“Geek” is the new cool

If you tell me I’m a geek or a nerd, I would most likely blush and take it as the greatest compliment ever.

Yes I am one …

Yes I am a geek.
Yes I am a nerd.

  • Yes I laugh at the geek jokes (think XKDC …Bobby Tables, or Regex).
  • Yes I get what “Kickin’ SSAS” means. (Caption at the back of the cool Pragmatic Works T-Shirt Swag).
  • Yes I read SQL Server books at night before I go to sleep. (I just dug up Ken Hendersons’s Guru’s Guide book to look up those undocumented commands that Kalen Delaney mentioned in her session).
  • Yes making queries run faster, or creating these fancy reports, or troubleshooting replication are what I call fun.
  • I love the movies The Matrix, and Inception. ‘Nuff said.
  • And yes, I thoroughly enjoy attending PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) and geeking out with with other SQL Professionals.

I can bore you with all the other things that I think are cool. You may disagree with me, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

PASSWIT in Action

I attended Women in Technology Luncheon last week at the PASS Summit 2010. Same as last year, I am still left mesmerized and in awe of the speakers at the luncheon:

Michelle Ufford – Senior SQL Server DBA at GoDaddy.com

Nora Denzel – Senior Vice President, Intuit

Stacia Misner – Prinicpal, Data Inspirations

Denise McInerney – DBA at Intuit

Billie Jo Murray – General Manager, SQL Central Services, Microsoft

Wendy Pastrick – SQL Server DBA and Dance Instructor/Troupe Director

Learn more about them from the WIT Special Events page. Jen McCown (aka MidnightDBA) has a Live Blog of the PASSWIT event.

Lynn Langit, who was in the panel last year, is also another very inspiring Woman In Technology, who helps encourage highschool students to learn more about IT. She also goes out of her to voluntarily teach high school girls T-SQL. Check out her site: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sqlserverexperts/archive/2009/09/15/welcome-who-i-am-and-what-i-do-around-here.aspx

If I were still eight, I’d think “I want to be like them”. But because I’m not (yea yea, let’s not discuss age here), I just think “I want to be like them” .. strong, confident, assertive, accomplished. They know what they want to do, and they pursued it.

(somehow Christina Aguilera’s song “Fighter” starts playing in my head)..

And they’re really smart, and gets things done (Joel Spolsky reference).

Why IT?

The funny thing is, computers scared me before – really. I can barely turn the computer on, can’t work on an Excel file, and I just was not able to wrap my head around it. However, that did not deter me from trying, and trying again, until I did get it.

I think my Eureka moment came after I ran my first DOS program. I thought to myself, wow, I can “program” the computer to ask questions, and give different answers based on what the users typed in. That’s cool. And then I started dreaming about the possibilities: I can add color, maybe next time I can add buttons, maybe next time I can create web pages.

As I accomplished one milestone after another, I think my interest and enthusiasm just grew more and more. In a lot of ways it has empowered me. I felt that I can make things work. I can solve problems through IT. I can also make a difference through IT. Regardless of my background (I was a total non-computer-type-of-person before), gender, age, color.

It does not matter what my gender, age or color is, if I can write that T-SQL statement, I can write that T-SQL statement, and get the job done.

The intimidation of learning new things, or thinking IT is “not cool” or “not interesting” enough, should not deter anymore from at least giving it a try. See if it really doesn’t fit, because it might. Just like being adventurous with places or food, if you don’t go, or don’t try, you will never know. And that was my case.

I initially thought being in IT was too intimidating. But I tried anyway. And now, I can’t see myself doing anything else. I enjoy what I do so much, and I don’t even want to think where I would be now if I didn’t even try.

Bottom Line

“IT is not cool” is not true. As with beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder. But before you judge, you should learn more about it so you can make an informed decision. And don’t just think of what the impact is tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Try to see where this road will lead you in the long run.

By the way, I just found this site. Thought I’d share:

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