January 2022 Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Let me start with apologies for the newsletter coming out really late…and Happy New Year from the team at WIT!! A few announcements as below.
Our longtime WIT lead Kathi Kellenberger decided to step down. We will miss her but fully support her decision to spend more time with grandkids and appreciate all that she has given this group. Please join me in welcoming Leslie Andrews (t|b) on board. Leslie has been a consistent ally and we decided to get her to join the team officially!! Deepthi Goguri(t|b) will continue to be our helper and friend as well.
We also have a new website, authored and hosted by PaperSword, a company owned by the amazing Blythe Morrow(t|b). A big thank you to Blythe and the team for her amazing hard work on the site and also for the generous offer to host us. Also, a thank you to our older host, Denny Cherry from DCAC. We appreciate their support.
So..after announcements..what is from WIT for the new year? We decided against doing day-long events. The burnout on virtual events is real, folks..and there is no point spending a lot of energy to organize an event and have a really small number of people in attendance. It disappoints and frustrates both speakers and organizers alike. We found that the interviews we did for PASS summit pre-cons were well received in the community, so we decided to do more on that line. Every month, we will do a chat interview with a woman technologist – we will discuss both tech and non-tech issues. The interviews will be posted on our channel on youtube. We hope you will listen and offer support as we go along. Other offerings will depend on the time and bandwidth we have to devote to the cause.
Please reach out by sending a message to dataplatformwit@gmail.com if you have a blog or speaking event you would like for us to feature in the newsletter or if you would like to be interviewed.
(We are not featuring any blogger this month because of lack of time, apologies. This will resume as well from next month.)
The list of women speaking at data events from now until March 2022, painstakingly compiled by Deepthi, can be found here. This list will be updated every quarter.
Want to keep up with the group? You can also find us on Twitter @data_wit, Facebook, Meetup, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Best Regards

Mala ,Leslie and Deepthi

Redefining Imposter Syndrome
I am a prolific podcast-listener. It is an activity I greatly enjoy – partly because it can be combined with any other task. I listen to podcasts as I work out, sew, cook, and a number of other mundane activities. I have a long list of favorites..among them is Scott Hanselman’s. I have a special liking for Scott’s podcast because of the diverse nature of people he chooses to chat with. The young lady in this podcast episode, Redefining Imposter Syndrome, with Maya Bello can be found here on Twitter. I was impressed by her wisdom and insight during the chat. There were a number of lines that really stood out for me – as someone who fights imposter syndrome on a regular basis. First is the one on developing passions over time and with experience. Just because you are not good at something, to begin with, does not mean it’s not your thing – maybe (in some cases) you need to get into it deeper to figure that out. Nobody is good at anything when they get started. In my case, I found Powershell seriously daunting and I was among the DBAs who thought coding is too much for me. But I found an excellent mentor in my colleague Mark Wilkinson(t|b). Now not a day goes by when I don’t crack open Powershell! I can’t make claims to it being my biggest passion, but I would not have found out that am even reasonably good at it without trial and error, and a good mentor encouraging me. The second interesting thing they talk about is having the freedom to fail, especially in work environments. I have worked in environments where the bar is set so high that nobody experiments with anything for fear of failing. These environments eventually end up accruing a huge amount of technical debt. People also end up leaving them because in the tech world at least you don’t go very far if you don’t learn new things. Lastly, they talk about using imposter syndrome as a way to push ourselves further and get to be actually better at what we do. Or in other words ‘when you’re comfortable with being uncomfortable, you enjoy the journey more’. I think this line applies to more than imposter syndrome – it is a deeper philosophy that can be helpful at many levels. I greatly enjoyed the podcast and I hope you will as well.
Be on the lookout for our first chat interview coming soon, and until next month – stay safe and be well.