4. Who has been the most influential person in your life? Why?
When I was 30, my mother returned to college to study textile conservation, which is a very technical field albeit unrelated to computers. Upon graduating, she had multiple prestigious job offers even though she was past 50 and wondered if anyone would hire someone with so little time left for a career. She taught me to believe in my strengths and to set my goals high regardless of what others might consider a "normal" path. Although she died of cancer six years ago, what she taught me guides me daily.
5. What lessons have you learned that would be valuable to women beginning their careers in technology?
Even if you do not want to create technology or work in a technical role, there are wonderful roles in the technology field for communicators, business people, and those seeking a dynamic and exciting career. It's important to get your credentials up front and to open doors through internships and networking. Learn everything possible about the various jobs in technology companies so you can prepare for the best available job. Join some professional organizations as early as possible to meet people and to learn about their fields.
6. What new technology do you believe will have the most positive impact on the world in the next 20 years? The most negative impact?
Interestingly, the answer to these questions is probably the same one. We are learning that the technology that enables growth also keeps us from doing other things and causes a large gap between those who have it and those who do not. I believe mobile technology is the next big thrust and will focus on communication and information management. We will have access to almost any information we need from a hand held device that is relatively inexpensive and reasonably easy to use. This will include technology to integrate generic information such as maps, medical and legal data with private information such as contacts, medical records and personal history. With the integration comes knowledge management and data mining at a personal level so you can quickly find people, places and solutions to complex questions.
Leslie Butterfield answers these questions:
1. What was your first job in technology?
2. Who has been your most significant mentor? Why?
3. What has been your greatest challenge and what strategies
did you use to overcome obstacles?
4. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
5. What lessons have you learned that would be valuable to
women beginning their careers in technology?
6. What new technology do you believe will have the most positive
impact on the world in the next 20 years? The most negative impact?
On the lighter side:
1. If you could have dinner with any 2 people (living or not),
who would they be?
2. What was the last book you read? What books do you love to recommend?
3. If you couldn't do what you are doing now, what profession would you choose?
4. What is your definition of success?