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Confession: I Have a Drone and I Like It

Last year for our wedding anniversary, my husband came home with a huge case – resembling one of those ominous bomb cases you see in movies. I felt like Gru and Dr. Evil all at once as he popped open the case to reveal a DJI Global Phantom 2 Drone with a GoPro camera attached.

DGI Global Phantom 2 Quadcopter

“WE HAVE A DRONE!” I exclaimed and immediately told all my geeks what an awesome gift I had received for our anniversary. [Posting to all known social platforms; Stat]

After a few days of touting my awesome aerial photos of our neighborhood, I realized that I was WAY more excited than most folks about my new toy.

Most people immediately respond with “why did you get that?” or “what are you going to do with it?”  Some were almost accusatory as if I had an immediate intent to spy on them through their bedroom windows. My “drone-high” was killed after one friend responded that if I flew “that thing” over his house, he’d shoot it down.

You see, the term “drone” sets off a fire in the eyes of the patriotic. I can’t exactly be sure which patriotism they’ll agree on but those who hear the word “drone” and immediately feel deprived of their rights are a growing bunch.  Is it media crazy? People crazy? Why would a camera on a flying device be perceived as a sinister threat? Helicopters have flown the skies for years with cameras, tracking tools, etc., without the same reaction. It could be the attribution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to the US Drone strikes overseas. Sure… I get it. BUT, ummmm.. I’ve got a 2ft x 2ft flying device that can’t hold much more than it’s own GoPro camera. AND IT’S ME! Married Mom of 2, with house and job and all that responsibility and track record of semi-sanity. Why did my posts elicit such a strong response from my friends and followers?

In order to find the truth, I did a little test [completely unscientific]:

1. I posted pictures from the drone of aerial views of my neighborhood where no specific people could be seen in the photos. I didn’t comment that these were ‘drone pics’ and just shared the beautiful view.

2. I posted pictures from the drone of aerial views of an area in upstate NY, again, where no specific people could be seen in the photos. I posted with a comment “new pics from my quadcopter”.

3. I posted pictures from the drone of aerial views of a non-inhabited area of the North shore of Long Island. No houses or people could be seen in the photos. I posted with a comment “new pics from my drone”.

Each posting garnered a different reaction from my friends and followers [responses came in person and online]:

  •  Post 1: [Pics w/ no name attached] Most folks thought it was cool, they were excited and asked me how I got the pictures.
  •  Post 2: [Pics w/ quadcopter called out] Most folks thought it was cool. Most also asked how they could get one too (i.e. the quadcopter)
  •  Post 3: [Pics w/ drone called out] Questions of why, what, who and threats to shoot it down ensued.

Each posting had similar pictures of beautiful landscapes but I used different words to describe them causing an interesting reaction from that weirdly patriotic group [NOTE: I’m not poking fun at the patriotic, just those that tie patriotism to unnecessary things like toys called drones] that think I have interest in spying on them.

I haven’t made up my mind yet.  Should I continue to call it a “drone” to laugh at the reaction or should I do what DJI Global did and remove the word from my vocabulary (notice their site is almost devoid of the term “drone” and they use terms like “high performance aerial camera systems”)?

Well, while I decide, I figured I’d post this confession today and share with you a few of the pics I’ve taken so far.

Confession: I have a drone, and I like it… and here are some pics to enjoy! (I swear, I have no interest in peeking into your windows.)

DCIM100GOPRO

Starting it up…

Check out those cherry blossoms

Check out those cherry blossoms!

drone1 drone2 drone3 drone4 drone5 drone6

MeetUp Success: Long Island Women in Tech

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Actually, every time I received a NYC MeetUp notification from Women Who Code NYC or Girl Develop It and realized I couldn’t make the trek into the city, I vowed to create a group that could meet out on Long Island, NY.

You see, the train into the city is at least 1 hour on the express and with juggling my work, life (kids, family, etc.) and play (my running addiction), it’s a struggle to add the 1.5 or so hours each way to my daily commute.

Well, I’ve finally done it! I created a group that can help Women in Tech, network, learn and grow in our technology roles while staying close to home. By forming this group, we hope to breathe new life into tech on Long Island by fostering technical education, sessions on software design and development, meetings on product management and ownership, discussions on agile framework, UX and usability design, becoming a tech leader, mentorship and sponsorship and more.

Introducing MeetUp Group: Long Island Women in Tech

Last night was our first meet up held in the CA Technologies office in Islandia, NY and we were able to meet 17 of the 50+ members of our group face-to-face.

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We started out with a quick ‘ice breaker’ using the LeanIN connection cards, then I did a brief presentation introducing the group, and last we tried out “Small Networking Groups” activity which is a slight spin on an Unconference.

All-in-all, the event was a success.  We had great participation, great conversation and excitement for what is to come.

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I’d like to thank my awesome volunteers for helping kick this off and running logistics; Gina Ribaudo, my awesome mother who setup and babysat for the mom’s attending the event. Jay Muller, my supportive husband who handled setup, tear down and the phone lines. Olivia Muller, my daughter who ran the sign in desk and created some awesome directional signs to get everyone to the right place. Michael Brennan, my helpful colleague and friend who took pictures and helped setup for the price of garlic knots. Christy Walsh, who let us borrow her meeting room, dragged in tables and chairs and searched for ice and whiteboards while doing her day-job.

I welcome you to join us in continuing the conversation via our LinkedIN Group – Long Island Women in Tech.  Even if you’re not a woman, not in tech and/or not on Long Island, you can join the conversation virtually and contribute or gain value from the great advice and questions posed by our members.

I look forward to connecting with you.

Here are some links to join us:

**Our Next MeetUp is in NYC at the Cloud Expo/ DevOps Summit – Join us here!**

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