Later she joined the Treasury Department as a technical adviser to the CIO Jim Flysik, eventually taking on a security role, all the while spending time listening to engineers at work and in conferences who loved to share their knowledge.
"I enjoyed their intellect and dialog," says Titus, noting, yes, it was usually a room full of men and a few women. "The men wanted you to be successful, too."
She credits John Stewart, now CSO at Cisco, for providing encouragement back in those early days.
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she joined the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and got involved in IT security deployments there as CISO.
Now CISO at Unisys, where her job is coordinating with dozens of people for the Unisys network strategy and services, she's glad things have turned out as well as they have. Married last year to the acting CIO of the Department of Labor, Tom Wiesner, with a grown daughter now working in IT in government, high-tech has become a family affair.
Some women say they found themselves stepping up the ladder for ironic reasons.
Emma McGrattan, who manages the engineering team at open-source database firm Ingres, said back when Ingres was owned by CA, she was working for the then head of engineering, who gave her all his work to do.
"He got all the glory, and I got the hard work," she says. But when he left, it seemed natural to just make her head of engineering, and she didn't even have to lobby for it. About 25 percent of the Ingres IT engineers today are women.
McGrattan says she always liked computers and programming, and back in a private high school in Dublin, Ireland, her place of birth, an extracurricular computer class on Saturday helped her discover early on what she wanted to do as an occupation.
With it being a majority-male high-tech world, McGrattan says there's a sense of a role model when women like Linda Sanford, IBM's senior vice president of enterprise transformation, climb the ladder to success over the span of their career.
Living now just outside New York City, she says she likes the fact the "job is very portable" and that she manages a team of employees in Europe and America, which makes it fairly convenient to let her pop over and see her family in Ireland.
Sherita Ceasar, vice president of cross-platform applications and engineering services at Comcast in Philadelphia, is in charge of about 60 employees, mostly engineers, to develop digital services that increasingly blend elements of the telephone, TV and PC.
A graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology with a master's degree in mechanical engineering, Ceasar relishes leading a development team responsible for defining road map services at Comcast. As an African-American woman, she is a statistical anomaly in the broader ranks of high-tech upper management.
As to the early factors that contributed to her ability to excel academically, Ceasar credits the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) program of 30 years ago which had an "early identification program" that went into high schools to encourage students with the top grades to go into engineering. It was a successful program, she says, that attracted a significant number of African-American students, in addition to all manner of young adults, to enter engineering through work-study programs and stipends. That IIT program has unfortunately not been kept vibrant, but there are efforts to revive it, and the country as a whole would probably benefit from similar efforts, she says.