Hi! GirlGerms here. In the real world I go by Jess Dodson. I’m a Security/Identity architect with approximately 20ish years of experience, based in sunny Queensland, Australia. Mad keen Microsoft fangirl (unsurprisingly) an ex-Microsoft MVP (2016-2019), and a Microsoft CSA! I’m big on passing on information to others that’s technically relevant, as well as passing on information that, while not technical, is useful for those in system administration. Core skills (not soft skills!) for the win!
I’m also the mum to a tiny human who is constantly evolving – Lil’ GirlGerms (as she’s not a baby anymore!) was born in 2017! Now running after an energetic 5yo who’s in Prep, loves to move all the time and is only still when she’s sleeping.
In whatever spare time I manage to wrangle for myself, I play video games, read fantasy and sci-fi novels, collect and build *far* too much Lego (no, really, it’s becoming a problem, I’m running out of room for it all!) and I’m also a keen crafter of all sorts of things – current craze is chainmaille jewellery. I’m a genuine crazy cat lady with a Siberian cat & three chickens that cause no end of terror…plus a hive of bees >.>
When speaking with me, please refer to me as Jess – I also respond to GirlGerms, GG and “Oi, you!”. I’m not a fan of Jesse/Jessie/Jessy and will not respond to being called any of them. Jessica is only for use when I’m in trouble…which doesn’t happen that often because I’m an angel 😇
<arse-covering>All opinions/thoughts/ideas/rants/general snarkiness presented on this blog and on the following social media/gaming sites are purely individual to lil’ ol’ me. They definitely do not represent my current or previous employers or any associations I’m a member of, unless explicitly stated. </arse-covering>
Email/Messenger/Skype: [email protected]
The following social network accounts are my personal accounts – best chance of getting me to respond is to hit me up on Twitter or Discord, both of which are public. My Facebook is locked down – you need to work your way to the “inner circle” to get into that one and I don’t accept random friend requests unless I do actually know you.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/girlgerms (public)
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/user/girlgerms/ (public)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jess.r.dodson (close friends and family only)
Imgur: http://girlgerms.imgur.com/ (public)
Instagram: http://instagram.com/jess_girlgerms/ (public)
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/geekgirlgerms/ (public)
Ask.fm: http://ask.fm/jess_girlgerms (public)
Discord: GirlGerms#4019 (does require us to be connected via a mutual server – ping me elsewhere and I might invite you to NerdFest…don’t know what NerdFest is? Ask me about it!)
The following are my professional social media accounts and include my professional accomplishments. Please be aware that unless I’ve worked with you or have interacted with you in some professional way I will not accept your LinkedIn request – don’t be dismayed, speaking with me online via Twitter/Reddit, speaking with me at a conference etc. all counts!
Email: [email protected]
Microsoft Tech Community: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/141499
STEM Women: https://www.stemwomen.org.au/profile/jess-dodson
Experts Exchange: https://www.experts-exchange.com/members/Jess-Dodson.html
Slack: https://slack.com/ – I lurk in a number of professional Slack channels. If you can see a ‘girlgerms’ in your Slack, it’s most likely me.
Other professional things
For a list of my work history and how I got to where I currently am in IT & system administration, feel free to read the whole story!
- Appeared on The Current Status podcast, speaking on Server 2003 decommissions
- Speaker at Microsoft Ignite Australia 2015, where I spoke on Active Directory security, administration & maintenance & presented a [email protected] talk on “The Killer Guide to Getting Certified”
- Listed as part of JessConf – a fork of KatieConf – to highlight technical women speakers who just happen to be called Jess (or some variation thereof!)
- Awarded a Microsoft MVP in Cloud & Datacenter Management for 2016
- Speaker at Microsoft Ignite New Zealand 2016, where I spoke (yet again) on Active Directory security, administration & maintenance
- Interviewed by Rick Claus for Channel 9 on speaking at Ignite NZ’16, my career so far, the origins of my online handle and my passion for being a systems administrator!
- Interviewed by Kimberly Crawley as a woman in the InfoSec space
- Speaker at Microsoft Ignite Australia 2017, where I presented a [email protected] talk titled: “Explain yourself!” – explaining what we do, while trying to keep everyone happy!
- Interviewed by Seth Juarez for Channel 9 on being an Enterprise IT Pro & all that entails (also available on YouTube for TechEdEurope!)
- Interviewed by Adam Stephenson for SSW TV on my [email protected] talk about how we can explain ourselves better to our users and management and why it’s important!
