Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In the Bloginning aka Hello World

So here it is, my first blog.  I can't believe how long it took me to get here.  I think it's mostly out of self-doubt and fear.  I can go into a conference room full of strangers and talk about Office 365 or Dynamics CRM or SharePoint, Angularjs, but somehow writing that same knowledge down to share with millions of people(or worse nobody) is a really frightening thought.  Kinda feels a bit too permanent.  But on Feb. 29th, I decided to take the cliche "leap" and challenge myself to blog for 30 days.

I've always kinda hated this idea of "building your brand" through social media.  I've never been that good at bragging on myself or my expertise.  But after years of having people make assumptions about my knowledge and skillset based on nothing but my race, gender, and size, I figured maybe it's time to give people a few more data points.

So who am I?  Whenever someone asks me that question the first thing that I always say is I'm a Software Consultant,  I love to code and solve problems.  It's amazing that after 15+ years that answer hasn't changed, though lately I think maybe it should(but that's for another blog post).  Lately I've been thinking about those moments that really shaped me as a developer and consultant.  So how better to introduce myself to the world than to describe my top 5 developer moments.

5.  (2014) Teaching myself Angularjs and Ionic Framework

So when I first started my career, I built custom web apps using .Net and it was great.  I loved the challenge and freedom that coding provided. But after years of working in the custom dev world, I was thrust into 80/20 world of SharePoint and Dynamics CRM.  This meant I became less of a pure developer and more of a component builder.  During that time, maybe I got rusty, but learning Angularjs was THE hardest thing ever.  What normally took days to grasp, took months.  But I got it!!!

4.  (2007) Learning SharePoint

One of the greatest things that SharePoint provides is a huge community of people that share ideas and knowledge.  SharePoint put me in touch with some amazing people that I respect both professionally and personally. Not only has SharePoint help me become stronger technically, but I also became a lot more social.

3.  (2005) Meeting People that Code for "fun?"

So prior to joining Avanade in 2005, I liked coding and knew I wanted to make it my long-time career.  But I thought career, as in 9-5(maybe 9-7).  But I never had met people that lived, breathed, and ate code.  People that in their spare time used code to solve everyday problems at home.  This was huge, it pushed me to work harder, to craft and hone my skills.

2.  (2015) Not remembering the term Declarative Function

I was at a happy hour event with some fellow tech folks and as I do too often, I was amazing people with the fact that I was a female coder.  Someone who perhaps had too much to drink challenged me and said "Well if you can code, what's a Declarative Function?".  I froze, how could I not know that?  In that moment, I let down an entire race and gender.  I've worked hard my entire life to prove my skills and in one night it was completely ruined.  It took months to forgive myself for that miss.

1.  (2001) Getting my first Tech Lead Job

At the age of 24, I was asked to be the Operations Tech Lead for a major web application.  I had a team of 8 people reporting to me and we monitored the website 24/7.  I had people almost twice my age reporting to me.  I was responsible for 13 million dollars of revenue for my consulting company.  At the time, I didn't even know how huge that was and how much I was respected.  Still today, I have former colleagues that say how great I did.  I am always grateful for the man that trusted me enough to give me that chance. He saw how hard I worked and just rewarded me.  Sounds pretty simple, but in 15 years, I can say it's rare.

What's your top 5 dev moments?

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