"Like all great social and technological developments, the "computer revolution" of the twentieth century didn't just happen. People—not impersonal processes—made it happen. In The Computer Boys Take Over, Nathan Ensmenger describes the emergence of the technical specialists—computer programmers, systems analysts, and data processing managers—who helped transform the electronic digital computer from a scientific curiosity into the most powerful and ubiquitous technology of the modern era. They did so not as inventors from the traditional mold, but as the developers of the "software" (broadly defined to include programs, procedures, and practices) that integrated the novel technology of electronic computing into existing social, political, and technological networks. As mediators between the technical system (the computer) and its social environment (existing structures and practices), these specialists became a focus for opposition to the use of new information technologies. To many of their contemporaries, it seemed the "computer boys" were taking over, not just in the corporate setting, but also in government, politics, and society in general.
Ensmenger follows the rise of the computer boys as they struggled to establish a role for themselves within traditional organizational, professional, and academic hierarchies. He describes the tensions that emerged between the craft-centered practices of vocational programmers, the increasingly theoretical agenda of academic computer science, and the desire of corporate managers to control and routinize the process of software development. In doing so, he provides a human perspective on what is too often treated as a purely technological phenomenon."
As a woman who's worked for years at both large tech companies (mobile, web) and small tech startups (mobile, video games), who currently works by day at a multinational internet company and works by night as a video game developer, this is just another thing that happens. I expect this every year, multiple times a year. Whom it happens to and what the consequences are for the individuals don't change much year over year — and the conversation around it doesn't seem to evolve much either. I've gotten so sick of it happening in the games industry, I started my own conference for game developers in part so I could attend at least one event a year where I didn't have to expect this kind of thing.
And make no mistake: I always expect it. As someone who is unapologetically public about her history as a rape survivor, I get pulled aside at literally every large event I attend. I am always someone's only available confidant, the only person someone can tell about their stalker, harasser, assailant, rapist — most often, someone else working in their industry. That is how lonely it is sometimes for women in tech; finding someone who will say, "I believe you" means waiting months or years and sending veiled messages like, "I really hope we can connect at [event]" and hoping the other person can read between the lines. It means trying to represent your company or your product on an expo floor while your stalker hangs out in your peripheral vision a few paces away. It means watching your rapist give talks about subjects relevant to your skill set. It means coworkers sexually assaulting you once you're single again, luminaries in your field dismissing and shaming your gender when they think they're among like-minded folks, friends and associates challenging you when you ask to interview any potential new hires, to be provided company-branded clothing that actually fits you, to change desktop backgrounds to something other than half-dressed anime girls during work events.
"Twitter typeahead.js is a fast and battle-tested jQuery plugin for auto completion. Today we’re open sourcing the code on GitHub under the MIT license."
Click in to find related links.