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Software for women

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Software for women

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Does being female make a difference to the way people use software? Can the software industry change the way we do things to make our software more useful for women? Would that be sexist? Would any men want to buy our software afterwards?

Does being female make a difference to the way people use software? Can the software industry change the way we do things to make our software more useful for women? Would that be sexist? Would any men want to buy our software afterwards?

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Software for women

  1. 1. Software for Women What do women want?
  2. 2. Software for Women What do women want?
  3. 3. Emily Winch CherSoft Ltd Software engineer Woman Anthropologist
  4. 4. Women make up about half of the people ordained in the Church of England each year
  5. 5. In 2006 women received 57% of all degrees in the UK
  6. 6. "For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women?" Hanna Rosin
  7. 7. UK Computer science students 2010
  8. 8. Questions for us to think about How are women really different from men? Are these differences relevant to how we write software? Could we or should we be doing things differently?
  9. 9. Generalisation alert! Isn't this all horribly sexist?
  10. 10. "in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude" Lawrence Summer, then President of Harvard University
  11. 11. "...there can be injustice in treating people the same when in relevant respects they are different, just as much as there can be in treating people differently when in relevant respects they are the same..." be Mark Halstead, Education, Justice, and Cultural Diversity: An Examination of the Honeyford Affair, 1984-85
  12. 12. Productive conversations about differences are inquisitive open inclusive
  13. 13. Women are less Women, on strong than men, average, are less so Beth shouldn't strong than men, be allowed to join so let's make a the army. range of lightweight power tools.
  14. 14. Declawing stereotypes Some people are Some people are less strong than less strong than others, so Beth others, so let's and Jim should make a range of pass a strength lightweight power test before they tools. h can join the army.
  15. 15. 20
  16. 16. How might our female users and customers be different from us?
  17. 17. Attention
  18. 18. "We all know that knowledge workers work best by getting into 'flow', also known as being 'in the zone' " Joel Spolsky
  19. 19. Wow, is it really 3am already?
  20. 20. Solving problems, software engineer style.
  21. 21. Software Engineer's Manifesto We often seem to value... focus and attention over multitasking and interruptions
  22. 22. Your software is not the centre of my universe
  23. 23. Find and open slide software Make a blank slide Find and open browser, search for image Choose an image Save As, Make a folder, OK Switch to slide software Insert picture, browse to folder, choose image, OK Insert text Type quotation Find and open image editor. Open image, browse to folder, find the image, OK Add a semi-transparent white layer to the image Save Switch to slide software Insert image, choose the image from before, OK
  24. 24. Usability concepts....
  25. 25. Situational awareness What's the current state of my training materials sales pitch holiday plan? I don't give two hoots about the state of files documents software programs my inbox
  26. 26. interoperability
  27. 27. interoperability I want reminders of my appointments in time to drive there. I want to click on an appointment and select "drive to". I want to drag the agenda onto the meeting in the calendar. I want to click on an appointment and call the other invitees. I want to drag pictures and web pages onto my contacts. I want to drag a route onto my calendar. I wan
  28. 28. 35
  29. 29. Time
  30. 30. Women in households with children spend on average an extra hour a day on childcare compared to men
  31. 31. Software Engineer's Manifesto We often seem to value... focus and attention over multitasking and interruptions mastery of arcana over delivering business value
  32. 32. "Then, sometime after college, we had our first child. After that, I found I couldn’t program any more. Seriously. There were just too many interruptions. As soon as I got back “up to speed” with the software I was working on and “recovered state” enough to make the next logical step, I would get another interruption, and the program would go back on the back burner. Later, I’d find myself having to puzzle out what I had written a day, a week, or even a month in the past. When I finally did get back into programming, it was through [...] Python. It was amazing. I could get stuff done again. That’s both because Python code is more compact and because it is more readable." Terry Hancock
  33. 33. Usability concepts....
  34. 34. Ubiquitous direct manipulation
  35. 35. 45
  36. 36. Gossip, n: Hearing something you like about someone you don't.
  37. 37. It's not far from chatter and gossip TO TREASON!
