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NINE Questions Chris G. Williams - Talking to the tech community, NINE Questions at a time...

Julie Lerman is one of the hippest, smartest people I know. If you haven’t already heard of her, this is your chance to crawl out from under that rock and get a glimpse of an industry legend. Don’t worry about that giant ball of fire in the sky, that’s just the sun. Those of you that HAVE heard of Julie probably already know how awesome she is, but keep reading anyway. My first introduction to Julie was hearing Bill Ryan refer to someone as “Julie Lerman smart.” I figured that was enough of a recommendation for me to find out who this person was. I’ve babbled long enough, and yes, this is quite possibly my longest intro ever… so I’ll shut up now. Here are NINE Questions with Julie Lerman:

julie 1. Where are you from?
I live on a mountainside in the beautiful little state of Vermont that is tucked in between New York State, Canada and New Hampshire.

2. What do you do / Who do you work for / What is your product? Give us the "10 second pitch" on why I should use your product or services.
I am self-employed and work as a .NET mentor/consultant for development teams who are looking for additional guidance with their .NET applications as well as those who are specifically working with Entity Framework.

3. How did you get to where you are now?
I have worked for myself for over 20 years. I was a self-taught developer with a History degree. I worked alone for so many years but was fortunate enough to work with an architect on a short project at one point that opened my eyes to how beautiful software can be. When .NET came out, I was definitely challenged by so much power and flexibility and I was inspired to really explore it in a way that I had never done with dev tools before. Being involved with INETA in its early days as well as being an early blogger gave me exposure to a lot of new people and ideas as well as exposed me to the world for the first time. It’s been a crazy 7 years since then!

4. You're also a Microsoft MVP. What's your area of technical expertise? 
My MVP award is in Visual Basic which is the language I code in most of the time.  I also have a secondary discipline in Data Access. I work in smart client, web apps and services and I have developed a special knack with ADO.NET Entity Framework.

5. You recently wrote THE book on Entity Framework. What was that experience like?
In a word, “intense”. Now that it’s done I can add another word, “rewarding.” I have never focused on an individual topic so deeply before and it is amazing to have the in-depth knowledge on this topic that I have acquired. But it was a lot of work. I can’t emphasize “a lot” enough!

6. You do a lot of speaking, blogging, etc. What's the most recent event you spoke at and how did it go?
Just today, I did a presentation at the Communities2Communties event in Warsaw, Poland. This is the 2nd year that this user group driven conference has been held. It’s a great event with a very warm and inviting community. I had a blast doing my presentation, Entity Framework Tips and Tricks, and managed to get the room filled with C# programmers to laugh with me, not at me, when I made the usual goofs when coding in C# on the fly.

7. Any words of wisdom for women just starting to enter IT, or considering a career in IT?
I think the most important for me is not to be daunted by the fact that this is a male-dominated field. It does not mean that you are out of place or don’t belong here. It just means that more men happen to be geeks. If nothing else, you can revel in being special. I’ve found that for women who do feel uneasy about being an anomaly, seeking out a mentor who is experienced in our field  is really helpful.  And while that mentor does not necessarily need to be another woman, a woman might have better insight into some of the special challenges women face when it comes to doing what it takes to continue learning – especially those of us who have children.

8. Any non-technical hobbies / interests? What's something the world doesn't already know about Julie Lerman?
I’ve been blogging for so many years that I can’t imagine that there’s anything left to tell! They’ve seen my garden photos and my dogs and read about my new skis and some of my cycling and kayaking adventures here in Vermont. I think by now everyone even knows that I have worked at Penthouse and Playboy magazines and been to a party at Hugh Hefner’s mansion. I don’t think I have anything to share that can top that.

9. Last of all, any interesting tattoos?
Not yet, but just keep working on me.

Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 2:03 PM | Back to top


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