Women in Technology

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Article:
  Social Engineering
Subject:   A Disappointing Start
Date:   2007-09-05 03:39:40
From:   Capecoder
"Technology" is a big tent, with room for people with many talents and abilities, but it is regrettable that the first article in this interesting series includes the statement "I don't write code and, honestly, I didn't enjoy it in the slightest when I tried to." It's difficult to believe that this opinion is representative of most women in tech, or for that matter, the majority of O'Reilly customers.
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  • A Disappointing Start
    2007-09-21 10:40:29  bengoodger [View]

    I read this piece more as an account of a woman in the technology industry, rather than a statement of where women should or should not be.

    Frankly I think the attitude of "if you don't code you don't matter" leads to lower quality in a lot of open source projects.

    Why is "code" the arbitrary determinator of whether or not you matter? Is it because it's hard? It's "math/science"? Ok, let me give you an example. CLIs are hard. Myself, I've never really understood them. There used to be a time when I had to have friends write down the commands I would have to use to unzip files. This is because I felt like memorizing arcane commands was a waste of my brain space.

    Later, when I worked on Firefox, I refined this into this formula: most people don't care about learning things that aren't related to their core job function. Why should they? That's what technology is for after all: to make the hard things easier.

    As a programmer, it's easy to succumb to this hubris that you are the best and that everyone needs to rise to your level. This leads to a somewhat distorted view of reality.

    The more "real people" you have not just as your users but as part of your development team, the more relevant you can make your work.

    The world of Open Source is filled with so much bickering, political maneuvering and gasbaggery. Personally, I think there's never been a better time for a little social engineering.
  • Re: A Disappointing Start
    2007-09-05 07:29:34  cwade [View]

    I had a similar misinterpretation as you did, when I read the press release, where coders, programmers, designers and developers were mentioned, but not technicians, engineers, sysadmins, etc.. But Capecoder, you yourself began by saying "'Technology' is a big tent," which it certainly is. However, having learned from my own mistaken estimation, I don't think Leslie meant to represent us all; her statement about coding is purely a personal opinion, shared by only as many female techs as it applies to, and not at all to the ones it doesn't.

    It just so happens I agree with her sentiment, but I surely know that sentiment doesn't apply globally to women techs. I think this series exists for us to express the range of our predilections, without judgment. Software runs on machines, teams run on organization, development runs on coffee (heh), etc. -- all the parts are equally valid...at least in my eyes! What would be so terrible about O'Reilly branching out from a development focus, to the cream of the crop of all commentary on technology, with women leading the charge of diversity? How awesome is that? :-D

    -- Carol Wade