Marissa: Tell us your story on how you got into technology.
Tabatha: I don’t want to age myself, but I grew up during the time that the internet became “a thing.” By the time I was reaching my later years in school, the World Wide Web also became “a thing” and my generation jumped all over it. Because the use of technology was becoming more mainstream during my generation, I found myself surrounded by it and, like many others in my generation, it piqued my curiosity.
In high school, I took a class to learn all things computers. Fast forward a few years later, I found myself in a position where I needed to create financial reports. It was a lot number crunching. A lot of long, tedious work. I was tired of spending so much time on these reports. I started taking classes on “tips and tricks” of using Excel. That turned into learning advanced macros, then VBA, then VB, then SQL…the knowledge just kept coming. I was fascinated by what a little bit of code could do.
I thought I found by niche in the technology world doing report writing when the reality of the day-to-day work hit me. I was much more social than that, I didn’t want to be staring a computer screen all day - I wanted more human interaction.
Fast forward again, and a few years later I found myself in a position of managing corporate learning tools as the systems administrator. We wanted one central repository for all training records and computer-based trainings to be launch from one tool. I was asked to help find a solution that worked for everyone and could be integrated with our other learning tools. Along with that, I needed to determine policies and procedures across the globe, consolidate our tools, merge records of data, roll the tool out to everyone, and provide status to leadership. That is where I found my true calling: a project manager of technology!
Marissa: Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do?
Tabatha: Absolutely! These machines that know nothing can do so much. How? Why? I needed to know because I wanted to be responsible for making that happen, in some fashion.
Marissa: How long have you been with Dataprise?
Tabatha: I’ve been with Dataprise just over 5 months now as a Project Manager based out of our Scottsdale, Arizona office. It has been fantastic. What a great company to be a part of and the people are even better!
Marissa: Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
Tabatha: I’m a Project Manager so every day is different and interesting in its own right. I’m usually on calls with customers discussing their project or working with our teams to ensure we’re set up for success to meet (and hopefully exceed) the customers’ expectations. On any given day I could be checking on hardware, creating a project schedule, providing status to a customer, kicking off a new project, or talking to a customer about a new solution they need.
Marissa: What is one piece of advice you'd give to young women looking to get into the technology field?
Tabatha: Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” You will encounter people that treat you differently because you’re a female in a male dominated industry; you won’t always be taken seriously. The good news, you can, and you will! Stay confident in what you know and hold your ground. Your knowledge is your big stick!
Marissa: What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
Tabatha: You’ll wonder if it’s worth the struggle. It is, I promise. The reward is the respect you earn. Or maybe it’s the little chuckle you give yourself when you see you’re the only woman in a room full of men, especially when they’re listening to your ideas and taking them into real consideration. Knowing you fought your own battles to get to that place…or yourself, for other women coming in behind you…it’s all worth it. Don’t give up.
Marissa: What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the technology industry?
Tabatha: The best part of being a woman in the tech industry is being recognized for that. There aren’t many of us, so we stand out. We’re asked to share our perspectives and experiences. We’re able to help pave the way for other woman looking to enter the industry. Each one of us makes it a bit easier for the next woman coming in. That’s empowering.
Marissa: What is it that you enjoy most about your current job at Dataprise?
Tabatha: Dataprise is growing and with that, so is our Project Management Office. I like to see the evolution of that growth—the processes, the people, the next project opportunity. I’m one that embraces change so this much change due to growth is exciting.
Where do you see yourself going from here?
Tabatha: I really enjoy what I do, executing technology projects. I see myself on this path in some capacity for a while. With so much growth and opportunity coming about here at Dataprise, who knows where that will take me. Maybe I’ll be more instrumental in helping us build our west coast presence. A woman in technology can do anything!