The Vassar Advantage In the Tech World

Vassar In Tech Meetup, July 2018

The Vassar Advantage In the Tech World

Vassar In Tech Meetup, July 2018

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Who Am I?

  • Dennis Slade Jr.
     
  • Software Development Manager at Scholastic
     
  • 25+ years experience in web & desktop applications, software support, and training
     
  • First freshman ever to pass out of 100-level CS at Vassar
     
  • 30+ years providing tech support to Mom

Vassar exposed me to the dangers of malicious spam, social media, anonymity, trolling…

And that was all by 1991

  • Hypertext pages before the web

  • NeXT machines before they became OS X

  • Email when it was rare and special

Vassar also exposed me to...

In general, what did
Vassar teach us?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask why

  • Go to the original source

  • It’s ok to be “out there”

  • It’s ok to take the road less travelled

  • Gender schmender!

How do those apply to a career in tech?

 

Why

Ask the difficult questions to get the better answers

Why

Why don't colleagues ask why?

  • Fear

  • Other places emphasize what and how instead of why

Asking Why in Software Development

  • More than a worker drone

  • Uncovering the real intent behind requests and requirements

  • Satisfying customers’ actual needs

  • “Why are we building this app?"

Higher quality solutions happen when teams ask the right questions of themselves and others

Vassar uniquely prepares you to ask these why questions and to find the answers

And the rest...

On being “out there”

  • Real outside-the-box thinking

  • Taking roads
    less travelled

  • Keeping it
    weird

Gender Schmender!

  • If it doesn’t matter which genders use which bathrooms, why should it matter anywhere else?

  • Smart women taking charge can and should be the norm in tech and science

Gender Schmender!

  • If it doesn’t matter which genders use which bathrooms, why should it matter anywhere else?

  • Smart women taking charge can and should be the norm in tech and science

Thanks for listening!

The Vassar Advantage in the Tech World

By Dennis Slade Jr.

The Vassar Advantage in the Tech World

What advantages do we have as Vassar alums In the tech world? How do Vassar mantras like "go to the original source" and "keep Vassar weird" apply to us in our tech careers?

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