  38. 38. Gossip I am thinking of gossip as Gossip is the narrative data in the great social of a community, its experiment we call internal mythology, the "community." stories the community tells about itself Ann Burlingham Darkhawk
  39. 39. Learning styles
  40. 40. Software Engineer's Manifesto We often seem to value... focus and attention over multitasking and interruptions mastery of arcana over delivering business value individual prowess over team working ability
  41. 41. Communication styles
  42. 42. Geek culture can be... Aggressive Competitive Confident Direct and straightforward Interrupting Using insults as a form of bonding Taking pride in being unoffendable
  43. 43. Other people can be interested in... Co-operation Helping, mentoring and teaching Collaboration Expressing themselves Consensus "tactfully" Other points of view Aside: Why do so many women dislike this stereotype?
  44. 44. Software Engineer's Manifesto We often seem to value... focus and attention over multitasking and interruptions mastery of arcana over delivering business value individual prowess over team working ability direct speech over tact
  45. 45. "Women are more likely to place intrinsic value on activities that help to build a network of trusted relationships." Emily Winch
  46. 46. Software communities are valuable to women Women are valuable to software communities
  47. 47. Communities: norms and culture
  48. 48. Open source community How To Ask Questions The Smart Way 1. Try to find an answer by searching the archives of the forum you plan to post to. 2. Try to find an answer by searching the Web. 3. Try to find an answer by reading the manual. 4. Try to find an answer by reading a FAQ. 5. Try to find an answer by inspection or experimentation. 6. Try to find an answer by asking a skilled friend. 7. If you're a programmer, try to find an answer by reading the source code.
  49. 49. Open source community Describe the symptoms of your problem or bug carefully and clearly. Describe the environment in which it occurs. Provide your vendor's distribution and release level Describe the research you did to try and understand the problem before you asked the question. Describe the diagnostic steps you took to try and pin down the problem yourself before you asked the question. Describe any possibly relevant recent changes in your computer or software configuration. If at all possible, provide a way to reproduce the problem in a controlled environment.
  50. 50. Dreamwidth developer community "We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure, culture, subculture, and political opinion. We welcome activists, artists, bloggers, crafters, dilettantes, musicians, ..."
  51. 51. A culture clash Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed your software and I really like it. I have a Jo: "This is addressed question, how do I go on page 5 of the about adjusting the manual." whatnot?"
  52. 52. A culture clash Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed your software and I really like it. I have a Jo: "This is addressed question, how do I go on page 5 of the about adjusting the manual." whatnot?" Hi, I am too lazy to read Please at least make the manual or try any of some effort, you idiot, the menu options; I’d is my time so much rather waste your less valuable than time instead yours?
  53. 53. A culture clash Pat: "Hi, I’ve installed your software and I really like it. I have a Jo: "This is addressed question, how do I go on page 5 of the about adjusting the manual." whatnot?" This community seems We are not interested helpful: I’d like to be a part in having you as part of it, although I don’t know of our community. Go much about the software away. yet.
  54. 54. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful
  55. 55. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people
  56. 56. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people Encourage them to participate
  57. 57. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people Encourage them to participate Thank people for their contributions
  58. 58. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people Encourage them to participate Thank people for their contributions Allow avatars and personal information in profiles
  59. 59. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people Encourage them to participate Thank people for their contributions Allow avatars and personal information in profiles Actively discourage unpleasant behaviour
  60. 60. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people Encourage them to participate Thank people for their contributions Allow avatars and personal information in profiles Actively discourage unpleasant behaviour Welcome the asking of "silly" questions
  61. 61. Making a forum into a community Be real, friendly and helpful Welcome new people Encourage them to participate Thank people for their contributions Allow avatars and personal information in profiles Actively discourage unpleasant behaviour Welcome the asking of "silly" questions Provide "back-channels" for everything off-topic or meta
  62. 62. Examples
  63. 63. Examples
  64. 64. 75
  65. 65. In conclusion...
  66. 66. Thank you for coming!

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