Girl Scouts Giving Girls the Confidence to Thrive as Technologists

Creating IT Futures, the philanthropic arm of CompTIA (and headed by our author, Charles Eaton!), recently partnered with Techshopz in a box in a workshop that exposed 17 Englewood Girl Scouts to the inner workings of a computer.

Led by teacher & technologist Diana Gonzalez, in conjunction with IT Pro Deanna Cole and IT security expert Leigh Weber, the workshop taught the girls, all between fourth and eight grade, the language for components, the knowledge of how they work, and the confidence to put them all together.

Read more about this collaboration on Creating IT Futures’ blog, Inspiring Success.

John Bowditch: Gamer-Turned-Educator Schools the Next Generation of Technologists

By Melissa Hart, Special Correspondent 

Seeing computer-generated dinosaurs in the groundbreaking movie “Jurassic Park” inspired young John Bowditch to pursue a degree in filmmaking. But then, in grad school, he delved deep into computer animation and interactive technology, realizing video game design and production was his true calling as a technologist.

Game design is the “perfect intersection of everything” that interests him, Bowditch said, whose passion for solving visual challenges plays out on screen, as his work gives viewers the ability to control and direct a virtual world presented to them. In a literal sense, game design is a constructive context that values human creativity most of all. “Few industries have as much innovation going on as game development does,” he said.

Today, Bowditch teaches video game development at Ohio University as director of the School of Media Arts & Studies’ Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab. His students learn the full spectrum of project management and execution, from creative concepts to technical production. Projects are hands-on and include experience outside the classroom, with as many as 20 classmates collaborating at any given time.

Projects at the GRID Lab align with key traits technologists share: Teaching strategy, collaboration and a constructive approach to technology. A recent project created a virtual reality (VR) experience to help people become more comfortable giving blood. In a separate partnership with a hospital, students developed 360 views of the trauma center to use VR to help train residents.

Bowditch shared some insights he’s gained by teaching, ideas in synch with Creating IT Futures’ Next Up mission inspire the next generation of technologists:

“What I’ve found is that every young person is at least somewhat interested in technology, but they get discouraged early on and think it’s not for them. If you’re frustrated it means you are learning something,” he said.

The key is not to become hung up on any one type of program or application. “I try to remind students how quickly this stuff is evolving,” he said, pointing to the iPhone’s 10th anniversary this summer. “If you look at the numberof disruptions that one device, and smart phones in general, caused in the past decade, it’s astounding. When you look at 10 years from now, it gets people excited, thinking of ways to innovate.”

Have you met an impressive technologist while on-site at an industry event?
We’re
 collecting stories about technologists, and sharing them with people considering technology careers. Send your story to Contributing Editor R.C. Dirkes at rcdirkes@rclement.com and inspire someone.

TinSTEM Events Calendar: December 2017 Chicago

Checkout these Chicago events and activities to learn about the different paths, skills, and education that might prepare your child for a career as a technologist. A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education outlines many other ways to talk about tech careers with your kids.

12/2/2017; 12/24/2017

Field Museum Free Days https://www.fieldmuseum.org/at-the-field/programs/free-admission-days

Illinois residents. Free.

Any Illinois resident with a valid ID get free entry to the museum during free admission days. In addition, the special exhibits are discounted as well.

Sponsor: Field Museum

12/4/2017, 12/9/2017 9:30-4:30

Adler Planetarium Free Days

http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/adler-planetarium-special-offers/

Illinois residents.

Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there’s no way around it, space is freaking awesome!

Sponsor: Adler Planetarium

12/6/2017 6:00-7:30

Y-SciCom 3: Engaging Youth in Science Communications

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/y-scicom-3-engaging-youth-in-science-communications-tickets-38597197256?aff=es2

Educators, mentors. Free.

Professor George Villanueva is a pioneer in charting multi-lingual and multi-cultural health communications strategies that harness community resources. Learn how to find new opportunities to expand your communications strategy. This staff training will support education and PR teams to plan science communications efforts that incorporate youth and media mentors.

