Ask my friends, I am not a prude. I like to have fun, with my friends. I let loose, with my friends. I’ve been known to curse like a sailor and tell an off-color joke or two, with my friends. And it’s actually pretty easy to be my friend. So before I get responses telling me to lighten up, I don’t need to, I already am. I am not whining. I am offering specific tangible items to help educate folks on how women in tech are treated on a regular basis. Since I am in tech, I am not sure if the issues exist in other professional worlds. Tech is my professional world. None of these events made me personally feel threatened, yet none of them were appropriate in the environment of a professional conference.
Women in technology is a hot topic these days (again). For me, being a woman in technology is irrelevant. I am either too naïve or too arrogant to think I am treated differently because of my gender (on a regular basis, with those I choose to work with). Going to a conference is a whole ‘nother thing. I’ve written before about someone dropping a roofie in my drink at a large tech conference. This is not about things to that extreme. This is the list of annoying and inappropriate things that happen to us (women in tech) on a regular basis. Things we shouldn’t have to put up with in a professional world.
The conference I was at is irrelevant. It is a conference made, run and attended by professionals, a few thousand of them. Except for the annoying few that trigger blog posts such as this one. It is a conference that felt nearly even 50/50 men and women as both attendees and speakers. All of the men I will be referring to here are middle age or older. They likely have daughters, some quite likely have daughters my age. They are men that should know better. Somehow the young men at these conferences are the ones that know how to have fun and not cross certain lines (or maybe I’m too old for them to bother?). This is a middle-aged man issue (from my vantage point).
Annoyance #1- there was an experts table for attendees to come to and ask their specific questions of the experts (the desk was staffed by volunteer speakers and MVPs). At this time there were three of us staffing the table, myself and two male colleagues. A man none of us know (at least 60 years old) approached the table, walked directly up to me and asked “is this where I get my massage?” My response was that we only massage brains here, he walked away.
Annoyance #2- the event party was hosted at a local bar. The sponsors had a fine selection of beverages available for us that did not include any hard liquor. I was standing with a group of female friends listening to live music, one of the sponsors of the party was in the band, and it was kinda fun actually. A man none of us knew, stumbled over to us, tray of shots in hand, I’d say about my age (mid 40s). He offered shots, we all declined. (Offering the drinks, not a problem. Not accepting our no, there’s the problem.) He set down the tray and picked one girl from our group as his target and was practically pouring the shot into her mouth while she was saying no thanks, hey I’m working, leave me alone kinda things. I took the shot from his hand and placed it on a nearby table and told him to just walk away in my best mom voice. He listened and left us alone. No one should accept an already poured drink from someone they do not know (see above about being roofied). No one should have to say no thank you more than once.
Annoyance #3- this one crosses a bit of a line that the others did not, but the man in this story responded respectfully and appropriately when confronted. A woman at the conference let me know that a friend of hers, also a woman attending the conference, had acquired a stalker and he was making her very uncomfortable. My immediate response was let’s find this man and tell him to stop. I find out a little of the story. He is older than I (I’d say mid to late 50s), recently divorced, a tad bit socially awkward and unaware. He and my new friend had exchanged a few texts like people might do at a conference. Then he went too far. Like 100 text messages a day too far. Like comments about her stripping as a job if the tech thing didn’t work out. Too far. We are in the expo hall, we notice this man I go to speak with him. I do feel the need to say, it was a well-attended public place and at no time did I put myself in danger by approaching him. I introduced myself, ask if he had a minute to talk. I explained we had a friend in common and that he was making her very uncomfortable. His texts and conversations we smothering and inappropriate and needed to stop. This is a professional conference and we should keep it that way. He seemed genuinely surprised. Agreed to leave her alone. He sent one more text to her, apologizing. Then he stopped.
I did nothing special. I did what women do for each other. Had I been on the receiving end of the unwanted attention again, any one of the women around me would have done the same thing. It’s what we do.
We shouldn’t have to.
Here’s some info on a series of events put on by some pretty big superstars. Both Dave and I will be at the event in Denver on October 20, 2014. There are several events, scroll for the link to the master event page.
