Lisa Seacat Deluca (34 years) wasn’t exposed to computers and programming until college and turned out just fine, “but the best way to find yourself and what you enjoy doing is to expose yourself to a lot of opportunities at a young age. Now that I’m a parent I want to give my kids the opportunity to try out a few things when they are confident making mistakes.”
So, beside her career at IBM, Lisa has written two children’s books: A Robot Story and The Internet of Mysterious Things in hopes to get kids learning about the joys of technology early on. The Internet of Mysterious Things – https://internetofmysteriousthings.com raised $25k on Kickstarter.
But now, when it comes to the world of IoT there she is one person you definitely should know:
Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Distinguished Engineer for IBM Watson Internet of Things.
Lisa leads a team focused on bringing IBM IoT consumer use cases to market. She holds a Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, and a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University with minors in Business Administration and Multimedia Productions. This year Lisa was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame and received an honorary PhD from Claremont Graduate University. In 2016, Lisa was named one of the Most Influential Women in IoT. She was named one of MIT’s 35 Innovators Under 35 in 2015, as well as, LinkedIn’s NextWave of 10 Enterprise Technologists Under 35, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, and IBM’s Working Mother of the Year for Working Mother Magazine. In 2014, she was named one of Network World’s 50 Most Fascinating People in the World of Technology. She is a TED speaker, and the most prolific female inventor in IBM history and the only one to ever reach the 100th Invention Plateau Award (an IBM internal patent award system). Her innovation portfolio includes over 600 patent applications filed within the United States and abroad, of which, 300 have been granted, to date. The subject of her patent ideas range from areas such as cloud, mobile, IoT, social, security, cognitive, commerce and everything in between. Lisa is an AAAS-Lemelson Inventor Ambassador where she increases visibility to the importance of innovation. Lisa has spoken at numerous tech conferences and written articles to share her technology and innovation passion with others.
WOW! (editors note 😉 )
For #YmazingPeople Lisa Seacat DeLuca, #WomenInTech, shared some of her most valuable career tips and insights with us:
Why do you do what you do and how did you get to this point?
Because I love it! I lucked into finding computer science and software engineering. I didn’t know what I wanted to do growing up but I knew I loved being on a computer and when it came time to applying for colleges I figured a degree in computer science MUST be using computers. I feel in love with engineering after a few internships I could picture a fulfilling career as a software engineer.
If you had a message for your 10 years younger you what would it be?
Follow your heart, keep being you. I wouldn’t want to give away what was in store for my future self but I’d be sure to tell myself to remain confident and love what I do. 🙂
If you had 1 question to ask the 20-30 years older you – what would it be?
How was the ride and did you make sure to make time for family? My mom always says “you can’t take it with you when you die”. It’s not all about making money, you need to love what you do and still realize you’re human… be happy.
What drives you?
I love playing with emerging technologies and challenging myself to learn every day. Which fits perfect with being a software engineer because there are new technologies that come out every day so it provides a great opportunity to stretch yourself mentally.
What routines do you have in your daily life?
I love checking things off of lists. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to put an ‘x’ on something I’ve completed. So I keep a list for both personal and professional things I’d like to complete and make sure to reference that list continuously to make sure I stay focused. I also block off my calendar for quiet time. It’s easy for your calendar to get filled up so sometimes you need to be a little selfish to get some time to recover and really dive into your work without interruptions.
Who are your role models?
Most of my role models are also my mentors. I’ve found people within my company that I lookup to and find their careers fascinating and then I reach out to them to continue that relationship. I saw a quote recently that talked about surrounding yourself with people you want to be like and it’s so true. It’s amazing how much you can learn from people that challenge you.
Who mentored you, and why?
I’ve been so lucky in that my company and our senior leaders are so willing to invest their time in shaping future generations and ultimately the future of our company. They make it a priority to give back to anyone who shows a passion and potential. I’ve had a lot of mentors throughout my career and I’ll continue to latch onto great leaders as I learn and grow as well as lift others as I climb in my career.
What was the best advice you have ever received?
“Ask for forgiveness, not permission”
What could young hustlers learn from you?
If you love what you do you’ll be successful. Don’t get into a rut where you are satisfied not challenging yourself.
What have you learnt from GenX/Babyboomers and from the younger GenZ?
The biggest take away I’ve learned from ALL generations is the sense of fulfillment with giving back and mentoring others. Even if you’re new in your career you’ve got a talent or skill that you can share with someone else. Teaching is empowering.
Thank you very much Lisa for that #ymazing interview!
TED video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK3uQiMT-qY
IBM day in the life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0ZTJ7OofIo
If you like Lisa’s thoughts, please share them on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook with the #YmazingPeople and follow along with this series!