Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash, AppDynamics Blog, Liz McMillan, John Basso

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Who's Mentoring the Mentors?

Focus on getting women into technology is good and focusing on keeping women in technology is even better.

Every few years the industry, as if waking from a fugue, notices that the number of women in technical fields is lower than the number of men. A mad rush of studies and subsequent articles analyzing the situation is almost universally followed by a call to arms: we need to do better at mentoring girls and young women to get them interested in technology. And yet the fact that we rush to this conclusion every few years points to a failure in this strategy. After all, if a focus on earlier education was addressing the issue, we wouldn’t need to re-focus on education and encouragement every few years.

The latest calls for mentoring the next-generation have come in just the past two months, lead by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her initiative, TechWomen.

“Being a woman in the field of technology is not always easy,” Clinton said at the State Department during a July 6 gathering for the TechWomen initiative. “But there are so many opportunities in technology that we just have to forge ahead, and we’re doing so around the world because we want to make sure that all the tools that technology has made available are just as open to women as they are to men.”

Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2011/07/20110706165830eiznekcam0.4459803.html#ixzz1alnuQF6x

While Clinton is certainly amongst the more high-profile women to speak out on the subject, she is not alone. Bloomberg also recently picked up on the disparity, noting efforts by the well-respected UC Berkley to increase its efforts to improve the ratio:

While women hold about half the jobs in the broader U.S. economy, they account for less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and math positions, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Companies need to make sure female mentors are accessible to younger employees, she said. That allows women to more easily see themselves in top positions, Dai said.

Just 12 percent of the students majoring in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, are women, said Claire Tomlin, a professor who oversees those majors at the school.

The college is working with middle-school girls to spark interest in engineering at a young age, and it invites females from other schools to the campus for summer programs to cultivate more interest in the field, she said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-17/technology-companies-gender-disparity-seen-hampering-u-s-competitiveness.html

And yet these numbers are hardly troubling when compared to a much more disturbing set of statistics, that of the rate at which drop out of the field mid-career. A 2008 study found that nearly 52% of women simply drop out in the 30s and 40s, most often citing overly hostile environments and extreme work pressure as their reason. (ComputerWorld, Why Women Quit Technology)

It is this statistic that speaks to a troubling trend, and which is rarely addressed by those concerned with the overall state of women in technology. Too often the call to arms focuses on young women, on girls, and more recently on the widening gap globally. Secretary of State Clinton’s initiative, TechWomen, for example, specifically focuses on mentoring of women and girls from a global point of view, requiring that mentors not only focus on technical issues, but cultural. Too, its restriction on location (all mentors must be in the greater Silicon Valley area) seem to contradict the power of technology to connect women across locations and, in a global environment, time. A veritable cornucopia of other initiatives also exist to encourage young girls to enter into the fields, including the somewhat controversial introduction of an “engineer Barbie” just over a year ago.

What you rarely see, despite the growing importance of networking in general to career development, are initiatives focused on women already in technology. Mentors for the mentors.

Cloud Network of Women

While not the impetus for the foundation of Cloud Network of Women (CloudNOW), the benefits of promoting successful women in technology who have survived the self-imposed culling of the female population in technology to potentially curbing the exodus should not be overlooked. CloudNOW fills an overlooked need of mentors for the mentors that addresses the gap in existing “women in technology” strategies. By addressing the gap with a real foundation for women already in technology it is hoped that we can break the cycle.

It also serves as a reminder that despite all the negative statistics and dire predictions of women becoming irrelevant in technology, many women have highly successful careers in technology and are more often than not found amongst the upper-echelons of the technology industry. Members of CloudNOW are heavyweight hitters in the emerging cloud computing market, comprising women executives from some of the most recognizable and successful technology companies in the business including IBM, VMware, Oracle, EMC, and Salesforce.com. Many are entrepreneurs, others are high-level executives, still others are analysts and thought leaders within cloud computing – a technology focus-area which many would agree remains the “next big thing” – ignoring, of course, any new i-Named product coming from Apple.

CloudNOW was founded by Jocelyn DeGance Graham primarily because of a lack of any similar initiative. There are no groups that focus primarily on technology and promoting its women leaders. “There are many organizations today promoting women and technology, but too often those organizations focus more on social issues like work-life balance and less on the contributions of women in technology. We want to promote the extraordinary contributions of women to cloud computing and provide a mentoring environment that encourages more women to contribute. Promoting and building a platform to recognize women’s accomplishments within technology is a positive way to encourage women of all ages to not only enter technical fields but to stay in them,” Jocelyn explains. “These are real women with real and significant contributions, not just examples of career paths that might be taken once you have a degree in a technology field.”

The ability to explore technology and its myriad real career paths as well as the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the industry’s leading women like CloudNOW board member Lauren States (VP IBM) is invaluable in its ability to encourage women to remain in technology, especially as they gain insight into the diverse roles in which women are employed in technology. It offers a chance to promote, seriously, the contributions of women to and in technology and provides a path for other women to do the same at a time in their career’s when they are generally overlooked.

The media and industry is already taking notice. Cloud Expo and Cloud Connect have scheduled CloudNOW moderated sessions, a tech first in which an all female panel takes center stage to discuss and debate the most relevant topics and challenges in cloud computing today. "This is our differentiator and why CloudNOW is working', says Jocelyn. 'We are not separating women in tech into our own conversation, but forming a collective. Together we are the voice of authority for women in cloud moving the technology conversation forward in partnership with the industry."

The initiatives that encourage young women to get into technology are important. But so, too, is continuing to support and encourage women already in their careers to stay and become active in technology. CloudNOW, like all women-focused technology initiatives, promotes women in technology by creating the opportunities to contribute to the conversation, to network with active members of the greater IT community to become the voice of authority for women in cloud computing and, the organization hopes, technology in general. Unlike other initiatives, however, CloudNOW seeks a more collaborative, community-focused approach that encourages participation and not segregation of women from the technology community in which they are grounded. Technology is, as we’ve seen, heavily dominated by the male side of the gender spectrum, so that means not only including men, but encouraging them to participate in and contribute to the conversation as well. Bernard Golden, acknowledged cloud guru, brings his expertise in cloud computing to CloudNOW as a member of the advisory board, lending his expert perspective on the technology and acting as a guide to help nascent thought leading women navigate the myriad avenues to bring their thought-leading ideas on cloud computing to the market. Whether male or female, this kind of guidance and encouragement – mentoring - is necessary to promote the technical contributions of women and encourage both those in and considering a career in technology-related fields.

By promoting the contributions of women and providing a platform for them to share their technical and thought-leadership across the technology market, CloudNOW hopes to encourage others to do the same and avoid becoming just another statistic.

[1] Boston.com, Work all your networks

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...