Author Archive

Updated 70-533 Study Guide

Thanks for pointing out I had missed 2 sections for exam 70-533 in my last study guide. I have updated the .xlsx with those objectives and links. Feel free to download and use for your own exam preparation. 533-Study Guide_Rev2

Categories: 70-533

IWD2018 – Another year followed by a stream of broken promises.

As a woman in Tech, I find this one of the most depressing days of the years. And this year more so because I have just wrapped up at an industry tech conference.

Companies, committees and organizers state: “we are changing things, it’s better and if something does happen it won’t be tolerated.” Personally, I call BS. Yes, it has gotten better. There is no doubt about that, but it hasn’t gone nearly far enough. The reality of it is, in 2018 I was still hugged, touched, hands-on back and arms over my shoulder by men I barely knew, if at all, this WEEK.  The Canadian MVPs are over 200 strong, I think it’s closer to the 250, and guess how many of them are women? 15. My fellow MVP listed us in a single tweet.

Jen tweet

There were so few women at this conference that the women’s washrooms were empty. I had the entire washroom to myself. Imagine a line of open stalls. It’s sad that the only time this happens is at STEM Conferences.

I was asked yesterday about how we can fix this. It’s a good question, and I don’t have the answer. But here is my list as a place to start in the workplace:

  1. Put more strong women on the stage. This week I only saw one woman take the stage to present. And by strong, I mean a woman who the others look at in the room and draw inspiration from.
  2. Showcase your female employees. I’m betting a lot of them have dealt with inequality in their profession and giving them a voice inspires others.
  3. To the women out there, if there an issue, report it. Companies cannot fix a problem they don’t know they have.
  4. HR, if an employee reports an issue, do something about it.
  5. For the men. Before you drape your arm over the women beside you, place your hand on her back, hold her elbow, give her a hug, etc. simply ask yourself this question “would I do the same thing to a male counterpart?”

This was not meant to pick on men.  I work with some amazing men who I admire and are huge advocates for women in STEM. I met several men this week who know there is an issue and are taking steps to a more inclusive environment, whether that is in the workplace, conference or IT User group etc.

This is not a woman problem nor is it a man problem it’s a people problem and one that we have to fix together.


Categories: IWD, Women In Tech

Azure FileShare Backup

Last week Azure announced FileShare Backup, which is just what it sounds like: it backups up your Azure File Shares. For a complete step by step see my LinkedIn article.

Categories: azure, backups

Exam 70-533 Study Guide

I finally finished up the Microsoft exam 70-533 study guide.  As before I have two versions, an Excel version and a Project version available here. Please feel free to update as required.

533-Study Guide

Good Luck!

Categories: 70-533, certifications

Updated 70-535 Study Guide

Back in early January, I posted an Excel study guide for exam 70-535. Last week a very resourceful reader, Simon Card, sent me a Project Plan for the exam. Thank you Simon!  I took his awesome project plan and added all the links from my Excel study guide. If you wish to use the Project file feel free to download it and modify as required. I have shared the file via OneDrive. You can download it here.

If you want to reach out to Simon you can find him at kcom(dot)com. Just google him for his email.

I’m currently working on an exam guide for the updated 70-533 exam, stay tuned.

Categories: 70-535, certifications

My List of Favorite Books

I am humbled to be a mentor to a first-year Computer Science student, and during our initial chat, late last week, I was reciting I list of books that I have found helpful not only in progressing my career but also in my personal life. I told her I would put together a list for her including the reason it’s on my list.

UnBranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption by Scott Stratten and Alison Stratten

I have not read this yet; it’s sitting on my Kindle waiting for me. I loved UnMarketing, and I’m excited to start this one.

Crush IT!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

An oldie but still a great read. Crush It! was the first book I read when starting my own company. Great lessons to be learned.

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

The book is pre-order at the moment, and I can’t wait to read it

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferris

Tools of Titans was my 2017 Christmas present from my daughter, and I have loved it. I have highlights, bent pages and sticky notes already through it. I would recommend you keep a device close by to reference the links in the book.

Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

The Confidence Code is a great book if you suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Excellent read.

You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

As a woman, it’s assuring to learn that we do not have to be prime and proper. Another great read  if you suffer from Imposter Syndrome

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

One of the best books I have ever read. Fantastic for helping you define and express your passion.

Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness by S.J. Scott

Habit Staking was one of my more recent reads, and I’m just finishing it up. Great tips on how to “stack” your day to day activities to become more productive.

It’s Not Rocket Science: 7 Game-Changing Traits for Uncommon Success by Mary Spio

After seeing Mary Spio speak at Grace Hopper Celebration 2017, I immediately purchased her book for the flight home. Fantastic inspirational read and great tips.

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim and Kevin Behr

I LOVED this book! If you are in IT, this book will make you laugh as it reflects everything we IT Pro’s have experienced. The book outlines the how implementing DevOps can benefit current IT systems. If you are looking for information on DevOps and the possibilities of implementing a DevOps solution, I would suggest this book.

Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell

Another excellent read, about learning from missteps and how to recover from these hiccups.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In was the most life-changing books I have ever read. Every woman should read this book! It’s my most recommended and gifted book.

My list is by no means an extensive list one, but these were the books that I found helpful.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tired of the Fight

2017 was the year of the “#MeToo” movement: the year when society finally started talking about harassment and assault in the workplace. Diversion, equality, and inclusion have been on the tables of businesses this past year, but has anything really been achieved? For all the talk, minimal action has been taken, and inappropriate behaviour remains tolerated.

In my 25 years in IT, I have not been at one company where I have not experienced sexism, or been subject to inappropriate comments or advances. From being patted on the ass, whistled at, hugged, or told outright that a man was better suited for a task, sexism has been the norm. And it hasn’t just been from male colleagues; in one case a female manager told me to wear a skirt because it was more appropriate. This culture comes from within the company: it wasn’t long before I learned that if you report this type of behaviour, not only does nothing get done, but opportunities will no longer come your way. I began to simply tolerate this behaviour and chalk it up to “the way it is”, which, in my opinion, most women and men do when faced with harassment. As much as companies say they don’t have these problems, they do. Behind the closed door of offices, these actions and comments are still happening, and because we have learned it’s not worth it to report it, the culture then determines it’s okay. It’s a vicious circle.

Companies need to fix the culture within their boardrooms and offices. We all know this needs to be done, but can and will it happen? Complaints must be taken seriously and inappropriate actions must not be tolerated. Those who have been subject to this inappropriate behaviour must be empowered to report it without retribution, and those who behave inappropriately must face consequences. Action needs to be taken in all workplaces, from hotels to restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, and government, and everything in between.

Over the years, I have done my best over the years to speak out about sexism in the workplace, as well as share what it is really like to be a woman in tech. But I know this battle is impossible to win, and I’m tired. I’m tired of hearing the stories of others, tired of having to recount the behaviours I have encountered, tired of warning others, and tired of trying to fix it. But as tired as I am, I will not stop. In order for women to achieve equality in the workplace, we all need to support them, let them know they are not alone and empower them to have the career they dream of–free of others’ inappropriate behaviour. We cannot stop because we are tired: if we do, we become a part of the problem.


Categories: Uncategorized
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