Deirdré and Robyn toasting at a restaurant in Paris

OpenStack Summit 2014

This edition was held in Paris and, among other things, featured the best food I’ve ever had in a conference hall. Yes, OpenStack was quite a boondoggle for many people, for years. I hung out with some friends, participated in a hair-raising session about the OpenStack community (20+ contributing companies, each with its own fork of the software – it was clearly doomed), enjoyed spending time with my friend Robyn who had come for a visit from Switzerland, but I also very distracted by an imminent diagnosis of breast cancer.

This was also the conference where I heard for the nth time the complaint from women in engineering about how insulting it is to be mistaken for “the marketing chick.” I got to the mic during Q&A and, with my voice shaking with rage, pointed out how sexist and demeaning this attitude is. As I exited the room, a man came to thank me for speaking up on behalf of marketers.

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