Previous month:
October 2011
Next month:
December 2011

After the CRMUG Summit 2011 #CRMSummit

Ok, I can now admit I was a skeptic.  Do we really need one more conference to go to?  What makes this one THE one we need?  But, it is actually a solid conference.  And it’s not like every other conference.

What makes it different?  A few things.  You get legitimate CRM users and CRM makers in the same room talking on the same subjects.  The attendees are not afraid to speak up in sessions.  In a room of 40 or 50 people they will talk and learn from each other and the speaker.  Sure I come to these events with the label “expert” and am happy to share, but I know there is so much more knowledge in the room and that I just need to facilitate the conversations.  I don’t have every answer (and that’s ok).  The attendees take notes!  This little tidbit made my day, and it happened over and over again.  It’s a conference for learning, with a side of networking, as opposed to some of the other conferences.

The expo hall is a combined one, so you get the vendors across the Dynamics realm, not just the CRMy ones.  I wish there were more cross-specialty commingling than I saw (but in fairness there might have been and I missed it because my time there was so limited).

Event content and info is on the site linked below.

Thanks to CRMUG for having me, would love to come back.


CRMUG Summit 2011

why there are so few women in technology fields?

This past week a few different folks have brought some awful things to my attention regarding the experiences of women in tech.  Some truly awful and stupid people are out there, but the tech field is not the only place where assholes hang out, I promise. 

I personally don’t know if I’ve been treated differently as a woman, ‘cause that’s all I know, I’ve personally never been a man to know any different.  Some things I’ve heard about this week include death threats (seriously, are you THAT stupid people?) and just general idiocy around assumptions of women’s roles at professional user groups.

We as a society are doing very well at raising our daughters to know that they are equal to our sons; and our sons to know they are equal to our daughters.  What we are not doing is properly arming them to go out into the mean world we live in now.  For example, we are not teaching our kids to respectfully challenge authority figures of the opposite sex.  How else will things change if we don’t educate the next group on how to take what we’ve given them and change the world?  Our world.

For my professional life I have encountered roadblocks like anyone else.  I just put these down to me, like anyone else, needing to prove myself as someone that has a brain.  I am annoyed by roadblocks, so I just plow right through them (maybe it’s arrogance, maybe it’s stupidity).  I have had people make crass comments (“wow, you are more than just a hat rack”); I have had men distracted by my breasts (no they do not talk gentlemen, move on already); and I have had my drink drugged at a large conference (Tech Ed Los Angeles, 2009).   I have not once thought to change my job based on these things, like I said in the beginning of this post, assholes are everywhere.  I have learned my lessons from things like this.

For example I let my guard down at the conference.  I totally know better than to let a drink leave my sight for even a second, but I got comfortable.  That won’t happen again.  Ever.  I count my blessings that all I got was memory loss and a splitting headache for a few days.

Dude that compared me to a hat rack…yea, three guesses as to how far his career has gone since that remark?  We could compare.

As far as the breasts (boobs, tatas, titts, the girls, juggs, cans, hooters, Thelma & Louise, Laverne & Shirley, melons, the twins, second base), I have learned that simple people are easily distracted by shiny objects.  Not sure I can change that.

Below is a link to the blog of a friend of mine, Rachel Appel.  She is one smart person and has earned her stripes for sure.  She has compiled some stats for us and has some great insight, read it. 

Stats, data, and answers, as to why there are so few women in technology fields.-Rachel's Blog