Archive for August, 2007

Lady Kate in the PICnet House

I came across an announcement for an (un)conference dedicated to the cultivation and support of women in technology called, She’s Geeky (October 22-23 in Mountain View), and thought it apropos to stake my claim on the PICnet blog– being the first female in the company as well.

I can’t say that I am more sensitive to the gender difference/inequities in technology inasmuch as the gender difference/inquities in general. I’ve been a minority within many all-male settings whether it be sports, friendships, or educational and professional settings. One of the first things I would do in my Computer Science classes in UCSB was to survey the ratio of women to men, and then white women to women of color. Rounding, I came up with the following ratios: 11% for the former, 20% for the latter.

I have chosen to accept a lot of the social morays associated with this community, while staying true to my nature: creative, outgoing, loud, and cute. (Yes, cute. Believe me, it brings it’s own set of issues to male-dominated professions.) Maybe some activists would say I have become complacent or socialized. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, however I am who I am because of that very community I have adopted.

Having just moved to the Bay Area, it’s nice to know there is a foundation of similar support at the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Perhaps I will be able to reflect on my formed attitudes by being exposed to a gender balanced technology community for once. And just maybe… I’ll let go of those morays that I think are so essential to my success in this profession.

And for the record, the PICnet guys are incredibly supportive. I really enjoy working here.


Skype services fall down, as does our interoffice connectivity

SkypeWe’re big Skype lovers at PICnet. We use for interoffice calls between SF/NYC/DC, we use it for group chats, we use it for basic IMs, we take some inbound phone calls on it, and we even use it for some outbound phone calls.

This morning though, we’re all quiet.

It started with my login around 5am PT here in San Francisco. I noticed I couldn’t login to Skype, and did a restart on my laptop. Then, when I still couldn’t login, I ran to the forums to get an understanding as to what was going on. What I found was something profound in our new connected world: reports from around the world of people unable to do commerce with Skype down.

Skype has confirmed people’s fears that the login system seems to be having some major problems; however it does make me wonder about what we as a business community should be expecting when we utilize free (as in beer) services.

For now, PICnet will be a little quieter over Skype as we hop onto other IM channels for the day. Good luck to the Skype team as it battles the software bugs. As an aside, Skype should be commended for their Skype Heartbeat site, that allows users to quickly make sure Skype is up and running properly across all services.


Pitching in at LinuxWorld SF 2007

It’s been a full year (I know, I can’t believe it either) since I had a chance to meet many of the Joomla! folks in person at LinuxWorld SF 2006, so it was great to see Johan, Louis, Rob, and others from the Joomla! community in LinuxWorld SF 2007 this last week.

This year’s three day conference was a great opportunity to share with visitors the work the core team and patch contributors have been doing with Joomla 1.5 RC, as well as meeting new faces in the community from the Joomla! Bay Area community. I also had help this year from another PICnetter, Katie, who joined me in staffing the booth, as can be seen in our stunning Joomla-spectacular outfits below (photo courtesy of our friend Ron Severdia – which reminds me, Shakespeare fans should take a look at Ron’s masterpiece, Play, built using Joomla!).

Katie and Ryan at the Joomla booth at LinuxWorld 2007

Thanks to everyone at the conference who came to see us, including the folks from IBM and our friends across the floor at FreeBSD! Good times had by all.