What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
Information Technology - Senior Systems Analyst... though my title is officially Senior Data Analyst. I never made them print up new cards.
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
Math and computers. They were easy for me.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
Assist the user groups in automating manual processes. Identifying processes that can be improved using IT solutions. Gathering requirements, designing solutions, developing software, testing assistance, implementing solutions, and providing long term support of systems.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, Yahoo groups, DeviantArt
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
Contemporary Anthropology. The US is such a mixing pot of culture, I would love to learn more about them.
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
I am good at creating solutions, I am not so good at negative personal politics.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
A little of both. Seminars cost money, and if the company will pay for them, I will go. However it is very common that there is no budget for this, so I have to hack my way in and learn by trial and error.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
In the mid to 1980's computers were just coming of age. You couldn't miss that computers were the future.
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
Female bosses. A few executives. And my sister - she is very business savvy and has helped me tremendously over the years.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
I work well with everyone. I prefer to work with straightforward, intelligent, drama-free adults. Mostly men.
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
Early on I wanted to take over the corporate world. I found out that management sucked! So now I just want to find solutions and be an individual contributor.
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
Which languages do you speak, and how have you learned them?
English - native speaker.
Some Spanish - high school.
Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
If the goal is to present information to management, I am very nervous. If the goal is to teach new skills to people who want to learn them, I love it. I have taught lots of seminars, and lunch and learn type forums.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
Do Happy Hours count?
Have you explored the social networks for professionals online? Are you member of any of them?
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
My superior communications skills set me apart. I can communicate well with the customer/user and with the IT staff. I can communicate with all levels of the operation from clerks to CEO's to computer operators in the language they understand.
How is the Interent changing the way you work?
Woo Hoo!!! I can work from home sometimes.
Do you do telecommuting?
Oh I wish. I get 10 times the work done at home that I do at the office. However, our company has a policy of no telecommuting.
Do you feel your hobbies serve to elevate your career?
No. My career is very cerebral, and my hobbies are my creative outlet, and physical outlet.
Do your hobbies aide in professional networking?
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
What are the things you least like about your job?
Negative personal politics.
Besides your current profession, what other things would you have liked to have been?
Pop Star. Artist. Teacher. Librarian. Author.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
It all works out in the end. (2 years from now, no one will give a hoot!)
The pay is the same whether you like it or not.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to steal cars.
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
Being a woman I find it difficult not to mix the two. I can't separate my professional life completely from my personal life. It does complicate things, but what are you going to do?
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
I was published a few times in a local news rag.
My cards. Those 8.5 X 3.5 booklets that have all of our codes in them. The yellow card is of course the gospel. The next up would be my sort/sum card.
How do you handle customer complaints?
Document, and resolve.
Someone wants to ask for a pay rise and they ask you for advice in how to approach the matter with their boss. What do you tell them?
Prepare a list of reasons why with dollar amounts saved for the company. Also examine why they will refuse and prepare responses for these. Finally have a number in mind, and if they can't give you money is there anything else they could provide that might be of interest? Parking spot? Extra vacation? Jeans days? Training? Telecommuting?
What do you do to manage stress?
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
That it can't be fixed.
How did you begin programming and at what age?
In high school - sophomore I think. I made a teddy bear picture using Basic. Shortly after that I got involved with the Boy Scouts Explorer post that focused on computers. We got to take home a computer to play with and hook up to our TV.
What languages do you code, and in what platforms?
COBOL, VB, MSCobol, JCL, SQL, PL1, Eztreive, CLIST, REXX, CICS, Assembler, RPGII, ... What have you got?
Platforms - mainframes mostly. Some UNIX, some PC.
What machine configuration and operating system do you use?
At home I use a Microsoft PC Think Pad - 2007. Work is your standard mainframe config.
Please list web addresses where we can see some of your work
What motivates you to undertake a new project?
Money. It is my job.
What part of project development is most gratifying to you?
Working with the users and delivering a product that makes their lives easier.
From the outside, it seems a rational job, but is creativity necessary for programming?
Absolutely. Coding can be so very elegant. And finding solutions with a limited tool set requires creativity... kinda like the Professor making radios out of coconut shells on Gilligan's Island.
What conditions do you need to concentrate when programming?