Sponsor: Y-SciCom

12/7/2017 5:00-7:30

Chicago Tech Academy High School Prospective Student Open House

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-tech-academy-high-school-prospective-student-open-house-tickets-37914590561?aff=es2

7-8th grade students / parents. Free.

Chicago Tech Academy’s mission is to educate, empower and connect diverse entrepreneurial thinkers to discover their passions, succeed in college and career, and thrive in a digital world. We are a technology and entrepreneurship high school whose curriculum incorporates project based learning, entrepreneurial principles, STEM coursework and real world experiences with Chicago companies.

12/7/2017 6:00-8:00

Women of Color in STEM Careers

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-girls-code-chicago-chapter-presents-women-of-color-in-stem-career-panel-tickets-39491636548?aff=es2

Girls 7-17 yo & parents. Free.

A spirited and lively evening of conversation and connection, hearing from a panel of women of color working in STEM fields. Educational experience for girls and their parents/guardians.

Sponsor: Women of Color in STEM

12/7/2017 1:00-4:00

Technology for Community Organizations

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/technology-for-community-organizations-tickets-38735006447?aff=es2

Community organizations, especially youth-focused groups. Free.

Detroit Community Technology Project will share ways in which technology and decentralized organizing can help build capacity within organizations. DCTP will share tech infrastructure best practices for small nonprofits, including tips for saving money on tech and appropriate tech for nonprofits. Workshop designed with Chicago Youth Voices Network (CYVN) as priroty audience.

Sponsor: Hive Chicago

12/9/2017 12:00-3:00

Engineering at Cantigny Park (Wheaton)

http://prod.cantigny.org/programs-and-classes?mmf=556f404e-b413-4593-b4b2-3c541441260e&df=12%2F09%2F2017

Families. Free with paid parking.

Colonel McCormick admired the feats of engineering that helped make Chicago great. Visit stations that celebrate those feats and create one yourself using our Lego bricks!

Sponsor: Cantigny Park

12/11/2017 5:00-7:00

The Future of FinTech Is Female

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-future-of-fintech-is-female-tickets-38416083540?aff=es2

Women & Allies. $15-25.

Hear from leading women in Chicago’s FinTech Ecosystem where they will share their stories and examples of how they have taken steps to either position themselves or their colleagues as subject matter experts, and how certain actions have led to leadership positions.

Sponsor: FTW: FinTech Women

12/15-12/16/2017 5:30pm-8:30am

Science Snoozeum at the Museum of Science and Industry

https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/events/science-snoozeum/?utm_source=Snoozeum+Future+Dates+News&utm_campaign=1a386eb948-mc_snooz_2017-04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d120af489e-1a386eb948-89120965

Groups/families kids 6-12 years old. $65 per person.

Spend the night at the Museum of Science and Industry and do just that. Explore the Museum’s one-of-a-kind exhibits at your own pace. Participate in special activities, make your own science toys, and complete a scavenger hunt. When it’s all done, sleep nose-to-nose with a 727, next to a giant heart or steps away from a toy-making factory.

Sponsor: Museum of Science & Industry

12/15/2017 5:30-7:30

Doane at Dusk

http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/doane-at-dusk/

All. Free.

Enjoy nighttime telescope viewings and related discussions with Adler Astronomers after museum hours. Outside viewing weather permitting.

Sponsor: Adler Planetarium

12/16/2017 10:00-2:00

Reality Tech – A Coding + Mobile + Augmented Reality Boot Camp

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reality-tech-a-coding-mobile-augmented-reality-boot-camp-tickets-37572087124?aff=es2

K-12. $65.

Students can bring images and media to life as they learn the basics of Augmented Reality using ARh.js and COLLABA. (like Pokemon Go) By the end of this boot camp, your kids will be able to take a camera on a mobile device and create an augmented reality scene.

Sponsor: Blue Studios

12/16/2017

Teen Learning Labs Orientation https://www.sheddaquarium.org/Learning-Experiences/Teen-Programs/Teen-Learning-Lab/Teen-Learning-Lab-Current-Projects/

Teenagers. Free.

