Girl Geek X

Girl Geek X

Be undeniable. These words spoken by comedian and actress Sarah Silverman rang out in my mind as I was told “Thank you. But, no.” I wanted to cry. Kick and scream out but why? But before the tears could flow, I am interrupted to not only be impressed but inspired.

By Leslie Murdock, Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner Blogger

Conscious uncoupling is difficult, and can be a brutal public nightmare with the added variables of being a celebrity, rich, and famous. A type of narrative that can rally frenzied tornado-style headline chatter. It’s sorted through the searchable, clickable, sharable and likable sphere of social media. The opinions expressed are just as interesting as the story that generated the news feed itself. Even to the point of defining the characters in the narrative. Whoever writes the cleverest or most compelling comment, with the most stats gets to spin the reality of the situation no matter the truth.

Naya Rivera, actress and currently one of the lead characters in the television series Glee was having none of that. Not only does she call off her well-publicized wedding engagement but also she keeps the ring given to her by a so-so famous rapper, according to published reports. Further, much to everyone’s surprise, she married some other relatively unknown actor on the same day, in the same dress and at the same venue she was to marry her ex, according to published reports. All the while the band played on, as did the flurry of social media chatter replete with colorful innuendo and speculation. That’s undeniable and so Boss! She refused to wilt away into the nothingness of silence. This scenario came to mind as I sat listening to lightening talks by female engineers at Box.

Box Girl Geek Dinner 2015
Box is a provider of tools for managing and sharing data online. The service allows users to share, access, and collaborate on files of any type from anywhere. They have nearly 2 million users, over 1 million files served every day, and more than 1000 developers in the Box Enabled Network. Individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 1000 companies use the service.

Box is listed on The 2015 Tech IPO Pipeline Report, in which they purport is the “cream of the crop within investor portfolios, and may be on their way to an IPO given sustained product, market and financing momentum.” Being on this list is no guarantee of going public, but it is indicative of Box crossing the $100M valuation threshold.

That’s undeniable. As is Tamar Bercovici, a Senior Engineering Manager at Box leading the Distributed Data Systems Team in scaling Box’s database architecture. Her talk topic is about how to overcome bias.

She owns the stage. Her presence is strong. She relays how she went about pursuing her dream job to work in tech after she completed her PhD in Computer Science from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

“I had no industry experience,” she states.

“I sent out a bunch of resumes with few or no responses,” she continues. “Career fairs allowed me to connect with people beyond the read through of my resume. I went about telling my story. I didn’t lie or apologize. I just told my story. Adding context and taking ownership,” she said definitively. It was during a meeting at a career fair that she connected with Box. “In the interview I left no room for doubt about my commitment and passion for the field,” she says. “Theoretician or hacker, I knew I had to counteract,” she continues. “I was well prepared with algorithms, white boarding, web technologies, and update on cool technologies,” she adds.

Once she achieved her goal of getting the job, she still had to prove herself by completing with great success a SQL Query project. This led to her current management role.

“Be excited. Be interested and passionate about your pursuit.”
– Box Senior Engineering Manager Tamar Bercovici

Interestingly, she never mentions how many “No’s” she received before she got the “Yes” from Box. My guess is that it had to be enough for her to as she said – “crash career fairs” – to get what she wanted. That’s undeniable.

In pursuing your dreams, it is advantageous to process the fast ‘No’s’ through to the slow ‘Yes.’ There is no room for contrived enthusiasm and lukewarm passion for the purpose of position. No matter the doubts and perceptions of others.

Posture on in determination – go out and tell your story weaved in believability, truth and passion till you get your “Yes.” No tears for fears. That’s undeniable.

– “Musings While Observing” is a blog written by Leslie Murdock, a girl geek interrupted that works in the high-tech industry. Connect with Leslie on Twitter @PRMaven247.

Pictures from the Box Girl Geek Dinner will be posted on Facebook here.