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Comment: An interesting idea, actually... (Score 1) 522

by Kiyyik (#49329429) Attached to: A Bechdel Test For Programmers?
(*skips over the inevitable juvenile comments, false equivalencies, and associated detritus that always show up when feminism comes up in geek spaces. I don't even see 'em anymore.) I have to say that for most of my career a lot of the software I've been involved with has been, if not passing the test, fairly close to. At every place I've worked, there have been women on my team at least part of my time there. It tends to fluctuate a bit--at the moment, there's one other on my team, and she's actually a QA (and why *do* we have so many women in QA?). So I guess our last project doesn't pass. Still, the company as a whole passes with flying colors, so that's cool. There's only a few of us, relatively speaking, but we're spread out pretty good. So our code may not intersect often but we're affecting every part of what our company does. So I think that's important too.

In short, I think it makes for an interesting thought experiment, kind of evaluate where you and your team/department/company stand. I'm sure people will get all defensive, yell about quotas and all that jazz, but really it just asks you to think about it for a moment. Not at all unreasonable I think.

Now, if you'll excuse me, build's done.

Comment: Re:Thank you, Terry.. it was an awesome ride with (Score 1) 299

by Kiyyik (#49243743) Attached to: Sir Terry Pratchett Succumbs To "the Embuggerance," Aged 66
You know, Reaper Man was the first Pratchett book I ever read. I was in tech school in the Air Force, just after basic. We got to go off base and go shopping, so I picked up the Hitchhiker's Guide omnibus which had just come out. Another airman saw it, and lent me his copy of Reaper Man. I've been hooked ever since. The guy was flat-out one of the best writers in terms of sheer skill I have ever seen in any genre. Reading Pratchett spoils you, and so much comes off short after you've seen what a real master of the written word could do.

Anyway, as someone up there said, this sucks. Now I'm thinking about that book, and how it was, reading it for the first time... I think I'm going to have to reread it again.

Comment: Re:Thought process (Score 1) 227

I can vouch for this. Google was VERY active in the east and south sides of KCMO during the various rollout waves, going out to community gathering places, knocking on doors, the whole bit. And these are not nice neighborhoods I'm talking about either. I was doing voter registration at the time in some of the same areas, and we did tend to bump into each other. They really wanted to get demand sufficient for all the neighborhoods they could, particularly those with schools in. I gotta say they did a pretty good job, too: in our neck of the woods, I think only 3 out of the 70-odd "fiberhoods" didn't qualify.

Comment: (^*@$# marketing numbers... (Score 1) 179

by Kiyyik (#48580759) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES
OK, so we use vertical resolution for years and years, and everyone susses it out. 480 interleaved? Got it. 720 progressive? Keen. So what genius decided to switch us over to the horizontal resolution? I'll bet you anything it was some schmo in Marketing who figured hey, the horizontal is twice the vertical, so if we use that number instead it'll make our TVs sound twice as good. Instead, it's confusing as hell and deeply annoying for anyone trying to keep u with this crap.

Personally, I think they should do like camera sensors, and go by megapixels. 1080p? 2 megapixels? Got it. 4K? 8 megapixels? Spiffy.

Anyway. I reckon 1080p will hold me just fine for a good while. I'm in no hurry to upgrade. And I doubt many people are.

Comment: *sigh* and here they come... (Score 0) 673

by Kiyyik (#46714141) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Okay, kiddies, gather round. Auntie is going to explain to you little soandsos why this is a good thing and not TEH EVUL REVARSE DISCIRMINASHUNZ like about 85 people have already cried. And I think I do mean cried.

Let me lay you down some truths about being a woman in IT: I love programming, me. Been programming since I got my hands on a TRS-80 during a summer gifted program. I've moved from BASIC to Pascal to C / C++ to .net and java and javascript and lately Python, with god alone knows how many steps in between. I hope to be able to spend the rest of my life doing this. And in all that time, I have *never* worked in a place where the women weren't outnumbered 2 to 1. Every dang time. Now, why is that? Is it because girls aren't interested in this stuff? Well, more like girls are *told* we aren't interested in this stuff, and we have to find out to the contrary ourselves. The same old 19th century B.S. about how our brains would overheat if exposed to math and such is still in there today, vestigially steering us away from STEM in general and computers in particular. And that sucks.

See, the thing is, sexism is like racism--you get the big ugly obvious kind, everyone can see that, but then as well you get much more the subtle kind, where the person doing it doesn't even realize it. Like that friend of yours in college who went and did blackface for Halloween that one year (and yet swore up and down that he, like, totally wasn't a racist, dude) vs the hiring manager who is more likely to hire someone their own color, not out of malice or anything, just because human beings tend to take a shine to people that resemble them. It's built in to us. And it goes out into the culture we live in, and we soak it up like radiation. And the cycle just keeps on going.

So. Enter things like Affirmative Action, and this here bounty thingie. The idea behind these things is not to discriminate, rather it is to *compensate for the discrimination that is already there*. We already know the bias rolls in favor of men over women, or whites over blacks. We know this. We don't like it. We wish it would go away. But it's there. No matter how nice it feels to pretend we are above that sort of thing, if we are honest we know it's in there. Lurking. Lurrrrrrrking. And so we throw these things into the mix to try to tilt the needle back toward the middle.

Look: I would love to live in a world where these things were not necessary. That would be great. But this ain't that world. If it makes you feel any better, know that no amount of things like this will ever push you from your top slot in computer classes. You'll *always* be the teacher's pets. You got it made. Seriously. We ain't looking to displace you: we're just trying to give our sisters a boost-up. That first rung on the IT ladder is rather higher up there when you're a girl (and they're spaced farther apart as you go up, I might add). There's a lot of potential tech talent lurking on the distaff side, and it takes a hell of an initial push to get it moving against the flow of how we've been raised.

And I'll just leave you with one more thing: to those who say that girls who come through a system like this--be it teacher bounties, be it special scholarships, whatever--don't have what it takes to be a coder, or are just in it for the money or whatever, I want you to understand that we go to work every day outnumbered. We're in a field--and have been since the beginning--where no matter what we do, how much we build or accomplish, some people still can't quite believe we're here. We have to fight like mama bears for every bit of respect we got. And any woman who plows through all of this B.S. and is still there, doing it every day, kicking code and stomping bugs, you better BELIEVE they love what they're doing. And that's why we get up and go every single damn day, putting up with all of it. And if you know what that is say amen, and if you don't well you never well. And I wish you success in management.

Comment: Modularity (Score 1) 591

by Kiyyik (#43351769) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...
Seriously, I don't care if it's cheaper or more efficient to put everything on one board, give me exandability durnit. At least my old MBP can take new hard drives and extra RAM. But wouldn't it be great if I could boost 'em up just like upgrading a tower? Swap out a new graphics chip, better network card, CPU, alla that jazz. Or even--dare to dream--if I could put my own laptop together, piece by piece, like I used to do with PCs? Yeah, I know it's not feasible for blah blah and yak yak, but we're blue-skying here, and that is my big wish.

Comment: Startup thing? (Score 1) 375

by Kiyyik (#42117557) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Dirty Little Secret: Age Bias
I've never worked in a startup type company, but I've been in IT my entire professional life and have never seen ageism in any of the places I've worked. Mind you, they've mostly been medium-to-large corporations that have been around for a while. But there's always been a good spread from 20s up to 60s in terms of who you had running around in the shop. At 40, I have yet to have a boss younger than me. It's been weighing on my mind, though--I've seen the same news items as everyone else--and I'm trying to get a realistic assessment of how bad it is outside the west coast/startup kinda zones. Anyone got any experience to share?

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.