She’s geeky: day 1 report

Image courtesy of Sarah Novotny

I got in about 1pm to She’s Geeky, an unconference about women who self-identify as geeks.

I’m here on a mission: to find developers who want to move to Portland! Emma, Urban Airship, Puppet Labs, About Us and BankSimple are all hiring (and BankSimple is even interested in remote hires).

My favorite conference session yesterday was about leadership and management, the difference between the two, and how to work with managers. We had an amazing discussion, with @noisegirl, Allison Randal, and Ursula Kallio leading a lot of the discussion. Topics ranged from how to carve out time for individual contribution when you take on a management role, to dealing with insane micromanagement to exploring the limits of change in an organization.

Another discussion I participated in was “Startup. Now what?” We talked about the issues each woman faced in starting her own business, and I asked a lot of questions. :)

I also attended a talk about the commerce department’s Privacy Green Paper. I hadn’t heard of it before, but the response being formulated is here: http://wiki.idcommons.net/Privacy_Green_Paper_Response

The main gist of the discussion was about encouraging congress to think carefully about the legislation and the business environment created (or stifled) by new data regulations. The contention is that activity data stored in “personal data stores” (PDS) is inherently of value — we already know this because our data is bought and sold without our consent or knowledge currently. So, why not create a system where businesses can do this, but with the consent and knowledge of consumers? I’d probably say “citizens” there instead of consumers, but you know. Whatever. :)

I’m not sure I fully understand the issues yet. I tried at one point to draw a link between PDS and “owning your own logs.“, but that didn’t seem to resonate. Kaliya said something about respecting definitions, so I think that I still don’t quite understand what defines a PDS.

Or, put another way, I am having a hard time understanding the distinction, because the freedom issues seem to be very much the same.

I tweeted a bit about my thoughts on APIs related to PDS, and here’s one conversation that tumbled out of it:

Welcome, Selena! | LinkedIn
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Anyway, much to think about from the first day, and I’m excited to see what discussions unfold today!

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