29 November 2014

Bias interrupters

James Surowiecki recaps the gender disparity in tech, touching on the observed dropoff in female CS degrees since 1980.
Promoting diversity isn’t, as many techies think, pure do-gooderism. It’s genuinely good for business, since a large body of evidence suggests that making organizations more diverse can also make them perform better.... A worldwide study, published in May, of more than four thousand R. & D. teams found that gender-diverse teams were considerably better at driving “radical innovation.”

07 November 2014

Soft tech

Paul Ford runs emulators of old PCs and ponders sitting on the porch.
The Alto was arguably the first modern general-purpose computer — a big screen, modern software, and you used a mouse to point. It was never generally available but it was the Velvet Underground of computers, in that everyone who saw it went on to make their own computer industry.
things magazine

05 November 2014


Wendy DuBow introduces the National Center for Women & Information Technology in a short piece (paywalled, alas) for IEEE Computer Society's Computer. One focus of the Center's activity is an interesting one: helping employers to retain women who otherwise would drop out of the computing work force mid-career.
It's important not to underestimate the power of simply saying... "You did well on this project."