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Introduce yourself here!

I would love for everyone to introduce themselves, say why you're interested in this group, and (if you're comfortable) name something about you that's unique, unusual, or diverse! 

21 comments

I'm Monique, the community manager here. I've worked in diverse and not-so-diverse tech companies, and I've been particularly interested in making sure women in tech are represented. One of the first things that made me fall in love with the Atlassian Community was our diverse group of meeples! 

One thing about me that's diverse: I'm plus-sized and a woman, which means I sometimes feel othered by tech T-shirts, which are often "unisex" and end up looking awful on me or simply not fitting. (The last women's T-shirts we got at work were so small I took a "large" one home for my daughter. It fit her. She is 7.)  Last Summit I made sure to order women's and men's shirts in a range of sizes; I still treasure my community woman's V-neck 2X! 

Hi there.

My name is Mark Livingstone and I am your San Diego Atlassian User Group (AUG) Leader.

I've been running this group for over seven years and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of working with other San Diego Atlassian users as well as the 3rd party partners and Atlassian.

My day job is working at Qualcomm where I am responsible for our End User Services which consists of our Global Service Desk, Field Services, Walk up Centers and Printing Services.

I've been a user of the Atlassian tools for almost a decade and managed the SDLC tools here at Qualcomm for many years.

In my spare time, you can often find me volunteering down at the San Diego Zoo (and amazing world of biodiversity) as an interpretive volunteer and also helping run fundraising events.

My name is Kat and as of a couple of hours ago I am an Atlassian Certified Project Administrator.

I ranted on Facebook the other night about this article and have copied my rant below:

I recently went to a Women in Tech breakfast. The idea that programming is like planning a dinner would have fit well with the ideas and stories shared by the speakers in 2018 rather than being a relic of the 1960s.

Three of the 4 software companies I have worked for have been extremely family friendly and the other mostly hired new grads who did not have families yet.

There is no real purpose to this rant, just sharing a frustration that promoting women in IT tends to alienate this woman in IT.

John Paz Atlassian Team Jun 12, 2018

Hey there everyone, I'm John, a Technical Writer with Atlassian. I'm not your average tech-worker by any means, but I'll just drop the highlights:

  • I'm African-American and Cuban
  • I married my high school sweetheart, and we have three kids. 
  • I moved to Australia to work for Atlassian (but came back after 3 years).

 

This group interests me for a lot of reasons, but mostly just to demonstrate the diversity of Atlassian's users (and employees). 

Welcome, @John Paz! So happy to see you in this group! 

Alana Fernando Community Champion Jun 12, 2018

Hi All,

I am Alana, a quality assurance analyst works for MillenniumIT SriLanka. I am the only woman in IT πŸ˜ƒ in our team. I am here as I love respecting and appreciating differences.

One thing diverse! about me is most similar and opposite to Mo @Monique van den Berg I am a XS. 

;) 

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Jun 13, 2018

I'm Thomas, System Administrator at HanseMerkur, a medium-sized insurance company in Germany. 

Although I studied computer science and now work in an IT department, I would not describe myself as a typical computer nerd. I'm more interested in design (I wanted to study graphic design before I studied  computer science), social software and social issues than most of my IT-colleagues. Maybe that's why I love the administration of Confluence so much. Here I can work much more creatively, the design of our insurance's Confluence is highly influenced by me. I design dashboards, logos, icons etc. Most of our software developers are not interested in this kind of work.

What makes me also different from most of my IT colleagues is, that I'm gay. I got the feeling, that there are even more women in tech than gay men. As far as I know, I'm the only one in our IT-department. I live very open, everybody's knowing about me and I'm happy that I live in a country and work for a company where I don't have to hide myself.

John Paz Atlassian Team Jun 13, 2018

Welcome Thomas! 

Erica Moss Community Manager Jun 22, 2018

@Thomas Schlegel β€οΈπŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Jun 22, 2018

@Erica Moss Have you seen Atlassianβ€˜s new twitter icons this week? Awesome!

Erica Moss Community Manager Jun 25, 2018

@Thomas Schlegel Yes, and it makes me so happy!

