decor image

Jahr: 2014

Episode 77, Alan Eustace (GHC14)

In this episode, Alan Eustace (Senior Vice President, Knowledge at Google) answer what junior level allies can do in response to mid-management push back and the two different paths his daughters took to their love of Computer Science.
Thanks to Cody W…

Read more

Episode 76, Ruthe Farmer (GHC14)

In this episode Social Impact Award winner, Ruthe Farmer, talks about her work and what the Aspirations in Computing Award is.
Get all the info about the award and how to apply!
Get Involved: Volunteer!
Thanks to Cody Whitesell and Ruby Shuz.

Read more

GHC2014 Day 1 Wrap-up

Outside of the Phoenix Convention Center around 6PM PDT.I spent the majority of Wednesday panicking and making calls because the airline misplaced my luggage. Luckily, they called me right after the keynote talk (Shafi Goldwasser blew me away with her …

Read more

GHC14: Winning the Game of Office Politics- Jo Miller


Track: Leadership Workshop
For: Early-Mid Career Industry
Location: North 120 B-C
Facilitator: Jo Miller
Winning at the Game of Office Politics In every workplace there 
are smart, talented women going about their work, hoping to 
attract recognition. While they wait, their colleagues are getting 
ahead by politicking and schmoozing. Is it possible to navigate 
office politics without becoming a political animal? Topics in 
include: Developing positive political savvy, How to understand 
the dynamics of power in your organization, the shadow 
organization map and Identifying the unwritten, unspoken ‘rules 
of the game’.

Credit: Jo Miller, Womens Leadership Coaching

Credit: Jo Miller, Womens Leadership Coaching

As a recent grad, I take all the advice I can get to grow both as an individual and as a professional. I follow influential men and women on social media and incorporate their advice into my day to day life. Someone told me once the reason they are a master is because they have failed more times than the number of times that I’ve tried. (This may have come from a fortune cookie, I don’t remember). Either way, there is some truth to that. When someone offers advice, it’s important to take note of it.  


Jo Miller is someone who I’ve been following for some time and I jumped at the chance to sit in and blog when it was announced that she would be speaking at Grace Hopper. 


The talk was entitled Winning the Game of Office Politics. Let’s be honest- it is something that is encountered in any sort of organization. There is no immunity to office politics as it can easily creep into a persons’ daily life. It’s like when I go into the kitchen to eat one pringle. Then another, then another. Knowing that, I went to the session hoping to learn how to navigate through it.  


Jo started her session off by saying “Don’t wait for permission or an invite to lead…”, and introduced some statistics notably 80% of professional women ignore it, or reluctantly play the game where necessary. Unfortunately “avoiding (office) politics..can be deadly for your career.” I wasn’t surprised but I didn’t necessarily want to begin my career by ignoring them entirely or changing the type of person I am to deal with it. Jo addressed it and brought up a better idea. It was being Positive Political Savvy. 

4 key elements she noted where 

  • Social Astuteness
  • Sincerity 
  • Interpersonal influence 
  • Networking Ability 

My mind went into shambles. I had what Jo called later an ‘epiphanet’. It didn’t change the fact that I am terrified of dealing with office politics. It’s time to change our mindset about office politics and the best way to do it was change the wording. Ladies and gentlemen, office politics has now become Organizational Awareness. We did a short exercise in which we drew and made connections that were not only meaningful but important. I loved this exercise. It made us seriously consider the connections we see on the day to day basis and forced us to ask ourselves why these connections exist. Jo reiterated not to be so quick to label things. Things like ‘the boys club’. She noted, there must be some underlying reason why they are close. Learn what it is and educate yourself on that subject. I began to worry that perhaps this was easier said than done. I began to worry, I’d need to learn how to play fantasy football and be in the jazz band. The talk also highlighted sponsorships. Jo explained the importance of having a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who not only has the social capital to help you move through but someone who would be on your side and would argue your case behind closed doors.

The session ended with Jo summarizing some key elements. All of which are important to Winning the Game of Office Politics.

