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Comment Re:Maybe it's just who we are... (Score 1) 694

That's basically what it is. Computers didn't come into their own as a "Thinkerer" field until the early 80s. By that time, most degrees had gone to women, and you were still seeing that population into the early 90s.

The shift in degrees occurred early/mid-80s with the release of the PC platform and Home computers, these things don't happen in the span of a few days. It takes years to change a trend like that in emerging fields. In the 90s, when I did my Comp Sci classes, we had like 80% of our teachers being women, while 90% of the class were guys.

Why is it so hard to accept that maybe women in general don't prefer the field, just like men in general don't prefer nursing ?

Huh? Women didn't get most of the degrees in the 80's. It was still very much a male dominated field, just not nearly so much so as it is today. In the 80's I had one female CompSci professor. The rest were all men.

The PC platform brought computing to the masses but it didn't fundamentally change what it meant to be a programmer or the skills that were required. It may have helped promote the start-up mentality of ridiculously long hours that are good for neither men or women.

Men tend not to go into nursing because there is a stigma associated with being a male nurse, - though that is changing and there are more men going into nursing than have in the past. And since there is a shortage of nurses (my wife is a nurse), men are getting actively recruited to enter the field.

I suspect a stigma is also why some women stay away from computer careers, - there's a nerdy image associated with it. It's not because they can't do the work or wouldn't enjoy it. History has shown that not to be the case.

Comment Re:Maybe it's just who we are... (Score 1) 694

Something has changed.

Back in the '70s and '80s, computers and programming were seen more as secretarial work than actual technical work. The field had more women participation because of stereotypes of the time being that "Secretarial" work meant work for women. As the industry progressed and created and identity for itself as a tinkerer field, guys managed to overcome the sexist stereotype that "Computers are for secretaries and secretaries are women".

That's what changed.

No, that's not it. Maybe through 60's and partly into the 70's that was true but I suspect it wasn't even then.

Anyone expecting computer programming to be anything like secretarial work and not technical wouldn't have made it through their first CompSci course. But plenty of women were getting degrees. It was not at all unusual for me to work with women programmers in the 80's and into the 90's. But as time went on there were fewer and fewer.

Comment Re:Maybe it's just who we are... (Score 1) 694

Just to add some historical perspective, I got my CompSci degree in the mid 80's. Although still a minority there were a significant number of women in my classes. And in the first decade of my career I worked with a number of women programmers but over time there have been fewer and fewer.

Also over the course of my career, I've taken on more management responsibility. The first person I hired to work for me as a programmer back in the mid 90's was a woman. Today I manage a small group of software developers. We don't have openings often but again over the course of time, I've seen a drop in the number of female applicants when have been looking for help. The last time I hired a developer (about a year ago), there was not a single female applicant.

It's not as though coding were something that women aren't as a group interested or never have been. Something has changed.

Comment Re:Issue is more complicated (Score 2) 927

Linus is describing a false dichotomy. Deciding not to curse every other sentence is not the same as lying and manipulating. The intent of cursing and swearing IS to bring emotion into the conversation. If you want an unemotional and logical response (fix what is broken), then don't introduce emotion into an exchange that doesn't warrant it.

I realize that coarse language in many situations is just part of the culture of the group and is often devoid of any real meaning or it could even be part of what is meant to be a warm exchange. But in a technical exchange it is wasted bandwidth at best unless the situation really warrants it.

I have a young teen and part of our deal with him is that he can have a smartphone with the understanding that we as his parents can check what he is doing on it any time. Teenagers don't always use the best judgement. Anyway, the texts exchanged with his friends are full of swearing. But even teens are smart enough to recognize that would not be an effective way to communicate outside of certain situations.

Comment Re:Issue is more complicated (Score 1) 927

I'm a director of IT with both men and women in the department. A good boss/leader knows how to motivate and recognizes that there isn't a one size fits all approach. I am by no means perfect but it is not at all hard to be clear and to the point without swearing, yelling, insulting people, or being abusive.

