Girl Code- Being a Woman in Technology

Girl Code- Being a Woman in Technology

A monopoly in a world of binary
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The annual Grace Hopper Conference, a Celebration for Women in Computing, is this upcoming week in Houston, Texas. It is the largest gathering of female technologists. All of that is great and wonderful, and it provides an exciting opportunity for women all over the United States to come together and celebrate their profession and their passion. However, one of the fundamental reasons GHC exists is actually a lot deeper than that. Women have been struggling for equal opportunity and representation in technology for decades, and it's so ingrained in our culture that oftentimes we don't realize it's a problem. Being a woman in technology, I want to bring light to this issue so you can join me in my quest to hack this gender gap.

Let's take a look at the numbers. A study from NPR reported on October 21st of 2014 notes that while the percentage of females studying medicine, law, and the physical sciences has increased since the 1980s, those studying computer science has decreased by nearly 20%. It's no question that getting equal representation of the sexes in STEM has been a problem for decades, but the numbers for computer science are dismally low. But why exactly is this?

Believe it or not, the problem roots itself in at a young age, about during the time when boys and girls start to differentiate between what is meant for boys and what is meant for girls. Children start becoming more and more hyper-aware of their gender and what behaviors and attitudes are associated with it on a societal level. Playing with computers, video games, and building things with LEGOS or what have you, are most commonly associated with boys, while superficial toys such as Barbie dolls are associated with girls. From a young age, it just doesn't feel right that a girl should be engaging in the same activities as boys. Oftentimes, girls don't even get the exposure to problem-solving activities at a young age, and don't figure out until later that it's something they really enjoy.

As time goes on, the problem doesn't get better. An analysis reported by Fortune Magazine of April 20th 2015 found that while female computer science students asked 26% more questions than male students, they answered, on average, 37% fewer questions. Women are also more likely to be interrupted, speak for shorter periods of time, and have their words be ignored by instructors. After talking to some friends about this issue, I found that they've experienced this personally and can validate the numbers. Girls on the whole have a less-than-stellar classroom experience, and it only persists on the other side of the graduation stage. Retention rates for women in technology are lower than ever, meaning that of those who stick it through and receive the college degree, several end up not staying.

One big culprit for low retention rates in computer science is something called "brogrammer culture", a laid-back, fraternity-style culture featuring lots of drinks, hours spent up coding, watching football and eating greasy pizza (I'm only slightly exaggerating). Tech companies with brogrammer culture can breed hostile environments for women. In such environments, when a woman tries to assume a leadership position and take charge as a man would, they are seen as uptight, aggressive, and unwilling to have fun.

Technology wants more women. Technology NEEDS more women. Technology is feeding the world, building into what it will be tomorrow, the day after, next week, next month, next year. Right now we're living in a world where the engineers of success are homogenous in every way. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates... you name it. By not pushing for more diversity, you willingly silence the voices of minorities, and you are giving the green light to tomorrow's world, a world that only answers the demands of men.

To provide solutions to the world's problems using technology, there needs to be all kinds of perspectives. Luckily, there are things both men and women can do to help solve this problem.

It doesn't take a hacker to hack this gender gap.

On my campus, we have a club called Computing For All, one that seeks to improve diversity and make these issues in technology known campus-wide and throughout our entire city. If you don't have one on yours, start one.

Help increase access to computer science targeting younger audiences such as elementary and middle schoolers. If we fight the stigma from a young age, more girls will express interest in computer science. Push for more computer science education in public middle schools and high schools so that students can learn without breaking the bank.

If you're in the industry, fight brogrammer culture, and make sure all voices are being heard in team meetings and social events.

And most of all, if you're a girl in computer science, don't give up and keep fighting for what you're passionate about. Maybe in your garage, over a mediocre bowl of ramen, you'll innovate the next world revolution. That's something a little better than mediocre.

Cover Image Credit: Fiction Veranda

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22 Post Malone ‘beerbongs & bentleys’ Lyrics College Kids Will Use As Insta Captions This Summer

It's here, and it's fire.
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If you didn't know, I am really not sure how you wouldn't know, but it's fine, Post Malone's new album FINALLY came out! Posty has time and time again proven that he's a trailblazer in the music industry. His genre is a mix of everything, from rap to acoustic guitar, and he sounds like he's at home in both settings.

