Celebrating Technology Leaders Episode 13: Inspiring Women of DevOps

Inspiring Women of DevOps

DevOps engineering is a relatively new career focused on building bridges between the developmental and operational sides of software development. An effective DevOps engineer possesses a diverse technical skill set, such as operating systems, programming languages, software development lifecycle, and cloud technology, to name a few. In addition, their communication and problem-solving skills (both technological and interpersonal) are expected to be top-notch.

So what does it take to become a DevOps engineer, and what does the career progression look like? What kind of work environment do they operate in, and what are their most significant challenges? And most importantly, is it a promising career for women in tech?

In this episode of “ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders,” Bushra Anjum, ACM-W Standing Committees Chair, invited women technologists with successful DevOps careers to learn from their experiences, both as DevOps engineers and as women in the field.

Our panelists were:

  • Dorothy Nordberg | Sr. DevOps Engineer, Pure Storage – Dotty is an engaging Team Lead who excels as both an advocate and mentor. She is also an accomplished DevOps Engineer with over 10 years of experience in systems administration, maintenance, and automation. Through various speaking engagements, panel discussions, and individual sessions, she has enjoyed and been energized by many opportunities to mentor several hundred folks new to tech.
  • Ayesha Noor | DevOps Manager, Yotascale – QA turned DevOps Professional working for over a decade in the industry, currently on a mission to help large enterprises reduce their cloud spend.
  • Keheira Henderson | Devops Engineer, Freelance – Keheira is from Nashville, TN, and currently lives in Colorado, working as a DevOps Engineer. In her free time, she collects backpacks, builds mobile apps, plays video games, and naps.

(Unfortunately, our 4th panelist, Jessica Kalinowski, couldn’t join us on the day.)

The participants enjoyed vibrant discussions and commented: “The varying backgrounds were perfect! QA, Dev and Sys Admin, it was really helpful to hear each perspective, and I also appreciated the focus on hearing real experience breaking into a dev ops role, how past experience was helpful, and what it has been like as a woman. Even the fact of having three different cultures. This set of panelists was very well selected and representative. It was laid back but also very professional. A very positive experience.

Our participants appreciated to hear the different journeys the different women followed into the role of DevOps. “I learned that with my computer science degree and work experience, i still can change my career direction. I’ve been doing tech support and network management. I am now teaching myself Python, and relearning Javascript. Seeing these women let me know I can still push forward in a different area of IT even at 40.”

You can now watch the panel on-demand using this link.

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