October 23, 2014

Day two of the All Things Open conference. One of the opening keynotes (here in the modern era, every non-breakout talk is a keynote, I guess) was by the Chief People Officer at Red Hat. She spent the whole time speaking in kind of vague terms about the need for diversity in tech, citing the current heavily skewed numbers, and talking pipeline.

Which is certainly important – we could still do a million times better at eliminating all the cultural biases that work against girls who like math, science & computers. 

However, among people who actually regularly think and talk and write about this topic, the consensus is that it’s utterly pointless to work on pipeline issues until we’ve done something substantial about the actual culture within the industry first. 

And that’s one subject that the CPO of Red Hat was pretty much silent about.

After the morning’s breakouts, the CPO was back to moderate a panel discussion about women in tech (the panel consisting of about half of the women who were speaking at the conference). I’m going to see if I can embed all of my tweets from the panel here:

(note that in that last tweet above, I was suggesting that conference attendees should find women tweeting in the conference hashtag & follow them – more generally, if you’re on twitter & are interested in women in tech, there are hundreds – try this list.)

It was awesome to see the panelists sort of take matters into their own hands, and [repeatedly] bring up culture & institutional sexism, even in some cases by ignoring the questions the moderator was asking.

I saw some great talks, some merely good talks, learned a few things. Oh, and thanks to the conference organizers not ordering enough box lunches to go around, I got to walk up the street to Capital Club 16 and have a beer & a schnitzel sandwich for lunch.

Came home, ate some fish collars (!) from Saltbox. Ricky described them as like eating chicken thighs, and that was actually oddly apt.

Watched the last episode of Lonesome Dove. Tommy Lee Jones finally got to do some actual acting – and he was great. On the gore front, got to watch one character try, and fail, to shove an arrow the rest of the way through Robert Duvall’s knee. Also got to see Ricky Schroeder with a terrible mustache.

October 23, 2014

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