Jan 23

Notes Form 2014


Feb 22

She’s Geeky – Minneapolis 2014: Day 2 Topics

Photo by Emma Lloyd

Photo by Emma Lloyd

Check out the agenda created by Minneapolis participants on Saturday, February 22, 2014.

  • Pros/Cons of changing work environment
  • Making and Maker Spaces in Education
  • Learning Circles – bringing women with coding experience together to help others learn and work on small projects
  • Introverts & Extroverts:  FIGHT!
  • Star Wars
  • Impact of Women in Media
  • Advice/Words of Wisdom to Girls Interested in STEM fields
  • The job search – Resumes and Interviewing and Networking – Oh My
  • Creating Generational Work Teams
  • Women – Balance /Career Family – Passion vs Reality  HOW???
  • What can I be? (career options)
  • Going to Grad School Part-time
  • Google Glasses
  • Technology & Activism
  • Skills of a good Engineer
  • I bike and Commute + you can too
  • Content Strategy/Online Marketing + The role of Social Media in Our lives, and how it can help our businesses
  • STEAM – adding an “A” for Art to traditional STEM conversations
  • Startups! What? Why? Who? All the questions bring answers & questions
  • The Hero’s/Heroine’s Journey
  • Groovy, Grails + Gr8Ladies – General software development topics and hacking
  • The Ultimate Battle: Back-end vs. Front-end
  • User Experience OR How do I Become the Expert in the Room
  • “Good Reads” / Book Chat
  • Mentorship / How to get more girls in Tech
  • Agile Crafting – Dev tools for making stuff
  • Help Me Get My Dream Job… (please) :)
  • Data Management for non – DBA’s + the Disorganized
  • Fandoms: what are they? And how do I get involved?
  • Werewolf
  • How does a team recover from a Bully?
  • Project EULER
  • Impostor Syndrome ~ Public Speaking
  • Mobile Rant – Why or Why Not you like it? Mobile Web vs Native App

Feb 22

She’s Geeky – Minneapolis: As a Result of Today… (Day 1)

photo by Shuvi

photo by Shuvi

At the end of each day we like to ask attendees to answer: As a result of today…

Here are the responses from Day 1 of She’s Geeky – Minneapolis Day 1.

  • I feel less alone – other women have the same questions. They also have answers.
  • I feel confident that I am entering a field I will find community, growth and a whole lot of fun in.
  • I will broaden my goals to be open to more possibilities
  • I will -  look into U of M speaker series, look into the Clockwork PM event, plan to come back tomorrow, try to say hello to Megan at clockwork, am glad I got to chat with Lindsey
  • I am reminded of the importance of meeting up with, getting to know, and sharing with new amazing and talented women!
  • As a result of today I feel more positive and supported in the work world as a woman (in a male dominated field)
  • I will be moving several items from to-do list to the fuck-it bucket
  • I will try to live more in the present instead of constantly thinking about what’s next
  • I have ways to stay connected to the STEM fields outside of my organization
  • I feel much more confident and validated in my place in geekdome + the technology space.  Much more inspired to get more involved in these + other events
  • I feel more connected to a network of resources and encouragement for running my business. “value of an unConference”
  • I know more women in the tech community in MN and will make a point to reach out when I need something.
  • I met several women in my age group (30-35) who are engaged with their life, not just a significant other or children.
  • I am inspired to keep being my “odd” proactive, answer-seeking self. :)
  • I am more motivated in my field/career, more confident/inspired. Learned ways to solve some problems. I feel that I am not alone.
  • I have a plan for a successful future! And I made some new friends
  • I forced myself to come out of my shell and contribute to the break out session conversations. A HUGE achievement for an introvert.
  • I will believe in myself more. I believe in possibility.
  • I have learned that the power of events like these help to bring together, empower, and inspire women in all facets of their life and career.
  • I feel more focused and capable to be better
  • I feel a renewed sense of community with like minded women
  • I will look for more ways to be inspired and energized
  • I will embrace my tech job with more confidence, reach out to more women in the field and reverberate what it means to be a leader.
  • I feel empowered
  • I have a better understanding of the viz/infographics current state and possible futures, what kind of skills needed for sophisticated graphics development, and how women think about dress for success for tech women.
  • I am going to cut myself some slack + think about the work I want to do, and that matters to me.
  • I will try harder to create + maintain a network of awesome women
  • I know how to unfuck your habitat.com
  • I’m going to stop saying “I’m busy” all the time. Also, I’m going to unfuck my habitat.
  • I’m going to turn off email notifications – Improve how I clean house – stop sending work email on weekends AND I feel a bigger sense of community
  • An eleven-year-old girl in now interested in cryptography!!
  • I will remove the words “I think” and “I feel” from my vocabulary when I’m expressing my thoughts/feelings in the workplace
  • I have a renewed sense of value: both others and my own.
  • My inspiration bucket has been refilled
  • …I’m considering learning how to code

