Technology Convergence Conference: Women in Infrastructure, Rating Systems, and Mentorship Programs
We had fantastic turn out for the Infrastructure Mason’s Track at Teladata’s Technology Convergence Conference held February 23, 2017 in San Jose. The room was packed for the public sessions and more than 70 iMasons attended the members-only sessions, building relationships and growing in their industry knowledge.
First and foremost thanks to Teladata for hosting the conference, to Maricel Cerruti (also an iMasons Board Member) for running a great show, and to Teladata CEO Bob Brown.
WOMEN IN TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Our first session was a panel discussion on Women in Infrastructure Infrastructure. Maricel moderated a panel of Carrie Goetz (The Siemon Company), Carissa Clark (Facebook), and Sarah Keller (Uber). The discussion was far ranging about both attracting and retaining women in Technology. Maricel prompted the audience with figures showing that of a handful of major tech companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter, & Uber) representation of women was <20%. The discussion emphasized an overlooked additional aspect: retaining women in Tech.
DATA CENTER PERFORMANCE RATING SYSTEM
Dean and Mark next led a discussion of a data center rating proposal. The idea behind the data center rating system is both simple and brilliant. As Dean mentioned, you can walk into a restaurant, or any number of businesses, and see a rating on how well they do in satisfying standardized indicators – woe be to those who ignore the ratings. So, why isn’t something like this available for data centers? Well, part of the reason is the need to strike that right balance between competing factors such as: 1. simplicity and completeness, 2. prescriptive and flexible, 3. thorough and economical, etc. The comments in the room were 100% supportive of the idea of a standard. It’s likely to be a huge breakthrough for the industry. But , despite a solid proposal, comments highlighted the need to consider things like “gaming” and whether, for instance, not meeting a design PUE of 1.4 is worse than meeting a design PUE of 1.6. Clearly these are important issues that iMasons are committed to solving.
CLOSING THE RESOURCE GAP
The last session we hosted was a session on addressing the resource gap for Infrastructure. Engagement was excellent and participation of the over fifty iMasons who stuck around to provide feedback on our Education priorities & plans was appreciated! After giving a high level and brief overview of our Education Team Priorities, we dove right in and started to work.
Our first task was to use the collective experience of the team to provide input on what they felt made for effective mentorship programs. We got a lot from input from the crowd that we’ll summarize in a subsequent blog. A high level theme that resonated was making the right connections at the right time. As we get our program rolling we’ll be sure to tap into the enthusiasm in the room
The second task was to collect input data for our “curriculum” goals. Infrastructure is certainly a cross disciplinary subject, but just because the necessary subjects don’t fit traditional academic “silos” doesn’t mean the choices are random. The data we collected may be among the first comprehensive look at the essentials of Infrastructure Masonry.
It was a good first meet-up for iMasons. As our program expands, look for interesting programs around the World as follow-ups to these and additional exciting topics!
If you have suggestions for topics, or comments on the above, feel free to leave a comment below.