Dive into the Teen Learning Lab starting with a new teen orientations. Get introduced to mentors, projects and resources available to teens at Shedd Aquarium. New teen orientations will focus on providing you with an overview of the Teen Learning Lab and launching points for your next visit to Shedd Aquarium.

Sponsor:  Shedd Aquarium

12/17/2017 12:00-2:00

LEGO® Build Workshop: The Railway Exchange Building

https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/programs-events/detail/lego-build-workshop-the-railway-exchange-building/

6+ years old. <13 needs adult. Free for CPS student + adult. $12 public.

Architectural design is influenced by technology, materials and the city itself. Explore the Railway Exchange Building to learn why it looks the way it does, then recreate it using LEGO®.

Great Books for STEM Girls

Several new great books for STEM girls that were written by women in STEM.

  • Ada Lace on the Case, by Emily Calendrelli (host and producer of Xploration Outer Space, MIT grad). Elementary readers.
  • Girls Who Code. Grades 3-7.
  • Click’d, by Tamara Ireland Stone, a best-selling author with deep roots in technology.
  • S’More Magazine. Started by Dr. Sarita Menon. Girls 7-12 years old.

 

Minecraft for Makers: Minecraft in the Real World with LEGO, 3D Printing, Arduino, and More! By John Baichtal.

 

Can’t make any of these events? Check out this list of books with tech projects, developed by the Chicago Public Library for the March 2017 Teen Tech Week.

 

Read the book How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education  to find other ways to talk to your child about the possibilities of a career as a technologist.

 

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TinSTEM Events Calendar: December 2017 Pittsburgh

Check out these Pittsburg events and activities to learn about the different paths, skills, and education that might prepare your child for a career as a technologist. A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education outlines many other ways to talk about tech careers with your kids.

Every Thursday: 11/2, 9, 16. 1:30-3:30

Design It 2017: Makers Fair

Kids 8-12 yrs old. Free.

Every Thursday we have a new challenge!

Sponsor: CC Mellor Memorial Library

12/8/2017

Chain Reaction Contraption Contest

http://www.chainreactioncontest.org/

High school students

Annual competition that fosters an interest in engineering by challenging students to create a machine that will accomplish a specific task using a series of steps.

Sponsor: Carnegie Science Center, Engineers Society of Western PA

12/8/2017 8:30-3:30

STEAM Teacher/Coordinator Role-Alike Meeting

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/steam-teachercoordinator-role-alike-meeting-tickets-37459627755

Teachers. Free.

This role-alike group is designed for regional STEM/STEAM teachers and coordinators to network, share content, and build skills.

Sponsor: transformED @ Allegheny Intermediate Unit

Great Books for STEM Girls

There’s been a steady rise in STEM toys for girls in recent years with products like GoldiebloxLego FriendsRoominate, and the Yellowscope Science Kit making a splash in the marketplace. With the exception of Lego Friends, those products were developed visionary female entrepreneurs who also had backgrounds in STEM. So it’s no surprise that there are several new great books for STEM girls that were written by women in STEM.

  • Ada Lace on the Case, by Emily Calendrelli (host and producer of Xploration Outer Space, MIT grad). Elementary readers.
  • Girls Who Code. Grades 3-7.
  • Click’d, by Tamara Ireland Stone, a best-selling author with deep roots in technology.
  • S’More Magazine. Started by Dr. Sarita Menon. Girls 7-12 years old.

Minecraft for Makers: Minecraft in the Real World with LEGO, 3D Printing, Arduino, and More! By John Baichtal.

Look ahead to the winter with Carnegie STEM Girls “Tour Your Future” events. http://carnegiestemgirls.org/stemprograms/future-tours/

Designed for girls 11-17, this career exploration program gives middle and high school girls opportunities to meet female professionals working in various organizations. The program shows girls that they can find a place in STEM careers by introducing them to professionals like avian zoologists, accountants, software engineers, and surgeons. Tours take place at various sites around the Pittsburgh area. Register now for winter tours, because they fill quickly. Sponsored by Carnegie STEM Girls.

Can’t make any of these events? Check out the Carnegie Science Center and Carnegie Public Library websites to see the many STEM programs they each offer.

