Cloud Girls is honored to have amazingly accomplished, professional women in tech as its members. We take every opportunity to showcase their expertise and accomplishments – promotions, speaking engagements, publications and more. Now, we are excited to shine a spotlight on one of our members each month.

March’s Cloud Expert of the Month is Jennifer Galvin.

Galvin is senior solutions architect and Technical Evangelist for the channel at Okta, the leader in Identity-as-a-Service. She started her career with almost 10 years on the operational side before moving to the vendor side and architecting competitive enterprise private cloud services at Verizon and SHI. She  helped design the infrastructure that runs the Disney All-Access Pass service.  She worked for many technology leaders such as HP and VMware, and also joined several cutting-edge startups before joining Okta.

To give back to the technical community, Galvin took over as leader of DC Agile Software Testing in 2014, successfully growing the community to become the largest professional meetup group in the DC metro area for software test professionals and has since passed leadership of the organization on to two amazing members. She has a Master’s Degree of Science in Computer Science from John’s Hopkins

When did you join Cloud Girls and why?
In 2015 I was working in a startup and through a partner heard of the organization. At the time my position was really challenging with a lot of unknowns and Cloud Girls was a small, professional organization focused mainly on the channel, which was something I had only started to become involved in but was interesting to me. Having a motivated and driven professional organization has been helpful in the past but the experience, professionalism and closeness of the group blew me away. I’m amazed by the talent in the room, it blew me away.  I can only hope to contribute as much expertise and talent as most of the ladies in this group.

What do you value about being a Cloud Girl?
The smaller size of the group and focus on face-to-face interaction at the retreat makes this professional organization not to be passed up. The group sets real goals and the women come from all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life. You can learn more and contribute more as part of a small group of hand-picked talent, especially this one.

What was your first “win” that made you confident that you were doing the right thing?

I have worked for not only large, successful companies, but have joined many startups as well, looking for challenges.  It’s a scary thing and involves a lot of unknowns. Most of what you are trying to do is not something the company has either ever done before, or done “well” before. And it’s a daunting task. The first time I did it, my entire network was extremely supportive, not just emotionally, but with advice and being open to questions, running scenarios, helping with plans, etc. — so much so that I felt like I brought far more experience to each challenge and ultimately did very well in that position.  That’s when I learned the value of networks and my own capital, but I try to do this now for others, actively.  We all need to step up to the challenges in life and not be afraid of failure and that time in my life really showed me that I could and should be doing that in my career.

What is the best professional/business book you’ve read and why?

“The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox.  It’s about solving inefficiencies in a manufacturing company, but the lessons about logistics, deriving underlying patterns and learning from observation and real-time metrics carry over into all fields — sales and technology, in particular, as these are all about “pipelines” just like you have in manufacturing.  Also, it starts out with what seems like an impossible problem to solve, so it doesn’t pander to the reader, and it is written as a novel, which makes it an easy and entertaining read (and the audiobook was even better).

What are the most exciting opportunities for women in tech?

Technology is now the foundation for every industry and career.  I would say finance, transportation, energy infrastructure, logistics and the space industry is probably the place we would love to see more smart women bubble up to the top.  Imagine a woman-owned cryptocurrency exchange?  Or a woman-led Uber, UPS or logistics company?  A leader in clean-energy generation with a female chief scientist?  A micro-satellite company that gives Lockheed Martin some serious competition?  Or a woman-led car manufacturer to rival Toyota, GM, and even Telsa?  These are spaces that are dramatically absent of smart, technical women in leadership positions today.