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GirlGeek of the Week
April 2001

The Women of OpenCola

The Women of OpenCola

Diti Dienna

Diti is kicking all kinds of programming butt at OpenCola. She holds the company record for having programmed in the most active working code in the most languages (VB, Java, C, and Perl). Although she is an orthodox Jewish woman, she has managed to keep the faith amidst the rambunctious, potty-mouthed geeks of OpenCola.

Diti always had an interest in computer programming. After high school, Diti found a job as a preschool teacher. Realizing that programming computers is easier than programming children, Diti began a year of intensive computer studies and expanded upon her exposure to computers and innate interest in technology. Soon after, Diti found a job as a junior programmer at OpenCola, doing what she likes best.

Helen Waters

Helen left England for Canada in 1988. Although she enjoyed the sunshine and winter activities of the new world, Helen missed good tea and decent chocolate so recently moved back to the U.K.

Helen served time in the secretarial trenches for 5 years before landing a job at Canada's largest public relations firm. There she got her first taste of technology working on the Apple Canada account. Inspired to seek out all the knowledge of geekdom, she moved from PR flack to technical support to graphic design. Then the great doors of OpenCola opened to her with a world of like-minded misfits and inspired nerds. Helen currently administers OpenCola's intranet from the comfort of her London flat. She also holds the enviable title of OpenCola Employee Number One.

Suzanne Rollen

Suzanne's interest in computers started in the early 80s, when her father bought the family a Commodore 64 for Christmas. She quickly realized that not only was it cool to be the only kid in elementary school to turn in typed reports (without typos, even), but that she could also use the computer to draw and play endless hours of games, even making her own games. Eventually, in college, she got her own PC for theatrical design courses. She also discovered the Internet and the global community. As a foreign language and culture buff, she was hooked.

After college she moved to Austin, TX. At first it was tough to get into the computer industry because her degrees were in Liberal Arts, but she worked her way up, by spending time building and repairing computers at a local shop, eventually working at a local e-Commerce company until it shut down. Today she's at OpenCola testing software, tracking the bugs database, and acting as the liaison between developers and clients.

Do you consider yourself a geek?


Not so much. I just really enjoy programming.


Of course!


Not if it in anyway relates me to those frightening "1-800-Be-A-Geek" Commercials.

Who is the person you most admire?


I most admire my mother. She is amazing. She raised five wonderful children and works full time.


Cory Doctorow (founder and Chief Evangelist, OpenCola and award winning author). He's the most accomplished person I know. The only thing I've ever seen Cory suck at is Snowboarding. And man, did he suck!

What is your favorite web site?

Helen: Be careful reading this at work, it's laugh-out-loud, snort [Open]Cola up yer nose funny.


The web site I use most often is Google.

Suzanne: It's pretty amazing to have full conversations in a language I don't know with someone across the planet.

What do you do when you're not working?

Helen: Oh, the usual: reading, movies, Coronation Street. I make compilation CDs, complete with artwork, for special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays and road trips. Forget Bridget Jones' Diary: I have Helen Waters' Soundtrack. Check them out:

Suzanne: Play video games, watch movies/T.V., hang out with friends, attempt to learn/practice foreign languages.

When and where were you the happiest?

Helen: Right now, right here.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Suzanne: Is there someone in Hollywood even vaguely like me?

If you could have one super power what would it be?

Helen: I would like "Command-F" for my life. Imagine: never mislay anything ever again!

What's your motto?

Suzanne: Not all who wander are lost.


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