Feb 22

SGMN14 Notes: Lifehacking – Dealing with Your Sh*t

Notetaker: Amanda C.

Lifehacks – get shit done!

David Allen – Getting Things Done (book)

Put everything into one system that is outside of your brain, freeing your brain to do higher level thinking instead of handling little things

Have gmail calendars for you, your partner, the family, each kid

Driven by laziness – I don’t want to think about anything more than I have to. I can outsource things to a system that I can trust, and I have more

Unfuck Your Habitat: http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/
Cleaning motivation, structured around 20/10s (20 minutes of cleaning, 10 minutes of breaktime)
Advocate of making your bed every morning

Keeping to-do lists organized by context – tag them (phone, home, work, project)

Tools for list-making:
Evernote https://evernote.com/
Wunderlist https://www.wunderlist.com/en/
Any.Do http://www.any.do/

“Tickler Folders”
Folders 1-31 (for each day of the month)
Folders 1-12 (for each month in the year)
At the beginning of the month, you sort that month’s stuff into the day folders

GTD Workflow: http://riversidebusinesscoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/allen-gtd-basic-flow-chart.jpg

Email management:

  • Starring items, reviewing starred items at the end of the day
  • Using labels to auto-filter
  • Make a habit of when you check your email
  • EMAIL KILLER: if there’s a huge email chain, you stop the conversation on email, get together and talk in person
  • Boomerang for Gmail: email scheduling http://www.boomeranggmail.com/

Professional Development – how do you keep up?

  • One company has a No-Meetings Fridays where you learn from each other, read, etc
  • Find a group of people who are learning about the same stuff, then divide and conquer “I’ll read this, you read this, we’ll all talk about it and give summaries.”

Salad In A Jar: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-pack-the-perfect-salad-in-a-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-192174

Things Worth The Money

How to not get sucked in with Facebook and Twitter

  • Read it on Flipboard
  • Set up filters, lists


Feb 22

SGMN14 Notes: Adulting

Notetaker: Amanda C.

Clothes Mentor – second hand clothes, sorted by color, then by size. They buy clothes, and have high standards. http://www.clothesmentor.com/

Clothes steamer (Rowenta). Saves you from having to iron, ever.

Having clothing swaps – free, you get opinions from people on how things look. Have swaps based on body size or type.

Opitz outlet – a bit of a dig, also good for people that know how to sew

Sub-reddits for EVERYTHING

Hair curling: PRACTICE and check out products that go on first and products that hold the curl.

Dressing well can affect your mentality and how you do your work. When you dress up, sometimes you can feel not very genuine.

Fashion Blogs

Find a good tailor and get your clothes altered

Makeup and Nails
Going into Sephora or Bare Essentials – they will match colors and skin tone for you so you don’t have to guess. BE will do half of a makeup look for you, then you complete the rest of your face, so you know how to apply the look that you like

  • Invest in brushes
  • Cuticle brush to push


  • Big fan of Garnier Fructis leave-in conditioner
  • Sulfate-free shampoo will help keep frizzy hair chilled out, Deva Care is spendy but good
  • Lots of advocates of going no-shampoo and having your hair normalize its oil levels

Skin creams and things:


Feb 22

SGMN14 Notes: How to Get People to Listen to Me

Notetaker: Amanda C.

You bring up something, it’s ignored, a guy brings it up, it gets done. HELP. This happens both in person and over email.
How do you deal with idea stealing?

  • Follow up with an email and cover the idea you talked about. Then you have a written record and backup. You can then refer to that email, or resend it if the person tries to take credit, or change something they agreed on.
  • Ask for more experience presenting your work or talking to people, then you have your name & face attached to your ideas

Women tend to say “I feel” which can soften our words, and make it look like your statement is just your opinion, not informed professional fact.

