On International Women’s Day — March 8, 2018 — I attended Be Bold Seattle. I heard about the event via Twitter. I wish I remember who posted about it so I could thank them. This was the third anniversary of the event, and the first time I had heard about it.

The event featured a number of speakers and performers sharing their experiences and insights. The speakers included founders, investors, authors, and executives. This was one of the most inspiring and empowering events I have been to in a while. Some of the key takeaways for me:

Two statistics jumped…


Photo by Elliot Sloman on Unsplash

In part one of this series on lessons learned my first year of public speaking, I covered the submission process and getting started. Next up is what to do when a talk is accepted or scheduled.

Getting my first “Congratulations your talk was accepted” email is one of the best emails I’ve ever received. And the acceptances that have come after that first one are just as exciting.

The amount of time you have between an acceptance letter and delivering a talk will vary, generally I’ve found it’s been about two months. …


This year I set a goal to do more public speaking at conferences. I’m no stranger to speaking in public, my first career was as a teacher, I’ve worked in sales, and have spoken at numerous corporate and customer conferences. I’ve submitted a couple Call for Papers (CFPs) in the past but was rejected and honestly was a little discouraged.

They had rejected my talk because I worked for a vendor. The conference did not want sales pitches. …


It’s hard when you feel like you don’t belong.

Towards the end of middle school I was approached by a friend of a friend and asked “Why do you hang out with them? They don’t like you and don’t want to be your friend.” These were people I had been friends with since kindergarten. Luckily, this didn’t come as a big shock, I had slowly been building up other friends. When I received this message I turned around, walked away, and stopped speaking with those “friends.”

In college, while hanging out with a group of friends one of them made…


Last week I attended and spoke at Velocity and Fluent, sponsored by O’reilly. This was the first year the conferences, focused on distributed systems, performance, and front end development, were co-located.

I’ve wanted to speak at Velocity for years and have previously submitted proposals, but sadly had always been rejected. After three years, I gave up submitting proposals, as I didn’t think they had a chance of acceptance. As luck would have it, despite not submitting a proposal, this year my dream of speaking there was realized.

As a corporate sponsor, my company was given a five minute keynote and…


Have you ever been in a situation where you wonder whether you should say or do something? What are the consequences if I do or don’t?

I have a long list of things I should do:

  • I should eat healthier.
  • I should exercise more.
  • I should get seven to eight hours’ sleep a night.
  • I should save more for retirement.

These have known consequences. It’s more difficult to deal with shoulds in a professional setting.

If you’re being treated unfairly, you should speak up.

Speaking up doesn’t always result in a positive outcome. You may have experienced negative consequences through…


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DevOps is many things, and if you ask 10 people what DevOps means you will likely get 20 different answers. The Three Ways of flow, feedback, and continuous experimentation and learning are the principles that drive all values, philosophies, processes and procedures. These principles can be applied to other areas of life as well. For me, I’ve pulled from my DevOps learning to aide in my parenting journey.

Flow

The first way is flow. Information flows from the parents to the child. The parents job is to ensure the child gets what they need, how they need it, when they need…

Dawn Parzych

Web Performance, Psychology, Perception, Bias, and Women in Tech

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