It’s a fun ice breaker. What three people (living or dead) would you invite to dinner if you could invite anyone in the world from any time in history? I answered that question recently. I chose Pearl S. Buck, author of The Good Earth and a dozen other excellent books. I chose Janet Evans, Olympic distance swimmer who is currently attempting a comeback a la Dara Torres. I chose Virginia Rometty, new CEO of IBM. They are people I have admired and been inspired by in my life and the opportunity to meet them would be thrilling. Two of them are living. So it’s not an impossible thing to meet them, if I really put my mind to it. Surely I could manage to be in the same place as Janet Evans, maybe even in the same pool.
I suspect it would be harder to get so close to Virginia Rometty, and I’m not sure I’m willing to go to the lengths this woman did to meet with Steve Jobs. But of the three, I think Ms. Rometty is the most like me. We both have degrees in computer science, but we have a few differences too. She’s a Northwestern Wildcat, and I’m an Illini. I’m a SWE member and as far as I can tell from googling her, she is not. Maybe recruiting her to join SWE would be a campaign worth engaging in. She’d be a great role model for us computer science majors, who I feel are sadly under-represented in SWE. And maybe by the end of dinner, she’d let me call her Ginni.
Who would you invite to dinner? Who would you go to great lengths to meet? Who do you think would make a great SWE member?