About Me

Your hostess on this site is Deirdré Straughan (that’s pronounced DEAR-druh STRAWN).

I’m an American citizen but have lived much of my life overseas. Because I married an Italian, I lived in Italy from 1991 – first in Milan and then in Lecco on Lake Como. In early 2008, I moved to Colorado, and travelled a lot for both work and pleasure. Since April, 2010, I have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have one daughter, Rossella, born in 1989.

More about:

Follow me on Twitter, contact me by email.

Recent Photo

2016-10-08-Deirdré Straughan

Professional Bios


(this was for the WITI Summit, June 2012)

Deirdré Straughan has long acted on her belief that everything that touches the customer is marketing, including UI design, customer service, social media – and more. Working for tech companies large and small worldwide, she uses the latest tools to create new ways to interact with customers, online and offline. She has particularly focused on innovative uses of media, in recent years producing hundreds of technical videos for Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and Joyent, including live video streams. She currently lives in the Bay Area and works for Joyent as Community Architect for the SmartOS and illumos open source communities. Plays well with geeks (is one), and has taken an active role in supporting women in technology through Girl Geek Dinners, Women@Sun, and conference talks. A TCK, she went to boarding school in India, then got a BA in South Asian Studies and Languages from the University of Texas, and an MBA from the Open University. You can learn more on her blog beginningwithi.com, and she’s @deirdres on Twitter.


Deirdré Straughan has worked in technology for 25 years, on documentation, training, UI design, marketing, open source community management, event management, social media, video, and more. She tends to operate at the interfaces: between companies and customers, technologists and non-technologists, marketers and engineers, and anywhere else that people need help communicating with each other about technology. Much more about her life and work can be found at beginningwithi.com.

OSCON 2014 Bio

In a career spanning tech companies large and small, worldwide, Deirdré Straughan has constantly developed new ways to foster communication about technology between customers and companies, online and offline. She has particularly focused on innovative uses of media, in recent years producing hundreds of technical videos and live video streams for Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and Joyent, and for open source communities including OpenSolaris, illumos, SmartOS, and OpenZFS. You can learn more on beginningwithi.com.

(I should add that all of the above bios are out of date: since 2014 I have been working for Ericsson.)

If you feel an overpowering urge to thank me for this site, you’re welcome to get me a gift from my Amazon wish list.

4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Marie Hodge

    Hello Deirdre,

    I’ve written you several times in the past and each time you have a new setup. How wonderful that you are so talented.
    I loved the music for “Countries that start with ???” (I just moved all the songs on to a CD because I’m getting a new computer in October.) I loved all of them and enjoyed “Concert for Priest and Bells Musical” – you also had a whole list of Italian songs which helped me to learn some of the words Italian-English. Which brings me to ask if you still have the same list in your Countries Beginning with I . . .

    Once again, I thank you for your help.

  2. steve

    Hi, what I’m looking for are Italian phrases used in bocce games. I think I was told many years ago, that if I wanted the ball to go further I was to shout the equivalent of “give it the oil!”. Do you know of any good phrases?


  3. Anthony Guarisco

    My grandmother mother would pinch your cheeks or grab under your chin your chin and would say this phrase which have no clue how to spell correctly but sounded something like gubedda say gullla and follow with jezzle jezzle. I think jezzle means how pretty. She also said the word ah Dalia. Any ideas. Hope I did not butcher the words and nobody can figure what I am saying.

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