Tagged with “programming” (32)
Joining me for today’s podcast is the programmer-turned-writer Ellen Ullman. I recently reread her 1995 book, Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents, and found it as compelling today as it was then.
Ellen likes to say that programmers create systems in their own image and according to their own desires. They were among the first to experience the lifestyle that we all take for granted now: asynchronous, machine-mediated, always on. In this conversation we talked about how this way of life affects software, individuals, and society, both for better and worse.
In March, Heydon posted an inflammatory tweet, as he often does. :-)
If you don’t think CSS is a programming language, you have a parochial view of programming and, I’m willing to bet, a parochial view on most other things - gender and ethnicity included.
That escalated quickly. While one might be both racist and not consider CSS to be a programming language, it seems a spurious correlation. And it’s an especially strong take, given that Heydon appears to have changed his position on the matter. This was him tweeting in 2013:
HTML is not a programming language. CSS even less so.
So, which is it? Are we on the path to yet another “it depends”? And whether it depends or not, does it matter? Would “elevating” CSS to the status of a programming language encourage programmers to take CSS development more seriously? Or does moving CSS into a realm with a traditionally higher barrier to entry end up an exercise in exclusion?
Heydon and I discuss this. For an hour. It’s a civil conversation, don’t worry.
As a young woman, Stephanie Shirley worked at the Dollis Hill Research Station building computers from scratch: but she told young admirers that she worked for the Post Office, hoping they would think she sold stamps. In the early 60s she changed her name to Steve and started selling computer programmes to companies who had no idea what they were or what they could do, employing only mothers who worked from home writing code by hand with pen and pencil and then posted it to her. By the mid-80s her software company employed eight thousand people, still mainly women with children. She made an absolute fortune but these days Stephanie thinks less about making money and much more about how best to give it away.
According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women held just 25 percent of professional computing jobs in the US in 2015. How damaging is this gender gap to the future of the tech industry?
The rise and fall of Britain’s electronic computing industry between 1944–1974 holds clues. In her book, Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing, historian Marie Hicks explores how gender discrimination, changing labor demographics, and government policy during this 30-year period shaped the UK’s path in computing. She also explains how this path had detrimental economic effects on the UK—and why the US may be facing similar risks today.
Dr. Marie Hicks sits down with David C. Brock, Director of the Museum’s Center for Software History, to share insights from her book.
Hicks received her BA from Harvard University and her MA and PhD from Duke University. Before entering academia, she worked as a UNIX systems administrator. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on how gender and sexuality bring hidden technological dynamics to light and how women’s experiences change the core narratives of the history of computing.
Entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley joins Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs.
As a child, she escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport - travelling across Europe for two days in a train with a thousand children and just two adults. She went on to set up a computer programming company which made her a millionaire many times over. But she has given away most of her fortune and now is an ambassador for philanthropy. Her determination throughout it all, she says, has been to prove that hers was a life worth saving.
Kyle Simpson, the author of the You Don’t Know JS book series, talks about education and learning and teaching programming to new developers.
How did our industry start, what paths did it take to get to where we are, and where is it going. What big problems did programmers encounter in the past? How were they solved? And how do those solutions impact our future? What mistakes have we made as a profession; and how are we going to correct them. In this talk, Uncle Bob describes the history of software, from it’s beginnings in 1948 up through the current day; and then beyond. By looking at our past trajectory, we try to plot out where our profession is headed, and what challenges we’ll face along the way.
Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob) has been a programmer since 1970. He is the Master Craftsman at 8th Light inc, an acclaimed speaker at conferences worldwide, and the author of many books including: The Clean Coder, Clean Code, Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns, and Practices, and UML for Java Programmers.
In this special episode, Janie speaks about her background as a non-traditional student and programmer and about why she feels that asking about algorithms in job interviews is discriminatory.
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