IT Employment

Women in IT: Michelle Poston (maecuff), Programmer / Developer

In the latest podcast of the Women in IT series on TechRepublic, Sonja Thompson talks to Michelle Poston, better known in the TR forums as maecuff.

Podcast

In this podcast of the Women in IT series on TechRepublic, I interviewed TechRepublic member Michelle Poston, better known in the TechRepublic community knows as maecuff.

"I would definitely recommend getting into IT for other women." -- Michelle Poston

Michelle lives in Ohio, which is not that far from TechRepublic's office in Louisville, Kentucky. She has been working in IT for 19 years as a programmer / developer, but her introduction into the field was really just a matter of chance - the class she wanted to take was full, so she opted for a data processing class that was (coincidentally) wide open.

In truly one of the most entertaining interviews that I've had since I started the Women in IT series, Michelle talks about how she originally found TR, her claim to fame as the winner of the crazy boss story contest, and her shovel, which -- even though she's never used it -- may still come in handy one day.

In the TechRepublic forums, as maecuff, Michelle says that other members think that she's a horribly mean person, but she's not. In fact, one of her favorite things about programming is helping people and making their jobs easier. However, TechRepublic is a place where maecuff can say exactly what she's thinking. Michelle claims that she would never behave that way in real life, because she would be fired or locked up.

Listen to the podcast to learn a little bit more about Michelle.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

44 comments
jdclyde
jdclyde

Another Wunderbar interview. :x To start out, let me emphasize that [b]MAE IS NICE, DAMNIT![/b] It would have been priceless to have seen the look on her controllers face when the shovel comment first came up..... :D Well done Mae. Definitely an "Attagirl"! [i](and you sounded great!)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

before making a couple of posts here :0 I dont think a Mae Is Nice line will fix things right now (for me at least). I keep feeling blunt force on the back of my head everytime I turn around!

jdclyde
jdclyde

or guilt pains. If they were from Mae, it would be square in the mush. :D

seanferd
seanferd

The interview has a lot of... body, I guess would be a halfway decent term. Shovel + crazy boss + how you discovered TR + your IT history = great story. I'm always interested to hear how people got into IT, and I confess I'm surprised at how often the answer is "indirectly". Interesting career trajectory, Maecuff.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I'll return to my low profile now...

neilb
neilb

that I don't think you sound like you have big feet at all! Cracking interview... Neil :D

maecuff
maecuff

That way they wouldn't get in my way while I interviewed. Clever planning on my part.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

anyway, I was just boosting the thread back to the top. Only reason for this particular post really.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

looks like a hobbit or something :0 hmmm, maybe I should have kept quiet...

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Great interview Mae and Sonja! I love that shovel story, that is a giggler. It's good hear you tell people that they 'can do IT', all they need to do is to take the time to learn. Looking forward to the next one. edit to add: Is not liking the sound of your own voice anything like not liking your hair? ;)

maecuff
maecuff

I'm not crazy about my hair, either. It's ttthhhiiissss gray right now. Time to spend another small fortune and get the gray out.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

but I got my Dad's freaking bushy a** 'old man' eyebrows. I have to shave them periodically as it is. Now they are going gray too. If my hair were also going gray in order that my eyebrows and hair matched, this would be ok. But... NOT. Ugh. :(

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

the chainsaw! But I like other ideas better. I can add my electric pencil sharpener to the arsenal. Industrial accident is really a better way to go. Wedges and sledgehammers can be interesting also. Hmmm....

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

a chainsaw is too quick! Mae's shovel though, the blunt force trauma to 'stun' and then the decapitation.... OUCH!!! and when she is really moody, she has an ice pick too! OOOh, and Tigs has claws -- never mess with that. Ripping flesh in tiny little bits, OUCH!!!

maecuff
maecuff

It's always a good move to deny the chin hairs. :)

Jessie
Jessie

Go ahead, check that thread, and go to my donation page. There's a picture of me and I have NEVER had to pluck or otherwise mess with my eyebrows. My family geneology says I'm a 16th cousin of Prince Charles, so yeah, I'm even related to English nobility, though I never get invited to any of the parties! I will admit today only that I have a few goat hairs growing from my chin which need periodic trimming and I'm not sure where they came from, and if you ask me about this later, I will deny everything. http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=254088&start=0

seanferd
seanferd

I have been thoroughly programmed. :D Thanks for the link reminder. I had read the thread earlier, and the one from which it had sprung also.

maecuff
maecuff

I like the way your think. As long as the word 'Homicide' isn't an option, then we're all okay. :)

Tig2
Tig2

I have a paper guillotine that I'm not doing much else with at the moment. And the beauty of an office supply is that you can claim "industrial accident" as opposed to "homicidal incident".

maecuff
maecuff

More of us have 'hair' issues than will ever admit. We just get rid of them so you don't see them. So, stop fooling yourself. Now, some twentysomething is gonna want to kick my ass for giving away trade secrets. Boxfiddler, you might want to start up that chainsaw!