Here is the Denver Registration Page: http://bit.ly/1CG0IF1
What is the event?
The Road to the Cloud is a series of global events led by Microsoft Regional Directors. The event focuses on the tremendous opportunity the new cloud market presents for the business leaders of established ISVs.
1. Applications to Apps: The Shifting Software Market
The rapid co-evolution of hardware and software in a mobile-first, cloud-first world is changing the way ISVs do business: from concept to delivery to sales and monetization. Thriving in this evolving environment means looking at customers and the industry in a new way. In this session we’ll look at market trends and the ways many ISVs are evolving the way software is developed, marketed and sold.
2. Cloud Computing Models: Private, Public and Hybrid
Analysts project that SaaS applications will significantly outpace traditional software product delivery in the near future. As ISVs facing this ever-changing cloud landscape, you need to make critical decisions about your application lifecycle and hosting models. Evaluate some of those considerations, and learn how the platform you choose can support the model you determine.
3. Cloud Business and Cost Models
Cloud computing is less a technological revolution than it is a business revolution. In this session we'll look at trends that are driving cloud computing and the opportunities these bring to ISV organizations to compete in the marketplace. We’ll see how cloud computing can change an ISV's business model in potentially radical new ways and discuss concrete ways your business can grow in the modern world of software.
4. ISV Success Stories
5. Networking Reception
What is the business driver
You should attend this event if you are interested in learning how to capture the strategic opportunity that the new cloud market presents. This opportunity brings not just technical changes, but fundamental shifts to your company’s business model, and a platform decision is a key component of that shift.
Who should attend – partner size, industry, job title etc
The event should be attended by business leaders within ISVs
What you will get out of attending the event
Join this event to learn from your peers in the industry that have leveraged the benefits of the cloud to build a successful business. You’ll hear from owners and leaders of successful software businesses about best practices and lessons learned, and gain insight about the cloud opportunity for a software business.
We also have a networking session right after the event.
This event is focused on business strategy, and is not a technical learning event.
Where and how to register
Here is the Denver Registration Page: http://bit.ly/1CG0IF1
Here is the main landing page for other events: https://azureinfo.microsoft.com/All-Road-to-the-Cloud-Events.html?ls=Email&lsd=RD
As I dig in more and more to MDM I find myself struggling to remember what all the icons mean and what they do. So I prepared myself a list and figured there must be others out there that need the list too. These are what I found/stumbled upon in my last round of icon hunting/use of MDM. It is by no means complete.
Complete (a task)
Show View All/View My
New Contact Type
Change Job Status
Show All/Active Only
Add to event as attendee
Export to Excel
Are you looking for a reason to come to beautiful Colorado? Well, Denver Dev Day is happening again October 18, 2014, in time for our fall colors. If you’ve never seen the stunning golden aspen trees, you really should! And if you have seen Colorado in the fall, you know exactly why you should come back in October.
Though the last Denver Dev Day was rather focused, our attendees have asked for quite a variety of technical topics to be covered for October. So, submit your sessions now! We need 60 minute sessions and lightning talks (10 minutes or so). If you’ve got a good topic for an extended session, tell us that in your submission so we can try to fit that in too. We are seeking up and coming speakers and super stars alike. So whichever category you put yourself in, we have a spot for you.
Some logistics for you:
The link to the speaker registration is http://aka.ms/ddd-speakers
The event will be at the Microsoft Office, Denver, Colorado
The event will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 8:30 to 1:00 PM
We are in the process of securing sponsorships at this time. Right now we cannot offer any travel subsidies, but that might change. If you know of any potential sponsors, send them our way!
Questions and suggestions, please contact: Julie Yack, firstname.lastname@example.org
So you wonder where I’ve been? I’ve been doing many many things I can’t yet share. But something I CAN share is the new book!
First, the important stuff:
Discount: JulieYackCRMQuickStartEBook (20% off the ebook)
We decided to launch this one in phases, first Kindle and ebook, then soon after full color print version. No need to make folks wait if they want to start right away. There are so few book out for CRM 2013 as it is (I think one more right now?).