Quiet, no interruptions, reasonably well lighted, comfie chair, drink close, paper, pencil/pen for scribbling notes, headphones with music I know and don't have to concentrate on. Home usually works best, but the machines at work are faster. So it is a trade off. Home I get no interruptions, but at work I get the interruptions but the faster machine.
After working for long periods of time, have you ever felt as though you were in a bubble?
Yes, on a good day I call that the 'zone'. It is very energizing and takes a while to wear off. On a bad day I am just fuzzy for about 20-30 minutes. I don't do well interacting with others and I am usually focused on reconnecting with my body and my surroundings.
When you check out code you wrote time ago, what's the main difference with respect to code that you write nowadays?
On the whole, my code today is sleeker. Less comments... yeah I know... bad programmer.
New code is simpler, and does one thing at a time.
When maintaining older code I am more likely to just fix what needs fixed and not try to recreate the wheel. Cleaning up programs is it's own reward and has to be. No one appreciates the effort as much as you think they should, and it is really an exercise in futility. The next person in the program will muck it up again.
Do you still buy programming books, or do you learn everything from online sources?
Not often. I tend to buy books on communication with and working with technical people.
Do you think programming should be taught at the basic education level?
No. not everyone can be a programmer. It takes a certain set of skills and a relentless commitment to logic. Not everyone can do that and to force people who are not equipped to do so would be torture. Kids have a hard enough time, let's not make them feel inferior in yet ANOTHER way.
What do you learn from software users?
What the software should do.
How the business is supposed to work.
What they need do make it work that way.
How to be forgiving of my humanity when I mess up.
What would be your solution against piracy?
Give it up. If someone wants it bad enough they will find a way to steal it. Most of us would rather buy it free and clear than worry about the 1 in a million chance that we would get caught. Besides, you can't go after everyone.
Would you consider yourself rigorous in the organization of the coding that you write and on commenting it?
No. The code is always organized to the level I feel is appropriate. Would that meet everyone's requirements, of course not. Commenting I try to stay on top of, but everyone runs out of time sometimes. And.... if the code is written clearly and cleanly it should be obvious.
How do you calculate the budget for a software project?
Laugh. Take whatever estimate the programmer gives you multiply by 3 and add 10%.
The programmer only thinks about what he needs to code the change(1/3). Not how long it will take to test it (1/3) and not how long it will take to get the full requirements (1/3). And NEVER plans for the implementation time and post implementation fixes (10%).
What are your favourite games and on what platform do you play them?
Solitaire, and mahjong. Play them on my PC.
How often do you clean dirt-buildup on your keyboard?
How do you feel when friends or family ask for your help in solving domestic computer problems?
Annoyed. Not everyone who works with computers knows about these toasters we call PC's.
As machines for development, what opinion do Macs deserve?
No opinion. I love my iPod, but that's about all I know about them.
How do you protect your computer from viruses?
Firewall, virus scan, common sense.
In social settings, do people become interested when you tell them you are a software developer?
Do you work alone or in a team? Which do you prefer?
I do both. I like both. Prefer to work alone, but that isn't always going to give the best solution. I know my limitations.
Are you one of the first to update to new software when it comes out, or do you normally wait until more stable versions appear?
What is your main reason for not meeting project deadlines?
Not enough resources. Initial estimates never include the inevitable gotcha's and scope creep that will happen. Nor do they take into account the resources you get... some are fast, some are not. But the deadline doesn't change.
In your opinion, which company helps software developers the most?
The one that gives me the most swag.
How many breaks per day do you normally take?
Get up and move around 4-5. Actual breaks - I take lunch most days.
At this point in your career, what would be the project of your dreams?
Winning the lottery.
Actually I like what I am doing now. I am working on my own, for a not too demanding boss, on new technology that will make the users life much much easier.
What is your next project?
Either helping another department automate, or creating a profit / loss system for our IT efforts.
Which websites or forums for programmers do you frequently visit?
Microsoft SharePoint help and forums.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a programmer?
The same advice I would give to any college student.
Spend your first two years looking at everything. Don't lock yourself into one major until they MAKE you.
Avoid classes before 9 AM.
The recruiters for those technical colleges lie like dogs. You will NOT make $150,000 right out of school.
Forget about the money. If you like what you do, the money isn't nearly as important. When you don't like what you do, the money is a trap.
What hobbies have you got?
Drawing, reading, crochet.
Which actor would you like to be?
If you were sent to a deserted island, which book, CD and film would you take with you?
