GirlGeek of the Week
Heather Osterloh's innovative, competitive, and
outgoing spirit started very early in her life. The fifth youngest
of six sisters and born into Army life, Heather learned how to quickly
adapt to change.
Heather's ability to thrive on change and challenge has manifested
into a philosophy of GirlGeeky optimism. In 1985, she landed a job
managing a NetWare network at The Vallejo Company, a business owned
by Gordon Getty. Heather had no networking experience, but at that
time few people did. She quickly learned whatever she could through
books and the consultants she hired. Soon, she didn't need consultants
At the time there seemed to be no other women in internetworking.
But that didn't stop her growth. Heather took a NetWare Administrator
course at Novell with instructor Laura Chappell. Laura suggested
to Heather that she would make a great instructor and Heather's
professional path was born.
At first Heather was self-conscious of being a woman in a male-dominated
field. Men constantly questioned her ability as an instructor. She
realized that the only way to gain respect was to arm herself with
knowledge. To stay ahead of her mostly male students, she would
spend two days researching topics for each day of class she taught.
In the early 1990s, she started her own consulting and training
firm, Contract Training. In 1998 Contract Training evolved into
IT Academy, a permanent training facility specializing in Cisco
and Microsoft accelerated training. During the 90's Heather developed
courseware and training videos for Cisco and Microsoft certification
training as well as developing the first accelerated CCNP course
in the world. And in the Summer of 2000 Heather released a book,
CCNA 2.0 Prep Kit 640-507 Routing and Switching, published by
did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers
By accident I was at the right place at the right time. I
worked for a company with one of the first Novell networks.
do you earn a living?
I press Enter and wait a lot! Training and consulting.
Do you consider yourself a Geek?
I think Geek is a compliment. I've worked hard to earn the title
and wear it as a badge of honor.
is your favorite Website?
I don't have a favorite. There are so many web sites I visit to
gather information that are amazingly helpful.
do you do when you are not working?
hard, study for my next certification like the CCIE, golf, play
with my dog.
would play you in a movie about your life?
Bullock, like in The Net.
would be the title of your autobiography?
No Crying in Networking"
and where were you the happiest?
a Caribbean island relaxing in the sun.
you could have one super power what would it be?