- Donate to the Ada Initiative — they’re fundraising for their 2012 activities which include events, activities, and resources for women in open technology and culture. They’ve got my money.
- The Anosognosic’s Dilemma — first part of a series on how the worst kind of ignorance is about your own failings. Even if you are just the most honest, impartial person that you could be, you would still have a problem—namely, when your knowledge or expertise is imperfect, you really don’t know it. Left to your own devices, you just don’t know it. We’re not very good at knowing what we don’t know.
- Values are Features (Clay Johnson) — Google is actively investing in social and philanthropic causes, from combating human trafficking to open government. Yet it stands head and shoulders above other technology companies, and the biggest (Apple) is last in line. I just don’t see most people buying a crapper product without egregiously broken values; unless Apple is conducting human sacrifices at the Cupertino campus and it ends up on 20/20, most everyone will be happy to keep buying their iStuff.
- Apps Are Too Much Like 1990s CDROMs and Not Enough Like The Web (Scott Hanselman) — as a user, more and more, I want to Go Somewhere and get functionality as opposed to Bring Something To Me to get functionality. Managing apps, updates and storage is as pointless as my managing my [tamagotchi].
"women in tech" entries
The O'Reilly community shares stories of inspiring women in tech. Who inspired you?
October 14 is Ada Lovelace Day (ALD), an annual global event that recognizes not only the 19th century mathematician and aristocratic super nerd who wrote the first computer program, but other women in our community, too. ALD founder Suw Charman-Anderson’s goal is “to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering, and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire.“
Supporting diversity is important to us, so we’re participating in ALD this year. We’ve compiled some stories of women in tech from O’Reilly staff and members of our extended family — you can read about them below.
Connecting with women in technology at DeveloperWeek 2014
I was honored to be on stage with four notable women in technology, last month at DeveloperWeek. The panel included Jennifer Davis, Anne Ahola Ward, Anna Chiara Bellini, and Selby Walker. Each of the panelists responded in earnest to questions that explored work satisfaction, taking ownership of one’s career, and the real and perceived barriers that keep anyone from taking charge of their career path, ever reminding the audience that it takes a shift in just one person’s self-concept to promote change in the world.
Following are (just a few of) the most enjoyable moments from the afternoon:
- Arabella says women must inspire other women to imagine careers in tech [at 1:37]
- Why Jennifer Davis isn’t bored after six years at Yahoo! [at 9:24]
- Anne Ahola Ward on the culture at her company, CircleClick [at 11:49]
- Selby Walker talks about the value of accomplishments [at 14:46]
- The Princess or Bitch question – Anna Bellini responds [at 22:13]
How Etsy and Hacker School helped Bethany Macri move from legal to engineering
As a follow-on to this interview with Etsy’s Marc Hedlund, I spoke with Bethany Macri, a software engineer on Etsy’s core platform team, to get the student perspective on this initiative. Bethany was making a career transition from law to coding and applied for one of Etsy’s grants to attend Hacker School last summer.
Bethany is an example of a growing trend of engineers who choose an unconventional learning path. In her case, she built on her self-taught foundation with a very self-directed training program that was much different than a college degree.
In this interview, Bethany discusses her decision to change careers, what it was like to be a part of Hacker School, and the Etsy recruiting process.
How did you learn to code? Will the emergence of online and in-person training resources such as Codecademy, Skillcrush, Hackbright Academy, and volunteer study groups such as RailsBridge ever replace formal CS education? Tell us in the comments section below.
Etsy's Marc Hedlund shares the tactics he's using to boost the diversity of his engineering team
You’ve probably heard of Etsy, the bustling online marketplace for crafters and artists. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of its customers are women, both buyers and sellers. Ditto that the Etsy team is a pretty good representation of the Earth’s gender ratio.
Yet when Marc Hedlund took the helm of Etsy’s Product Development & Engineering department, 97% of the engineering department were men. Hedlund realized that in his nearly two decades in IT, he’s hired no more than 20 women for engineering positions. This began to bother him. Especially after his daughter was born.
“You’re in a position of authority. What have you done to make it better?”
While she’s only four, Hedlund imagines this is the pointed question his daughter will ask him when she’s old enough to follow in his footsteps in the computing industry.
Impatient to change the gender ratio before his daughter enters the workforce, Hedlund decided to take action. Last year, he partnered with Hacker School to create a training program to address the engineering shortage in general and the lack of gender parity in particular.
The result: women now make up 15% of Etsy’s engineering team.
How did he do it? In his video interview, Hedlund offers concrete advice for companies who want to hire more women in technical roles.
Denise R. Jacobs advocates for new approaches to work and community.
Author and web design consultant Denise R. Jacobs reveals lessons she learned about creativity while writing her first book. She also discusses her efforts to give women and people of color more visibility in the tech world.
Ada Initiative, Ignorance, Social Business, and Web vs Native
Joanne Wilson on startup diversity and supporting local economic engines.
In this interview, Joanne Wilson discusses becoming an angel investor, how investors can help change the ratio of women CEOs, and the Mars versus Venus approach to entrepreneurialism.