[nycbug-talk] Re: Women in Open Source (fwd)

Jesse Callaway jesse
Tue Aug 3 16:30:45 EDT 2004

On Aug 3, 2004, at 4:16 PM, Louis Bertrand wrote:

> On Tue, 3 Aug 2004, Jesse Callaway wrote:
>> women. Really, think of getting into the fashion industry as a non-gay
>> male.
> But wait! Does that mean Apple programmers are gay males? Apple's sales
> go up when they introduce new colours so I figure they must be in the
> fashion industry ;)
> Kidding aside, I think one of the main problems is how programming is
> viewed. You can view it from the user space or the problem space.
> The difference being "what am I trying to accomplish?" vs. "What tool
> should I use?". It's sort of like the difference between O-O 
> programming,
> where you try to write code that models real world objects or concepts,
> and procedural programming where you only think in terms of data 
> structures
> and algorithms; fundamentally they are the same, but you think about 
> them
> differently. I think we need radically more "thinking like users who 
> just
> want to get their work done" to attract women to programming.
> Here's an example: look at the various spam filtering/blacklisting
> utilities out there (nothing spurs creativity like being bombarded
> with gibberish, it seems). They are invariably small standalone 
> utilities
> that blacklist or tag spam as it is detected. However, there is no
> smoothly integrated solution -- you have to hand-stitch them together
> with procmail or amavis. It all works, yes, but by the time you've put
> it all together, you would have been better off just changing email
> addresses and getting on with your life.
> And finally, if this post wasn't already long enough, I refer you to
> this interesting thread in the Python Edu-SIG mailing list "Girls,
> women and Programming (- and Python)":
> http://mail.python.org/pipermail/edu-sig/2002-August/002137.html
> Ciao
>  --Louis  <louis at bertrandtech dot ca>

Well if German girls are taking Python classes I think that's almost 
far enough. It's spawning the interest and creating a "whole new world" 
(don't get scared, me spitting out the window is a whole new world...) 
basically and environment where girls and computers are cool.  (may I 
remind us that it's yet again a new world since this email started) 
Maybe this change of environment is happening rapidly enough to be 
somewhat acceptable.... maybe it's not. I think numbers or other 
analysis that come out of this report may be a good bellwether.

But the BSD's. Are BSD users more friendly and is it closer to this 
ideal environment? I'll admit, I don't know. I haven't tried commiting 
code as a male, let alone as a female.

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