The Linkspam Agenda (24 April 2015)

There are several pieces on the documentary Code: Debugging the Gender Gap today:

  • When Women Code | The Atlantic: “Whatever the case, the film’s director, Robin Hauser Reynolds, traces how American culture has shaped the perception—perpetuated by men and women—that coding is just for men. She offers a history of the technology industry, and conducts interviews with subjects ranging from the White House chief technology officer to teenage girls who are taking after-school coding classes. I spoke to Reynolds earlier this week about how she approached this sensitive—and sprawling—subject, and what she learned along the way.”
  • “Code” and the Quest for Inclusive Software | The New Yorker: “The result of Reynolds’s inquiries was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, with the première of “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap,” a documentary that aims to make sense of the dearth of women in computer science. “Code” has already received disproportionate amount of attention for a documentary by a relatively unknown filmmaker; Reynolds and her film, which was financed partly through a crowdfunding campaign, had been profiled in a number of major publications well before the première, reflecting the broad interest in the tech industry’s diversity problem.”
  • A New Documentary Nails How Terrible It Is for Women in Tech — and How to Fix It | Arts.Mic: “A documentary like Code can only do so much. Its power, however, is in the incredible women who have found success in tech despite overwhelming odds who speak during the film. Seeing them and seeing their work is a clear sign that no matter how difficult it is to effect change, it’s worth it.”

Other links:

  • LGBTQ – Queer Women In Tech Share Experiences: “‘I’m having a lot of second thoughts about the tech industry being progressive in the last five years,’ Joire says. With the tech boom, she’s seeing a lot more opportunists descending on the scene — some of whom are frustratingly narrow-minded.”
  • Now What? How to Create Fair Companies after the Ellen Pao Verdict | Medium: “Innovation in people practices has lagged behind every other dimension of business. Even in Silicon Valley, tech has been leveraged less when applied to people ops than to product development, financial operations, manufacturing, and sales. It makes no sense, in a world where the purpose of a startup is to upend an established business or an entire industry, that every company has the same boilerplate policy. For an industry built on innovation, tech has shown a remarkable lack of creativity when it comes to tackling issues of culture and people.”
  • Who is Sharla P. Boehm? | The Edtech Curmudgeon: “So there it is – Sharla Boehm wrote the code that demonstrated the feasibility of packed-switched networks. You can look up the original paper that she and Baran wrote, and read every line of code that she wrote and see the actual output from her program.” [that is to say, the code that originally demonstrated the feasibility of the Internet was written by a woman]
  • Lindi Emoungu | Women of Silicon Valley: “The exciting thing about tech is that you can use very powerful tools to solve any problem you can imagine. Technology places an immense amount of power in your hands and in your mind. My advice to girls pursuing a future in tech is not to squander that power in exchange for acceptance. The higher you go, the more you will encounter people who will say all of the right things and never advance you. Don’t slow down for those people. Go fast, work hard, be yourself, trust yourself and you will find the people you are supposed to do great things with.”
  • To Promote Diversity, Apple Increases The Number Of WWDC Scholarships | TechCrunch: “To encourage greater diversity amongst its developer community, Apple announced it’s increasing the number of WWDC scholarships this year which provide students and developers the opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference taking place this June in San Francisco. Last year, Apple offered 200 scholarships by working with the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT). But this year, the company says it has expanded its list of partner STEM organizations to more than 20 and will also increase the number of scholarships offers to 350.”
  • How to Fail at Coming Out Stories in Comics | Bisexual Books: “On April 22, 2015, comics retailers far and wide will be selling copies of All-New X-Men #40, which, spoiler, features the coming out of a major character from Marvel Comics’ original five X-Men (sort of): Bobby Drake, AKA Ice Man. On the one hand, I want to be loud and supportive, and to celebrate this wider diversity. But on the other hand, they do a really, really offensive crap job of it.”
  • So You’ve Been Publicly Scapegoated: Why We Must Speak Out on ‘Call-Out Culture’ | Feministing: “The publication of Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is the culmination of a recent trend: people of means and privilege engaged in well-remunerated shallow handwringing about “public shaming,” particularly through social media.”
  • Women Startup Competition and TeleSummit | Women Who Tech: “We’re excited to announce the first annual Women Startup Challenge, a crowdfunding competition in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and craigconnects and investors Fred and Joanne Wilson.”
  • What Happens When There Are No Boys in the Room: A Report from Robyn’s Tekla Conference | Pitchfork: “For Robyn, making Tekla girls-only was about seeing ‘what happens when there are no boys in the room—maybe a girl decides that she wants to play the drums, and she wouldn’t if there was a boy there. A different dynamic happens, it frees the situation from some restrictive behaviors for girls. We’re rarely in a girl group when we just allow each other to play around and try stuff.’ She didn’t have a gateway to this arena as a kid, but ‘my parents used to have a theater group and they were on stage a lot, so that became something un-dramatic for me. I think that’s what it’s about—when you develop an interest, it usually comes from an environment that de-dramatizes things. Because then you’re able to find your own entrance into it.'”
  • Houston, We Have A Problem. | RUBY-WAN KENOOBIE: “I’m now at the point where ‘diversity in tech’ has become synonymous with white women. And I’m here to raise the red flag.”
  • Quantifying Silicon Valley’s Diversity Issue | WIRED: “At 27, Tracy Chou has become a leading voice for women in the tech industry by using data to call attention to how few of them are employed as engineers. She is an accomplished coder who had already worked at Facebook, Google, and the question-and-answer site Quora before arriving at Pinterest. And nearly two years ago, she took the simple but provocative step of uploading a spreadsheet—to the code-sharing platform Github, naturally—that companies could use to make public the number of female engineers in their ranks. The goal: to identify the scope of the problem as a first step toward making a stronger commitment to address it.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

One thought on “The Linkspam Agenda (24 April 2015)

  1. Michael Berman

    Thank you so much for posting a link to my blog posting about Sharla Boehm. This site looks like a great resource, keep up the important work. – MB

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