Movie - Sense and Sensibility
How do you find the balance between working to live and living to work?
I haven't yet. If you have, please tell me how.
In moments of tension, what techniques work in calming the mind?
Technique? Is turning off your emotions and pretending to be someone else a technique?
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
What is the greatest loss you have had in your life?
How do you respond to telemarketing calls?
"Thank you, but I am not interested." and hang up.
Are you an ex-smoker? How did you quit?
yes. I picked a day, and that was the last time I smoked. I wish all my bad habits were that easy to quit. Though I would start again in a minute if they said it didn't cause cancer or make me smell like an ashtray.
It is 5 pm on a typical Sunday: what are you doing?
Trying to convince myself to layout my clothes for Monday.
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
Of what are you an addict?
You have nine wins in a row in a game of roulette: do you continue because you are on a good run, or abandon the game because statistically, it is your turn to lose?
Play a reasonable bet until I lose, then walk away.
What toy gave you the best moments of your childhood?
I don't remember much before 12 years old. I am guessing it must have been my playschool set or the blocks in the wagon.
What was your favourite primary/secondary school teacher like?
Sister Audrey. Strict, but patient.
How did you meet your current boy/girlfriend?
Met my husband in a bar.
What was your first vehicle?
78 Chevette hatchback
Your New Year resolutions.
Didn't have one this year.
Does knowing someone's zodiac sign help you to better understand that person?
No. They are entertaining though.
Please list something you have not yet done, but that you would definitely like to do someday.
To which other place in the world would you move without hesitation?
Austrailia, Chicago, Harveyville.
A bad habit you have overcome.
Smoking and not saying thank you to compliments.
A word or expression that you love.
I love you.
A word or expression that you detest.
What do you imagine yourself doing for your retirement?
Growing tomatoes in my back yard.
If you were to return reincarnated, which real-life person would you like to be?
My friend Charity. She is the most well balanced person I have ever met.
Did God create the world in seven days, or do you believe in the theory of evolution?
There should be something in between the two. Divine intervention happens, but 7 days? Please.
To what percentage do you believe in statistics?
50% plus or minus 3 %
Do you believe many illnesses can be caused by the mind?
Absolutely. We know so little about what our minds are capable of, it is only logical that our minds could be destructive as well as productive.
Do you believe it is true that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity?
I don't think it is that much.
Using the subway without paying, shoplifting: is there excessive tolerance to these small offenses?
Hard question. If you ignore it, the little guy business gets screwed. If you go after everyone, our taxes skyrocket to pay for prosecution and jails. You are screwed either way.
What do you think of the squatter "movement"?
I can't imagine how that happens. I hope I never have to find out.
Does brand name influence your buying habits?
Yes. Only if the brand name represents quality.
Do you think tipping is a good custom?
Yes. Service people don't make jack, and put up with more than their share of petty mean stupid humanity.
Are there too many holidays in the work calendar?
Do you think the catastrophism about climate change has been exaggerated?
I have no idea. I am still worried about the humongous volcano they predicted on the discovery channel at Yellowstone.
Do you boycott brands if you learn they employ children in third-world countries or harm the environment?
When I remember.
Do you defend animal experimentation for the development of medicine that can save human lives?
I can't make up my mind. I am currently having a crisis of conscious about eating meat.
What is your opinion of the rise in popularity of plastic surgery and implants?
Whatever makes you happy.
Should more limits be established for cars within downtown areas?
Yes, I need to walk more.
Do extraterrestrials exist?
Probably. Anything is possible.
What do you currently have in your MP3 player?
NPR podcasts, heavy metal, old country, womyn's music, 80's pop and a couple of books.
What books are you currently reading?
Kitty Raises Hell
Crones Don't Whine
Places in the world that you have visited recently.
What is that special film you never tire of watching?
Sense and Sensibility
What do you use: Mac or PC and why?
PC. It is compatible with work computers.
What is to come after consumist society?
Do you find the saturation of advertising in the media excessive?
Yes. Overwhelming to watch TV anymore.
Do you believe there is excessive sex and violence in the media?
Probably. But that is the result of demonizing these things, they become more fascinating than ever.
What were your favourite subjects when you were in primary/secondary school?
Do you think video games, chat rooms, etc. have a dangerous addictive
effect on teenagers?
No more so than TV did for Generation X.