Scott Theus Community Champion Jun 14, 2018

Hi All,

I'm a project manager at Parker Hannifin, working on IoT projects. I don't know if its my short attention span or a driving interest to learn new things, but over the years I've found that PM work makes me happy.

And, speaking of short attention spans...here is a list of active hobbies:

  • Wood Working..from turning pens to building kayaks. (My Esty shop is in the works; I need a good name.)
  • Kayaking (duh.)
  • Photography
  • Stamp Collecting (a great winter hobby, my collection of mint United Nations stamp from the first issue through 2009 is my showcase)
  • Animal Shelter Volunteer (cats, mostly)
  • SciFi/Fantasy nerd
  • Cleveland sports fan
  • There's probably a couple more.  

In my spare time I enjoy being part of this community and I'm kicking off an AUG in CLE next week.

John Paz Atlassian Team Jun 18, 2018

Thanks for sharing! 

Hi everyone,

I'm Linette, an information experience writer at Atlassian. In my past tech roles I've definitely been in the minority as a woman in IT (be that in support roles or training industry certifications). In regards to other diversity related things, I'm bisexual, and originally from England and living in Australia.

I'm interested in this group as I fundamentally believe that our diversity makes us stronger and wiser, as long as we share our knowledge and experience!

Hi @Linette Voller! Welcome to the group! 

John Paz Atlassian Team Aug 30, 2018

;-)

Hi! I'm Bianca and do marketing for the Atlassian Community (maybe you've seen my ads on your social media network?). I love that this group is a safe place to ask questions and concerns I might have. I'm Mexican-American so that means "Mexican food" is just my comfort, everyday food.

Welcome!

John Paz Atlassian Team Jun 28, 2018

For Mexicans, it's just... "food." 

:-)

Welcome!

Lucky you, I love tacos and pozole.

Kia Ora,

My name is Kelvin and I live in the best smallest city in the World, Wellington New Zealand.

I am becoming the SME of Jira and Confluence for my company ans I look forward to many interesting conversations here.

Ka Kite

Kelvin

Kia Ora Kelvin!

Welcome (and yes, Wellington is pretty great!!)

πŸ‘‹

Welcome @Kelvin Russell! I have a friend who lives in Wellington and I hope to visit someday :) 

Welcome Kelvin!! I love the Air New Zealand ads (have you seen the latest Christmas one? It's really good!) I'm an Aussie but don't hold it against me :P Looking forward to some great chats here!

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Jul 18, 2018

@Monique van den Berg Yeah, we still need to plan our New Zealand trip without husbands πŸ˜„

That's right @Thomas Schlegel! I think the prize for reaching Level 9 should be a first-class, luxury trip to New Zealand with the Atlassian named Monique of your choice. Think my bosses will go for that? 🀣

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Jul 18, 2018

You should definitely ask πŸ‘πŸ˜„πŸ‘

@Kelvin Russell - are you a member of the Wellington Atlassian User Group?

@Kat Warner [TechTime] thanks for the info, I have now joined the Group.

@Michele Lim [cPrime] I do think Air NZ have the best safety videos. Unfortunately I am not allowed to speak to you.... I am a South African now living in NZ :)

Hahaha! I'll try and make you change your mind. 

Hey Everyone!

My name is Michele, I'm originally from Sydney, Australia and have just moved over to San Francisco earlier this year to fulfill one of my life goals: working in San Francisco. 

I'm very passionate about equal representation everywhere (obviously) but even more so in the media and in tech! 

After only living in SF for a few months I can already see a lot of people who work in tech companies have it pretty good over here (free meals and 76 different types of milk in the kitchen). And it might be easy to get accustomed to this swish life!

As a 'unique' hobby I do stand up comedy, and one of my goals is to make sure people keep enjoying the little things, give me a bag of snacks on a sunny day at the park and I'm happy!

I hope that as tech grows and becomes even more entwined in our lives, we don't forget the simple life.

Looking forward to chatting with you all,

Michele 

Welcome @Michele Lim [cPrime]! It's true, tech in San Francisco is quite a unique experience :)

Welcome @Michele Lim [cPrime]! I hope to visit SF again some day (went there for a week a loooong time ago).

