Someone had reason to look at my resume today, and commented on my URL. Nerd win! Hopefully it helped with the interview… And thank you, dear hubby, for an awesome web presence home.

Sitting in the last talk of the day for me before I give my own talk. Mentally running down the ‘yes, this is going to work out well’ game talk. Cataloguing for me to help me debrief later, as well as give me a checklist to consider for further talks…

– Came with equipment that works (advantage over last time, which went OK, though for a rougher week than desired), as well as repair kit and tools.
– Came with the beginnings of a presentation
– When I realized my plans to work on my presentation slides over the weekend got trumped by family schtuff, reprioritized the sessions I wanted to attend, and carved out a slot early in the week
– Checked out the room the day before the presentation and tried out my laptop – no issues. Also had the opportunity to sit in on a session in the same room: good talk, great inspiration for my own.
– Stream of consciousness wrote my talk itself and worked on it throughout several days
– Carved out time for run throughs two nights before: wasn’t happy with the result, so carved out more time the following evening. Prepped notes, rehearsed, refined, rehearsed some more to make sure I fit the time with the stuff that matters.
– Got some sleep. Not much, but some, the night before the presentation.
– Highlighted some key facts in my speaker notes, so I can look quickly and refer.
– Notes include setup requirements, and already have most of those tabs and windows up.
– Scheduled notifications to go off during the event time: won’t have to think about it.

– My talk is right after lunch, which both means folks will be able to get there, and I can get in early to do a last equipment check and rundown. Short lunch!
– Brought juggling balls to let me focus on something other than the talk itself once I get it set up.

– my power supply seemed to stop working overnight: will need to plug in my Raspberry off of a cellphone charger either USB-linked to the site computer (??: suspect that’ll cause concerns…) or to an outlet that I’m not sure will be there.
– the Furby itself is acting flaky. While I’ll be able to talk to it, would really like to see the full demo come together.

– Engage with the audience! That’ll help keep me focused and in the flow.
– Stay relaxed.

I’m prepped, I’m ready, and there’ll be something there that hits someone’s interests. I’ve defined my scope, and worked to focus my flow through. The work done to prep this was fun in itself, helped me learn some things, and gave me a chance to come out again to OSCON. Lots of wins from the build-up to this week. Time to bring it home.

When NPR writes about PowerBall, the country’s gone PowerBall crazy. Me included, though I think it’s a mild case. Given that the odds of winning are apparently 1 in 292 million, I’m not exactly banking our retirement and college planning on one of our few tickets hitting it big. In fact, as I’ve thought about the impact it’d make on our lives, I begin to wonder whether if I won, if I oughta avoid ever turning in the ticket.Continue reading

I’m reading a book in my company’s software book club called ‘The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies‘ (Kindle edition, of course).   Its points is discussion of a new inflection point in technological and economic growth, driven by advances in computing, robotics, and Internet of Things that were unheard of just a few years ago.  This past week’s discussion focused on exponential increases in computing power (things that follow Moore’s Law double every 18 months to two years, which leads to exponential growth over a relatively short period) and the impact of the digitization of _everything_.

I tried to think of a type of information that exists that isn’t digitized.  Thoughts aren’t, at least directly, until you consider purchasing decisions, search terms, and observations of browsing patterns.  Health records are (and I wish more was available that way), where I’ve been may be (I turn off my location history, thank you very much), my banking information is, photos of my family are, my postings can be used to determine whether I’m happy or sad (spending a bit of time exploring text analytics for sentiment analysis lately), my purchase history on both websites and at brick-and-mortars is…  Yes, I still use a Target credit card; no, if you won’t give me a 5% discount or better I won’t use your store affinity card – pay me for my data at a reasonable price!

I attempt to keep as much of this segregated as I can…  my doctor doesn’t need to know my beer purchasing history, for example.  (Or maybe she’d like to, but I’ll still keep it separate – I prefer porters and stouts to ambers or pils, should there be any particular health benefits conferred..)

But all of this starts to lead me to think about how I contribute to digitization explicitly, through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Evernote, Google+, Google Groups, LinkedIn …. am I doing these well, to get the most bang for my digitized efforts?  I’m still thinking of more places where I leave electronic droppings…   Considering a post series talking about how I use each of the above, with the idea that readers could suggest better models or other tools.

It’s the little things that make morning workouts worthwhile: comment from someone in the gym this morning as they walked past my leg press machine.. and I quote: “Damn!” Yes, I’m workout bragging. No, I’m not posting a selfie.. But yes, that was 410 pounds on that machine.

I’m something of a gym buff.  3-4 times a week, sometimes more, you’ll find me at the gym at the crack of dawn.  For a while, that included working out with a personal trainer once a week.  To what end?  Welp, the weight I could lift went up, but so did mine, and my clothing size stayed the same.  I kept the same trouble areas, but had great muscles in my back and arms.

After more than a year of this, I figured I was missing something key.  My friend Kim had recently lost more than 20 pounds, and her fitness exhertion, while growing, was nowhere near what I was putting myself through.  But, she was getting results and I wasn’t.

