February 2022 Newsletter

Happy to be here!

This is Leslie Andrews (t|b) and I am happy to be writing this month’s newsletter. As Mala mentioned in the last newsletter, Kathi has stepped down, and Mala and I will be trading off the writing of the newsletter.

UnitedWeTech Video Chat Series

Mala and I posted the first of our video chat series in January. We spoke with Kate Smith about life as a Program Manager at Microsoft.

We also reached out to the community to find interesting and women you might not be familiar with

and we were overwhelmed with the response! We were able to fill a year’s worth of interviews in a day!

We can’t wait to share all the amazing, technical women that are going to chat with us!

The February 2022 edition will feature Julie Koesmarno, Program Manager at Microsoft (t) talking with us about Notebooks!

Mental Wellness Day 2022 – April 8

Once again the Data Platform WIT group will be hosting a Mental Wellness Day. Save the date and be sure to submit a session!


The call for speakers is open February 7 – March 14

It’s OK to not know

Let me tell you a secret, I don’t know everything there is to know about data modeling or databases. In fact, there’s a LOT I don’t know. And you don’t have to know everything or be an expert in order to be able to speak on a topic.

What is important is that you have the confidence and the knowledge to get up in front of a bunch of strangers (usually) and share knowledge. It is OK for it to be entry level information, everyone starts somewhere and basic level sessions are needed.

One of the scariest part of giving a session is, what if someone asks a question that you don’t know the answer? It’s OK not to know! You can tell them that you would be happy to find out and get back to them. Better to be honest than try to answer and get it wrong. Maybe someone in the audience will know the answer and will share with everyone. And if you do decide to try and come up with something to cover your ignorance, defined as lack of knowledge or information, that person in the audience that DOES know, now will think you don’t have any credibility.

It is also ok to say you don’t know something in an interview. When I was interviewing for a SQL Server position, there was a question on the list about Oracle Materialized Views…I had absolutely NO IDEA what that was…and said so. At the end I asked the interviewer what the answer was and I learned something. One of the unexpected side effects of having a session on a specific topic is a polished answer during interviews. When I am asked about a dimensional or relational model, BOOM! I have an answer, that sounds GREAT! Or about Data Factory, or Data Governance, or any of the other topics I have done a session on.