Happy International Girls in ICT Day 2023!
OpenNMS celebrates the importance of girls, women, and non-binary folk in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Last year, people on our team shared stories about the importance of access and safety in ICT. This year's theme is "Digital Skills for Life."
Looking around OpenNMS, this theme is especially meaningful. We have people from many different walks of life, paths into the technology industry, and unique experiences. Despite differing backgrounds, those who shared their stories this year had some common observations: learn through experimentation and always be open to new ideas.
Digital skills for life at OpenNMS
How has the digital world shaped your career?
Did your education path lead you to this career?
What role did confidence and support play in getting to where you are now? Did you have role models or mentorship along the way?
My parents were very supportive of my interests in tech and always encouraged me and bought things that I needed. My high school CS teacher saw potential and put me in charge of the school network and lab computers after he found me hacking root on them. I helped out the other students with their lab assignments.
Well, I was a C-level executive about 10 years ago and I worked directly with the CEO. We went through the downturn of 2009, lost more than half of our staff, and had some software that was extremely difficult to use. We were paying hefty, hefty consulting bills to answer simple questions about the software. So, I taught myself how to use it. They actually ended up visiting us because they wanted to find out why we stopped racking up all of those charges. I was walking by the CEO's office one day and he says, "That's the reason why we're not paying your fees anymore."
My mother used to be a science teacher while I was growing up and always referred to science, logic, and reasoning during everyday activities. She is one of my role models. In addition, there were many women around me (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) that I have observed and learned many things from over the years that I apply or practice.
What advice do you have for someone who is young and interested in a future in information and communications technology?
I tend to shy away from giving advice. I feel like it implies I know what I’m doing. But I guess if I have to give any advice it would be to keep an open mind and to not be afraid to explore all of the different career choices that might interest you!
Prioritize your personal goals and see how they can align to a professional career. Too often many people are driven into jobs for all the wrong reasons instead of taking advantage of every opportunity when you are younger to try things out. Be inquisitive, talk to people you meet, ask them what they really do for work every day and start to piece together your own dream job.
Learn as much as you can and take advantage of the opportunities you have now. If you have access to specialized courses take them. If you don’t, there are a lot of great online resources and tutorials to help you learn the basics of the tools of the trade.
Stay curious and never stop learning. Don’t be afraid of change.
Whether it's your neighborhood, open source software, or helping with an International Girls in ICT Day celebration—all communities thrive on support.
Here are a few resources that you can use to, hopefully, help spark joy for Information and Communications Technology:
- On a mission to "close the gender gap."
- Online learning with "practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard."
- A nonprofit giving students the "opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education."
- Girls Excelling in Math and Science.