|Scott McCloud on Google Chrome
||[Sep. 1st, 2008|04:43 pm]
So this is that thing that Scott smccloud couldn't talk about when he was speaking at Stumptown in April. Damn.
I'll go back to being snarky and jaded soon, but, you guys, I. I mean, just. Wow.
Developed by 22 men and 2 women, if the labeled speakers in the comic are any indication. With two unnamed girlfriends and a child providing input along the way.
That's almost exactly the gender breakdown among the software engineers at Alex oniugnip
's office, too.
And not all that different from the incoming CS PhD students at Indiana, yes? What was the final breakdown?
Courtney: how do you feel about this situation? Any thoughts or recommendations?
It pisses me off and makes me want to go learn some programming to do my small part to reverse the trend. I don't really have any thoughts or recommendations.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, a lot of really smart people are working on it. Cultural change takes time...Mark Guzdial
and Amy Bruckman
from Georgia Tech (among many others) are both doing some pretty great work about computing education and figuring out how to get people more broadly into the hackering. You're not the first to notice the disparity.http://www.cc.gatech.edu/gacomputesEdited at 2008-09-02 03:39 am (UTC)
That does make me feel better.
It's not full-fledged programming but I have learned SQL this year. I do have medium-term plans to learn some Web-development-specific coding skills so I can Save Journalism Through The Internet.
Courtney, I've seen your SQL homework. You kick ass. Just because it's not a general-purpose language doesn't mean it's not real programming. (Set theory can't help me answer every mathematical question I might want to answer, but that doesn't mean that set theory isn't real math.)
(this is not to say that you shouldn't take up programming, hanging out with Code 'n' Splode
, and teaching small children about various approaches to method dispatch -- it's just that you've probably got some important journalistic things to do...)
Three of us are women out of, I think, 16. I can't comment as to the number of unnamed girlfriends and children providing input along the way!
The comic doesn't include everyone working on the project. In fact, they didn't even let us (the people working on google chrome) see the comic before it was released. I read the comic for the first time yesterday.
That said, the gender breakdown of the engineering team is about that of other Google projects. Google does what it can in trying to increase the number of women in computing, but it's an uphill battle. See http://www.google.com/anitaborg/
After Courtney mentioned the gender imbalance, I thought about it some more, and I realized that a nasty little chunk of my brain had already been assuming that any
women working on the project would definitely
have been included in the comic, for the same reason that women might get pushed to the front in a group photo of a computer science department: so that they can make the group look as balanced as possible. Meaning that the female/male ratio would have been 2 to at least
22. Then I realized that to assume such a thing is insulting to any women involved, because it implies that they're there because they're female
. I'm going to have to work harder to overcome my own bias.
Also, I think I'm going to apply for Anita Borg for next year.
, congratulations on Chrome! I can't wait to try it out on Linux soon.
my browser is hanging a lot trying to load the thing. I have to wonder.
2008-09-03 01:46 am (UTC)
People are using the inter-process boundary for fast&cheap stuff more and more these days. It makes me think that Alan Kay is correct when he points out that there is no difference between an object and a process. Or, that if he isn't currently correct, he will be soon.
And I've noticed that the effect goes both ways -- McCloud fans who otherwise wouldn't have been interested in Chrome are now interested.
But, on the other hand, I was at a party on Saturday, and I overheard some people in the corner using words like "V8" and "Amsterdam" and "WebKit" and of course I went bounding over there and blurted something that I think was very much along the lines of "Hi, I'm a huge fangirl for Scott McCloud!!!" and got blank stares. So.