Wiping Away the (Bad) Lines in the Sand in the Software Developer Community

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Intermediate
Scheduled: Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B202/203

Excerpt

Think of a shibboleth as a proverbial line in the sand that determines who belongs and who is an outsider. There are a lot of arbitrary shibboleths in programming. Text editors (emacs vs. vim vs. sublime), paradigms (object-oriented vs. functional), languages (everyone vs Java), type systems, are all topics of… to put it lightly, “vigorous conversation.” In set theory terms, the developer community does not do enough to encourage seeing different developer groups as unions instead of intersections. To a newcomer, this situation sets up too much of a danger of alienation. If someone makes fun of the language that you use to learn how to code, then you’re less likely to want to keep learning.

Description

Shibboleths are ways for members of a group to infer who belongs and who does not. They’re usually an indicator of underlying issues or successes in terms of a group establishing a welcoming culture. Does that mean that shibboleths are always bad? Not necessarily! The software developer community has both good and bad ones. We’ll go over both kinds in this talk and what we can do to encourage the good ones and eliminate the bad ones. I’ll use set theory, anthropology, a live app demo, and, most importantly, cartoon gifs to point out the problems and propose some solutions.

Tags

inclusion, diversity, race, culture

Speaking experience

I have worked in programming education, so I've had to speak publicly in class. Also, I have presented content to crowds at hackathons and other events. Here is a video of me presenting at the hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt SF:
http://techcrunch.com/video/travelhappy-presents-disrupt-sf-2014-hackathon/518404034/

By the time of this conference, I will have given this talk at AlterConf Minneapolis (taking place 4/9/2016):
http://www.alterconf.com/speakers/wal%C3%A9-ogundip%C3%A9

Speaker

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    Biography

    Walé is a software developer based in the Pacific Northwest. He is passionate about access to technology and related opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds. In addition to coding and teaching people to code, he enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and foreign languages.

    Sessions

      • Title: Wiping Away the (Bad) Lines in the Sand in the Software Developer Community
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B202/203
      • Time: 4:455:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        Think of a shibboleth as a proverbial line in the sand that determines who belongs and who is an outsider. There are a lot of arbitrary shibboleths in programming. Text editors (emacs vs. vim vs. sublime), paradigms (object-oriented vs. functional), languages (everyone vs Java), type systems, are all topics of… to put it lightly, “vigorous conversation.” In set theory terms, the developer community does not do enough to encourage seeing different developer groups as unions instead of intersections. To a newcomer, this situation sets up too much of a danger of alienation. If someone makes fun of the language that you use to learn how to code, then you’re less likely to want to keep learning.

      • Speakers: Wale O.

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