What is a Geek Whisperer?
Who benefits from my skills?Because I sit somewhere between the real geeks, the designers, the users, the management team and the customers, it has always been challenging to explain to people what I do. I have used ‘Universal Translator’, ‘Babelfish’ (for those who are familiar with Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchiker’s Guide to the galaxy’ books), ‘Orchestrator’ and ‘Tech Muse’, but none really captured the essence of what I do until a friend recently suggested ‘Geek Whisperer’. Nailed it!. And guess what… everyone seems to get it. In essence, I help non-tech people ‘speak geek’ and manage the process between tech and business in general so that we develop the right technology on time and on budget.
Streamline for product innovation
One of the major challenges in developing technology is to get the right mix of people, technology, processes and culture. And the solution is different for every organisation. Throughout my career, I have put in place processes that have created innovative products & solutions across industries and geographies. I have serviced every type of organisation including my own tech startups, major software conglomerates like Oracle, transport & logistics organisations like Wallenius Wilhelmsen lines, manufacturing leaders like AMCOR and Carlton United Breweries, as well as orchestrating the teams to deliver the next generation Primary Care for Telstra Health. I immerse myself with the team to create the best culture.
Take the complexity out of technology and development
Entrepreneurs & business owners often struggle to get their IT systems and technology developed. Where do I start? Who can help me? What is it that I need? How much should I pay? What will I get for it? When will my app be ready? Is the timeline going to blow out? What happens when it is ready? What if I think of something new? What if I don’t like it? Is it going to cost extra to fix? What do all the technologies mean? Will I be dependent on them forever? I work with my clients to help them validate their idea, walk in their customers shoes, articulate what it is that they need, collaborate with and manage the developers on behalf of my client, and help source the right team for the job.
Finding your feet in the tech world
A lot of us feel alienated and undervalued in the tech industry. If we don’t spend our entire lives in front of a computer, whether that is in the workplace, gaming or programming in the latest tech at home because it’s cool. We find it hard to relate to the majority of the tech-heads who are predominantly young, introverted men. So, if you are female, over 30, or maybe from a different cultural background, it can be difficult to be heard. When I started out in tech, I didn’t really notice too much. I thought it was kind of cool to be the only girl programmer – and extrovert. The sad thing is, it hasn’t changed much. In Australia today, we are back to the levels of the 1980’s. I use my own journey to help guide women, youth and other underrepresented people through the pathways and pitfalls in the tech industry. The diversity is sorely needed to ensure we develop humane tech.
Share my vision on the future of diversity & STEAM
Anyone who has met me know that I am not shy when it comes to sharing my views on the need for diversity in the tech industry. Especially with the rapid emergence of AI and other technology influencing our decisions. We have a major challenge in the tech industry. Most players in the technical roles are young, male, and introverted. Like most people, they prefer to hang around with people like themselves, share experiences. If we are going to have any chance of shaping our future, we need to bring other skillsets into the mix. There is a lot of focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as skills of the future. However, the thing that is often missing when developing technology, is the compassion, the artistry, the languages & communication, the collaboration, the creativity, the focus on doing things right. We need to bring the Arts into the STEM landscape to create STEAM. I am available for keynotes, panel discussions and other forums focused on diversity.
Gry Stene is an award-winning thought leader in digital transformation and product management. She leads businesses through significant change and transformation by translating between ‘geek speak’ and business. Many people refer to her as ‘the Geek Whisperer’ Through her 30 remarkable and passionate years in the industry, Gry has pioneered technological innovation for social change. She brings that to life for audiences world-wide via her keynote speaking and in her role as mentor and coach to women and young people aspiring to what she calls ‘STEAM-powered’ careers. Gry is co-founder of KinChip Systems, a digital health company, and she is currently setting up her next startup. She has honed her skills with Telstra Health, Oracle, Gemcom (now Dassault), Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines, Viewlocity (now Axway) and more. She holds a BSc (Hon) Computation from The University of Manchester and an MBA from The University of Western Australia. She connects globally and lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Digital Product Manager “Gry built the product management team from scratch. She was always focused on improving the way things were done, and looking for opportunities for improvement. She has a knack for identifying problem areas, whether technical or organizational. She has tremendous drive and energy and was always pushing hard to get work done, and done better.” – Ben, R&D Manager
Mentor “Very positive engagement experience. Our sessions were always very focused and thought provoking. You asked a lot of probing questions which made me reflect on answering the what and why questions.” – Angela, Mentee
R&D Manager “I had the pleasure of working with Gry for five years. Her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge were an asset to all the projects on which we collaborated. Gry is an excellent team builder and facilitator, bringing people and ideas together to solve problems and achieve goals. ” – Joanne, R&D Manager