Just Another Woman In Tech
Before I start to tell my stories, I want to preface who I am first.
My name is Alexandra, and I am a woman in tech.
While my career in tech didn’t start until November 2012, I always stood out as a woman interested in computers, tech, and video games from a young age. There are pictures of me somewhere at my mother’s house of me sitting in a diaper at a computer with a bottle in one hand and a mouse in the other. I started with simple games based off Disney movies and moved on to games like Freddy Fish and Putt Putt.
The internet had become a very key part of my life starting around age 10. By late elementary school, I had my first email address: email@example.com. I used this email address and a fan-fiction website to make one of my first friends online, Lavender. Lavender and I went on to meet years later when I was in high school, and she’s still a very close friend and an important person in my life even to this day. We wrote terrible fan-fiction together for Yu Yu Hakusho and other various anime fandoms and corresponded mostly through email and MSN Messenger.
The internet and computers became a very important part of my life. In fact, I’ve experienced more years of my life WITH the internet than without it. I knew how browsers worked (for the most part), how to install software, how to do basic troubleshooting on my own, how to use email, and even how to work with some of the basic hardware. I was certainly no expert, but I knew enough to do what I needed to do and then some.
November 2012, I started working at a local tech company, GoDaddy, which has become my long-term career so far. I’ve learned a lot about the internet and how it works from my experiences at GoDaddy. I now know most of the ins and outs of domains, DNS, email, online marketing tools, and even a thing or two about hosting servers.
As a woman in tech, I have come to realize that I am a minority. Throughout most of my career in tech, the teams I joined were always dominated by men. In a team of 20, for example, I was one of maybe 4–5 women total for a very long time. There had been a point in time where I dabbled around in leadership and discovered that I had very few choices when it came to seeking out a female mentor. It was only my most recent department that I started working in where I started to see a larger female presence. We work tier two advanced technical support, and there were nearly just as many women on the team as men. The ratio still feels more like three men to two women, but it finally started to feel like somewhere where I wasn’t the only woman in the room.
Today, I work in our network operations center as an incident management lead for advanced technical support (wow, sure sounds fancy when I word it that way). In the specific area that I work, I am one of two women among a countless number of men. The other woman works for our hosting operations, so she technically works a very different role than I do.
I have so many thoughts and feelings about my position as a woman in tech. I hope that this preface gives you a better idea of who I am and where I’ve come from so you can better relate to my position when it comes time for me to voice those thoughts and feelings.
So hello. My name is Alexandra, and I am a woman in tech.