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Allison Randal, DrugDev, Inc.
In the lifetimes of Ada Lovelace or Grace Hopper, there was no advice or research on "women in computing," no conferences or summits, no blogs to follow, no books published with the key steps to success. Today we live in a far richer world, with many successful female role-models who inspire us to reach farther. And yet as a woman making your way in the field of technology, you may find yourself inundated with advice on what you should do or be. There aren't enough hours in the day to do everything everyone suggests and some of the advice is even outright contradictory. Silence has been replaced by cacophony. How will you survive? How will you find the one true path, the magic bullet to success?
You can and should learn from the experiences of other women and WiAC will be a great opportunity to do just that. But ultimately your path to success and even your definition of "success" will not be exactly the same as anyone else. A world full of clones would be a boring place to live. Instead, as zen teaches that enlightenment is a matter of uncovering what's already inside yourself, success as a woman in computing is a matter of being truly yourself.
Allison Randal is a software developer and open source strategist. In over 25 years as a programmer, she has developed everything from games, through linguistic analysis tools, e-commerce Web sites, and shipping fulfillment, to compilers, database replication systems, mobile apps, and talking smart-home appliances; worked as a language designer, project manager, conference organizer, and editor; been a board member of several open source software foundations; written three books; and founded a tech publishing company. She is co-founder of the FLOSS Foundations group for open source leaders, serves on the board of directors of the Perl Foundation, is emeritus director of the Python Software Foundation, is founder and president of Onyx Neon Press and Eigenstate, Inc., and is currently CTO of DrugDev, Inc. She collaborates in the Debian, Ubuntu, Python, and Perl open source projects. Her current hobby is astrophysics.
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