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Where My Girls At? Part III: The Tech Tea with Kimberly

We are entering the third week of chatting from some of my amazing tech friends.

This week we are hearing from someone I have know forever. We have worked together and she probably has heard about my career challenges more than anyone. I thought this would be a great time for her to shine.


Joining us on this week's Tech Tea Q&A is Cynthia Moran.

Cynthia, tell us about yourself and what you do.

I am a lifelong learner who enjoys problem-solving using different methods. That’s led me to do some very interesting work as an IT Architect where I’ve led technical implementation teams in projects driving innovative solutions. I started as a programmer /analyst and progressed over the years and now as an architect / senior technical project leader I finally found my niche. I have earned certifications in Six Sigma and Configuration Management methodologies and Certified Scrum Master.

What’s your professional background, and how did you get into your current career?

I have a marketing degree from which naturally led to my career in IT. I’m kidding, of course, but I’ll tell you how that happened. I decided early on that Marketing wasn’t the career path for me. I worked closely with a developer in a previous position and determined the technical field was a better fit. I started as a programmer analyst and after many years, decided I needed a change of pace. In my governmental organization, progression means leadership, so my promotion led me to become a supervisor. I have a penchant for talking to people and understand the development aspects in coding and translating those to people who don’t understand. So, becoming an IT Architect was a natural progression because I love the technical side of projects, data governance, and data standards.

Tell us what a typical day at work looks like for you.

I manage a high-performing team of cross-functional technology resources, so my day is split between project meetings, leading my team meetings, and user support. On rare occasions, I have the opportunity to hone my technical skills by creating a report or determining a technical solution to solve problems.

How does your current role help your company?

There is always an issue in a governmental agency with one person performing a task in which no one else has a clue. In my position, I’ve created and documented standard operating procedures, so future employees will have a guide to performing their tasks. I also encourage my team to take advantage of any training. To promote team growth and leadership, periodically, each team member conducts lunch and learn sessions on their subject of choice (it can be a hobby or technical skill). Also, I contribute by sharing institutional knowledge on projects to assist the gap analysis process and interface development.

What do you like best about your current position?

I love the autonomy I have in performing my job. My manager trusts me, and I’ve developed positive relationships between my internal stakeholders and vendors.

What is the most challenging thing about your current position?

To be honest, the most challenging thing about my current position is navigating in a waterfall environment. Projects take longer and by the time of implementation, the requirements are either obsolete or resource turnover is unable to confirm/walkthrough the previous requirements.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Being a woman in technology, I sometimes get intimidated by being the only woman in the room. Someone told me to trust myself and believe in what I had to offer.

What advice would you give other women about a tech career?

You belong! Go for the certifications and continuing education and don’t be afraid to add your input. Let their doubt fuel you, but know it is ok to remove yourself from unhealthy environments.

How would you rate your tech career on a scale of 1-5 and why?

4...I wish I had made different career moves earlier.

Tell us one really cool or unique thing about you.

I'm more excited to receive gadget gifts than I am flowers, purses, or shoes.


Thanks Cynthia! It is always cool to learn something new about people we know so well.

Since we are both in this crazy government world...drinks on me the next time I'm in town.

I am certainly enjoying this girl time. We have one more to go, so stay tuned.

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