- Featured by Mary Jo Foley as a Petri Community Champ (and featured on International Women’s Day 2017 no less! ^_^ )
- Interviewed for the Windows Insider Podcast (Episode #2)
- Moderator for /r/sysadmin for 2017/2018
- Interviewed by Sam Jarman for his Dev Chats series
- Awarded a Windows Insider MVP for 2017
- Re-awarded a Microsoft MVP in Cloud & Datacenter Management for 2018
- Featured by @cfpwomen in their list of women available for talks and conferences
- Was the featured guest of I.T. Career Energizer podcast on 21st December 2018
- Spoke at Microsoft Ignite 2019 in Sydney, on Women’s stories from the tech trenches; and also spoke as part of a panel on Hyperfocus & neurodiversity in tech along with other Microsoft Insiders
- Spoke at CrikeyCon 2019 in Brisbane, expanding on my Women’s stories from the tech trenches talk
- Started work at MICROSOFT (seriously, the dream job…) in May 2019
- Joined the Microsoft MVP Reconnect network, as I’m no longer eligible to be an MVP (😭) due to being an official blue-badge at MSFT
- Working with Sonia Cuff as part of the APAC #WomenITPros events team – co-MCing a talk every month on technical topics for Women IT Pros in the APAC region
- Spoke at MSIgnite 2019 in Florida, delivering my talk on women’s stories from the tech trenches, as well as participating in a live interview with Rick Claus, and being part of the closing “Slideshow Roulette” for Channel9
- Spoke at DDD Brisbane on “Security 101” in November 2019
- Was interviewed for Hashnodes #SheInspires podcast in September 2020
- Was interviewed for RunAs Radio on what you need to do to become ‘cloud ready’
- Spoke at CrikeyCon 2021 in Brisbane, on “Back to Basics”, in March 2021 (on my BIRTHDAY, in fact!)
- Spoke at AusCERT 2021 – as part of the opening Keynote panel, delivering my “Back to Basics” talk, and as part of their closing Speed Debate – in May 2021
- Spoke as a guest on We Hack Purple’s podcast in June 2021
- Featured in Women in Security Magazine (Issue 3, page 100) regarding my AusCert presentation on Security basics.
- Was the guest speaker for Azure Data User Group, giving my “Back to Basics” talk (slightly modified for a data-focused crowd)
- Spoke on Malware Bytes ‘Lock and Code’ podcast on “Why we fail at getting the cybersecurity basics right” in Novermber 2021
- Was the keynote speaker for AHECS 2021 (November 2021) talking on why “Security Needs It’s People!”
- A guest again on Lock and Code, talking about ‘Why we don’t patch’
- Thrilled to be on The Azure Security Podcast talking about ‘Security: The boring bits’
- Was one of the Diversity and Inclusion feature women for Microsoft on International Women’s Day 2022
- Was a guest again on RunAsRadio Episode 809 talking about DevSecOps
- Presented at ComfyCon 2022 with my security “Back to Basics” talk (WARNING: NSFW – much profanity)
- Presented at AusCert 2022 on ‘Zero Trust: What does it actually MEAN?‘ as well as being lucky enough to be part of their Speed Debate again
- Accepted to speak at AISA BrisSec’22, but sadly due to other commitments, couldn’t make it – hopefully soon!
- Presented ‘CyberSecurity 101: Back to Basics‘ for the Melbourne Women Who Code meetup
- Guest on ITSP podcast, hosted by Amina Aggarwal, talking about ‘Confidence and Optimism‘ as part of the ‘Living and Breathing technology’ series
- Presented at ComfyCon 2022 TOO along with Sarah Young, presenting “Women’s Stories from the Tech Trenches v2.0“
- Co-host (along with Kenny Singh and Daniel Goffredo) for Authorised Access Microsoft ANZ pocast
- A guest on RunAsRadio (3rd time lucky!) talking about Strengthening Security (Episode 867)
- Guest on AusCERTs “Share Today, Save Tomorrow” podcast (Episode 18) talking about Zero Trust
- Presented at WiCys webinar in February 2023 – “Tales from the tech trenches v2.0” with Sarah Young
- Speaking at DevNXT in Christchurch, NZ (April 2023)
You’ll usually be able to find me in most games as either GirlGerms/Girl-Germs or as Katalysta – modified, depending on how many characters I have. Just keep adding extra characters…you’ll find me eventually.
Always happy for friend invites or friend requests!
Battle.Net: girlgerms#6448 – WoW & Diablo III
(Playing WoW on Nagrand in “Magnanimous”. Main: Katalysta (Troll Mage – Arcane)
Alts: Katalyssta (Undead Priest – Shadow); Katalystaa (Orc Shaman – Elemental); Kataalysta (Blood Elf Demon Hunter – Havoc))
Steam: girl-germs – http://steamcommunity.com/id/girl-germs
Enjin: GirlGerms – http://www.enjin.com/profile/4811116
Twitch: GirlGerms – http://www.twitch.tv/girlgerms/profile
BrickSet: GirlGerms – http://brickset.com/profile/girlgerms (not really “gaming” related, but best place to put it!)
I deid use to previously lurk on snoonet.org, oz.org & freenode.net as ‘girlgerms’. I do not anymore. But yes – that was me.