nursing for future transhumanist


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i've been trying to hire female DBAs into my company for 10 years. i'd like to share some of the reasons i think women who chose alternate careers might be smarter than i am. it's hard to sell operations to anyone. on the other hand, many women I know are the fantastic at logistics. should the new slogan for IT operations be "it's nursing for the future trans-humanists"?

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  • There have always been women in technology. this is an image of Ada Lovelace. she is widely regarded as the first computer programmer. she wrote an algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers.
  • So now we jump to a time where even though Ada began the work, we have a very small number of women who work in the Technology field and we are spending efforts encouraging our girls that being a computer scientist is an excellent career path.
  • The pipeline leaks. At every step or career path fork, women leave technology. sometimes they’re drafted to management roles – “people skills” sometimes they leave for personal reasons. (There’s a great book called unlocking the clubhouse from MIT press that talks about a Carnegie Mellon study looking at why women leave.)
  • from my own lense I decided to think about why women don’t take on my career and I came up with lots of reasons. Lots of reasons no one would want to go into IT operations
  • no one ever calls when everything is going well. (ok , I have a few clients who do) IT operations is a thankless job. When things are good, no one calls. when things go wrong, well we aren’t always nice.
  • Being potentially called away at any moment doesn’t leave me much space for one of my favorite hobbies. cooking. (dinner was going to be grilled beef tenderloin skewers and baby bok choy with demi glace over quinoa).
  • I’ve had conversations with clients after major outages that felt like therapy sessions and memorial services. let’s talk about the 5 stages of grief. first there is denial / anger / bargining/ depression / acceptance
  • oooh, I just like this slide. anyone in ops has seen sunrises on too many occasions. So, I was thinking about all this in relationship to why women don’t choose this career more and really why anyone would and I came to the conclusion that this is remarkably like nursing
  • long hours, thankless position, interrupt driven organic troubleshooting all day long. but there’s one hug difference between IT operations and nursing….
  • no one dies in IT operations. … now, I know there might be some pedants in the audience who will remind me that in healthcare IT, people can die but if you think back to the sunrise slide I’m comparing my experience, not the general experience. there is another remarkable similarlity that I can’t get past.
  • it’s one of the few careers where one’s gender is frequently called out in casual reference as part of the description. So, getting back to the challenge at hand. why is nursing a generally female career and IT a male dominated career?
  • is it just an issue of branding? We can’t wait for today’s 9 year olds to grow up in order to supplement the leaking pipeline.
  • this is a very different image that is portrayed to the general public. a kind helpful nurse
  • or a bofh bent on world domination. secret power struggles. fembots
  • the problem is the technology is ubiquitous and the integration of it into our lives and ultimately our selves is coming
  • we’re seeing it today. this is the beginning. imagine a time when we have to reboot our kidneys.
  • we already have tiny devices that we use to augment our brains. google maps got me here today. we’ve all been telepathically linked by the #oscon tag on twitter
  • and I for one will be getting upgrades as soon as they’re available (and safe)
  • but I’m not going to want a linux supervillian at my bedside. so, encourage women you know who in IT. Say thank you to them for the good work they do. don’t let them fall out of the leaky pipeline.
  • there is a convergence coming 
  • nursing for future transhumanist

    1. 1. c:1838
    2. 2. ©mattel c:2010
    3. 3. the pipeline leaks
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    10. 11. Male Nurse Female DBA
    11. 12. ©mattel Branding
    12. 13.
    13. 14. switch to linux --
    14. 15. u·biq·ui·tous     [yoo-bik-wi-tuhs] /yuˈbɪkwɪtəs/ adjective existing or being everywhere, esp. at the same time; omnipresent: ubiquitous fog; ubiquitous little ants.
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    18. 20. It’s nursing for the future trans-humanists @sarahnovotny @bluegecko