Figure out what kind of power structure you’re working in (e.g. “old boys club”)

Ask questions of person you’re talking with to see if they’ve understood.

Resource: Hemingway, writing checker that looks at readability, passive voice, word choice, etc. www.hemingwayapp.com

Balancing not wanting to be too pushy or naggy, but still being direct.

People perceive emergencies and priorities differently – be clear about how you feel about an issue, and ask about their time.

Use topic sentences, clarity in your need.

Figure out when your devs or engineers have breaks – if you interrupt them when their head is in code or formulas, it won’t go well.

Listen to your own speech patterns; women tend to end sentences on an up note, which makes your statements kind of sound like questions.

Video on Lean In site about understanding team dynamics and how people communicate http://leanin.org/education/team-dynamics/

Meetings where people aren’t paying attention or are distracted by email, devices, etc

  • Ask that devices go away
  • See when a good time would be to get their undivided attention
  • Cut a meeting short by asking for attention for 15 minutes, then setting everyone free “early” to handle what they’re dealing with
  • Have standing meetings – forces people to get to the point

Book rec: Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

Start of a meeting, everyone gives a number 1-5 about how they’re feeling, so you can easily read the room and know how people are doing, outside of the project, stress-wise.

Feb 22

She’s Geeky – Minneapolis 2014: Day 1 Topics


Sure we had to delay the start by an hour due to an overnight snow storm… but that did not stop us from creating an amazing agenda for Day 1. These are the agenda topics for Friday February 21, 2014.

  • What’s the Future of DATA Viz & INFO GRAPHICS ????
  • Whole Girls/Boys Toy Section – Why is only Goldie Blox addressing this? Solutions?
  • What Persuasive tactics do you use to drive action/results – How do you get people to listen to you?
  • ADULTING – Resource Dump (or: help I don’t know how to lady)
  • How do we get schools to participate in corporate sponsored STEM events/programs?
  • Goals vs. Systems ~ What leads to greater success?
  • How to interact effectively w/aggressive coworkers when you are introverted
  • Resolving Conflicts in the virtual Environment
  • CIVIC + Tech 4 Good – Technology through design
  • Young Girls in Tech – Inspiring Young Girls to explore and embrace STEM
  • ROCKET GIRLS: Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship Camp!
  • Giving Yourself Permission to be LESS Busy
  • My place in the corporate totem pole + how to affect the most change from that space
  • We need interesting and small Math Problems!
  • Learn to Code!!! Changing Careers + Alt Training Programs
  • Stories about how to ask for starting salaries and/or raises
  • Inspiring Change
  • System Security – Twin Cities Strengths? Opportunities for Women or is it a ‘frat’ ~ what can we contribute?
  • Qoya, empowerment through movement – being WISE, WILD and FREE
  • Welcome to Crazy Times – Dealing with hormonal changes
  • Start-ups in Minneapolis
  • Keeping Your Shit Together (Life Hacks)
  • Where do I go from here in my career? Maybe a career change…


Feb 22

SGBA14 Notes: Stop Selling Yourself Short

Convener and Notetaker: Michelle F.

Summary:  In this follow-up to the session, “The Art of Asking,” Michelle Florendo (@whatifyoucouldb) led a discussion on how women can avoid selling themselves short and position themselves better to get what they deserve.

Building awareness of how we as women deposition ourselves:
Beginning sentences with “sorry”
◦    Check out this article on “How to Suppress the Apology Reflex”
De-positioning: verbally downplaying your accomplishments/achievements
Qualifying our accomplishments
◦    Attributing success more to external factors than to your own effort and skills
◦    Ending sentences in an upward tone, so that it sounds like you are asking a question rather than making a statement

Building confidence
Exercise: Spend 90 seconds talking about all of your accomplishments
◦    Pair up
◦    For 90 seconds, Partner A tells Partner B all of the awesome things she has done, while Partner B actively listens and provides Partner A with affirmation
◦    For 30 seconds, Partner B tells Partner A what were the key accomplishments that stood out,  lets Partner A know where she may have de-positioned herself, and provides feedback on how she can position herself better next time
Posture has an impact on confidence
◦    Check out Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses
Articulating your values can help you overcome stereotype threat
◦    Written exercise on values
How to deal with impostor syndrome
◦    Check out the training on the Ada Initiative site