I love that you name a goal of helping people enjoy the simple things! So delightful and so easy to overlook.

Hope you enjoy the community here! :)

Erica Moss Community Manager Jul 19, 2018

Welcome, @Michele Lim [cPrime]! πŸŽ‰

Hi everyone! My name is Mike, I am CEO at RndWork. We provide full-range of product development services to help organizations leverage leading-edge technologies for business improvement. We also offer businesses consulting services on sales and marketing automation, including CRM (Salesforce, Dynamics, etc.) onboarding.

Welcome, @Mike! What brings you to the Diversity group?

Krisz [Adaptavist] Community Champion Jul 25, 2018

Hi, I'm Krisz (pronounced as Chris). I'm from Hungary but live in the UK. I don't think I ever experienced any problems in the UK, everyone is quite welcoming. I come from a country where the population is incredibly homogeneous (almost everyone is Hungarian) and it's interesting to see people from so many nations in the UK but it's quite new to me.

Since I have little experience in diversity (see above about Hungary), I'm curious to learn more in this group.

Welcome @Krisz [Adaptavist]! I certainly enjoyed the diversity of the UK, and I hope  you have a great time there.

Well, originally I am from the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim with a Buddhist King and an American Queen :p.

But right now working in Canada temporarily.

Welcome @Vickey Palzor Lepcha! I hadn't previously heard of Sikkim, but it already sounds fascinating!

My name is Joe and I am an African-American that works as a Software Engineer.  I have been working in the civilian sector since I retired from the Army in 2001.  I went to college and earned a BS in CS and a BA in Math in 2006.  As a veteran, I have worked with a diverse group of people since I joined the Army in 1981, I STILL find it amusing AND SAD, when talking to some who have NEVER met anyone outside of their race or religion.  I look forward to the conversations and discussions that will occur in this group.

Welcome! It is amazing how big and diverse the world is, but how we can find ourselves in pockets of samesame. Glad you've joined the group.

 

(as a side note, I can't seem to tag you in the post, Joe, I think there is an issue with the brackets in your username? So if you don't get tagged in things, know that it's looking like a bug rather than nobody wanting to namecheck you!)

The issue is with parentheses; brackets work fine. @Joe Harvey [Wolfpack95N] you may want to change your ( ) to [ ] for now while we work to fix the bug! (I can only @ mention you because of my goddess-like powers.)

hahah, excellent diversity moment here too, in the UK we call usually call the curved ones brackets too!! Seee how my background culture lead to me saying something that was misleading for another culture!

That's actually pretty cool! I've always heard them as:

Parentheses: (  )

Brackets: [  ]

Curly brackets: {  }

So what do you call the first and third ones @Linette Voller?

I have always heard the third one called 'Braces'.   I guess it is like 'pizza' vs 'pie', all depends on where you are from or at.  Similar to a 'living room' vs 'front room'.  Who can figure?

hahah, so I'd know them as:

Brackets: ()

Square brackets: []

Curly brackets: {}

 

;)

Hi,

My name is Mary and I work for Isos Technology based out of Phoenix, Arizona. I have an untraditional background in which I started my career in tech in the United States Army. I then pursued a bachelors in Legal Studies and an M.B.A. I'm interested in this discussion because I believe that diversity and inclusion can change a company. I also volunteer and mentor young women in regards to STEM careers. I look forward to collaborating and learning from everyone. 

Hi @Mary Ramirez! Lovely to have you in the community. What organization do you mentor with? I'm looking into some mentorship options for this year via iCouldBe.

Hi @Monique van den Berg,

I use to lead a Girl Who Code after school club. I also speak on panels to young students through the TECHNOLOchicas campaign. Lastly, I host events with other women as part of Chick Tech for women trying to enter and stay in the tech field. I highly recommend everyone to be a mentor. Sharing your story and journey can certainly impact someone's decision to pursue a career in tech. 

Welcome @Mary Ramirez!! Sounds like a very interesting journey! Glad to have you here!

Hi everyone! 

