Cate Huston is an alumna of IBMâ€™s Extreme Blue program and will finish her Masters in Computer Science at the University of Ottawa researching influence and media contagion on Twitter by the end of 2010. She has a BSc (hons) in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh. Cate has trained in martial arts in China and is a CSIA Level 2 certified ski instructor. She has taught programming in the UK, US, China and Canada and has developed programming curricula that was taught across the US. You can find her latest CC-licensed curriculum, developed for uOttawa here. Cate is the former president of Women in Science and Engineering at uOttawa and is currently Instigator of Awesome at Awesome Ottawa and an Editor of CompSci Woman. She blogs about technology, programming, effectiveness and life at Accidentally in Code and twitters as @catehstn.
My coolest title right now is â€œInstigator of Awesomeâ€ at Awesome Ottawa. So whatâ€™s Awesome Ottawa? Itâ€™s a group of 10 trustees and a Dean of Awesome, and every month we give away $1000 to enable something awesome. So far, weâ€™ve funded an art-flash-mob, a living-evolving installation, a 350-org climate change event.
When Levannia asked me to give this talk, I thought â€œhow am I going to talk for an hour about starting Awesome Ottawa! Itâ€™s not a very interesting storyâ€.
The reality is, that I decided to do it, pitched it to some people, blogged about it, about within two months we were giving out our first award.
So instead what Iâ€™m going to do is talk to you about some things that I learned along the way, that have enabled me to do things like this. I donâ€™t have it all figured out, and itâ€™s not all easy â€“ if you want to do something awesome, youâ€™ll have to learn to fail, and be okay with that. Not everyone will like what youâ€™re doing. Not everyone will like you, period. Thereâ€™s times, and Iâ€™ve definitely had them, where I question why I keep going, why I keep doing what I do â€“ but I persist. Iâ€™m going to try and explain why.