All of the authors (and the editor) are current Dynamics CRM MVPs. Some have written with us before, a couple of new faces join the group.
Learn from David Yack, Joel Lindstrom, David Berry, Richard Knudson, Dylan Haskins, Jukka Niiranen and Julie Yack
(for those that have been wondering, The CRM Field Guide 2013/2014 is THIS close to done also, keep your eye out!)
Chapter 1 - Hello I’m CRM 2013
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is a major release building on the strong foundation of CRM 2011. From the user experience to platform capabilities CRM 2013 has changes that are targeted for everyone as users, customizers, IT Pros, and developers. In this chapter we give you a 50,000 foot tour of what’s new.
Chapter 2 – The User Experience
Before you can build solutions in CRM 2013 you should learn how the new user experience works. In this chapter we will dive into the new experience and break down all the key changes so you are ready to start thinking about customizing it.
Chapter 3 – Customizing CRM Forms
The 2013 user experience requires rethinking how we customize forms. From the new layout options, new controls and even new form types we have a lot to talk about. We also can’t forget you might have CRM 2011 forms and want to know how to move them forward into this release.
Chapter 4 – Security Model Changes
Today’s global business challenges the traditional organization structure as people form dynamic teams to work on individual opportunities or other data in CRM. CRM 2013 addresses that with Access Teams which challenge past thinking of how to handle these types of needs. In this chapter we will explore the new feature and discuss how and when to use the different CRM security concepts.
Chapter 5 – Building Business Processes
To consistently bake good cookies people often times use their favorite recipe. The Business Process feature of CRM 2013 brings that to CRM allowing you to bake in a business process into the life cycle of a CRM record. In fact you can even blur the lines of multiple CRM entities and have a business process cross the entity boundaries reflecting more real-world business processes. In this chapter we look at the features and how to leverage them to improve user productivity and consistency.
Chapter 6 – No Code Business Rules
Portable Business Rules, or PBL for short, offer a declarative way to define business rules. This new feature represents the start of a journey to a common need of having simple rules like “This field is required”. In this chapter we will explore the capability of PBL and when to use it versus other concepts in CRM that can enforce business rules.
Chapter 7 – Real Time Workflows
Workflows offer an easy way to compose flexible business processes that can optionally include custom code created by a developer. Prior to CRM 2013 these had to run asynchronously in the background and never could happen in real time. This caused a lot of plug-ins to be built to handle the requirement. New in CRM 2013 is real time workflows that can allow processing of events real time. In this chapter we discuss when and how to use the new feature.
Chapter 8 – Upgrading to CRM 2013
Next, Next, Next…Done… If it was only that easy it would be an automated upgrade. In this chapter we explore what you should consider before you upgrade and how to prepare.
Chapter 9 – Solutions going forward
As the pace of CRM releases increases, understanding how to package and deploy solutions becomes increasingly important. In this chapter we will discuss changes to the Solution Framework and how to prepare for the bold new world of frequent CRM releases.
Chapter 10 – Taking CRM on the Road
There is no question Microsoft was behind in mobile applications for CRM but came back strong with the introduction of the new tablet application for IPad and Windows. Learn how this fits in with the customizations you are doing to CRM and limitations you should be aware of in this first generation release. This chapter will also cover Outlook enhancements and Server Sync that in many scenarios will free the deployment from having an E-mail router.
Chapter 11 – Developers, Developers, and Developers
This release doesn’t have huge new API changes but it does have a lot of small useful changes across the different parts of the developer features. In this chapter we will explore from oAuth authentication support to Custom Actions and all the little changes between them.
One of our biggest rights and obligations as Americans is to be heard. We have an absolute obligation to make sure our legislators hear what is important to us, they represent us. Sure, we do it all the time with votes. But, the real power we have is truly our opinions and the expression to those that have the decision-making power that we have given them. Even if you didn’t vote for them, make them listen to you. They represent all of their constituents, not just the friendlies.
