Code: Debugging the Gender Gap

Robin Hauser Reynolds and Kimberly Bryant

Robin Hauser Reynolds, the Director/Producer of CODE interviews Kimberly Bryant, Founder & CEO Black Girls Code

A film many instructors may want to use in class or tell students to watch is now widely available. The film is the documentary Code: Debugging the Gender Gap. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo, and TV on demand. It will be available to stream on Netflix in 2017.

The film explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in keeping the number of women and minorities in software engineering jobs low. It has screened in 47 countries and at over 400 companies and organizations, including The White House.

“We are thrilled that CODE continues to have impact on audiences across all industries worldwide, and that we’ll have the chance to reach so many more when it begins streaming on Netflix next year,” said Director and Producer Robin Hauser. “Our hope is that it continues to open up conversations about what we would all gain from having more women and minorities code.”

Robin Hauser Reynolds & Megan Smith

Diretor Robin Hauser Reynolds, interviews Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States during the Obama Admistration

Code: Debugging the Gender Gap includes interviews with employees at Yelp, Facebook, Google, and Pinterest, among others, and explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in keeping the number of women and minorities in software engineering jobs low – and what can be done to change this.

Girls Who Code releases Girls Who Code Loop

Girls Who Code Loop App

This press release came in from Girls Who Code today. Since I’ve been reading SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefullyby Jane McGonigal lately, I can see that the Girls Who Code people have taken the idea of gamefulness and put it into a useful app that will help develop young women in tech. Here’s the press:

Girls Who Code, the national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology, today released Girls Who Code Loop, the first-ever app custom-built for its community. The app helps the Girls Who Code sisterhood of students and alumni stay in the loop and support each other. It’s available to download for free on iOS and Android.

In the app, girls can join discussion “loops” based on their interests, location, or Girls Who Code program. They can post and comment about everything from coding to college and jobs or internships — all in a fun and respectful space custom-built for them. Girls can also learn about events and opportunities in their area, tag a post with a “Raised Hand” to get help from the community, and keep up with old friends or make new ones who share their connection with Girls Who Code. To learn how to use the app, watch the “Introducing Girls Who Code Loop” video on YouTube.

The app name refers to the computer science concept of a “loop,” one of the Core4 computer science concepts that all Girls Who Code students learn. A loop tells a computer to repeat a sequence of instructions. Girls Who Code Loop is available to current students and graduates of Girls Who Code programs, Clubs Facilitators, and Summer Immersion Program teaching teams. You must be thirteen years of age or older to use this app.

“Girls Who Code will reach 40,000 girls by the end of the academic year, and one thing we’ve learned in the process is that community matters. Girls need community and support from their peers to maintain and persist in computer science.” said Girls Who Code Founder and CEO, Reshma Saujani. “In fact, social encouragement and female role models are two of the most important factors influencing a girl’s decision to pursue computer science. With Girls Who Code Loop, we’re providing a platform for our girls to build connections and encourage each other to pursue a future in computer science.”

Through its programs, Girls Who Code is building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. The release is part of a broader Girls Who Code Alumni Program that launched in 2015 with commitments of nearly $3 Million from AT&T, Adobe, and the Prudential Foundation to grow the tech talent pipeline for women. In addition to Girls Who Code Loop, Girls Who Code has also launched #HireMe, a job and internship board that connects its alumni to opportunities with more than 60 major US companies.

Girls Who Code created the app in partnership with Small Planet, a New York-based agency specializing in iOS and Android development.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Additional information is available at www.girlswhocode.com.

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Excellent Posters from Ada Lovelace Day

The Ada Lovelace Day website has some excellent posters for educating yourself and for educating students. The one that caught my eye first is the “Amazingly Enormous Careers in STEM Poster.”

Others include “Ten Types of Scientist poster,” “Ada Lovelace poster,” and “Mary Anning poster.”

You can download the posters from the Ada Lovelace Day website or buy them already printed out and ready to be put on display. Here’s the Careers in STEM one, not very readable at this size, but enough to give you an idea what you’d get if you bought the poster.

