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Shaving My Head Made Me a Better Programmer

  • Published on Jul 27, 2017
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    Alex Qin tells the true story of her physical transformation, and the surprising and drastic ways in which it affected how she was perceived and treated as a programmer. She also covers the effects of unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, and stereotype threat within our community, and how to make engineering teams and our entire field more inclusive to all, and thusly more successful.
    Download the slides & audio at InfoQ: bit.ly/2tIoCku
    This presentation was recorded at QCon London 2017.

Comments • 41

  • theprash
    theprash 4 years ago +2

    I really enjoyed this talk. I appreciate the effort to improve equality using empathy rather than blame: hearing your story about giving a technical talk and immediately getting asked about dating, and how that made you feel, made me feel a little more empathy towards the experience of women in the industry and realise a little more what I take for granted as a man.

  • David Aizenberg
    David Aizenberg 5 years ago +5

    A lot of the mentioned points are not unique to women programmers.

  • ddpxl
    ddpxl 5 years ago +7

    This is why we will all be replaced by robots.

  • Anton Lee
    Anton Lee 5 years ago +2

    Good talk! I've watched it till the end and I was surprised with so many dislikes.

  • Christos Perivolaropoulos

    Reading the comments I am kind of realising that we software engineers need to take a bit more interest in social sciences and humanities. Leaving aside the apparent ignorance towards intricacies and complexities of power structures it seems to me that too many SWEs are unable or unwilling to formulate a proper argument regarding social issues. (With a possible exception of the infosec people, most security engineers I know are pretty well read)

  • Erik Gee
    Erik Gee 5 years ago

    I made myself less physically attractive and the burden of beauty no longer weighed upon me! :/

  • Alan Ho
    Alan Ho 3 years ago

    talking jokes of american culture is not an inclusive act to foreigners, foreigners in american, and even elder folks.

  • Khoa Tran
    Khoa Tran 5 years ago +11

    programmers aren't good at social skills. maybe it's just that

  • asd qwe
    asd qwe 5 years ago

    Just wanted to throw this theory out there.

  • bezetuba
    bezetuba 5 years ago +8

    I don't have time to watch whole thing now, but I saw the moment when you explain how shaving head affected how you were perceived. I can imagine that happening.

  • Michel Gutierrez
    Michel Gutierrez 5 years ago +23

    I stopped watching when she said microaggression.

  • pointdotpoint
    pointdotpoint 5 years ago +4

    🤢 I think I'm gonna be sick... It's too much bullshit

    fpsTHEPWNER 5 years ago +6

    Employers typically don't want drama in the workplace

  • Matze H
    Matze H 5 years ago +5

    Cool Woman!

  • Sage Heru
    Sage Heru 5 years ago +6

    She found out how the world works pretty late lol

  • Jon
    Jon 5 years ago +3

    A proper interviewing process weeds out the good programmers from the bad. I couldn't care less if you look like a supermodel or a gremlin, its all about the work you can produce and the problems you can solve.

  • neuemage
    neuemage 5 years ago +5


  • John Appleseed
    John Appleseed 5 years ago +4

    If you produce value, you will be valued. Period. Anything else is a complete cop-out. Having this level of preoccupation with other people's perception of you is more about you than them.

    QWACHU 5 years ago +6

    I not wonder why all people asking her if she really a programmer if she think that teaching people about accessibility is bad-ass and complaining about micro-aggression.