This is why your “Women in Tech” event sucks

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A few weeks ago, my friend Leah wrote a thoughtful post about how to get more women into technology and STEM careers. In her post, she says:

Enticing women to tech isn’t about making it “diva-fied” or “girlification.”… Reducing women in tech from engineers to “web divas” pushes us into superficial territory and marginalizes our skills and contributions.  Instead of looking up to women in tech as problem-solvers and visionaries we get looked down upon as interlopers far from home.

Women are not all the same.  We don’t all want pink and flowers and glitter.  We don’t all think the same. We aren’t one dimensional creatures who will be drawn to the tech world because someone sent us a flier with pretty purple letters and butterflies.  We don’t all enter the tech world the same way and any strategy that relies on all women being alike is doomed to fail.

Continue reading “This is why your “Women in Tech” event sucks”

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“We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it… no one deserves a tragedy.”

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Candlelight Vigil on the Drillfield at Virginia Tech, 4/17/2007

“We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.”

– Nikki Giovanni, 4/17/2007

Happy Birthday, Facebook: A Thank You

Happy Birthday, Facebook: A Thank You

There is much navel-gazing going around about Facebook today, because today was its 10th birthday. Where will it go? What will it become? What has it done to our society?

While I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, I do have one very, very strong memory of Facebook from a very sad time a very long time ago… a memory and a use case I felt compelled to share, because that’s what you do on an important birthday, you share important feelings and memories to mark the occasion. While my feelings about Facebook are many and complex, its servers are the only place on this earth that friends, classmates and professors still exist and I will never, ever, ever forget what they did for us without even knowing it on what was absolutely the worst day and the absolute saddest week of our lives.

tl;dr Dear Facebook, Thank you for turning Maroon and Orange–I’ll never forget it. Love, a Hokie

Love and thanks to @KimHNorris: the Liebster Award

It’s no secret that I’ve fallen off my own #52weeks bandwagon. Between my day job and a project of passion I’ve undertaken, I’m on the hook for 3-5 blog posts and various communications throughout the week, which leaves me at the end of the day with very little energy to take to WordPress/Tumblr/Twitter with the fury of a thousand ‘saurusrexes.

Continue reading “Love and thanks to @KimHNorris: the Liebster Award”

Four Reasons To Love A Hacker

Yours truly, soldering for the first time ever. Here, I'm receiving excellent instruction on how to put together a DarkNet badge.
My first-ever attempt at soldering at Def Con 21. (#defconboyfriend was an excellent teacher, as confirmed by every person who surveyed my work for the rest of the conference.)

A few months ago– August, to be exact– I hopped a plane to attend my second-ever DefCon, a renowned hacker conference that entered its 21st year. This year’s gathering of security experts, hackers, makers, and technology enthusiasts from around the world was full of incredible talks (all of which seemed like pretty incredible feats of technology to me, given my current status of Codecademy dropout), hardware hacking, hacking contests, and other shenanigans felt feistier than ever. After having spent ten collective days in the middle of the desert (so, so hot) with hackers, here are the top four reasons I think that everyone should love them: Continue reading “Four Reasons To Love A Hacker”