I have been fortunate (very very fortunate) to have been invited to attend a fly-in sponsored by ACT. (I’ve done this magical trip three times and will continue to go as long as I am invited) What’s a fly-in? In this case, an opportunity to brush-up on specific issues that affect me and my (business) world. ACT shares many of the same concerns that I face but they have the staff and resources to have done much more research than I, they also love to share that info. They help us look much more smarter when we take our meetings.
So this leads me to my first bit of advice Find a sponsor group. It can be big or small. You could even start one. If your special interest doesn’t already have a group, I’d respectfully suggest you have an obligation to form one. Why a group? Doesn’t your one voice carry weight? Well, sure, but the more voices heard, the more constituents that speak up on an issue, the more it is in the brain of that ELECTED official.
Next bit of advice: Pick your issues, you can’t have them all at once. Sure we have opinions on loads and loads of things. But just like we coach our kids to make a targeted wish list to Santa, you need the same when you ask for change in DC. Pie in the sky is great. But, targeted issues that are before Congress TODAY will get you somewhere. Know the agenda for now, know of that what matters to you. Also, don’t be that crazy person that demands Constitutional level change that only improves their own life.
Also, go to DC. In person. Get on a plane, drive your car. However you do it, do it. Stay in the outskirts at a cheap motel and take the metro if you must. But, there is nothing quite like wearing a suit and taking a meeting in those historic buildings. It really almost feels magical. And when you are there you know you have their attention, they will be listening and taking notes. If you can’t make it to DC, a phone call is better than an email, an email is better than apathy.
It is ok to meet with staffers. They work hard, they do research on things, make recommendations, they get stuff done. If you do get time with your Congressman/Congreswoman/Senator know your elevator pitch for the issues. And yes, pull out your phone and take a selfie with them. Put it on social media.
Finally, follow-up. Send a thank you card. Get a nice plain card with a pretty picture on it, write some kinds words with a pen and stamp that baby and send it.
Rinse and repeat. Issues change all of the time. Once is not enough, make it a regular thing to be heard. It is your obligation.
Denver Dev Day will be Saturday, June 14th, 2014 at the Innovation Pavilion in the Denver Tech Center. The event leadership team includes many of the same talents that brought Trifecta to Colorado. This one-day event targets enthusiasts & professional developers. This year, Denver Dev Day focuses exclusively on ASP.Net. This is a call for speakers.
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL(S) TO: Ely Lucas at email@example.com
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL(S) BEFORE: Friday, May 23
Sessions will run between 9AM and 4PM. Each session is 60 minutes long. You may submit more than one session title. Please ensure your session is about ASP.Net (which includes WebForms, MVC, WCF, WebAPI, Visual Studio, client scripting, and more) and/or Windows Azure (in the context of web development only). If your session(s) is selected, we will reach out to you soon and make local arrangements and/or travel arrangements. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Now before you assume this doesn’t apply to you, I mean all booth staff, if the title makes you uncomfortable, then I’m not sure how you found your way here at all. I’ve been doing these conferences for a while and have picked up on a few good and not so good behaviors. And this applies to more than just a cookie cutter nerd fest event.
Today I met my first professional booth babe. To be fair, he gave me some fancy sounding made up job title, but at the end of the day, he’s a booth babe (or a booth abe?). He engages customers, partners and the like. Promises double the leads and so on. I am a little skeptical, but I like the idea. He inspired this post actually. So did the stalker badge scanner lady.
Do talk to people. How else do you know if there’s anything in common or business interests?
Don’t just stand (or sit) there. Engage. I walked all the way back across the expo hall floor to say hi to the vendor that tweeted to me. I needed to tell them they are doing it right.
Lighten up. Sure what you have is great, but same thing for everyone else in the expo. Your t-shirts may be cool today, but someone else’s is better. And at the end of the day it’s likely just going to be given to my kid or worn on a frumpy rainy sweats kinda day.
Do find that common thing to talk about, and it’s not always business.
If you want to scan the attendee badges (and who doesn’t), give something in return. Even if that something is simply a conversation. If you have fun swag, great, but that’s not required. Don’t be that lady that walks up to me and doesn’t say anything else except “can I scan your badge?” The answer to that is a big fat no.
I guess at the end of the day it’s about treating people how you’d want to be treated.