I rarely yell or swear but my employees know when I'm not happy and when they need to do better.

My honest belief is that a lot of people in IT simply do not know how to interact effectively with people who aren't like them. Even worse is that they see the problem as being with those that they're interacting with rather than as a set of skills they need to work on.

Let me be direct. If you find women as a group difficult to work with (as opposed to just certain individuals), then the problem is with your approach, not theirs.

Comment Re: It's about fraud (Score 1) 494

Sounds like an AWESOME time to buy a VW tdi for much less than they normaly are :)

I know, but it kind of depends on what happens and what's important to you. If VW is forced to recall these cars for some firmware modification that decreases their performance, and the owners are somehow compelled to have the modifications made, you might be stuck with something you don't want and can't get rid of.

If on the other hand, if current owners aren't obligated to get the likely firmware update, and you don't care about the emissions, you could get a great deal.

Comment Re:It's about fraud (Score 3, Insightful) 494

Heard a couple of TDI owner's interviewed on the radio. They were pissed. One guy's previous car was a Prius. He bought into VW's marketing that their diesels burned clean. I would also been tempted by a TDI, but only if they met emission standards.

Even if an owner doesn't give a crap, what do you suppose the resale value on these cars is right now?

Comment Should really eat your own dog food. (Score 2) 108

Sometimes the companies most in need of the services they provide are themselves.

I frequently walk by this handyman's house where he has a sign advertising his various services including painting. I shake my head every time I see it because his house needs a good paint job more than any other house on the block.

Comment Re:ipad pro (Score 2) 508

For me personally, XCode doesn't make a whole lot of sense on a touch screen device with limited screen real-estate. I'd prefer to use a Macbook.

I'll grant you the touchscreen part (though they are offering an overpriced keyboard lid), but not the "limited screen real-estate". They are offering a 12.9" screen. Macbooks have long been offered in a 13.3" size. The iPad will be in a 2732×2048 resolution. I've considered the 11.6" / 12" range to be the minimum for a laptop that could be usable as a real computer (as compared to 10" netbooks). Those 12" laptops would frequently have 1366x768 resolutions. 13"-14" computers are easily usable full time. The iPad Pro's screen is obviously not a limitation. The oversized cellphone apps on it may get in the way, but not the screen.

For working with textual information like you are in Xcode, the native resolution on retina displays is almost meaningless. For example, the native resolution on my MBP 15 with retina display is 2880 X 1800, but the default effective resolution is 1440 X 900 which is the same as the non-retina displays of previous versions. Same with the iPads. The newest iPad Air has the same effective resolution as the original, - 1024 X 768. That's because Apple pixel-doubles the text so it's large enough to read.

You could have a native resolution of 2880 X 1800 on an iPhone but that doesn't mean the screen would be optimal for doing Xcode work.

That being said, the screen size of an iPad Pro is approaching that of an MBP 13 which I used for many years for software development. Before that I briefly had a Macbook Air. Obviously portability is an important feature to me and I could hook them up to external displays in the office. However, when away from the office I found the 13" display to be a liability unless I was just working in the terminal, web browsing, checking email, etc. The latest MBP 15 that I have now is almost as light as the earlier generation MBP 13 and is probably thinner. The larger screen is well worth the added footprint when I'm away from the office.

So I guess I don't see the fact that Xcode doesn't work on the iPad Pro as much of a downside since I don't think it's a great form factor for that kind of work anyway.

Comment Re:ipad pro (Score 1) 508

Depends on what your qualifications for being a professional tool are. The stylus support and Apple Pencil are potentially very big things for people in the graphics world. Keyboards and cases have been available for iPads for a long time, so that in and of itself doesn't seem to be much of an advance.

Other than for taking notes or referencing documents when I don't feel like caring around a laptop, it doesn't seem like a professional tool for me personally. On the other hand, it's approaching the size of a small laptop anyway.

Comment Re:ipad pro (Score 1) 508

I think what RT showed is that it's hard to survive as a platform without applications and without clear reasons for choosing it over a confusingly similar product from the same vender.