Here it is, a list of Post Malone lyrics you'll use or see as Instagram captions. I can already feel it, this summer is Posty's summer –– a summer for "beerbongs & bentleys."

1. "Spoil My Night" - "Won't you come spoil my night?"

2. "Spoil My Night" - "Feelings come into play and I'm thinkin' this happens every time"

3. "Spoil My Night" - "Yeah, when I walk up in a party, they all act like they know me"

4. "Zack and Codeine" - "Been livin' fast, no I can't take it slowly"

5. "Zack and Codeine" - "But it don't mean nothing without all my people"

6. "Zack and Codeine" - "Pour that drink 'cause we ain't sleepin' tonight"

7. "Takin Shots" - "Heard that there's a party, I might pay a visit"

8. "Takin Shots" - "Baby, just for the night, you my soulmate"

9. "Over Now" - "I'ma turn the tables, promise you will not forget it"

10. "Stay" - "Damn, who are we right now?"

11. "Blame It On Me" - "These hurricanes inside of my brain"

12. "Same Bitches" - "Bottles on deck, and my drink full"

13. "Same Bitches" - "Population four million, how I see the same bitches?"

14. "Jonestown" - "It happens every time"

15. "92 Explorer" - "She in the front seat head bangin'"

16. "Sugar Wraith" - "And then I went and changed my life"

17. "Sugar Wraith" - "I take the lead, they just follow"

18. "Rockstar" - "Sayin, 'I'm with the band'"

19. "Rockstar" - "Livin’ like a Rockstar, I’m livin’ like a Rockstar"

20. "Rockstar" - "Sweeter than a Pop-Tart”

21. "Psycho" - "Can’t really trust nobody with all this jewelry on you"

22. "Psycho" - "I got homies, let it go"

Cover Image Credit: Post Malone // Instagram

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Post Malone Is The Artist Of The Summer… And It’s Killing My Wallet

As an artist career continues to go up, so do the cost of tickets.
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Here I am, a month into summer and still zero concert tickets in hand. Summer has always been a time to dance my ass off on the Xfinity lawn. For those unaware of what the Xfinity lawn is, it is an outdoor venue that basically doubles as a mosh pit.

The lawn has always been a melting pot of everyone and anyone and guarantees that you will leave with a story to tell. Although, as I grow up I find the lawn more and more unappealing, the nostalgic side of myself still wants to be smack dab in the center of all the lawns action.

As much as I would love to be able to pretend I'm not scared of FOMO and all that, I am very much terrified of FOMO. So when I heard Post Malone would be performing at the Xfinity, my mind was immediately filled with nostalgia and fear that I wouldn't be able to snatch up a ticket. Now here I am, no ticket, no money and so much sadness due to FOMO and nostalgia!

You’re probably reading this thinking well you should have bought a ticket when they went on sale!? Well yes, you are not wrong. But, way back when they went on sale this past winter, I was a broke college student ballin' on a budget. So, at the moment putting my money towards student loans seemed like the more responsible thing to do than buying a concert ticket. Which technically is still definitely the better choice.

I just want to know why I can never seem to get over this idea that I need to attend a concert or it will be the end of the world? I also would love to know why everyone jacks resale ticket prices up so much! I’m all for making a profit but listing your $34.00 lawn seat as a $200.00 ticket on StubHub is absurd.

I love Post Malone as well as so many other artists and yet I can simply never afford to see them in concert. When an artist is sensationalized they become untouchable and unseeable, literally. As an artist career continues to go, so do the cost of tickets.

I may not be able to see Post Malone, an artist I truly enjoy listening to, but I know it is not the end of the world. But I do empathize with those who will not be able to see an artist perform live who truly changed their life because of the cost of a ticket.

Honestly, In my dream world, artists would hand out free tickets to anyone and everyone. How amazing would that be? But sadly, thats just not how things work. Hopefully I sit myself down and truly plan for next year because this whole scrambling last minute to find a cheap ticket is truly ruining my vibe and destroying my wallet.

Cover Image Credit: Post Malone

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