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Staying dry while drinking from the technology firehose

21 August 2014

Julie Lerman

Wednesday 8 October was the third edition of the Girl Geek Dinner at the Flexbar in Amsterdam. Despite the short notice in announcing the event, there were approx. 30 girl geeks and a few male guests. Julie Lerman spoke about her years of experience as a woman in the world of computer programming. The story was not as technical as previous talks, but it was definately inspiring.

It all started for Lerman with the serendipidous discovery of a DBase-III book, that was left behind by someone else. Now, 25 years later, she is fluent in a score of programming languages. She is primarily self-taught as you can see from her biography and weblog.

Julie Lerman is an enthusiastic public speaker. She spoke for more than two hours about how she survives in the man’s world of ICT, and she explained how she accomplished it all. She provided a number of helpful tips like ‘participate in conferences and online communities’ and ‘try to become an expert in something’. At the end of her talk, she also provided a quick technical exploration of her area of expertise, the .NET Entity Framework. Interested parties can buy her book.

The discussion continued after Julie’s talk about the position of women in ICT, with the conclusion that women do stand out in the ICT crowd, but that it can be beneficial by drawing attention to our successes and accomplishments.

Julie’s slides can be found here. Photos of GGD #3 were taken by Wolf Schouten and Daphne Horn.

You can also find excellent descriptions of the evening (in Dutch) from Karlijn van den Berg and Janna Schouten.

The next Girl Geek Dinner will be on 12 January 2009 in the Flexbar. The speaker will be Frances Brazier, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Keep an eye on our website for more information!

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