I'm taking a break from this glorious day, with nice weather and grilled meats to bring you this interview with Dana Coffey (someone many of you know as @CrazeeGeekChick on Twitter.) Dana is from a place near and dear to my heart. The South. Every time I see her take the time to actually type out the word "y'all" I get a chuckle. So without further delay, here is Dana Coffey and her NINE Questions.
1. Where are you from?
Peachtree City, GA – land of the Golfcart paths. It’s just south of Atlanta
2. Who do you work for / What do you do? Give me the 10 second pitch on why I want your "product".
I work for McGuireWoods LLP (www.mcguirewoods.com) We’re a law firm that specializes in some high profile corporate level litigation. The technology used there is pretty impressive and innovative. Our CTO has a history with Sun Microsystems and is a big promoter of Open Source Software.
3. How did you end up there?
My fellow ASP Insider Steve Presley worked there and contacted me when they needed a Sr. Application developer. The position is a telecommuting position and he was familiar with my desire to work from home in order to care for my 3 kids. I was at Definition 6 at the time(www.definition6.com) and happy there, but McGuire Woods made me a sweet offer! I love the work, the team and have really been enjoying my time there so far.
4. I know you maintain the ASP for Blondes blog, but what other areas of technical expertise do you have?
My degree is in business management, but most of my technical skills revolve around ASP and ASP.NET. I’ve been a ASP.NET MVP twice, and I also dabble in other related Microsoft technologies. My newest love is the huge trend towards Web 2.0 and the social web. I’m currently in the planning stages of revamping ASPforblondes.com into another kind of site altogether – There will still be ASP related info, but mostly general technology and social web content. I’m one of those rare developers who speak “end user” very well, so one of my biggest assets is the ability to communicate between IT and end/business users. I think like a business manager.
5. So I know you mostly from your twitters and your blog, but that's just one part of the big picture. What's something the world at large doesn't know about Dana Coffey?
I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’ve long ago given up my anonymity on the subject, but most people don’t know that fact about me. I spend a lot of time giving back to those in early recovery and helping in any way I can. It’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart due to both personal experience and family history.
6. Speaking of twitter, what's your take on the whole social networking boom? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc...
Well my previous answers might give it away. I think social networking is absolutely mind boggling! The whole paradigm has given the web a way to engage with people on a “tribal” and emotional level. It’s really opened my eyes to the importance of personal branding as a science, and I’m really excited about seeing where we go with it next! Coming from a business background, it gives me the total warm fuzzies just to think of the many ways business can use this model to help its customers. For instance, when I tweeted that I was having issues with Comcast Internet, the Comcast guy actually tweeted me and gave me his direct line to get my problem solved! How cool is THAT?
7. What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?
We currently have several classic ASP applications for which I’ve had to provide support. I’ve begun the process of moving them all over to ASP.NET, which thrills me! In the meantime however, I realize how awesome ASP.NET is and how spoiled I am. Supporting and debugging a behemoth app done in classic ASP is a hairy business!
8. We've covered tech pretty well, so any non-technical interests or hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Well I’m a single mother, so I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I do get the time, I love to go camping, ride my golf cart, roller-skating, bike riding and going to the movies. I spend a lot of time playing with my doggies, a longhaired dachshund named Snoopy and a beagle puppy named Woodstock. I tweet about them quite a bit, and they’re regular attendants at our weekly staff conference calls J
9. So, last question... any tattoos?
Yep – I have a dancing teddy bear on my ankle. I’m currently designing my next tattoo, which will be either the Tibetan or Chinese symbol for Gratitude. (The Chinese symbol incorporates two symbols; “speak” and “love”)