Newsletter for June 2023

Hello everyone,

We hope you are enjoying spring, with summer approaching soon!!

We’ve been busy here at WIT! Below are highlights of what we’ve been up to.

1 Hope some of you attended the annual mental health day!! It was a blast. For those who didn’t, the recordings can be found here.

2 How many of us have challenges submitting to speak on advanced topics? Most of us! We interviewed two incredible women – Josephine Bush and Surbhi Pokharna, who were speakers at EightKB, a conference dedicated to SQL Server Internal Deep Dives. Learn what they have to say on this subject here!

3 Our Call for Speakers for the annual WIT panel at the PASS Data community summit is now open!! Our topic for this year is ‘Got your back! Finding allies!’…it has to do with finding allies and support for our cause at work. We encourage you to submit if you haven’t already! We will be picking 3 amazing women – hopefully, those who have not been on a panel or been to the conference before, to be on the panel and speak on this topic.

4 Thank you to those who responded to our survey on the status of women speakers in the data community. We are discussing the responses and will be in touch soon with those who shared their information and wanted to help or be helped. If not, what you said will be helpful to many – we are not in this alone. We will share the survey results stripped of personal identifiers with the larger community soon.

5 Our list of women speakers currently in speaking circuit has been updated, thank you Deepthi Goguri for your hard work here!! This list is a work in progress and will be updated with more contact info – as several of you are not on twitter too. If you need your name added please email us at dataplatformwit at

6 Have you registered for PASS Data Community Summit yet? If you need an additional discount, take $150 off using discount code SUMMIT4DPWIT.

What is coming up in the next month?

We will start interviews with the women speakers at PASS Data Summit soon!! We do this every year and enjoy talking to them about what they plan to present. Look out for the recordings soon.

We are working with SolarWinds to revive monthly tech talks with leading women! Our upcoming speaker is Tracy Boggiano – look out for the link to her talk on Migrating to Azure SQL, coming up in July! Link for registration should be out soon.

Once the CFS for the Survey at summit is open, we will work on getting the panel together! Details of that will be coming soon too.

That’s it for June…take care and enjoy the summer!

Mala and Les

Leslie’s Thoughts

Hello everyone!

We are almost to the summer solstice and 1/2 way through the year!  Did you have any goals this year? If so, you should be 1/2 way to completion.  If not, you can either accept that you will not achieve it or work extra hard, double down, and do it.  Whichever you decide, that will be the right choice for YOU!

During our Mental Health and Wellness day last month, we had a bunch of great sessions that talked about how to handle stress and burnout.  For me, I make sure that I always have trips planned!  I love having something to look forward to and I love taking my family places.  

Earlier this year I went on a SIXTEEN day cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to Seattle, it was pretty spectacular.  This summer my plans include taking my grandkids to a Kalahari Water Park Resort for a couple of nights, going with my husband to San Antonio to visit our daughter, a cruise to Mexico with my oldest daughter, and my annual trip to Vegas with my sister and all of our daughters.

Being able to have the time and money to do all these activities is definitely a privilege but that is what I choose to spend my money on.  The memories we will all have are priceless.  

Enjoy your summer!


Mala’s Thoughts

Greetings, everyone!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic summer and finding time to engage in enjoyable activities!

In the realm of technology, there’s been a significant buzz surrounding AI, especially Generative models. Currently, I’m engrossed in an incredible discussion series called “Creativity in the Age of AI” held at Stanford University. This series brings together brilliant minds to explore ethical issues, challenges, and responses pertaining to AI from a diverse range of perspectives. While AI taking over our roles as data technologists may be some time away, it’s truly eye-opening and fascinating to delve into the challenges faced by individuals in creative fields, such as artists and musicians. The discussions raise thought-provoking questions, such as whether art can be considered equivalent to ‘data,’ the copyright concerns associated with using such ‘data’ to train language models, and the opinions of the artistic community on regulating theft and unauthorized use of their work. An interesting analogy mentioned in one of these discussions revolves around the story of Betty Crocker cake mixes. Initially, they didn’t sell well when they were sold as complete mixes. However, when egg powder was removed, and the customers were instructed to ‘add eggs’ to the mix, they became extremely popular. The speaker draws a parallel between this situation and how language models (LLMs) may be perceived as adding value to art while actually taking over the creative process in a less authentic manner. It was an intriguing example. The future with AI undoubtedly holds significant changes and unique challenges.

Personally, I’ve been spending a lot of time hiking and exploring the natural beauty of my surroundings. I’m thoroughly enjoying the abundance of wildflowers, the lesser-known and less-celebrated blooms that bring color, hope, and joy to our environment. I’ve included a few photos of these wildflowers for you to enjoy.

Wishing you all a delightful summer, please take care and stay safe!