Power of Encouragement

When did you last accomplish something that inspired so much pride that you wanted to tell everyone?  Hopefully, you don’t have to think back that far. Normally, I would. Today, I don’t, and I’d love to share.

Bucket-list goals, Beware. I’m coming for you!

About two weeks ago, I applied to present a session at a conference. Not just any gathering. A conference that I’ve dreamed of attending.

Being a woman in tech can be a lonely experience. The vast majority of the time you end up being the only woman in the room. You eventually grow to accept it. The thought of being surrounded by 20,000 women technologists is bucket-list for me.

Add-on presenting a session at Grace Hopper Celebration, that’s significantly bucket-list worthy! The presentation part is the kinda thing that I had on my list in 5-10+ years. Sure, the prospect fills me with terror and doubt, but I’m going to march along anyhow.

So, why did I decide to submit my first session to my conference 13 days before the March 6th deadline?

This tweet.  Plus, amazing women believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, uttering words “you can do this!” Add in some handy documents demystifying the whole GHC submission process.  This all sounds like a recipe for getting it done!

But, really the encouragement part, that is some seriously powerful SHIT! Thank you Mercedes Adams, MJ Schmitt, Sam Moulton, and @NetApp_WIT. Place me in the “couldn’t have or wouldn’t have” camp without that support and encouragement.

My husband supported me, too, in the 36-hour mad dash to the submission deadline. He did double-duty with the kids so that I could have some extra time and space. Three hours before the deadline submission, he brought me a much-needed cup of coffee, too.

That submission of mine went in with ONE minute to spare. Thank you, coffee gods, for that extra boost!

In the zombie-like days following my GHC submission, I felt so freaking proud of both my submission and what I was able to accomplish in such a short time. Sections of my writing give me the serious feels. I tear up when I read the words.  This submission all feels like part of my own “Hero’s Journeythat I hope to blog about in more detail in the future.

Show and Tell Time

I couldn’t wrap up this blog post without sharing a tiny screenshot of my submission.

Screenshot of GHC Submission


So, What’s Next?!

The verdict of whether my session is accepted is due out until May 15. The odds are that my submission won’t be accepted. Most submissions aren’t. Totally okay with that.

This submission isn’t the end of my journey. I’m still really hopeful that I’ll have the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration in October.  I’m also planning to present my session somewhere in the community.

Now, that I’ve shared this with you, what are some of the things that you’ve accomplished recently for which you are proud?  Don’t be shy. Brag. You’ve earned it.

Maybe, you can’t recall anything recent.  No worries, if that’s the case. You still have lots of time to set your sights on some of the bucket-list items in 2019!

Becky Elliott

After dropping out of a liberal arts college that focused on reading and discussing the “Great Books”, Becky Elliott found her way to a career in IT. For 20+ years, she has held a number of roles in Dev and Ops, and the area in between the two. In working for organizations in which poor security practices can cost lives, she’s an ardent believer in integrating security through the entire design process. Becky holds a number of industry certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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