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GirlGeek of the Week
April 2000

Renee Fulton-Wehmeyer

Renee Fulton-Wehmeyer

Renee's first foray into geekdom happened when she was 6 years old. Her grandmother gave her a Texas Instruments "Speak and Spell," those colorful plastic predecessors to Palm Pilots. She progressed quickly to another TI machine, one that read cartridges and used a television as a monitor. Limited by its assortment of spelling games, it wasn't long before Renee began spending all her free time at the "powerful" Apple IIs at school.

"My generation 'grew up' in the technology age. Most of us aren't afraid of computers which is a big plus when it comes to learning more," says Renee.

Like many of today's college students Renee savored the bandwidth afforded a university computing network. At times communicating with peers strictly through email, she became an "internet junkie." And in spending hours in the university's computing labs, Renee discovered not only a treasured pastime but a very versatile means of doing business.

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

I always knew that computers were useful for more than education. But after college I had no work experience, which is what "good employers" want. So, I worked as a receptionist for a company that serviced computers and networks for small and medium businesses in Texas.

Shortly after I was hired, this company merged with an e-commerce business. I began working with the web development team doing data entry. Soon, they realized my dedication and asked if I'd take "correspondence" classes from ZDU to learn HTML. And just six months after being hired as a receptionist I became a web developer.

The web development team from that company and I recently started our own company. Which is where I'm at today. It's been a whirlwind, but I've learned and enjoyed every step of the way.

How do you earn a living?

I'm an e-commerce programmer for a recently formed company. I'm part of our web development team for customized sites. I personally prefer using ASP, VBScript, MS Access, and HTML. But as a team we support any language.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Well, it's funny you ask this question. I recently had a similar discussion with a client about him being a "dork", because he can tech a computer and me being a "nerd" because I know how to program. So we decided that dorks hire nerds for their Web sites and nerds hire dorks to fix their 'puters. So, if a nerd's a Geek, then yes, I guess I am a Geek. I'll take it as a compliment either way!

What is your favorite Web site?

It's hard to choose one favorite. Of course, I'm most proud and like to show off the ones I designed. From what I designed that I like the most are Shop Altex and Geocities. For fun, I can't live without these: Dixie Chicks, Yahoo Games and Hampsterdance.

What do you do when you are not working?

Read a lot, go to church, and spend lots of time with my hubby and friends. Since I telecommute to a virtual office it's hard not having any human "contact" all day, and very hard not getting out of the house all day. So I like to put myself around others before I really start thinking my cat can actually talk!


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