My name is Jennifer van Leeuwen and I work on the awesome Priority Support for Server team at Atlassian. I'm a hispanic woman working in tech for last 17 years or so, and I'm so happy to see all the strides that have been made around diversity since I first started working in tech. Some unique things about me: 

  • I was a teen mom and have 2 grown daughters: 26 and 23. I love to shock strangers with this fact.
  • My Mom is Venezuelan and came to the US when she was 18 for college. She didn't teach me Spanish as she didn't want me to be culturally confused.
  • I got my start as a video game addict/tech head playing lemonade stand on an Apple II at school. 

Nice to meet everyone! 

- Jennifer

John Paz Atlassian Team Aug 30, 2018

Congrats on shepherding two children successfully into adulthood!

My wife and I had kids at 19 (we were dating in high school), and now we're 34 with two teenagers in high school and a 12 year old son! 

The struggle is real! But, I like to think I grew up with my kids, so our relationship is special. 

Welcome @Jennifer van Leeuwen! So glad to have you on the team!! And YAAAAY support, whilst I don't work in support now, many years of my life were on those front lines, so I know how much you do for our customers! πŸ‘πŸ‘

Hi @Jennifer van Leeuwen, thanks for jumping in! I have to ask -- how did you get your Dutch last name if you're Venezuelan? 😊

And OMG lemonade stand! I grew up playing games on the 3.5 floppy disk on the Tandy 1000, including King's Quest II. 

Mucho gusto, @Vickey Palzor Lepcha

Thanks, @John Paz! :) The struggle is definitely real, but you are right. I feel like my daughters and I have a super special relationship and I wouldn't have it any other way. I had my oldest right out of high school, so we all definitely grew up together. It so nice being mid-40 and 'done'. Kudos to you and your high school sweetheart.

@Linette Voller - so glad to have you on the team and proud to work for such a special company. Thank you for the kind words. 

@Monique van den Berg - I found myself an awesome Dutch man and convinced him to marry me. ;) Pretty funny, my father's side is French/German/Scottish - so now I have a French middle name (maiden name of my grandfathers mother, on my Dad's side) and a Dutch last name. I just like to keep people guessing. 

After playing lemonade stand at school, I bothered my father incessantly until he found me games I could play at home. Did you ever play Zork I? :D 

Hey, I'm a fairly new member of community and I love getting insight into perspective in the industry; I come from a time when at university when Women Who Code was really starting out, and I loved joining in the discussion and sharing my perspective on the immense value of embracing the shift in culture towards a reduction of computing and engineering being considered a boys club!

Now, I love to embrace and spread general acceptance and reduction of prejudice in all shapes, forms, and sizes, and am a huge advocate of embracing everyone for whoever they tell you they are - you know: "Don't judge a book by its cover!"

Personally I have faced a lot of prejudice and struggles in my life, and even today through a lack of understanding I still face challenges in the workplace and down the pub on a friday night; I am hearing impaired and wear two hearing aids, I am relatively eloquently spoken, and you wouldn't suspect that I have an impairment unless you looked directly into my ear to see the aids. You might also be confused if I have an American accent, when I have in fact never been across the Atlantic and am Scottish through and through (I blame it on the american shows I watch...)!

I was prompted to join this group when I wanted to comment on this article, so I'm away to do that now...

Welcome @Aaron Williams! Thank you for adding the URL to the article. It was a great read. 

Niklas Becker Community Champion Sep 13, 2018

@Aaron Williams Welcome to the community!

Erica Moss Community Manager Sep 13, 2018

We're happy you're here, @Aaron Williams! πŸ˜„

Welcome! :) 

Fadoua Boualem Community Champion Oct 01, 2018

Welcome to the most awesome community @Aaron Williams! Glad you are part of it.

Niklas Becker Community Champion Sep 13, 2018

Hey everyone

I am Niklas, but my friends call me usually Nick. I am living in Zurich, Switzerland. I am originally from Koblenz, Germany. I am working in the "Atlassian world" since february 2017 when I joined bitvoodoo and became a Community Champion in the first half of 2018. So I think a few of you already know me from here. :D

I am working as support and consultant for our clients. I do everything around Jira and Confluence, Cloud and Server.