If you are in an entry level position: 

  • Find the navigator and befriend them. 
  • Navigate well at all levels
  • Build an influential coalition and this means closing gaps
  • Don’t be a lone influencer 

If you are at a Mid-Senior Level 

  • Be the game changer

Jo is an amazing speaker and her talk is applicable to everyone who deals with any sort of organization. In a short amount of time, I was able to understand that no I can’t just hide in the dark and pretend that office politics won’t affect me, nor should I change who I am to play ‘the game’. What I can do is become a politically savvy person, recognize and understand the relationships in my organization, build a network, attain a sponsor and begin building meaningful relationships with those around me. That’s how you play what people refer to as ‘the game’. 

Missed the session and want to see more? Check it out here

Read more

GHC ’14 – OpenHatch Open Source Workshop & Getting Into GitHub

The first day of the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration started off with a session welcoming newcomers to GHC ’14. Last year, ~4,000 people attended the event, and the number doubled for 2014, which means a lot of newcomers to welcome. Next, the auditorium …

Read more

The basics of contributing to open source with GitHub / GHC14

My first session after the plenary opener was about how to use GitHub, presented by John Britton.  I was interested in getting some better insight into effective use of Git, a distributed version control system, so I could eventually move some of …

Read more

GHC14: Leadership Strategies for High Impact Women

Presented by JJ DiGeronimoJJ started her career over 20 years go – not for the love of code, but because she was tired of working dead end minimum wage jobs.  Found a great place in her school and got great grades that landed her in a consulting j…

Read more

Livestreaming at GHC 2014 Begins

Cant’t make it to GHC in person? Catch the Livestream. Join each day’s opening session and other panels and presentations via the livestream – in real time or a replay. Check out the schedule here.

Read more

Journey to GHC 2014

And so the adventure begins! I’ve spent many years listening to friends, peers and mentors talk about, and encourage  going to the Grace Hopper Celebration.  I have heard nothing but great things about going, about leaving inspired and connecting with people world wide.  So leading up to application deadlines this year, I made a decision.  It […]

Read more

The 2nd Grace Hopper Student opportunity lab was a fantastic…

The 2nd Grace Hopper Student opportunity lab was a fantastic opportunity for students and new grads to learn more about the tech industry. There were four main tracks:  Career, Skills, Grad Schools & Extracurricular, all of which gave students a great opportunity to learn holistically about the world of tech. 

Some interesting insights from the panels I managed to attend: 

On career fairs, applying for and picking internships:

  • Don’t only speak to companies you’re interested in. Talk to some that you have no interest in to warm yourself up, but also to step out of your comfort zone or what you think you might want to do. This way, you get to perfect your pitch, but you might also discover that you do want to consider the opportunity after all.
  • Consider applying to different types of positions. Industry based internships are great, but consider avenues like research labs, research with professors at your school, non-profit & open source opportunities, government based opportunities and others. There’s more to computer science than the valley!
  • Look into companies where you’re interested in the product or sphere, not just the fact that you’ll be writing code. Eg. Health, eCommerce etc.

On starting a community org around code: 

  • Tap into the existing communities. If you’re starting a student group, reach out to other related developer groups. 
  • Reach out to your fellow leaders in your city or if a larger org, around the country

On getting involved with open source: 

  • Make a list of the domain of projects you want to work on, decide on the time you want to commit and what technical stack you want to work with or improve on 
  • Don’t be afraid of looking stupid, the open source community is there to help you. Get familiar with IRC, mailing lists and developer forums. If you’ve tried your best to solve a problem, the community will help!
  • Don’t be afraid to start as early as possible. Students can participate in structured programs like Google Summer of Code or Rails Girls Summer of Code or start by tackling a small bug in the project of their choice. Either way, jump in! 
  • It’s a great way to simultaneously become a better programmer, make an impact, learn how to ship high quality code and work on a (remote) team. 
  • Having a support or study group is always useful
Read more
Skip to content