When I think of 2010, I think of people who inspire me.  These people are exceptional, they constantly amaze and delight me.  I thought it might be nice to share them with you.

SoCalDevGal’s People to Watch from 2010  

10 and 9.  Who – Derrick Muneene and Dr. Mark Shields

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What – SmartCare, the largest electronic medical records system deployed in Africa.  SmartCare has been accepted as the national standard in Zambia is being deployed to every health-care facility in the country over the next 3 years.

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Why – Because they have tirelessly led their team to improve and increase the EMR implementation, pushing into new countries, adding new modules, hiring and training replacement team members, etc…Both work very hard, literally not sleeping much.  Mark travels constantly for both personal and business and Derrick battles internal politics and many other challenges.

Follow –www.SmartCare.org.zm

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2010 Highlight – standing on the TechEd Africa (Durban) closing keynote stage with Derrick (shown above), with me acting as a mock ‘patient’ for SmartCare as Derrick explained the system to the audience of over 3,000.

8.Who – Mahnaz Javid

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What – The MONA Foundation, a world-wide organization dedicating to supporting local education projects.
 
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Why – Mahnaz and her team have grown their NGO over 10 years and they make a difference where it counts – one current focus area – Haiti.  They put their resources to work WITH local people to make real change.  Read about current projects – here.

Follow –www.MONAFOUNDATION.org

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2010 Highlight – writing a big check (which Microsoft matched) as a donation to the foundation.  I dedicated my second SQL BI book to Mahnaz and send a portion of every royalty check to her foundation.

7.Who – Sloane Berrent

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What –The Causemopolitan, ‘Cause it’s my Birthday, Kiva Fellow, NOLAlicious, more…

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Why – Sloane is a whirlwind.  Where she goes, good things follow.  I don’t think I’ve met a person who is more connected in the non-profit world.  From working as a KIVA fellow in the Philippines, to re-housing NOLA residents, to covering world-wide summits, Sloane has her hand in so many things.  Her energy is amazing.

Follow –on twitter @Sloane or at www.Causemopolitan.com

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2010 Highlight – Promoting Sloane’s ‘Cause It’s My Birthday’ tour in LA, helping her to raise money to buy mosquito nets for Ghana at her party.

6.Who – Lotay Yang

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What – Black Card Circle a foundation that brings together people, resources and needs from around the world.  His ‘voice’ is powerful, on twitter alone, @Lotay currently has over 65,000 followers.

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Why – Lotay is another whirlwind expanding his BCC Foundation world-wide this year.  He’s constantly involved in supporting worthy-charities in SoCal via events, and throughout the world.  He’s currently in China, running BCC events there.

Follow – on twitter @Lotay and www.BlackCardCircle.com

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2010 Highlight – Being a speaker at his BCC event in Mission Viejo, CA and talking about DigiGirlz and sharing my time with Rebecca Constantine of Access Books LA.

5.Who – Cindy Gallop

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What – Cindy is fearless!  She runs two websites ‘IfWeRanTheWorld’ and ‘MakeLoveNotPorn’.  She’s an in-demand speaker, most notorious for her talk on the latter site at TED and she speaks her mind in an electrifying way.

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Why – Cindy offers opinions that need to be heard and is a catalyst for action.

Follow –www.IFWeRanTheWorld.com

2010 Highlight – Cindy’s following on Twitter is powerful.  She kindly helped us to grow attendance to the first TeachingKidsProgramming event in Washington DC simply by tweeting about it.

4.Who – Genevieve L’Esperance

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What – Gen is a fireball and a technical young woman.  She interviewed James Cameron and his wife at Microsoft Imagine cup finals and learned to teach programming to girls.  She also runs her own video blog and keynotes (GenINC.tv) – oh and she just turned 18 this year.

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Why – We need more young technical girl leaders, on tap for next year more keynotes, and more teaching for TKP.

Follow –www.GenINC.tv

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2010 Highlight – Gen was the lead teacher for the TKP event in Washington DC.  She single-handedly taught 52 girls to program using our SmallBasic courseware.

3.  Who – Douglas Campbell

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What – MindshareLA, SyynLabs, Tuexedo Tyrants, more.  If you are looking for brainy fun in LA or NY, follow Doug.  Doug and his merry band run highly entertaining events in SoCal and NY.  Play and learn, why not?  Also he asks very good questions. I’ve been there since the beginning at MindshareLA and it has been a very good ride indeed.

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Why – We could all stand a bit more brainy fun, couldn’t we.  Besides I’ve met really interesting people at each and every one of Doug’s events. 

Follow –www.MindshareLA.com

2010 Highlight – At the last MindshareLA, my ‘seat mate’ was a newcomer to LA. She is a programmer and was looking to ‘help out’.  I got her connected to a whole bunch of people and we’ve stayed in touch since!

2.Who – Donald Farmer

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What – In addition to being a fantastic person to work with (Donald works on the SQL team for Microsoft), he, like me, has done personal technical volunteering for years.   He may be quiet, but his voice on BI is respected – a search for ‘Donald Farmer’ SQL on Bing returns over 4 million results.

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Why – Who else can I talk about Master Data Management in Denali and about getting work done in rural areas where there is no electricity?  Oh and he’s Scottish too, so a great sense of humor included! Follow –on twitter @donaldDotFarmer

2010 Highlight – We met for the second year in a row, as speakers, at Tech Ed Africa.  It’s a great time to catch up, weirdly on the other side of our world, but it works.

1.Who – Llewellyn Falco

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What – We teach kids programming and now we both volunteer on SmartCare, oh and we are partners in life too – I am a lucky gal, aren’t I?

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Why – Anyone who would ‘take 5 vaccinations’ (for Africa volunteering) for me is a keeper – also I learned TDD and a whole lotta’ Java along the way too! Who else would pair program with an agile developer from Serbia for a project in Zambia while on a trip to Seattle with me? Llew also won ‘Agilist of the Year’ for his community contributions in SoCal.

Follow –on twitter @isidore_us & on http://blog.approvaltests.com/


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2010 Highlight – (hard to name just one!)  TKP courseware library and delivery of over 35 live events to kids in 2010 – more at www.TeachingKidsProgramming.org.

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I hope you enjoyed my list.  Now I am wondering, who inspires you?  Let me know via this blog.