Atlassian Women in tech global conference 2024

    Jen, with over 20 years of IT experience, excels in software development and delivery. An expert in Agile, she's led several firms through major Agile shifts. At Atlassian as a Senior Enterprise Technical Architect, she uses her Agile, Design Thinking, and DevOps expertise to help companies enhance their processes, boosting agility, software quality, security, and team efficiency.

    Motivation to Speak at the Conference

    Are you excited to speak at the Women in Tech Global Conference and what motivated you to join our community of 100,000 women in tech, minorities, and allies?

    I am excited to be speaking at the Women in Tech Global Conference! Back when I first started working in tech in 1996, nothing like Women in Tech existed. In fact, at the first tech conference I attended in 2000, there were only about half a dozen women in a sea of hundreds of men. It would have been great to have a woman-centered community for support and mentoring, so I’m thrilled that you’ve started this movement to facilitate connections and empower women in technology roles. 

    Background and Inspiration

    Share with us about your background, your journey in tech, and what inspired you to develop your career in this direction?

    I grew up around computers; my father was a computer physicist working for the government and we always had computers at home, so you could say it’s in my blood. The first time I remember actually using one was after we got the Commodore 64 for Christmas in the mid-1980s: I started learning BASIC programming and quickly got hooked on the rush of solving problems with code. My career in tech began at a tiny Internet startup that registered and hosted domain names. I was teaching myself HTML in my own time and ended up becoming the company’s webmaster (remember when that was a title?). From there I worked at a series of startups in developer roles before joining a larger corporation in 2012. There I had the opportunity to connect with mentors who helped me expand my scope of impact by becoming a certified ScrumMaster, which led me to Agile and DevOps coaching. I’ve played just about every role in the software development life cycle, but my true love is still solving problems using technology. Now I get to help some of Atlassian's largest customers solve their problems through my experience in coaching people, optimizing processes, and leveraging technology.

    Why is the topic “Democratizing productivity with no-code automation” important to you?

    No-code automation is the ultimate efficiency booster because it lets anyone build automation routines to eliminate boring, repetitive tasks. There has been an explosion of automation tools over the past ten years, ranging from home automation - like wifi-enabled thermostats and lightbulbs - to purpose-built middleware platforms that can connect hundreds or even thousands of different systems through API endpoints. And because it doesn’t require any specialized programming knowledge, anyone can use these platforms to integrate data between multiple systems or streamline a workflow to reduce context-switching. Automation is the key to scaling your impact because you can focus on the important things that require deep thinking and leave the mindless, repetitive tasks to the robots.

    Who would you advise to attend the Women in Tech Global Conference and why?

    I’d recommend that any women who work or are interested in a career in technology attend the Women in Tech Global Conference, especially people from under-represented communities. Having a support network is key to succeeding in tech; it's critical for job hunting (oftentimes it is about who you know - not what you know - that opens doors) but it’s also important to learn from others who have been in your shoes. A good mentor can help you see opportunities for yourself that you never imagined, and help you carve out a path for success. The WIT conference is a great place to make these connections and get inspired by other women who are doing amazing things in technology.