 

Read the book How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education to find other ways to talk to your child about the possibilities of a career as a technologist.

TinSTEM Events Calendar: December 2017 San Diego

Checkout these San Diego programs to learn about the different paths, skills, and education that might prepare your child for a career as a technologist. A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education outlines many other ways to talk about tech careers with your kids.

12/5/2017 6:00-8:00

Women in Biology Holiday Party

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wib-socal-holiday-party-2017-tickets-39272738819?aff=es2

Women. $10-$20.

Join WIB-Southern California Chapter for appetizers, dessert, drinks, laughs, and some tunes. A celebration of a year of great connections and speaking engagements with the women that make Southern California the second largest biotech hub in the country!

12/9/2017 10:00-11:00

Tour Scripps Oceanography Institute

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/december-public-tour-of-scripps-institution-of-oceanography-129-tickets-39129646827?aff=es2

All. Free, registration required.

Scripps is one of the oldest and most prestigious marine and earth sciences research institutions in the world. Come learn more about this jewel of the University of California system.

12/11/2017

Life Sciences 2022

https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego-life-sciences-2022/

Professionals & curious. $30 student, to $150.

Top speakers discuss: what will San Diego’s life sciences landscape look like in 2022? Which fields will be most vibrant? What are the new startups to watch? What’s in the development pipeline now that we might see in five years? Are there steps San Diego can take to improve its life sciences ecosystem?

Sponsor: Xconomy

12/16/2017 2:00-4:30

Knot Theory Workshop [All Girls STEM]

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-girls-stem-society-knot-theory-workshop-december-16-2017-tickets-39582346865?aff=es2

Girls 3rd-5th grades. Free.

Want to explore math outside of the usual addition, subtraction, and multiplication? Learn about tying knots, mathematical proofs, DNA, and why the universe might just be shaped like a donut—with plenty of snacks, prizes, and lots of hands-on activities.

Sponsor: [All Girls STEM Society]

Apply now for Spring Academies

San Diego Science Alliance BE WISE

www.sdsa.org

Girls, 7th-8th grades.

BE WISE (Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering) gives girls in grades 7 and 8 a chance to engage in STEM learning experiences to inspire girls to pursue STEM-related careers. They also offer several multi-day academies over the summer and host dozens of alumni events throughout the year.

Sponsor: Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering (BE WISE)

 

 

Read the book How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education  to find other ways to talk to your child about the possibilities of a career as a technologist.

 

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TinSTEM Events Calendar: December 2017 Tampa

Checkout these Tampa programs to learn about the different paths, skills, and education that might prepare your child for a career as a technologist. A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education outlines many other ways to talk about tech careers with your kids.

12/1-12/8/2017 10:00-5:00

Geek Week at Glazer Museum

glazermuseum.org

Families. Free w/admission.

We’re coding robotics and letting our inner geeks shine through! Practice your computational thinking skills at GCM.

12/7/2017 5:00-7:00

STEM Fair, Palm Harbor

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-event-stem-fair-tickets-39656459538?aff=es2

Students will be working on their STEM challenge workbooks benefiting the Children’s Defense Fund.

Sponsor: The Learning Experience

12/9/2017 10:00-12:00

Celebrating Wild Turtles (Weedon Island Preserve)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-big-turtle-year-celebrating-wild-turtles-across-the-united-states-tickets-36780110300?aff=es2

All ages. Free.

Join George L. Heinrich for an engaging presentation on this yearlong adventure and conservation education project to understand the 59 U.S. turtle species.

12/17/2017 2:00-5:00

GirlTech Inc. Workshop

Girl Scout Juniors. $18 per scout, $4 adult.

Register by 12/7/2017

https://www.mosi.org/programs/girl-scouts-juniors/

Agent of Change/Entertainment Technology Roll out the red carpet for a movie premiere featuring a stop-action animation you create! Gets hands-on experience with aspects of entertainment technology as you build clever contraptions, create special effects using MOSI’s green screen.

Sponsor: Museum of Science & Industry

12/1-12/31/2017 10:00-5:00 (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas)

Manatee Viewing Center, Tampa Electric

http://www.tampaelectric.com/company/mvc/

All ages. Free.

