Category Archives: Career and Life

What Do You Love About Writing Code?

Dr. Maria Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd College, sharing her viewpoint:

“I love abstract problems, but I also love working on problems that might change people’s lives. I think computer science technology is one of the most inter-disciplinary fields there is. It’s a way of parsing the universe around you, and it’s a way of actually contributing to creating new things in the universe.

One of the things I hate about the current state of things is people think of technology as something you use, but not something you create. And one of the things we’ve convinced our students at Mudd is: If you want to make a difference in the world, and if you want to be creative, and you want to solve puzzles, what could be better than computer science?”

InTRApreneurship: How Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Thrives in Corporate America

Here are some notes from Cheryl Porro (salesforce.com)

Her company started Opportunity Open Market Program in which employees could move to a different team rather than to another company.

Three times a year, they had a major release; at that time, they held a job fair, providing an opportunity to move to another team at each release.

There was a group of engineers in disparate groups who were interested in pursuing an idea that was not a high priority for the company – less attention-getting. But they were interested in the technology and formed that team & worked on it for three months. At the time, there was an idea that was expected to be the attention-getter and everyone had planned to be the “big announcement” at the Company release; however, in the end, it did not meet the expectations.

But the team that had taken on the lower-priority idea did complete it in the 3 months and it became the focus of innovation at the major presentation.

By making room for a little bit of disruptions this Team had achieved the Dream-force announcement in 3 months.

All due to grassroots participation & energy!

Click here to read more GHC notes on InTRApreneurship.

A Great Book

The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential, written by Cisco executives Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, provides practical, actionable advice on how to lead a truly collaborative organization, and includes case studies from companies like General Electric and Q&As with some of the world’s leading collaboration thinkers. Click here to read a sample chapter.

After 30 years programming, still enjoy learning as a new college grad

(This was posted on October 2, 2013 on my company’s internal website)

Looking through Grace Hopper Celebration attendee profiles, I realized that most people with 20+ years programming experience have moved up to technical management or senior management levels. I respect their great leadership abilities. Although I have programmed for 30 years since school and I have held my “senior software engineer” title for over 18 years, I still enjoy being a full time developer with the luxurious to read hacker news every day, to logon GitHub on regular basis, and to follow front-end-development, cloud computing, and big data streams on twitter. I also enjoy being able to attend user groups and meet-ups and write some blog posts occasionally.

Life has never been boring to me. I spend a few hours dancing every week plus a few hours yoga lessons. I like walking on the treadmill as well, since I can use the time to watch online videos or take online courses. I love these free resources, YouTube, edX, coursera, … are all great. It feels good being able to keep up with the latest technologies.

I am excited to be in Minneapolis to attend GHC this year. I look forward to talking to people and sharing stories. I am sure I will learn a lot from young people in the field!

The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential

Imagine an organization in which people:

  • Communicate openly across business functions and departments
  • Are always aware of the company’s objectives and priorities, even as they rapidly evolve
  • Perform multiple different roles during the day
  • Self-select for projects based on interest, expertise and importance to the business
  • Locate needed information in real time
  • Work as mobile and distributed participants—even beyond the walls of the company—as partners, customers, contractors and suppliers

Highly recommend “The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential” written by Cisco executives Ron Ricci, Vice President of Corporate Positioning, and Carl Wiese, Senior Vice President of Global Collaboration Sales.

GHC Day 3 Keynote: Engage, Embrace, Enhance

Today’s focus was how technical women can drive forward and the keynote was “A Case for Diversity”, by Dr. Valerie Taylor from Texas A&M University. Valerie Taylor was one of the 600 women attended the first GHC in 1994. The conference was held every 3 years back then. In 2000, the conference started to be held every other year and in 2006, it started to be held every year.

In 1994, Valerie visited Anita Borg to talk about work. Anita suggested, “Let’s go for a hike!”. While hiking, Anita asked Valerie about her family and upbringing, which made Valerie feel strange. She later realized that Anita was taking time to learn about her, so that she could have a better idea on what to bring to the table. Anita was using this approach to handle diversity:

  1. Engage: Take time to learn about others. Learn about their background.
  2. Embrace: Embrace the background and allow it to come to the forefront.
  3. Enhance: When you engage and embrace others, you end up with something better.

Engage needs mediation and mediation is not making a decision for the parties in conflict. Rather, it is navigating people in conflict so that they solve the problem themselves.

One of the examples Valerie gave was that a team meeting may include people from varies background, some could from “not to question elders” background, others may be opposite. In this case Valerie would engage everyone talk first, she would be the last one to embrace a common ground and then use what she could learn from engage and embrace to enhance.

Everyone brings something unique to the field of computing!  “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

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GHC Day 2 Keynote: Empower and Collaborate!

In her keynote, Megan Smith, vice president Google[x] at Google, gave many inspirational ideas that make the world better. She said:

  • “They say life is who you travel with, so find astonishing people to hang out with.”
  • “If you define your passion and combine it with your work, you are unstoppable.”
  • “What’s your [x]?” – Google[x] is for the next x.
  • “Hang in there because the flip side can be extraordinary.”
  • “Feminism is about humanism it’s about equality so I’m a feminist.”
  • “Be 2/3 YES, and & 1/3 But.”
  • “Hope you venture on the heroic engineering.”
  • “We are a species of moon-shots.”
  • “Fix the tech historic record” so we actually know women contributed in a big way.

She also mentioned the Makers, an amazing documentary made by PBS.

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