Heroines Driving Communities

March 24th is the Ada Lovelace day. On this day, blogs all over the world celebrate women in computing and acknowledge the work of fellow computer scientists, engineers and women technologists' work through blogs. I am happy to be contributing to this effort for the second year around.

Last year, I dedicated my blog to some my colleagues in Standards Organizations that I worked very closely over the years. This year, I would like to focus on a topic that has become so vital in our personal lives and at work: Helping Build and Engaging in Communities with technology. As a result, I would like to focus on three amazing women who are instrumental in enabling and making our communities work, using/creating/directing technology to make it happen. I am very lucky to get to know them and call them my colleagues as well as friends due their efforts. They truly understand what it means to build a community.

1. BJ Wishinsky is the communities program manager in Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. I personally believe that BJ's efforts not only made ABI and Grace Hopper Conference increasingly visible, but also is a great example of how different social networking tools/environments can be utilized at best to create community via different channels. ABI is very lucky to have BJ. BJ focused on building community, making technical women know about each other in a variety of ways, using the best technology for the purpose. She created awareness of techie women via #followfriday or promoting their blogs, tweets, articles and helped deliver the message of how women are changing the technology landscape. She attended many conferences, dinners, unconconferences and let others know what is going on, how to connect with each other, where to find each other, what to expect, what kind of technical problems people are solving, and at times personally getting people together, etc. I am, and so are many other technical women, are indebted to BJ for making us be aware of our accomplishments as well as ABI.

2. Marilyn Pratt: Marilyn is one of these rare people who has tremendous energy and impact. I have seen the how SAP Communities morphed and changed over the years from a developer network to business process community and beyond. Marilyn has been actively involved in these communities and made many of the activities happen in front and behind the scenes. She has been the evangelist in the BPX community after shaping up SDN. Thanks to her encouragement, I got more involved and participated in the SDN community via active blogging, user groups, etc. and kept engaged while I was at SAP. Her positive and can do attitute is contagious. She has helped many in the same way, also linking people together and making others visible in their work.

3. Dana Le: I am happy to be part of Salesforce.com where there are many amazing technical women who are involved in creating and shaping our technology, including Chatter. As I am getting to know some of them better, I want to acknowledge Dana Le's efforts at Salesforce.com with whom I work closely on a daily basis. Dana is one of our developer communities manager. In her exceedingly demanding role,  she tracks, analyzes, develops, retargets, manages our developer programs to suit the needs of our community engagements, developer previews, She gets stakeholders participate in the developer programs by kindly engaging participants and making people linked always with a smile. Things move blazingly fast in our agile environment and in the community. She is one of the people behind the scenes executing and making demanding things happen.

As usual, there are many other fellow techie women about whom I did not have the chance to write about yet. As we work and collaborate together, there will be more stories to follow.

I personally hope those who are reading this will be inspired to dedicate a blog to fellow women techies.

March 24, 2010

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Heroines Driving Communities