Inside the MVC’s environmental education building, colorful displays immerse you in the world of the manatee and its habitat. Others show how Big Bend Power Station generates electricity for the community in an environmentally responsible way. See some of the power station’s beneficially reusable byproducts. Inspect actual manatee bones and piece together puzzles. And before feeling the blast of a hurricane in the center’s simulator, find out more about hurricanes and how Tampa Electric prepares for and responds to major storms.

Sponsor: Tampa Electric

 Museum of Science & Industry – Winter Break Camps

12/26-12/29/2017, 1/2-1/5/2018 9:00-4:00

https://www.mosi.org/camps/

48th graders, K-3.

Topics include Celebrity Scientists, Crazy Chemistry, Robot Mayhem, Space Explorers.

Sponsor: Museum of Science & Industry

 

Read the book How to Launch Your Teen’s Caree https://www.mosi.org/camps/r in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education  to find other ways to talk to your child about the possibilities of a career as a technologist.

 

Global Virtual Reality Day Saturday November 18th

Saturday, November 18th, 2017 marks the first global Virtual Reality Day. More than 20 organizations, including colleges and startups are organizing events that will educate the public through firsthand experiences with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies products and platforms.

Content vertical for all things virtual reality, VR Voice organized the day, which is sponsored by Creating IT Futures as a part of its focus on gateway technologies for the next generation of technologists.

VR Voice founder Robert Fine, through Cool Blue Media, published  “How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education,” by Creating IT Futures’ CEO Charles Eaton. Many of the events will take place on college campuses, and hope to draw the young future technologists and parents that we hope to reach with the T in STEM book.

Global Virtual Reality day was covered by Melissa Hart for Creating IT Futures’ blog Inspiring Success. Read more about the upcoming day here, and find an even near you at http://virtualrealityday.org. 

 

On-Site Insights: From Gamer to Surgeon to Technologist… the Tale of Justin Barad

In previous posts, we defined the term “technologist,” a label that applies to people working in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country along a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that write software and make hardware. We explained that, while technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, most share five traits:

  1. A technologist thinks strategy first.
  2. A technologist has a passion for solving problems and a general sense of curiosity.
  3. A technologist sees technology in a constructive context.
  4. A technologist believes tech is about humans, not hardware.
  5. A technologist values respect, cooperation and collaboration.

A fan of gaming as a teen, Justin Barad set out to become a video game developer but switched gears in college to pursue bioengineering. From there, he figured he’d go into the medical device industry, until advice from a mentor set him upon another path.

“He told me if I want to invent something, I need to know what problem I’m solving, and the best way to do that is to be on the front lines as a provider, experiencing the problems that people are facing every day,” said Barad.

So, his passion for solving and knack for tech gadgetry led him to become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, graduating first in his class at UCLA medical school, then a residency in orthopedics at UCLA and on to a fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital. Along the way, he was struck by how much he had to learn in relatively short periods of time — and how the training model often falls short of meeting this challenge.

One example of this problem is the training transition between working on cadavers to actual patients. Per Barad, to reach proficiency new surgeons must perform 50-100 procedures and “those are people you are practicing on until you can get to a safe level.” Not the best process for students or patients.

That’s why he co-founded OSSO VR and developed a virtual reality (VR) surgical training platform that is changing the way medical students and practicing surgeons hone their skills. [PRIOR LINK IS A VIDEO: CAN WE EMBED?] In fact, a study by his Alma Mater, UCLA, found that residents who practiced surgical skills using Osso’s VR platform rose to the level of advanced residents more quickly than through conventional training.

Today, Barad serves as OSSO VR’s CEO. And while his organization works with complex cutting-edge technology, his organization’s mission remains simple and focused: “What we’re trying to do is help people. At the end of the day what we’re interested in seeing is providers and patients benefit.”

Barad’s advice for budding technologists? Understand the problem, and then apply technology as a solution. Don’t invent technology and go looking for a problem to solve. And in the process, he said, it’s important to network, assemble a strong team to support you, gain competence in the area you’d like to pursue and continue to make forward progress.