Asking for recommendations
Keep a “celebrations file”
◦    Whenever you receive a thank you or a kudos in an email, file it into a folder so that you can refer back to it later
◦    When you receive a kudos via email, reply to thank the person and cc your supervisor
Proactively ask for feedback at the end of big projects and document it over time
When asking peers, offer to write a recommendation in exchange
On dealing with fear (e.g. “If I ask for a recommendation, I’m afraid of what if they…”)
◦    ”Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear” – Ambrose Redmoon

On the topic of bragging
What is the definition of bragging?
◦    What is the difference between telling the truth and bragging?
◦    ”Telling the truth may be ok, but bragging has a negative consequence”
•    What exactly is that negative consequence?  Does it matter?
◦    Is bragging in the content of what you say, or how you say it?
Why does the definition of bragging even matter?
◦    If the definition of bragging is ultimately in the ear of the listener, and thus is not within your control, should you let it affect what you say?
Resource on bragging: Brag! How to toot your own horn without blowing it

Introducing yourself
How you introduce yourself to strangers is an opportunity to experiment with positioning
Michelle shared the introduction she crafted for the She’s Geeky event and asked for feedback
◦    Most of the room expressed that it sounded natural and not “bragg-y”
◦    One expressed that “name-dropping” turned her off
◦    Lesson learned: For years, Michelle previously thought 9 out of 10 people would be turned off if she disclosed where she went to school, but in reality, the number of people who were turned off by it is far fewer than she originally thought

A good introduction will establish:
◦    Credibility
◦    Appeal
◦    Empathy

Exercise:  Test out a new introduction for yourself
◦    The two most commonly asked questions at an event are “What do you do?” and “What brings you here?”
◦    Craft a brief response to those questions that introduces yourself and establishes credibility, appeal, and empathy
◦    Test out your new introduction for the rest of the day
◦    Pay attention to how people respond: do they lean in or lean out?
•    As you track how many people lean out, is it fewer than how many you originally thought would?
◦    Based on the results of your experiment, determine how you would tweak your introduction in the future

Feb 22

SGBA14 Notes: Using Decision Analysis in Career Planning

Convener and Notetaker: Michelle F.

Summary: Michelle Florendo (@whatifyoucouldb) shared frameworks for rational decision making and demonstrated how they could be used as women evaluate what steps to take next in their careers

Decision Making
Michelle’s philosophy on decision making and choice:
•    Life is the sum of all of your choices
•    You always have a choice.  Every day.  In every situation.  Even when it doesn’t feel like nothing is within your control and you don’t have a choice, you do: you can choose how you perceive and respond to the situation.
•    Just because you choose to go one direction now, doesn’t mean you can’t choose to go another direction in the future.  At any given point in time, you can choose to keep doing what you’re doing or change course.

Why people often feel tension around making decisions:
•    Fear
◦     If there is a possibility that something bad may happen, some people attempt to avoid making a decision at all.  They are afraid that if they make a decision, something bad may happen, so if they avoid making a decision, perhaps the bad thing won’t happen.
◦    Example:  I am deciding between going to the beach and going to Tahoe.  There is a chance that it rains while I am at the beach, and that’s bad.  There is a chance that there will be no snow while I am not there either, that’s bad.  I don’t want anything bad to happen, so I am going to avoid making a choice at all.
◦    Example: I am deciding on whether to go to the beach, but I don’t know whether it will rain or shine.  If it rains while I am at the beach, that is bad.  I don’t want this bad thing to happen, so I am not going to make a decision.  (The fault in this logic is that what I choose has no effect on the weather.  The weather is out of my control.)
•    Regret
◦    People are often afraid they will make the “wrong” choice.  Their logic is that if they make a choice and it results in a bad outcome, they made the “wrong” choice.
◦    According to the principles of decision analysis, the quality of a decision is independent of the quality of the outcome.  In other words, decisions are distinct from outcomes.  It’s possible to make a good decision and have a bad outcome, and also possible to make a bad decision and have a good outcome.
◦    To avoid regret, make as good of a decision you can now, based on the information you have now, and then move on.  In the future, as things play out, you may get more information and uncertainties may get resolved.  However, when you look back, recognize that you made the best decision you could given the information you had at that point in time.
◦    Also, as mentioned before, after making a decision, you still have the opportunity to make subsequent decisions.  You still have the ability to choose how you move forward.

