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Programming

A Bechdel Test For Programmers? 522

Nerval's Lobster writes In order for a movie or television show to pass the Bechdel Test (named after cartoonist and MacArthur genius Alison Bechdel), it must feature two female characters, have those two characters talk to one another, and have those characters talk to one another about something other than a man. A lot of movies and shows don't pass. How would programming culture fare if subjected to a similar test? One tech firm, 18F, decided to find out after seeing a tweet from Laurie Voss, CTO of npm, which explained the parameters of a modified Bechdel Test. According to Voss, a project that passes the test must feature at least one function written by a woman developer, that calls a function written by another woman developer. 'The conversation started with us quickly listing the projects that passed the Bechdel coding test, but then shifted after one of our devs then raised a good point,' read 18F's blog posting on the experiment. 'She said some of our projects had lots of female devs, but did not pass the test as defined.' For example, some custom languages don't have functions, which means a project built using those languages would fail even if written by women. Nonetheless, both startups and larger companies could find the modified Bechdel Test a useful tool for opening up a discussion about gender balance within engineering and development teams.
Firefox

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights 1482

PortWineBoy writes: "The Beeb is reporting that OkCupid is prompting Mozilla Firefox users to switch browsers over Brendan Eich's support of Prop 8 in California in 2008. Users are met with a message stating that OKCupid would prefer no one access their site with Mozilla software. Eich is the new CEO of Mozilla."
Image

University Students Become Superheroes To Teach STEM Education Screenshot-sm 55

New submitter sjdupont writes "A trio of University of South Florida (USF) engineering graduate students have decided to make a change in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in an unusual and exciting way: by creating their own superhero personas and dressing in costumes as members of the Scientific League of Superheroes. Focused on elementary education, they have created a unique education program called the Superhero Training Network, a curriculum-based video series designed for the classroom which focuses on teaching STEM topics while engaging students in a fun way. Fifth grade classrooms in Hillsborough County (Florida) pilot tested the series during the 2011-2012 school year and enjoyed visits from the scientific superheroes to experience scientific demonstrations and participate in hands-on activities."

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