Working at an Atlassian Partner is the most diverse and open work experience I had so far. I have worked at a big german DAX-corporation and a local utilities companie before, and they were oldschool in everything. 

I enjoy cycling through Zurich, playing video games, watching Netflix and reading books (I let the last one slide a little. What should I read?). I am a big Nintendo and PokΓ©mon Nerd btw.

I am queer and feel myself as a pansexual. I moved to Switzerland actually because of my boyfriend. This is one of the reason diversity matters to me. And I think workplaces with open, tolerant and diverse people is good for business and working on new ideas. :)

I am not really sure what is unique about me, maybe this; Most people I meet for the first time comment on my deep voice, I was asked to joining a choir a few times (sorry I do not sing). Oh, and I grew up on an island in a river.

Cheers
Niklas

Erica Moss Community Manager Sep 13, 2018

@Niklas Becker So great hearing more about you! Since you love Nintendo and Pokemon, you should weigh in here: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Off-topic-discussions/Friday-fun-What-s-your-favourite-videogame-console/td-p/880400

Fadoua Boualem Community Champion Oct 01, 2018

Hello everyone,

I am Fadoua (originally from Morocco) but moved to the USA almost 2 decades ago. I am a Systems Integration Administrator for a System Healthcare in Northern VA. I work mainly with Atlassian Tools. I have been a Community Champion for almost a year. What I love about it: I learn from users questions and other champions with more experience than myself.

On my free time I enjoy my Taekwondo class and do some painting on glass. No painting project has ever been finished as I spent my time on my computer trying to learn more about Linux and Atlassian. My favorite color is Green.

What I hate the most: taking a nap in the afternoon. It makes me really sick.

Welcome @Fadoua Boualem!! What a striking example of diversity for me, I love taking an afternoon nap; when I can it makes me feel really refreshed! ;)

 

Maybe one day you can share a picture of one of your paining projects?

Fadoua Boualem Community Champion Oct 02, 2018

Thanks @Linette Voller!  I was told a long time ago that I am weird πŸ˜‚

But I really hate afternoon naps

@Fadoua Boualem +1 to not a fan of afternoon naps! Even as a child, I distinctly remember hating nap time. The only time I nap is when I'm sick, or if I really, really, really did not sleep well overnight; this means maybe 1 nap a year.

Fadoua Boualem Community Champion Oct 02, 2018

@Bianca Encinasgood to know that I am not the only one. I am no longer weird.

I hate them because I get up sick and not feeling well at all. I tried to take a nap once or twice while in college then never tried it again.

Like you said if I didn't have a good night sleep to the point I can barely stay up or I am sick those are 2 situations I will not only take a nap but sleep the whole day πŸ™‚

Welcome @Fadoua Boualem! I'm having a tough time coping with the idea of a nap making you feel sick; that is awful - I adore taking a nap on like a Sunday afternoon!

I'm very curious about the 'painting on glass' you mentioned, what sort of scale are we talking here? A small 6x4" pane, or a big window size, or just whatever comes your way?

Fadoua Boualem Community Champion Oct 02, 2018

Hi @Aaron Williams regarding my glass painting so far on small glass jars but never finished any.

I am thinking to take a day for myself, enjoy some painting since it relaxes me. If I am done I promise to share my work 😊

@Fadoua Boualem oh my gosh I am also a nap hater! I wake up feeling so groggy, blech. The only time I napped was in my first trimester when I was pregnant with my daughter. But it was more like I'd go to sleep in the afternoon, sleep for like six hours, wake up and eat dinner, then go right back to sleep for ten more hours. 🀣

Fadoua Boualem Community Champion Oct 05, 2018

I like to know that there are more people like me NAP HATERS πŸ˜‹

Welcome to the club @Monique van den Berg! And yes I remember those days when pregnancy hormones take over and you are on sleep mode the whole day.

Welcome, @Christine Marr@Ram Koner and @Rachel Glickman! We would love to get to know you. Please introduce yourselves and tell us something unique. Feel free to participate and comment on any of the threads. 

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