Monthly Archives: September 2012

Meeting Dr. Marina Whitman: what an honor!

I feel very fortunate to live in Ann Arbor and to have amazing friends who included me in lunch today, with Marina Whitman. My business friends will be interested to know that Marina Whitman was the first woman to serve on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. My geek friends will be thrilled to know that she is the daughter of John von Neumann, the famous mathematician. Dr. Whitman has recently written a memoir, where she talks about building a career of her own in the shadows of her very famous father. I can only imagine how challenging that must have been … but wow did she do it right!

Our lunch was fascinating, an intimate group of several women business owners in Ann Arbor. Dr. Whitman still teaches at the University of Michigan, and I suspect that her class is captivating. She’s brilliant, engaging, and so generous with her time.

I can’t wait to read her book. It’s called The Martian’s Daughter. You can order it now from Amazon, or you can go to her book signing on October 2 in Ann Arbor.

Employable after 50? Surely, yes!

I saw this article today on twitter, posted in Forbes.

Basically someone asked (on Quora) how to say employable after age 50. Given that I’m just a few short years away from that particular mid-life crisis, I could have let that hit too close to home. But nope, I refuse to get sucked down that hole. There are some great tips in the article, but I’ll add one — just keep learning. It’s good advice for all ages. I know unemployable folks who aren’t even a decade out of college because they stopped learning about software when they got their diplomas.

This is such an amazing field — with so many interesting things to learn and opportunities to learn every day, from the Stanford video series to Coursera classes, from podcasts to koans.  Local user groups mix learning and networking — why risk posting jobs when the best and brightest will meet you at user groups? Local and regional conferences, like CodeMash, 1DevDayDetroit, and Silicon Valley CodeCamp, offer cutting edge lessons on technologies at a competitive price.

Lew Hollander is 81 years old and still doing Ironman races, as is Madonna Buder at 82 (and she didn’t even start running til she was in her late-40’s)! You can surely wield an IDE and compiler beyond the age of 50 Just do it.