The computer industry is dominated by men. The question of how we can encourage more women to become software developers has been asked for many years — and in many cases, the blame has been placed at the feet of university CS programs, which don’t attract as many women as men. In this talk, Stephanie Hippo describes work done at Case Western Reserve University, aimed at building up the community of female CS students. Her story is instructive for anyone
There are plenty of people in the computer industry who didn’t major in computer science. But a very large number of them did, and thus CS education — at the high-school and university levels — has an important role to play in the computer industry. As things currently stand, those classes (and thus careers) don’t appeal to nearly as many people as they could. In particular, women and minorities are severely underrepresented. In this talk, Ashley Gavin describes the problem, and then the ways in which she has taught CS classes with a project-based curriculum, with a greater degree of success than traditional curricula.
DjangoGirls aims to introduce women (and girls) to the world of software and Web development (using Django, of course). They sponsor workshops, and offer documentation, tutorials, and other materials that encourage women to learn programming. How do Django GIrls workshops, with very small budgets, handle the issue of accessibility? What considerations do you need to keep in mind? How does the workshop itself change? In this talk, Lacey Williams Henschel describes her experiences putting together Django Girls workshops, and tells us how others can similarly make workshops as open and inviting as possible.
The role of women in high tech has become a topic of concern and discussion. In this talk, developers Hannah Howard and Evan Dorn discuss the current state of affairs, and what can be done to improve it — for the Ruby language, and the high tech world in general.