Featured WiTH Member – Rebecca Stavick, Do Space

Getting up close and personal with our next member profile – Rebecca Stavick, Executive Director of Do Space

Q: What is on your reading list? 

Right now I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See – a novel about two kids growing up in Europe during WWII. I also keep a running list of tech and news articles that I read on my phone when I have down time.

Q: What challenges do you face as a woman in the IT industry?

Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I automatically face challenges in the IT industry. Let’s rephrase this question to “What opportunities do you have as a woman in the IT industry?” — and my answer to that question is, as a woman, I have the opportunity to challenge the status quo, and to challenge people’s perceptions of women in tech. Now is an especially exciting time to be a tech leader because the industry is changing so rapidly, and I’m excited to be part of it all.

 Q: What websites do you visit on a daily basis?

You mean iOS apps? 🙂 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Slack, Wunderlist, Snapchat, and Rdio.

 Q: You’ve done a lot of work with Open Nebraska – what makes you so passionate about that cause?

Civic hacking is all about making local information more accessible – it’s the process of taking raw data sets and transforming them into useful webs apps and tools so the average person can access and interact with local information. I’m interested in any cause that empowers people gain a better understanding of their community. My passion to promote tech for the social good drives me in everything I do.

Q: What was your first job?

My first job was working at Target. I worked there for several years in customer service and in their security department.

Q: Do you have any advice for women thinking of entering the technical industry?

“If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking permission.”  To thrive in the tech industry, you have to have a hacker’s mindset. You have to think of barriers as opportunities, and you must to be willing to break things and seek forgiveness later. Be bold, explore your interests, and don’t limit yourself based on what you think you don’t know.

 Q: What do you love most about the Omaha tech community?

I love the Omaha tech community. I’ve found it to be incredibly welcoming and inclusive, and people in the community really care about each other, and care about making Omaha a better place. Omaha techies are my favorite people ever!

Q: What is the thing you are most looking forward to when Do Space opens?

Do Space is the beginning of a community tech movement to bring people of all backgrounds in one place so we all can learn tech together. I can’t wait for Omahans to see the inside of the building, interact with technology in the space, and participate in all that Do Space has to offer. There’s nothing like it in the country, and I’m excited to be part of a project that’s going to have such a positive impact on the community.

You didn’t ask my favorite quote, but I’m going to give it to you anyway:

“I have an almost complete disregard of the precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of the precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past.” — Clara Barton

10 Comments

  • dirk says:

    hope that the Do-Space as an institution shares her appreciation for public information/access/goods and focuses on open-source tech.
    one question I had after reading this is has Rebecca worked directly in the tech industry? thanks

    • Nicole Wheeler says:

      Rebecca has been a major player with Open Nebraska and civic hacking.

      • dirk says:

        indeed, but is that a no to my question?

        • Nicole Wheeler says:

          Based on the Q&A, we didn’t dive directly into tech industry work experience, just the many other ways she has contributed to the community. Feel free to follow up with her directly on Twitter, if necessary.

          • dirk says:

            ok thanks was confused by:
            “Q: What challenges do you face as a woman in the IT industry?
            Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I automatically face challenges in the IT industry. Let’s rephrase this question to “What opportunities do you have as a woman in the IT industry?” — and my answer to that question is, as a woman, I have the opportunity to challenge the status quo, and to challenge people’s perceptions of women in tech. Now is an especially exciting time to be a tech leader because the industry is changing so rapidly, and I’m excited to be part of it all.”

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