Tech LadyMafia

Tech LadyMafia

If somebody has talent and good people skills and drive, I think you can stretch them and put them in a job that they’re not quite ready for, so they grow into it. That’s what people did for me, so I’m a big believer in doing that and taking young people and stretching them.
If you’re interviewing people for your job, and you haven’t interviewed a woman, don’t hire until you’ve at least interviewed one woman. And if your recruiter can’t get you resumes that are diverse, find another recruiter,

Sarah Allen, computer programmer and founder of Blazing Cloud, challenges those who argue that it is difficult to find female programmers.

Allen runs free workshops on Ruby on Rails for women, offering the trainings on weekends and providing childcare. She has worked to create an environment where women feel welcome and notes, “Every single workshop we’ve ever held has had a waiting list.”

Read more about Allen’s programming career and her work to diversify the field: Blazing The Trail For Female Programmers : All Tech Considered : NPRThis is part of NPR’s special series The Changing Lives of Women.

Looking for more workshops? Check out Code With Me, a coding workshop which was co-founded by female programmer Sisi Wei. 

(via onaissues)

Blazing The Trail For Female Programmers

Sarah Allen has been the only woman on a team of computer programmers a few times in the more than two decades she has worked in the field. Most notably, she led the team — as the lone female programmer — that created Flash video, the dominant technology for streaming video on the Web. Since only about 20 percent of all programmers are women, her experience isn’t uncommon, and now she’s trying to bring more women into the field.

Loving this great NPR series. More here

We need more women working in ICT.
I JUST noticed something strange on Wikipedia. It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too. The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men. The category lists 3,837 authors, and the first few hundred of them are mainly men. The explanation at the top of the page is that the list of “American Novelists” is too long, and therefore the novelists have to be put in subcategories whenever possible. Too bad there isn’t a subcategory for “American Men Novelists.”
It’s not like someone specifically says, ‘You’re not welcome here anymore.’ It’s just a constant, subtle attitude that makes you feel like you don’t want to be there anymore. And that made me really mad, too, that the idea that someone could take something that I thought would be great, and sort of take it away from me and say, ‘Yeah, this isn’t for you. You’re not welcome here.’

Dearest Mama,

I must tell you what my opinion of my own mind and powers is exactly—the result of a most accurate study of myself with a view to my future plans during many months. I believe myself to possess a most singular combination of qualities exactly fitted to make me preeminently a discoverer of the hidden realities of nature.


Firstly: owing to some peculiarity in my nervous system, I have perceptions of some things, which no one else has—or at least very few, if any. This faculty may be designated in me as a singular tact, or some might say an intuitive perception of hidden things—that is of things hidden from eyes, ears, and the ordinary senses…This alone would advantage me little, in the discovery line, but there is, secondly, my immense reasoning faculties. Thirdly: my concentrative faculty, by which I mean the power not only of throwing my whole energy and existence into whatever I choose, but also bringing to bear on any one subject or idea a vast apparatus from all sorts of apparently irrelevant and extraneous sources. I can throw rays from every quarter of the universe into one vast focus.

Now these three powers (I cannot resist the wickedness of calling them my discovering or scientific trinity) are a vast apparatus put into my power by Providence; and it rests with me by a proper course during the next twenty years to make the engine what I please. But haste, or a restless ambition, would quite ruin the whole.


Reconstructionist Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, is very, very confident in her intellectual abilities in this 1841 letter to her mother. She was twenty-six at the time. (via explore-blog)

I believe today we would refer to this as “swagger”. 

(via jtotheizzoe)

Adria Richards roundup

Digging Beneath the Surface: That Amanda Blum Article on Adria Richards is Not What It Seems by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

“An article by Amanda Blum portrays Adria Richards, who has been subjected to the wrath of the internet, in a pretty damning light. Amanda describes Adria as “a bully who uses these instances to her personal gain, driving traffic to her blog.” She cites two interactions with Adria which, admittedly, look pretty bad. Adria comes off as someone with a pattern of exposing falsely perceived sexism in the worst possibly way. When you dig beneath the surface, you find that Amanda’s stories aren’t nearly so bad as they seem. In fact, Adria comes off as, on the whole, quite reasonable — despite the initial bully depiction.”

I Have a Few Things to Say About Adria by Sarah Milstein

“I host conferences that are prominent in the tech sector, and I’ve had Adria Richards speak at two of them. I could write a book about what went down last week, but none of us is in the mood for that, so I’m going to highlight just a few angles that have been overlooked or underplayed in this episode. (Incredibly, there are such angles.)”

My experiences in tech: Death by 1000 paper cuts by Julie P.

“The cuts started early. I’m discouraged and humiliated in math classes throughout my school years to the point where I still get anxious doing math in front of others despite being good at it in private.  A high school teacher tells me that I shouldn’t go to college for engineering, but instead something nurturing (you know, what women are good for).”