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GirlGeek of the Week
March 2000

Ellen Bottas

Ellen spent nearly ten years as a self-described underachiever, part of the time pursuing a career as a musician. Sick of waiting tables and bouncing between guitar bands she sought a career change by taking an administrative position at a law firm.

While tracking massive amounts of litigation paperwork one day, her manager brought in a Compaq "sewing machine" portable (this was before laptops) and told Ellen he wanted her to learn Paradox and WordPerfect so she could track documents by computer and write electronic reports.

Ellen had no tech training but found that not only had she an aptitude for learning these things quickly, but really liked it! Determined to learn all she could, Ellen bought tech manuals for WordPerfect, Paradox, and C. Before she knew it, this guitar slinger had completely reinvented herself.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

I found out I had an aptitude for computer stuff while I was an office temp. It was my ticket out of a long series of McJobs.

How do you earn a living?

I work as a computer consultant, usually as a systems integrator. My specialty is configuring database applications and writing code to support functions not found in the native products.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Guilty as charged.

What is your favorite Website?

I'm not actually much of a surfer. I use Excite as my home page, check my horoscopes and ZDNet news. Occasionally someone sends me the URL of an interesting article and I'll follow it... the true and truly geeky answer is that one of my favorite Websites is the Microsoft Knowledgebase - I find a lot of answers to odd problems there.

What do you do when you are not working?

I'm a musician, and I sing and play guitar with my band, Happy Little Clouds.


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