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Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 7:36 AM
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David.Poole (8/28/2013)
First, what the <insert your own expression here>?

My expression would be "Kalen Delaney".

Ada Lovelace - possibly the first ever computer programmer.
Grace Hopper "the mother of Cobol"
Frances Allen - Won a Turing award. Not exactly small beer.

My wife's aunt was the highest ranking female officer in the Royal Navy during WWII. She was shipped all over the world installing, configuring RADAR plus training people to do the same. This is a women who at the age of 92 demonstrated to a TV repair man that the "broken" TV could be fixed by replacing a specific chip and soldering a loose connection!


My mother was a Lovelace; descended from Ada Lovelace
Post #1492783
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 10:52 AM


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dean.giberson 64357 (9/9/2013)
Steve: I think you are actually agreeing with me in that cancer patients (your example) fall into exactly what I was talking about. Cancer patients can come in all shapes, sizes, colors etc and would be of like mind, interest, etc. What I was commenting about was Purple Cancer Patient support groups that would include or exclude people rather than support everyone equally. Again I was just talking about my confusion as to where I stand on those kinds of groups. I don't actively oppose them I just wonder whether they are helping to oppose or continue the prejudice.

Regards,

DG


If support groups exclude people, they could be continuing the prejudice, but I'm not sure. If they claim every event is an issue, they could as well.

Ultimately the groups should, IMHO, be there to support people and encourage them, but not look to become more important than the issue, which some groups have become. I don't see this with the WIT groups, but it could happen.







Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest

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Post #1492871
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 6:19 AM


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Read the editorial. Read a few of the posts. Seems that simply we are, as a collective, astounded at the attitude of the minority.

As for support groups, I would say that SQL Server Central is a support group for women (and men), anyone who is gay (and lesbian, heterosexual etc.), anyone who is black (and asian, white, albino etc.) and any one who is half-Hungarian (and the rest of you lot too!!!). We are so inclusive as a group that developers, like me, are as welcome as the DBAs.

It is a shame that groups like Women in IT may be necessary on some level but I think that banishing such prejudice from our own communities will hopefully lead to the positive retirement of such targeted groups by making them unnecessary. It is just a pity that we seem to be going backwards as a society.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1493136
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:19 AM


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Gary Varga (9/10/2013)
Read the editorial. Read a few of the posts. Seems that simply we are, as a collective, astounded at the attitude of the minority.

As for support groups, I would say that SQL Server Central is a support group for women (and men), anyone who is gay (and lesbian, heterosexual etc.), anyone who is black (and asian, white, albino etc.) and any one who is half-Hungarian (and the rest of you lot too!!!). We are so inclusive as a group that developers, like me, are as welcome as the DBAs.

It is a shame that groups like Women in IT may be necessary on some level but I think that banishing such prejudice from our own communities will hopefully lead to the positive retirement of such targeted groups by making them unnecessary. It is just a pity that we seem to be going backwards as a society.

I actually don't see any evidence that society in general is moving backward. The problem is that, while the prevalence of bigots as a percentage of the population is getting smaller, the internet allows bigotry and hate to become more prevalent in public discourse.
Post #1493168
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:47 AM
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As an outsider (non-DBA), I can say that my experience over the past 20 years has been that DBAs and the DBA world is as close to a pure meritocracy as I've seen. Good DBAs are valued; bad DBAs aren't DBAs very long.

Possible exception would be the half-Hungarian DBAs. Those dudes (male and female) are nutjobs.
Post #1493196
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:17 AM


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Disclaimer
I say all of what I'm about to say as
- the leader of my local user group
- a co-organiser of national conferences
- a blogger and upcoming technical author
- an occasional speaker when I have the time
- and least important, a woman in technology

Opinion
Personally, I expect to be taken on my own merits and usually push back when people suggest a WiT event or try to get an extra female speaker just because they have one - I do not require positive discrimination, I think this does a disservice to me as much as negative discrimination. I do not expect to, and to date have not been, subject to negative discrimination due to my gender.

