The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Will the next generation of IT be as successful as this next generation?

There have been more and more Women in Technology panels and discussions at SQL Saturdays and other events in the past few years. I think these are a great way to talk about interesting more women in technological careers and helping women deal with the issues if they already work in Information Technology. There are definitely issues here, and it’s good to discuss them, not to the exclusion of other groups, but just to focus on this one area. I think we potentially have issues with other groups in technology as well, and would welcome them to form their own group for discussing the challenges they face.

However I also think we need more people working in technology of all sizes, shapes, colors, genders, and ages. We hear about a shortage of qualified people in many areas, including databases, and we need to attract more people to this field if they have an interest. But how do we know if they have an interest? Perhaps a more important question comes from this MS Education Blogger: “How do they know they’re not interested?”

It seems that a lot of the focus from the WIT panels I’ve listened to is ensuring that more women get the chance to experience technology and decide for themselves if it’s an interesting career. It’s about creating an atmosphere where everyone has the chance to experience technology, mathematics, engineering, and other hard sciences without feeling that these careers are not appropriate for them.

Whether you like your career in technology or not, I’d hope that you’d encourage others to give it a try and experiment. They might find that it’s something they enjoy, and would like to follow as a career. Save the complaints, the downsides to this field for another day, after they’ve had a chance to determine if they even like working with computers.

Steve Jones

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