Has there been a personal-growth book that has transformed your life?
Have you ever bought works of art? What type of art? What compels you to purchase art?
Yes. I am totally into multi-media. I am fascinated with the textures.
Do you defend urban graffiti?
Yes, when done well.
What magazines do you frequently read?
Figure. Real Simple.
Piracy continues to grow: What will happen to the music and film
industries and culture in general?
The artists don't make money on the CD sales, they make money on the concerts. People will follow the sounds they love, and will pay for them.
What sports do you play and how often?
How do you explain the rise in "fame" culture?
What do you have in your wallet right now?
$100, 2 credit cards, 4 insurance cards, Sam's club card, drivers license, medical info sheet, Murrey's ice cream card, 10 or so business cards, dollar in change.
How do you kill time?
In which city do you live? What are your favourite and least favourite things about it?
Kansas City - least - so spread out, favorite - diversity
Where have you thought of going for your next holiday?
Back to bed.
What matters more in deciding your vote: the party, the candidate, or the ideas?
Two-party systems are on the rise: is this good for politics?
No. It is unhealthy to turn lives and government into black and white.
Should any territory have the right of self-determination if a majority of the population votes in favour of doing so?
Government should ensure that self-determination is not as attractive as being a member of the union. If they vote to be separate, I suppose they should be allowed to do so.
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
I am too isolationist for this question. We have no business in other country's politics, unless the scale of the injustice threatens the US - Like WWII. We have enough problems to solve at home without telling other countries how to to work.
Are we witnessing the end of the American empire?
Hmmmm... Don't really think of the US as an empire since we haven't really colonized anywhere, so nothing to end. However I do see the end of American domination in the markets.
Why did the economies of communist countries fail?
Humanity is corrupt. Communism requires everyone to be on the up and up. It was doomed from the beginning.
What is nationalism?
Pride in one's country, and when left unchecked it becomes a destructive force.
Do you actively or economically collaborate with any social organization, NGO, etc.?
Not that I am aware of.
Do you believe in any of the conspiracy theories regarding 9-11?
No. The US had a target on it's butt ever since it stuck it's nose into Middle Eastern politics.
Are there peoples more civilized than others? Or is it merely a question of cultural differences?
Yes. Respect for human life - all human life - defines a civilization.
Are there too many taxes?
Do you believe in affirmative action?
Like unions, it served it's purpose and has now outlived it's use.
Does globalisation help in the development of the world's poorest countries, or does it perpetuate conditions of exploitation?
Both. You can't have one without the other. However shining the light on developing countries will cause the roaches to hide.
Should a maximum limit of permissible personal fortune exist; and thereby, place limits on individual wealth?
No. However we should tax the hell out of the rich, and a person should only be allowed so many Oscar's and platinum albums.
Do you defend the ecotaxes?
We have to do something. It is one step of many.
Should consensual offenses such as drug use or prostitution be legalized?
Are you pro-choice or pro-life?
Are you in favor of or against the death penalty?
I am in favor of it, however I think we are killing the wrong people. We should be killing the child molesters and rapists, and teaching the murderers to be assassins.
Should homosexual couples have the same right to adopt as heterosexual couples?
Absolutely. There are too many children without homes.
Do you believe that the world crisis can bring positive changes to social values?
No. Humans are basically corrupt selfish ego maniacal creatures. The only thing that changes social values is to make everything else more uncomfortable.
What significant changes do you think Obama can bring about along his presidential term?
Please save my 401K so I can retire some day.
For you, what is "the good life"?
Good health, good food, good love, and good friends.
What is the secret to happiness?
What is a friend?
Someone who will help you hide the bodies and ask questions later.
Please list your philosophy of good health.
Does the soul exist?
Where does science end and ideology begin?
They are one.
Your own definition for beauty
What is God?
Forgiving I hope.
If the ticket price for a football match is twice the regular price for those 12 years of age or older, and your child turned twelve yesterday, what age would you say your child is?
12.... He would probably rat me out so he could brag about his birthday.
If you were a millionaire, what would be your charitable work?
Rebuilding the historic areas of KC and providing reasonably priced homes to hard working lower income families.
Your sins and virtues.
Sins - greed, lust, envy.
Virtues - kind, generous, patient.
Please list three important words for the world today.
Tolerance. Generosity. Peace.
Kansas City, MO