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Showing posts from 2015

Why should I care about having more women software engineers?

This is probably the question I get asked the most.  It’s usually not this blatant, but it’s often the motivation behind someone asking me, “Why are you starting a women’s group”?  If you haven’t been the only minority on an engineering team or user group, you may not understand the feeling.  Now I’m at a point in my career where I have grown some thicker skin, but at first, walking into a user group or a new office as the only woman was extremely intimidating.  It usually went one of two ways: I’d be asked if I was a recruiter (side note about how terrible the whole tech recruiting process is in the next post) or I’d be instantly tested to make sure that I was a “real” developer.  If I wasn't in the mood to deal with those kinds of questions and ignorance, I'd get frustrated and leave.  If I had gone into NYC for a meeting and left, I'd spend the whole train ride back to New Jersey sulking.
I Almost Wasn’t a Software Engineer
When I finally finished my college coursework in…

Google Fi Review

If you saw me last week at Gr8Conf US, you may have seen me lugging around a giant new Motorola Nexus 6 with Google Fi.  It's the only phone currently available for the new wireless carrier by Google so I bought into it.

I was super excited for everything Google Fi had to offer. Based on my usage for the last few years, I could have a bill as low as $30/month with Google Fi.  After 10+ years as a Verizon customer including the 1.5 years I spent as a call center customer service rep, I was ready to leave the big wireless carrier prices and irritating policies behind.  I was also excited to see the coolest new features from Android and finally get the chance to play around with Groovy for Android.

After a week, I returned it and canceled the service and here's why.

I started the week carrying two phones, but by the weekend I had switched to using the Fi Phone almost exclusively.  However, I found myself reaching for my old iPhone fairly frequently.  The first reason was coverage…

Women are a majority in the general population; why are you calling women a minority?

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Let’s get started at the very beginning with some basic definitions and education to ensure we are all on the same page.Definition of Terms ‘Gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender-normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conformity.’1‘Gender identity refers to “one’s sense of oneself as male, female, or transgender”. When one’s gender identity and biological sex are not congruent, the individual may identify as transsexual or as another transgender category.’1Diversity  “The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious bel…

Diversity 101

Over a year ago, I wrote an initial blog post in response to the criticisms of Gr8Ladies and other women in tech(WIT) organizations.  The issue continues to evolve and many individuals are still confused as to the intent and implementation of organizations like Gr8Ladies.  My hope is to clear up many of these misconceptions with this series of blog posts.

Introduction

When I entered this conversation on twitter, I got several replies that I shouldn’t waste my time responding.  However, this is an issue I’m very passionate about and something I hope I can help with.  Even if I don’t change the mind of this individual, perhaps, I can clarify something for one of the many other people who have asked me similar questions over the years.  It concerns me when people who have influence over hiring, conference organizing, and funding continue to hold these views when research continues to show the impact of increasing diversity (including gender diversity).  Perhaps it’s because I am so deeply …