IT in The D, Episode II: Ladies, Leather and Learning – UPDATED

So last week’s debut of “IT in The D” was kind of like Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

I mean, you already basically knew where things were going, there was only one woman in the entire galaxy room, and we even had our very own Jar Jar Binks Russ in studio with us for some comic relief.  Our drive to the studio from the bar felt like a pod race at times with some of the lunatics in beatup cars making weird noises on downtown side streets.  A weird, distorted holo-transmission phone call from afar.  The battle between Bob and the stairs was every bit as intense as the final scenes with Darth Maul.

It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise then when this week had some very interesting parallels with Episode 2: Attack of The Clones…


UPDATED: scroll down to the bottom for the links to listen to this episode of IT in The D

Politics, plots, intrigue and all sorts of other fun taking place since our last show.

ep21aBut, most importantly…there’s leather.

I mean, come on…are you really going to try and pretend you didn’t immediately whisper “Thank you, George Lucas” under your breath when, you know, that scene happened?

Didn’t think so.

In a similar vein, there’s absolutely no reason for us to lie or try and pretend that the ladies behind Girl Develop It – Detroit didn’t blow our doors off last night.

And yes, we kind of realize that makes us “typical”…

…to which we reply “shut up, you weren’t there”.  But we’ll get back to that in a few, we’ve got a show to start.

32690b4We had Davina Beh, a recruiter from iTalent that frequents our events and has hired a few people from the group, in-studio with us to comment on the women in technology theme we had going on.  We’ve decided that we really like having a recruiter on-hand and in-studio for the entire show, as it gives people someone to ask questions of whether by calling in or via Twitter – over the course of the night.  You can find the wide variety of positions Davina is recruiter for out on iTalent’s website at

We kicked things off with a topic that’s lighting up our LinkedIn group’s discussion boards for the past few days, and that’s the whole NSA / Verizon / Prism / Tech companies fiasco that’s blowing up currently.  You should absolutely hop in at, read up, chime in and comment.  It’s a very interesting story that keeps getting more and more bizarre as each day passes, and it’s definitely something to be paid attention to.

The conversation evolved a little bit into the overall security realm, moving into locking down social media profiles while job seeking, and a few other hints and tips from Davina and her perspective as a recruiter.

Because there’s a major time/space distortion that takes place inside the studio when we’re on the air, suddenly it was 9:30 and time for our first break.

See? Leather.

So we hopped out of the studio, and went to meet our guests for the next segment…

…and well played, ladies.  Well played.

With our break rapidly coming to a close, we hopped back in the studio with our new guests, everyone got situated, and we were ready to go.

As with last week’s guest, the first question for Erika and Michelle was the same “What made you decide to take on the insanity of running a group like this?”

From a posting on a Facebook page to a meeting over lunch, we got the story of how Girl Develop It – Detroit came into being.

Erika and Michelle, while also being lovely ladies on the superficial level are also damned smart and completely committed to making things better for women in technology here in the metro Detroit area, and that’s a cause we wholeheartedly support.  Not to mention the fact that they both have multiple layers of “geek”, which is just flat out cool.

X1And, of course we had Karen running the board for us after her Corner with K-Hubb show had wrapped prior to ours getting started…

…so yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that means that Bob, Jeff and I were outnumbered in the studio by the women.

If you were listening, you didn’t hear any complaints.

But you did hear an awesome chain of conversations from that point forward.

There’s a wide variety of attendees that show up at Girl Develop It – Detroit events, including yes, even some guys.  Their classes range from basic, beginner, intro-level classes through a wide variety of programming languages and even casual meetups at the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company.  You need a laptop to walk in, and after that, they’ll take care of you from there.  They have all of the software you need, they’ll help you get everything installed, up and running, and you’re good to go from there.  Their classes are typically about eight hours in length over the course of two days, or four hour sessions in a single day, and while they’re not really issuing accredited class completion certificates or anything along those lines, here’s where the overall theme we keep hammering on – networking – comes into play.  That’s where you find someone who believes in what the Girl Develop It – Detroit crew is doing, knows the value of the classes they’re putting on, and is willing to help make sure that others understand that value as well.

Oh, and “Glitter.  Leather.  Butterfly stickers.”

Michelle’s looking to hire someone in at WDET, by the way – a Systems Administrator II position, which you can find here:

The conversation continued about the “after” of the classes – what they’re working on to try and help build an entire ecosystem of a development community.  The people moving through the classes are then presented with the challenge of “now what?”, and how they can then continue to move and grow their skills and use the networking opportunities available through the group and existing relationships.

That brought us right to bumping up into our next break…and with as well as things were going, there was just simply no way we were going to be kicking Erika and Michelle out of the studio, and so we invited them to hang out for a while longer…and they graciously accepted.

We came back and dove a bit into something that the class participants are concerned about – how do I put this class on my resume?  How do I list the classes as experience?

Through a chain of conversations that led us through our speaking engagements with Shifting Gears to Bad Resume Guy and Bad Resume Guy 2, Davina’s experience as a recruiter in dealing with candidates and their resumes that require some tweaking, we had a really great chat about what companies are actually looking for when they’re looking to hire, what candidates should and shouldn’t do, how Erika killed off a bottle of wine reading through our Don’t Be That Guy posts one random evening, the horrors of both overly padded and horribly malnourished resumes, and just a really great discussion about getting people from that “getting started” position into working towards a career.

And Michelle took that opportunity to mention that System Admin II gig, which you can find over at

The conversation then wandered into the job market here in Detroit and the relationship / symbiosis with Windsor over across the border, and how many of the folks from Windsor make their way over here for jobs due to the increased demand on this side of the river, and in our last segment we dove into outsourcing, companies bringing talent back in-house, and the wide variety of female oriented groups that are following the lead of Girl Develop It – Detroit and opening up new chapters, new resources for young girls and those of all ages to get more engaged and involved in the information technology community and industry as a whole.

Long story short?  You don’t have to be a girl to get involved with Girl Develop It – Detroit, and you absolutely need to pay attention to what these smart, dedicated ladies are doing here in the area and for the community.


…and with “Eastbound and Down” playing…we were done for the night.  Thanks to everyone who tuned in, the callers / tweeters / texters / emailers with questions and thoughts…seriously, thank you for listening.  It’s kind of awesome interacting with people like this.  And of course a serious, major, ridiculously over the top thank you to our in-studio guests Erika, Michelle and Davina!

To wrap things up, here are a few links from the course of our conversations:

Davina Beh works for iTalent, which can be found at, and you can reach her directly at

Girl Develop It – Detroit can be found at

The Girl Develop It – Detroit Meetup group is at

Their next meetup is on Saturday, June 22nd at 10am:

The Michipreneur article that Erika’s in is at

That Sys Admin II position Michelle is hiring for is at

The hilarious woman running our boards is Karen (who will probably demand you call her K-Hubb) can be found at her show’s Facebook page at

The IT in The D Facebook page is at

The Facebook page is at

The LinkedIn group is at

The Meetup group is at

Our next casual networking event is Thursday, June 20th at Atwater Brewery:

Don’t Be That Guy, Bad Resume Guy is out at

Don’t Be That Guy, Bad Resume Guy 2 is over at

That’s all for this week’s episode.  Yes, we have our hands on the recordings from last week AND last night now.  They’re being worked on and will be out as soon as we’re done cleaning them up a bit.

Hope you can join us next week!  Same bat time (Monday night, 9pm to 11pm), same bat channel ( )!

Listen to this episode at the following links:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4: