Trisha Gee has been a Java developer for over 12 years, and due to a low boredom threshold has worked in loads of different industries for many types of companies. Trisha is a developer at 10gen (the MongoDB people). She has expertise in high performance Java systems and is leader in the London Java Community. She is also involved in the Graduate Development Community. Trisha believes we shouldn't all have to make the same mistakes again and again. Trisha is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 63 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

The Problem with Women - A Technical Approach

12.24.2012
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As well as talking about, you know, actual work-type-stuff, I was encouraged to give my "Technical Approach to Women" presentation at Devoxx. This went so well at JavaOne that I thought it would be difficult to top. Also, I wasn't convinced it would work at Devoxx, because the theaters are not well suited to audience participation - the seats are warm and comfy, the room is dark, the speaker is on stage in front of a massive screen....

I was incredibly impressed with the audience. There were literally hundreds of people, most of them men. To me, it proved once again that the men in this industry are determined to "fix" this problem of gender imbalance. And they're happy to extend that to improving diversity as a whole, once you highlight the bigger problem. It says to me that this is not naturally a misogynistic industry, where you have to fight against the boys club to get anywhere. It says to me that we are all in this together. After all, in the "real" world the geeks are still outsiders, and different, so we're used to embracing our different-ness - whether that's because you're the only girl in the room, the only Java developer at a .NET conference, or the only techy at a dinner party.

Conferences are a self-selecting audience, I know - these are the people who are investing time and money in advancing their careers, or at least encouraging their employers to do. But for the punchline of this session, these are exactly the right people. We need to go out, tell everyone how much we enjoy our jobs; tell kids that programming is cool, and show them it's fun; mentor other people, and each other, and be a role model. I don't care what gender you are or what colour you are or what your dark secret is - you are the role model to inspire someone.

Just do it.

Click Here to Watch the Presentation Video

Published at DZone with permission of Trisha Gee, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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