10 Signs You're a 'Woman in Tech'
  January 14, 2014

You know the “signs.” The ones that appear in magazines and online that “help” you narrow down – with 10 simple statements – whether you're in a bad job, being cheated on, or horror of horrors, a techie. I kind of like being a techie, so I was curious to check out CIO's 10 signs you're probably a techie, a slideshow in which they "covered the most techie of tech people for decades and have come up with 10 signs that you're among their ranks."

Okay, here we go. Sign #1: You're Probably a Guy. Geez, knocked out in the first round.

I know it's all tongue-in-cheek, but I didn't fit many of the other signs, either. So I wrote my own list of 10 signs you're probably a techie, albeit from a decidedly woman-in-tech point of view.

1. You're revolutionary, or at least excited by technological advances.

Technology is changing everything: the way we work, govern, educate, and communicate. You are not afraid of change. Grace Hopper and the other women who paved the way in tech remind us that, “A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.”

2. You prefer not to be pigeonholed.

Tech touches everything, software is eating the world, and you will not be gobbled up as you cheer on the pink aisles disrupters. You see technology adding to our choices of what we do and how we do it, not limiting them.

3. Your fictional role models growing up included Uhura, Leia, Xena, Buffy, Hermione, or Starbuck.

You don't have to choose just one: They all rock! Of course, you'd also like to see more female role models for the next generation of girls to look up to and less stereotypical gender representation in the media.

4. You don't know everything, and you're okay with that.

Working in tech, you are truly a lifelong learner. Programming languages come and go, standards get updated, new platforms developed and you love it, because learning new skills keeps life interesting and your brain engaged.

5. You can hack together a solution like a boss.

You can bring together the hardware, software and people needed to solve complex problems in creative ways.

6. You love finding cool tools online.

Because it's freaking awesome that so many techies share the things are they passionate about with the world!

7. You help others create tech.

Whether you contribute to open source, volunteer your tech skills locally with community organizations, or participate in hacker camps, you enjoy making a difference by sharing your expertise. Because nothing tests your problem-solving abilities like helping others learn to code.

8. You consider the good, the bad, and the ugly of tech.

There are tough issues we must face when creating technology, such as privacy, security, and even the very materials (like the conflict minerals) that make tech tick. Tech can be a platform for good or for evil, and you feel we have a social responsibility to endeavor to use it for good.

9. You possess hidden super powers.

As a woman in tech, you may be in the minority now, but you have the power to help change the equation. Your influence as a role model and mentor to girls and young women considering a career in tech is unparalleled!

10. You have your own unique perspective on tech.

I agree with the CIO article that being a techie is "more than making your living in the tech field," but techies come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. No simple Top 10 list is going to do them all justice. As a techie, what would you add?

Kim Wilkens is the founder of Tech-Girls. She enjoys sharing her technology background and skills with students of all ages. Through workshops, courses and presentations, Kim teaches web making, video game design, wearable electronics, robotics and the fundamentals of computer science. You can follow her on Twitter and circle her on Google+.

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