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Cracking the Tech Career: Insider Advice on Landing a Job at Google, Microsoft, Apple, or any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

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14Women in Tech

I've mostly avoided talking in the first person for this book because career and interview advice typically isn't personal. It's abstract, somewhat objective: resumes should be concise, you should prepare a solid pitch for your interview, and so on. I haven't made this book about me, because it's not about me.

This chapter will be a stark contrast to the rest of the book. I can't possibly talk about being a woman in tech without acknowledging that this group includes me. The advice and the stories are those that I've experienced, both firsthand and through those who have confided in me.

Any view on this topic tends to make tempers flare. There are many questions, but no easy answers. Any anecdote can be countered by another anecdote, and any story has an alternate interpretation.

I wade into this topic reluctantly and out of obligation to give solid advice. I will do my best to offer fair and balanced advice—presenting the other side when possible—but I encourage you to scrutinize my advice for what rings true to you. There is no “one size fits all” answer.

On Men and Allies

Before talking about being a woman in tech, I want to say a few things to my male readers.

First, while this chapter is “for” women, I encourage men to read it, too. You have female coworkers, managers, and direct reports. Deeper insight into their experiences is valuable—and some of the advice applies to men, too.

Second, nothing in this chapter should be construed as being anti-male, particularly ...

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