weirdly enough, it looks like these LEGO women are Wuxai fighting.

One of the most eye-opening moments for me during the bus tour was seeing the statistics about the decline of females taking computer science AP exams, and the attendant decline of females in the technology industry.

Personally, I have a feeling that most of this trend largely boils down to the typical stereotypes about the computer industry and those who work in IT as being uncool. Trying to get most any kid involved in anything considered “uncool” is harder than trying to sell icemakers to Eskimos.

Of course, the truth isn’t that simple, which means the solution isn’t as simple as having the right kinds of t-shirts printed up for conferences. And it definitely won’t ever change without both men and women figuring it out together.

During the free-form Jam on IT sessions at Tech-Ed scheduled for tonight, some of my best female pals in the tech industry like Elisabeth Vanderveldt and Susan Bradley will be helping deliver a WomenBuild event right here at the LA Conference Center. It’s scheduled to start at 6:30p in Room 518.

And I’ll be there, for sure. Why? Because anyone (male or female) stupid or arrogant enough to ignore the very real influence women have (and will continue to have) on the technology industry will be missing one of the greatest sea changes we’ll see in our industry.

It’s not purely altruistic on my part either. Both Apple of My Eye and Cute as a Button have expressed different interests in technology: AoME from a creative perspective; CaaB from an analytical perspective.

And I’ll pretty much do anything to help them find out what they love and want to do as their life’s work. Including show up in a dress if that’s the only way to get in.

Plus, WomenBuild uses freaking LEGOs! How can you resist that?

Hope to see you there. Guys, I’m talking to you!

|| posted by chris under business, it pro, rx || comments (0) || ||

May 13, 2009

Joanne’s In The Fishbowl Today

This is Joanne. She's not in a fishbowl here, but a Native American cave dwelling at Bandalier National Park.

Joanne Lin, one of the folks who rode on the bus tour to Tech-Ed 2009, will be co-presenting a session today in one of the Expo Hall fishbowl theaters.

At 2:45p, Joanne and Jeff Hora will discuss “How To Get Published: What It Takes To Be A Community Author On Microsoft Technologies.” The official session code is COM19–INT. It’s at 2:45p in Blue Theater 2. You can find Blue Theater 2 in MS’ TLC area of the Expo Hall.

So if you’re at Tech-Ed, show up and be rowdy!

|| posted by chris under community, it pro, shoutout || comments (0) || ||

May 13, 2009

Things About The Bus Tour That I’ll Always Remember

It really was a beautiful as I thought it would be.

Yes, I know I was eerily silent during the bus tour, blog-wise. Funny thing is, despite all the time spent driving, stuff was always happening. We were headed somewhere all the time, unloading or loading swag, setting up the equipment for the AYC game. And connectivity was often hit-or-miss at the stops. It was all I could do just to get my scads of pics loaded to Facebook.

And once we got into the longer driving stretches for the stops between Kansas and L.A., there wasn’t a whole lot of connectivity to be had, period.

In some ways tho, blogging about it post-tour might be the only way for me to really get to the heart of what it was really like.

Things about the bus tour that I’ll always remember, in no particular order…

  1. Playing Two Truths and A Lie to learn about each other
  2. Getting my “bus” legs 
  3. Born To Run played live by Springsteen and the E Street Band
  4. Finding I can still hit correct pitches while singing Sex Pistols/Lenny Kravitz/Jimi Hendrix/Skynyrd/The Cult on Guitar Hero World Tour
  5. Ryan’s knee being used as more cowbell by Dana, repeatedly
  6. Having the coolest drivers ever, Mark and J
  7. Having a 2×4 and fries well-done at In-N-Out, my first time ever eating there
  8. Desert sunsets and sunrises
  9. Hanging with Vince in Denver
  10. 450 people at a stop in Kansas City
  11. Nearly every question in the live version of Are You Certifiable?
  12. Santa Fe and Bandalier National Park
  13. Hanging with Vince again in Vegas
  14. The amazingly delicious Brazilian steakhouse the final night in Vegas

Most of all tho…it’s the people I’ll remember. All the different folks we met along the way, and seeing old pals who came out to say “Heya,” just because I happened to passing close by. But it wasn’t just those folks.

I’m having serious entourage withdrawal from my fellow busmates. A few of them are still here at Tech-Ed this week, but most of them are already home. And I miss the heck out of them. Which completely blind-sided me, because I never expected that at all. One of us said it felt like we were a little family. Which we kinda were.

And that’s what I’ll always remember, most of all.

|| posted by chris under community, game, more cowbell, nostalgia, shoutout, thumbs up, time, travel || comments (0) || ||

May 11, 2009

The Last 100 Miles

The end. That's all folks.

The Career Express comes to an end this morning, at the Tech-Ed North America conference in Los Angeles. Just 100 more miles to go. And I’m pretty bummed about it, all things considered.

Sure it’ll be nice to get back to living without wheels. But this trip was absolutely everything I thought it would be, and more.

I saw the gamut of everything in the United States, and met a whole bunch of awesome IT people at the different stops while doing so. I saw a bunch of old friends who came out to say ‘Heya,’ and made some new friends in true Team NewBlood fashion.

In fact, it’s no longer the Career Express, but the Swag Express. We’re rolling up to the south entrance of Tech-Ed at roughly 8:30a this morning.

Every piece of swag still being carried by the bus (and there is a LOT of it) will be given away. First-come, first-served.

It’s been real. It’s been fun. And it’s really been really fun.

|| posted by chris under community, epiphany, it pro, travel || comments (1) || ||