For me personally, XCode doesn't make a whole lot of sense on a touch screen device with limited screen real-estate. I'd prefer to use a Macbook. As for Photoshop, there might be a ton of photo applications that do make sense on a touch screen device with stylus support. Whether that needs to be a full desktop version of Photoshop or something targeted specifically at that kind of device is an open question.

Comment Re:so they should (Score 1) 261

I'm not leading an idyllic life. Are you?

It's not about "idyllic", it's about relative levels of psychological damage.

And you can "like to see" sex delayed until 40, for all most teens care. They may not be making mature decisions, but they're still making them.

Idyllic? No. Pretty good? Yes. Far better than my life would likely have been like 1000 years ago. Very good chance I wouldn't have even lived this long.

Would you prefer to be living back when it was common for girls to be having kids by the time they were 14? How many sane women would want that?

My son has had "girlfriends" fairly regularly since he was 14. One of them from last year had to change schools when she was 12 or 13 because she had a "reputation" at her previous school as a result of various rumors. Some kid ended up groping her. This made her quite skittish around boys. Though you wouldn't expect any relationship among 15 year olds to last very long, the one she had with my son ended partially because of that. She's struggling. He goes to a small school. We know her parents.

I've seen many of his texts and unfortunately some of the pictures that have gotten exchanged between he and his friends. For the most part I consider it normal and harmless but it can very easily go too far and cause some real difficulties. He lost his phone for quite awhile because he made some bad decisions and we discovered them before it got worse.

So yes, they make decisions, and yes they should be allowed to make mistakes, - but there are times when parents need to step in.

Comment Re:so they should (Score 3, Insightful) 261

Just because we survived as a species does not mean that young girls lead idyllic lives when they were married off or sold into slavery at 13. When whole populations could be wiped out by disease, famine, or war, producing lots of babies was important to survival. Even then, there were pretty strict mores regarding sex. Violating them could mean a death sentence or being ostracized.

Typically, as societies become more successful and wealthy, women have fewer kids and wait until later in life to have them. And even though we are physically able to produce children at young ages, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Our brains aren't fully developed until around age 25 or so. Because of this many adolescents are practically wired to make crappy decisions. Sometimes the natural consequences are what's necessary to keep them from repeating the same mistakes. Other times some intervention or prevention is necessary. Lots of teens are definitely at risk for suicide. You don't always want to wait for them to work it out themselves.

I have a 15 year old son, and a 12 year old daughter so I'm right in the middle of this. Even though my son's hormones are raging and my daughter's are headed in that direction, they aren't even close to being physically or emotionally mature. They do not have the means to raise a child on their own. Of course, there is such a thing as birth control, but the chemical methods have bad side effects and potential health risks when used for a long time. Non-chemical methods tend not to be that reliable. So delaying full blown sex until their later teens or early twenties is something we'd like to see. Definitely past 14. Past 17 is probably pushing it, but we can hope. 17 is the current average for when kids become sexually active.

Comment Re:so they should (Score 1) 261

There lots of stupid things that 14 year olds can do which can be harmful to themselves and to others without being criminal. This kid may have trouble getting employment when he's 24 because of what he did when he was 14. In my opinion, one 14 year old sending a naked picture of themselves to another 14 year old requires some parental intervention, but it isn't criminal (unless it's in violation of some restraining order) and shouldn't become part of any police record.

As a culture, it seems we need to take a deep breath and figure out what is truly damaging behavior for teenagers and what is normal exploration of sexuality. Technology opens the doors to behaviors that weren't open before. What are the real consequences for those behaviors? Like I said, I don't believe that one boy sending a naked picture of himself to one girl is going to destroy her under most circumstances. However, what if 15 boys in a class thought it would be funny to send a naked pic of themselves to the same girl and they kept doing it over period of weeks and months? That I could see as being extremely traumatic for her.

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed -- it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer. -- A.J. Perlis