Earl Duque

4 minute read

Two awesome and related announcements:

  • My second daughter, Jamie, was born this past Sunday, November 6, 2022. Thus, I will be noticeably quiet for a couple months as I spend my parental leave with my family!
  • In a couple weeks, the Developer MVP 2023 application will go live and stay open through the end of this calendar year.

Those things are related? How?

Because we need more women.

Behind that statement is me, and behind me is my credibility. It’s important for me to establish my credibility in this post because I want you, reader, to trust me and believe that I am worth listening to. Especially because much of the audience of this post will be men. One study says credibility is established by the speaker’s identity, their credentials, the reason they’re giving this speech, and the purpose of the speech. If you already trust my credibility, you can skip to down below.

Credentials. Before joining ServiceNow, I was a self-taught admin and developer, rose through the service desk ranks and eventually became a senior developer and then software engineering team lead. I was a Developer MVP every year since the program began. I started and managed multiple student developer teams, I have people-managed multiple teams, and I have participated in the hiring process of hundreds of individuals.

Since joining ServiceNow (just over one year ago), I have led and produced several episodes of multiple shows, grown the Hacktoberfest program by more than 2000%, and designed and launched the Developer Mentorship Program, Student Developer Training Pilot Program, and the Short Form/Gen Z Content Program. My organization has also awarded me as a Customer Champion in Q1 of 2022, and as an Outcome Maven in Q2 of 2022.

Okay, so I’ve established my credentials. So let me reiterate the purpose of this post.

We need more women.

I identify as a man and in our sector, that gives me more credibility whether I like it or not, whether I intend it or not. I fear that my daughters will not have the same credibility if they were to pursue this sector when they grow up.

I fear that if they want to pursue this work, they will struggle to see themselves represented and may encounter bias against them. The status quo is determined by what’s established and right now, the tech sector, and the ServiceNow ecosystem, is overwhelmingly populated by men. Our developer survey and other studies reveal this imbalance.

Not all bias is intentional. But just by nature of the industry being currently mostly men, it makes it harder for women to be represented, harder for women to fit culturally, and harder for women to be perceived as equal.

In a couple weeks, the Developer MVP 2023 application will open (watch the developer blog for the go-live post) and we want anyone who qualifies to be a Developer MVP. We don’t have a cap on how many MVPs can be chosen, so a big selection of an under-represented group does not affect the candidacy of anyone else. I hope we can spread the word and encourage those who are the most valuable people in our community, especially those who have not even considered applying, and especially those who think they would not fit in or think they would not be selected despite being amazing.

The purpose of this post is to ask all of you with established credibility, to use your voice to empower those around you.

More and more I want my daughters, my friends, my colleagues to never be limited again.

I am proud to be a #GirlDad, I’m proud to be an ally to those seeking allies.

When I return in January from my parental leave, I hope the Developer MVP application pool will be overflowing, just like what my heart is doing today.

Please look around you and encourage the star developers that you know to check out the MVP page and watch the blog for the announcement.

And to those of you who feel like you may want to apply but have doubts about yourself, please apply. We are often our own worst critic and the reason you did not become a 2023 Developer MVP should not be because you did not try.

See you soon.

Earl Duque ServiceNow Developer Advocate

This post has been reviewed by my wife, Rebecca, and my colleagues: Paige Duffey, Maria Gabriela Ochoa Perez Waechter, Stephanie Morillo, and Chuck Tomasi