Most of all, don’t be discouraged when someone dismisses your ideas or determination to succeed: “Our brains are wired to reject things we’re not familiar with, so chances are no one has thought of it. That’s something worth pursuing.”

Have you met an impressive technologist while on-site at an industry event?


We collect stories about technologists, and then share them with people considering technology careers. Send your story to Contributing Editor R.C. Dirkes at rcdirkes@rclement.com and inspire someone.

I’m a Technologist, Too: Craig Brown, Ph.D. – Big Data Architect & Consultant

In previous posts, we defined the term “technologist,” a label that applies to people working in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country along a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that write software and make hardware. We explained that, while technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, most share five traits:

  1. A technologist thinks strategy first.
  2. A technologist has a passion for solving problems and a general sense of curiosity.
  3. A technologist sees technology in a constructive context.
  4. A technologist believes tech is about humans, not hardware.
  5. A technologist values respect, cooperation and collaboration.

Craig Brown’s journey to becoming a technologist began early, as he observed his father’s work with NASA’s Space Shuttle program. This childhood experience piqued his interest in STEM education, but he didn’t feel compelled to follow his dad’s footsteps to NASA. To help today’s kids find their own way, too, Brown recommends that families seek out organizations that support their individual tech interests, and groups that help develop talents and skills.

“That will help you find your path early on. You don’t have to do it on your own,” said Brown.

Eventually, Brown’s curiosity turned to programming, turning mainframe data into reports that could be viewed on a PC. “It was so much fun,” he said. “I got to create things and it was all brand new.” That led him to full-time service as a Naval reservist, working primarily at the Pentagon.

“The military helped me because I got hands-on with big systems and large servers that nearly mimicked a mainframe.”

Because the tech inspirations of his youth have resonated throughout his career, Brown has dedicated a good portion of his life preparing young people for STEM careers, especially during his time with Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). This nonprofit organization teaches and mentors high school students in afterschool and weekend classes, gearing them toward a team web-design competition held each spring.

A great foundation for a career as a technologist these days, Brown says, is learning about Big Data and open-source software that searches unstructured databases. He also advises: market your existing current computer skills; and, get as much experience as you can.

“There are jobs out there for people who have the skills,” he said. “You just have to go through a training program.”

What interesting places has your tech path taken you? Send your story to Contributing Editor R.C. Dirkes at rcdirkes@rclement.com and inspire someone.

I’m a Technologist, Too: Melissa Hart – Owner & Operator, Bootstrap Communications

In previous posts, we defined the term “technologist,” a label that applies to people working in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country along a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that write software and make hardware. We explained that, while technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, most share five traits:

  1. A technologist thinks strategy first.
  2. A technologist has a passion for solving problems and a general sense of curiosity.
  3. A technologist sees technology in a constructive context.
  4. A technologist believes tech is about humans, not hardware.
  5. A technologist values respect, cooperation and collaboration.

Like good technologists, good journalists dig for facts. They want to know “the why” that explains an event or situation. They want to help their audience understand and connect.

After a career in journalism, Melissa Hart honed her communication and marketing skills to start a business with a goal to “Do most good.” As an independent consultant, she helps nonprofits and small businesses achieve greater impact through social media, fundraising, print and digital production, websites, design and email marketing.

Working for a rural development nonprofit in the Adirondack region of northern New York state turned Melissa into a jack of all trades. “I was the de facto IT person for the 10-person office, setting up email accounts for interns and new staff, trouble­shooting website issues and other on-the-job situations as they came up,” she said.

Now, she’s on her own and picking up clients all over New York’s North Country. “It’s great to help clients make their ideas come to life,” she said. Hart said a willingness to jump in and do what needs to be done has given her a career with a laid-back lifestyle — her preference over the city grind.

“Living in a rural place has its advantages,” she said. “Your tech skills are in high demand.”

You can see some of Melissa Hart’s work on Creating IT Futures’ theInspiring Success blog. She contributed a series of profiles about women technologists much like herself. See these posts:

See more profiles of technologists like Melissa in How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education.