Using the PrOACT framework to make good decisions.
•    Pr: Define the Problem
•    O: Identify your Objectives
◦    What do you want?  What matters to you?  What will make one outcome more desirable from another?  Of your objectives, which are most important?
◦    Be specific!  You want to reach a level of specificity that will enable you to evaluate to what degree each alternative meets each objective.  For example, if your objective is financial sustainability, what does that look like?  Specifically how much money do you need for that objective to be met?
◦    After identifying your objectives, feel free to go back and redefine the decision problem if necessary
•    A: Brainstorm your Alternatives
◦    Think big and brainstorm all of the different options you have, even undesirable options.
◦    The key here is to brainstorm your alternatives first, and leave evaluating your alternatives for a different phase.  If you try to brainstorm (using divergent thinking) at the same time as you evaluate options (using convergent thinking), you will likely get stuck.  Be sure to separate the two processes.
•    C: Evaluate the Consequences of each alternative
◦    Use a matrix (alternatives across the top, objectives going down) to record to what degree each alternative meets each objective.
◦    Eliminate dominated alternatives.  An alternative is dominated when there is another alternative that meets each objective to the same or greater degree than the dominated alternative.
◦    Eliminate any objectives that are met equally by all alternatives.
•    T: Use Tradeoffs to continue to whittle down alternatives and objectives
◦    Among your remaining alternatives, use tradeoffs to make all things equal for a particular objective.  Do this by creating an “equivalent alternative” to substitute into your matrix.
How to think about what your objectives are
•    When thinking about what you want in a job, think about three areas:
◦    Daily work: what type of work do you want to be doing on a daily basis?
◦    People: who do you want to work with and how?
◦    Organization: what type of organization do you want to work for?
•    Check out the Quickstart Guide for Figuring Out What’s Next for more prompts on how to think about what your objectives are

Feb 22

SGBA14 Notes: Power of Twitter Chats

Convener and Notetaker: Cindy S.

Captured tweets from She’s Geeky

Frequently Asked Questions I compiled about Twitter & Twitter Chats

How to write the perfect tweet

How to Use Twitter for Business

Slideshare Introducing #ProdMgmtTalk Twitter Chat

Slideshare Power of Twitter Chats

List of Daily Twitter Chats

Excellent Infographics re: twitter data

Twitter is a powerful broadcast medium where you can curate who to follow and contribute value through intentional tweeting to extend & enhance your network and reach

Suggested Tweet format: “Please RT: [Title of article] by @(someone’s twitter handle) [your comment] [bit.ly URL] [#hashtag relevance] [#hashtag audience]”

Great tools:
Tweetchat.com – easily follow twitter chats & participate w/ 1 hashtag

Storify.com – capture twitter transcripts to cover live events
Example: http://storify.com/prodmgmttalk#stories

bufferapp.com – schedule social media postings across all platforms

Twylah – automatically make a magazine out of tweets
Example: tweets.prodmgmttalk.com

Paper.li – make a twitter newspaper automatically
Example: http://paper.li/StartupProduct/1358633821

www.Rebelmouse.com – displays like a pinterest of tweets
Example: https://www.rebelmouse.com/prodmgmttalk/

http://twitterfeed.com/ - automate tweeting with RSS feeds

Scoop.it – easily create content & tweet by curating existing content
Example: http://www.scoop.it/t/startup-stories-by-startup-product

Feb 22

SGBA14 Notes: Transitioning to a Leadership Role

Convener and Notetaker: Janet D.


  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  • Leadership and the One Minute Manager Updated Ed: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership II by Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi and Drea Zigarmi
  • Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzle
  • Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins (2001)


  • Pick three achievable goals for the first quarter. Think small.
  • Invest in others (even just buying coffee) and they will reciprocate.
  • Influence through the “back door” of mutually trusted third parties.
  • Have coffee, tea, walking meeting => find commonalities, develop trust.
  • Keep conversations about things not people.
  • Use the “parking lot” to defer discussion on emotional hot-buttons.
  • Delegate but do not micromanage. Keep people accountable. What do you delegate? Consider person + task.
  • Regular 1:1s: progress, plans, problems. Sets expectations. Save for review time.
  • Okay to fail; you learn from it.


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