 

For Middle and High School Girl Coders: YouTube Series “My Code”

Girls Who Code, the national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, today released “My Code,” a YouTube series about learning how to code from the perspective of four female coders. The weekly series will air every Thursday on YouTube at YouTube.com/GirlsWhoCode.

“My Code” shares the experiences of four Girls Who Code alumnae: Audrey, Brittney, Margot, and Shannon. These real world role models and coders, all in high school, represent a diverse range of perspectives and interests in technology – from gaming to animation to social impact to web design. Every week, the cast of “My Code” will answer questions about what it’s like to learn to code and tackle a different perspective on their journey: from why they learned to code to the challenges they’ve faced and their plans for the future. The aim is to provide relatable and practical advice for teen girls who are interested in coding.

Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, said: “Teen girls increasingly take their cues about what they want to be from places like YouTube. In fact, 81.9% of US Internet users between the age of 14-17 are on YouTube. That’s a lot of teenage girls. We wanted to fill a gap we saw on YouTube and present relatable and inspiring role models for the next generation of women in technology. I often say that you can’t be what you can’t see. Our goal is to help girls see themselves as coders and, by doing so, start to close the gender gap in technology.”

Well before college, young girls have begun to opt out of computer science. While girls’ interest ebbs over time, the largest drop-off happens during the teenage years. Studies point to media portrayals of coders as “nerdy boys” and lack of roles models as key reasons that girls opt out. By college, only 18% of Computer Science majors are women. This gap then continues into the workforce and has major implications for our economy. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million open jobs in computing. Women are on track to fill just 3% of those roles.

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. By the end of 2016, Girls Who Code will have reached 40,000 girls in every US state. Additional information is available at girlswhocode.com.

33 Facts about Women in Tech (Infographic)

This infographic shows both A) women are making progress or B) women have much more progress to make. For women to make as much progress as these facts show are needed, men have to participate in the change. The big changes we see in the last year are there because men have finally started trying to work with women to solve the scarcity of women in tech problem.

The 238% Faster Growth of Women in the Tech Industry Than Men

Made by: Coupofy

GTFO The Movie

A scene of gamers from GTFO

GTFO, the movie, premiered at SXSW in 2015 and is now available from a number of outlets. Created by Shannon Sun-Higginson, the documentary takes a look at sexual harassment in gaming.

The description of the film is,

Sparked by a public display of sexual harassment in 2012, GTFO pries open the video game world to explore a 20 billion dollar industry that is riddled with discrimination and misogyny. In recent years, the gaming community has grown more diverse than ever. This has led to a massive clash of values and women receive the brunt of the consequences every day, with acts of harassment ranging from name calling to cyber vandalism and death threats. Through interviews with video game developers, journalists, and academics, GTFO paints a complex picture of the video game industry, while revealing the systemic and human motivations behind acts of harassment. GTFO is the beginning of a larger conversation that will shape the future of the video game world.

You can buy or rent GTFO on iTunes, Vimeo, BitTorrent, Google Play, Xbox, Playstation, and Vudu. The film is available for educators at the movie web site, which has resources for women who are being harassed.

Time Magazine interviewed Sun-Higginson in Meet the Woman Helping Gamergate Victims Come Out of the Shadows. It’s worth reading.

A Talk About Nothing

Lena Reinhard

Lena Reinhard

You may have watched this elsewhere, but I found it impressive enough to add here as well. Its a very fine talk about the tech industry by Lena Reinhard at the first ever .concat() web development conference on March 7th 2015.

Here’s the abstract of the talk.

And, yes, literally nothing. Together we’ll take a look behind the curtains of reality and explore some of the underlying rules that shape our existence. We will dig into ancient philosophy, the history and today’s status physics and maths, look into the origins of computing, programming and analyse the way we develop software today. We’ll see how nothing influences us, how it shapes our behaviour every day and how nothing can help us grow – in our professions and, even more, as humans.

“Nothing really matters,”, Freddie Mercury wrote in a song that was released 40 years ago. I want to show you how right he is.

The talk is nominated for the “Conference Talk of the Year” in the .net awards 2015. Listen to it carefully as she builds her message and listen all the way to the end.