The best way to hire great women is to have great women at the top of the company. IBM is a lot stronger for employing Pat Selinger for 29 years . She invented the relational database cost-based optimizer, a technology that sees continued use in relational database management systems today. But more than being a great technologist, Pat is a great leader, and many of the people who worked for and with Pat were no less amazing. The Almaden database research team was amongst the most talented database technology groups the world has seen.
I was lucky enough to work with Pat and the Almaden team for the years I spent as lead architect on DB2. They taught me much of what I know today about databases, helped feed my curiosity in just about all areas of computer science, and taught me a lot about getting things done when working with people I don’t directly lead. Pat contributed greatly to how I think about problems, taught me a huge amount over the years, remains a great sparring partner when working through new ideas, and introduced me to many people with her same curiosity and high technical standards.
IBM just posted an article on Pat and her contribution to database research, IBM technology, and the careers of literally hundreds of IBM engineers: