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Women in IT: Shelley O'Sullivan (Shellbot), Database Administration

In the latest podcast of the Women in IT series on TechRepublic, Sonja Thompson talks to Shelley O’Sullivan, better known in the TR forums as Shellbot.

Podcast

In the latest podcast of the Women in IT series on TechRepublic, I had the opportunity to talk to Shelley O’Sullivan, better known in the TR forums as Shellbot.

"I enjoy the methodical processes." -- Shelley O’Sullivan

Shelley is originally from Canada, but she currently lives in Dublin, Ireland. When I asked Shelley how she got involved in IT, she responded, “One morning I was complaining that I bored, and my soon-to-be husband threw me an HTML and JavaScript book and said, ‘Make me a Web page.’”

Today, Shelley works as a database administrator. In fact, she just started a new job this past December. Admittedly, Microsoft Access is Shelley’s database application of choice, and she also works with SQL Server 2000.

One of the most amazing things that I learned about Shelley throughout the interview process is that she didn’t pursue a career in IT until after she had moved to Ireland. Shelley explained in an e-mail, “I worked my way up from a Tim Horton’s coffee server to where I am now through sheer willpower and hard work.”

I think that Shelley serves as a wonderful example of what you can do with your life if you want something badly enough. She refers to herself as "boring," but to me, she's an inspiration. To learn more about Shelley, listen to the podcast.

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.

13 comments
gadgetgirl
gadgetgirl

Great interview, Shell! I agree with Tig - weird how this sisterhood just sorta fell into IT! Now, 'bout this profile of yours..... you do realise we're all going to be watching now, don't you? Naughty Sonja, naughty! (yep, love it!) Great to hear you, Shell! GG

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I have listened [finally!] to yours, GG's, and Tigger Two's. As with the other 2, you gave me pause for thought along with a bit of inspiration. This is an excellent series!

rob mekel
rob mekel

Always nice to hear/read how people get to and around IT and their jobs :) Rob

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

Excellent interview, and nice to hear you speaking with your voice. LOL Now get that profile updated. Love ya Shell

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Not only did I learn something (which is amazing, considering how dense I am), but I honestly didn't expect Shellbot to sound ANYTHING like she sounded! Good job!

Tig2
Tig2

What has been so amazing to me with this series is how similar we all are. I wonder if this means that there is a particular mind set to IT folks or if I just have a lot of sisters I didn't know I had. I'm going with mind set for now. Wonderful interview, Shelly and Sonja! Shell, it was great to actually hear you. You sounded just like yourself. Looking forward to the next one- Maecuff, maybe? Or Boxfiddler? Or...

Shellbot
Shellbot

I'm going to have to get the profile sorted out soon :) So did I sound like you thought I would? :) You don't look like I thought you would..I imagined you with shorter hair..dunno why.. :)

Shellbot
Shellbot

How was I susposed to sound? :) Its funny how when ya see a picture or hear someone you've never met, yet know online that your always surprised.

Ceca
Ceca

Hello, Thank you so much for this interview. I've just started listening to this series. I've been doing production DBA support on Sybase for the last 8 years or so and am now ready to make a change and possibly leave the IT field. The comment about not having backups (!) I can relate to. And as for being methodical and liking structure that entirely true for me too. I always say DBA work is not rocket science. It's more like cooking. There are a couple of different ways of getting a task done, but one always tries to choose the most thorough and yet the also the most efficient.

Shellbot
Shellbot

I sound just like myself..haha :) Thanks Tig.. Its funny when I started talking about myself I realised how boring I must be to non IT people :) Thankfully the interview turned out ok, we had a few technical difficulties with the phone, so I wasn't sure how it was going to come out, but it sounded ok.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I think I expected you to sound VERY proper with a hint of New York mixed in....I donno why.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I like that analogy! The end product always depends on the ingredients! Certain combinations just don't taste quite right, no matter how badly you want them to or how long you fiddle with them. edit typo

Tig2
Tig2

She made ME sound good, she can make ANYONE sound good! Seriously, I was really struck by the fact that you, GG, and I all started out to do something different than we ended up doing. And we came to the table later. But we got there by work and determination. I think that we're pretty cool, personally! Congrats, Shell! The interview was wonderful!