That being said, I have a tendency to be relatively self-effacing and describe myself as not technical. I have seen this trait exemplified in many women I know in the industry. It tends not to stem from a lack of confidence in our ability to code/teach/opine on SQL et al, but a perception about what the label 'technical' implies. Labels are a conventional short-hand, however, they tend to be rather absolute - as such, the label 'technical' carries the implication that the person using it does not consider their non-technical attributes to be important. I've found that most women in IT shirk this because frequently their view of success is not about 'being the best coder' but 'ensuring the right stuff gets done and gets done well', which is as much about non-technical abilities as it is about technical ones.

I think that with a view that tends towards holistic about skills, many women who enter the world of speaking in IT start off with non-technical topics. That is not to say they aren't competent in technical arenas, but no-one wants to speak about the same old topic that everyone else talks about so they choose an under-covered but important topic to speak on. There are some exceedingly technically talented people out there who just happen to be female, but given that there is a penchant* for non-technical topics, it is relatively reasonable to make the assumption that a female speaker will submit non-technical abstracts, and as such might not be a good fit for what a group prefers. I do not condone sexism, but being honest, I cannot say that he is being a rampant sexist when I too hold a pretty similar assumption about the majority of female speakers. I would not however dismiss someone before hearing what their proposed content would be.

This leads me onto the role of the user group leader. He made a decision (not necessarily one I agree with) for his group - it is up to them to agree or disagree with his actions on their behalf. Perhaps he was 100% in the right that they don't want non-technical talks, but I have found that that most people in my user group are people who want to be better at their job, both in a technical and a personal capacity. Finding speakers for the group is a privilege, and so long as I continue to have the interests of my UG correctly captured, I will continue in this capacity. The same goes for this guy - if this UG happy with him making an assumption about their preferences plus intolerantly applying generalisations then they'll let him carry on. Otherwise, they'll oust him.

Preferences
I would like to see data on the content and level of women speakers before determining whether the assumption of this guy's is accurate. I also think we shirk collecting/posting stats about the makeup of our UGs and conferences for fear of exposing or persecuting other organisers if they have a low proportion of women/minorities/etc. This however means we have to talk about sexism and WiT as a matter of opinion - I would prefer to talk about facts.



*this is perceived, not necessarily actual
Post #1493251
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:49 AM


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JLMayes (9/10/2013)
As an outsider (non-DBA), I can say that my experience over the past 20 years has been that DBAs and the DBA world is as close to a pure meritocracy as I've seen. Good DBAs are valued; bad DBAs aren't DBAs very long.

Possible exception would be the half-Hungarian DBAs. Those dudes (male and female) are nutjobs.


Phew!!! Good job I am a developer then


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1493268
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 6:15 PM


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Gary Varga (9/10/2013)
JLMayes (9/10/2013)
As an outsider (non-DBA), I can say that my experience over the past 20 years has been that DBAs and the DBA world is as close to a pure meritocracy as I've seen. Good DBAs are valued; bad DBAs aren't DBAs very long.

Possible exception would be the half-Hungarian DBAs. Those dudes (male and female) are nutjobs.


Phew!!! Good job I am a developer then

I'm confused. Surely someone who is half-Hungarian can't be more than half-American, so must be a better than average DBA? Or developer, come to that.


Tom
Post #1493402
Posted Monday, September 23, 2013 10:58 AM


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L' Eomot Inversé (9/10/2013)
Gary Varga (9/10/2013)
JLMayes (9/10/2013)
As an outsider (non-DBA), I can say that my experience over the past 20 years has been that DBAs and the DBA world is as close to a pure meritocracy as I've seen. Good DBAs are valued; bad DBAs aren't DBAs very long.

Possible exception would be the half-Hungarian DBAs. Those dudes (male and female) are nutjobs.


Phew!!! Good job I am a developer then

I'm confused. Surely someone who is half-Hungarian can't be more than half-American, so must be a better than average DBA? Or developer, come to that.


Even better than that: 0% American...I'm English, old chap!!!


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1497469
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