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Mae has a shovel, and I have this freaking chainsaw I got one year for my birthday. Or maybe it was Christmas? Whatever. It hasn't been used in awhile...

seanferd
seanferd

at least in the movies. All those old English lords seem to have those eyebrows. Apparently, mine are going in that direction. There are always a few hairs that seem to think that they belong on my scalp, and have no intention on limiting their growth. I didn't think that this happened to women, so I refuse to believe it.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

BigFoot??? Neaderthal's?? ApeWomen? Oops, it slipped out. Running and hiding now

maecuff
maecuff

I'm going to have to give that a shot. If nothing else, it will amuse the hell out of my husband. Kinda like the preparation H incident. (supposedly, it tightens the skin under your eyes.) I tried it, I didn't see much difference. Other than in my husband's disposition. He laughed his ass off.

maecuff
maecuff

I just have to pluck and trim. Not as bad as my husband, though. His are insane. He always looks like he just invented something. Oh. and a little eyebrow pencil should cover the gray.

Tig2
Tig2

Have them properly trimmed and try mustache wax. Easy to find, easy to use. Do them first and then your regular makeup- but stay clear of the eyebrows! Lasts longer than pencil!

maecuff
maecuff

I do not like the sound of my own voice. Seriously, THAT is what I sound like? Other than that..it was fun. Thanks for inviting me, Sonja!

jdclyde
jdclyde

At least you didn't say "TEE HEEE HEEEE" or some weird donkey laugh. :D You sound just fine.

maecuff
maecuff

circumstance where I would say Tee Heee Heeee. Nope. And we don't even have to address the donkey laugh, do we?

jdclyde
jdclyde

After all, it is the thought that counts, right? Like I said, you were great. :x

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

hmmm... So let me get this right You got big hairy feet, extra facial hair, you are short, carry a shovel, laugh like a donkey, are not a hobbit, have violent thoughts... Yup, me thinks you are a dwarf :^0 So,, do you like digging tunnels in your back yard???

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Thanks for taking time out of your lunch (seriously, when you said "usually it's just tuna salad," I about died), and also for making my work so enjoyable! :-)

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

I think your voice is fabulous. You should do audio books. :)

maecuff
maecuff

but I never learned how to read.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

just start talking and it will all come together. Just title them 'Buy This or I Will Hit You With My Shovel'. Mae is nice Mae is nice Mae is nice

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

Nice Mae. Now, how shiny has that shovel stayed? Can you also explain the transition between using the 'blunt' end to decapitations??? P.S. -- you do sound like 'you'.

maecuff
maecuff

is when a person goes from being annoying (blunt end) to a raging, willful, dumbass (decapitation). I don't make the rules, I just follow them. Oh, wait. I DO make the rules. :)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! MAE IS NICE DAMMIT!!! There, that should 'protect' me for a few days :^0 :x

Tig2
Tig2

In the most recent entry to the Women in IT series, Sonja caught up with Maecuff for a tell-all interview in which we learn once again that Mae is NICE, dammit! And the origins of the famed shovel. Take a few minutes and have a listen. She sounds just like herself!

gadgetgirl
gadgetgirl

A voice to put to the name! Tig's right - you DO sound just like you! Have you noticed? We've all "fallen" into IT albeit from differing directions. Should we start our own "Fallen Women" Crew?!?!?!?! :p :D ;\ Loved the shovel story - but I think you need the larger version of the shovel. Oh, and it needs sharpening periodically. (well, if you will aim it at Palmie when he's wearing the hardhat.....!) Great to hear you Mae. Now, if we could just sort out a girly session somewhere.... GG

maecuff
maecuff

Think of the fun we could have! The damage we could inflict! I have snow shovel at home. It's definitely bigger, but I might have a hard time swinging it. And it's not metal, just hard plastic. It may only be good for annoying people, not so much good for permanent damage..

Jessie
Jessie

It's always fun getting to know you all on the forum, but hearing voices (other than the ones in my head that tell me to do weird things with candles and ostrich entrails) is always a good thing!

Editor's Picks