If you're interested in topics like big data analytics, business intelligence, business analytics and data warehousing, then you have a friend in Joanna Schloss. In her role as subject matter expert in the Dell Center of Excellence, Joanna helps clients deal with the challenges of data and information management, including such things as managing multiple platforms, applications systems and analytic environments. We're fortunate to have her share her expertise on CMSWire, where she regularly engages our readers with her thought-provoking posts.

What do you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date?

Two things stand out for me, one broad and one specific. First, being able to help break down the stereotype that the technical and engineering side of IT is a man’s game is something that gives me a great sense of pride. I’ve always felt that I have every reason to be confident in my knowledge, vision and ideas, and that’s helped me and it’s helped the people I’ve worked with over the years see past the gender stereotypes.

I truly hope that I’ve been able to have even a small impact on the way in which people view women in technical roles in IT. I’m also really proud to have had a hand in the shaping of Dell Software and in the process of helping shape Dell’s identity as a software vendor. I love speaking with customers and helping them understand how our solutions can help them. When you can take a customer from a place of not even knowing Dell offered software solutions to a place where they are using those solutions to change their business for the better, that’s a rewarding experience.

How do you define success?

I see success as being a function of customers and collaboration. I’ve never seen success as something that’s about self. Just the opposite. It’s about working together to help others achieve something they otherwise couldn’t have achieved. When I’m collaborating with my teammates and together we are building and delivering solutions that help our customers do more and achieve more, that’s when I feel most successful.

What motivates you?

The knowledge that you are part of a team of people who share a common vision and aren’t afraid to work hard and take chances in order to bring that vision to life. Being surrounded by like-minded people with a passion for customers – as I am every day at Dell - is what motivates me to go the extra mile and find paths to success.

What is the first interaction with technology that you remember and what did you think at the time?

Growing up in Palo Alto (Calif.), my first interaction with technology was with a modem-connected computer with a line printer interface. I wrote my first BASIC program on this system and after the first attempt, the computer program “Hello World” worked! I was the only female in my class who went on to be an engineer. I still look back at this, my initial attempt at programming, as a defining moment of sorts. It really inspired me. I realized that with hard work, know how, a passion for math, and a taste for creativity, I could make a difference.

Fill in the blanks:

If I didn't do my current work: I would be a cook. Or an artist. Or an elementary school teacher. Something where I was crafting, creating and impacting others.

When I'm not working: I love spending time with my family – cooking, eating, crafting, enjoying the outdoors and watching good movies together.

The highest compliment someone could give me: is that I have in some way, large or small, helped make their lives a little better.