It’s nursing for the future trans-humanists

Sarah Novotny

I spend a lot of time thinking about why there are so few women in IT and how to change that. I’ve been trying to hire female DBAs into my company for 10 years.

I have actually interviewed every woman who spelled DBA correctly on her resume.

I’ve done outreach and tried to write job descriptions that are more focused on the intangibles of the job than the raw skills and competitive, high risk, high reward portions of the work. I host women’s groups to talk about Linux and databases. I speak where I can about the work I do and talk to anyone who will listen about the fantastic puzzles we get to solve on a daily basis. and yet, there are still only a handful of women who I know and love and support in this business I still have to look hard to find women who want to work in IT operations.

I’d like to share some of the reasons I think women who chose alternate careers might be smarter than I am. They almost certainly have fewer late night phone calls from the over 18 crowd, they probably have never had to arrive late to a fancy dinner party they were supposed to be hosting with takeout pizza, and they probably can explain why solving today’s puzzle was so satisfying to a neighbor or a parent.

I love what I do, and want to see more women find the joy I do in technology, but 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”?

About Sarah Novotny:

I’m a founding partner of Blue Gecko. I manage and am a senior administrator in the Open Databases / LAMP practice. We do remote administration and management of databases around the world.

I additionally run the Seattle meetups for LinuxChix, MySQL, and one focused on Opensource and general geeky socializing.

2010 IdeaWave