Enter actually tracking what I eat.  I’d generally tried to eat healthy, but never formally tracked.  For one, food diaries seemed like a pain – beyond keeping track of what I ate, I’d then need to figure out its calorie counts.  Beyond my level of dedication, until Kim mentioned MyFitnessPal.

It lets me scan food barcodes, enter recipe ingredients, keep track of recent foods….  So far, only lost 3 pounds (and may be gaining it back, given a recent backslide to Rollos and beer), but if I can keep with it, looks useful.

Message to local comic book stores:
A band that sings about Dungeons and Dragons, Godzilla, Worst Superpower ever, a love song for an internet troll, AND a song called ‘Nothing to Prove‘ about girl geeks, which has a great Youtube video


And they’re interested in finding great comic book shops to perform in…

I’m in no way affiliated with this group. But if you had them in your shop, I’d be excited to come out and see them / spend money in your store.

[Thoughts below are personal wrestlings, not canonical statements on behalf of my company.  Not citing my company intentionally, and won’t approve any comment that makes the direct tie…]

This question was posted anonymously to our corporate Q&A / feedback site yesterday: “In light of [my company’s] committment to open management and last month’s Equal Pay Day (raising awareness of the gender pay gap), has the management team analyzed our pay/compensation structure to determine whether a gender gap exists?”  Speaker went on to say ” I think increased transparency in this realm would improve morale and make it less likely that employees will jump ship since they would be aware of efforts to ensure pay fairness”.

First reaction: mad – not at the starting question itself, but that it came across as an anonymous question (showing bias on my part – speaking to it in a minute).  Next reaction: mad at the posting itself.

So, first reaction: mad at a topic meant to be taken seriously presented anonymously.  That’s such a weighty topic, and the posting comes across as an implied accusation or implied hurt of an individual.  It  deserves real interaction and a two-way listen to clarify what’s really meant.  It would be a great conversation to have with leadership in person, where there’s a two-way dialogue and some thought.  I’ve had conversations with leaders in my company where I’ve said I’m wrestling with something – each wrestle helps me then more clearly either the company’s culture or my role within it or even something about how I communicate or lead.  These anonymous questions both short-circuit that process for the person asking the original question, and then help set the tone for more anonymous questions.  I assume this person has a real question from her (gender assumed on my part) view of the company.  Would rather treat it as a valid, fair, and intended as respectful interaction with the company, and encourage folks to dare to discuss either online or in person the real things that they need to see answered.

Next reaction, and stronger: mad at the posting itself.  It comes across as “women are being treated unfairly”, “I’m a woman and I need you to prove to me that I’m not being treated unfairly”.  I read it as an implication that a corporation has a responsibility to not only ensure pay fairness and lack of bias but then to make it “transparent” to the satisfaction of the requestor.  Of course, I take particular offense as a woman in technology that that particular factor is the area raised here…  The rub here is that I want women to be treated as individuals, not as a class.  I no more want women to be treated unfairly because they’re women than I want the new hire to always be locked into a salary driven by the market conditions of when they got hired or the older guy to get a larger salary because of years of experience, regardless of their ability to have learned from and apply that experience.  The individual who’s consistently making a high level of impact to the company’s goals should be making a higher salary.

Now, that said, if I recognized a disparity on any particular aspect not correlated with performance or value added to the company and customer, I’d call it out.  I have confidence, in fact, that my company does work to do the right thing here, and has done general salary comparators across the industry before.  Whether it is explicitly sliced/diced for factors like gender, age, market conditions when folks were hired in, etc, I don’t know.  I actually suspect we’re not a large enough company to make statistically meaningful comparisons just treating things mathematically.  But I do know that I’ve seen enough evidence that the company works to adjust salaries as part of the salary review process to have faith here.  Not knowing who the poster was, going to assume they haven’t seen those things in play and just incorrectly assume that believe that we must be like “every other” stereotypical company, motivated to ‘keep salaries down’.

Really interested to see who responds directly on the internal posting.  I’m still digesting myself to sort out personal reaction from dialogue-advancing exchange.  Happy to have conversations with folks where we’re listening to each other’s thoughts; not happy to post something where I’ve gotta assume I’m missing at least some of the real drivers for the individual, and I’ve further gotta assume that anyone who reads my stuff is missing some of my drivers.  Key for me is to not treat folks as a group unless you have evidence that the group is being treated differently or badly.  Note that that would be ‘here, in the current place’, not in a out in the ecosystem in a hear-say kind of way.   Also, work to establish a relationship and understanding of your company and the people within it, and then treat folks as doing the right thing, until experiencing evidence of otherwise.  Next step for me is to go talk with a few folks internally and see if I can help respond to the concern in some way,

Don’t want to not share some great things the writer included.  The writer cited a great TED talk by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) about why we have too few women leaders.  I’ve sent that video around before to folks, though my take on Sandberg’s point is to step forward as an individual and lead.  The writer also cited an article which indicated that pay disparity is at least contributed to heavily because women often don’t negotiate their salary.  Both articles are useful things to spread to help people (not just women) understand things they can do to help grow their own careers or understand how they may be in fact contributing to their concerns as to pay gaps.