CodeNewbie Community

Cover image for [On-Demand Talk] When Deeds Speak, Words Mean Nothing
Charlene
Charlene

Posted on

[On-Demand Talk] When Deeds Speak, Words Mean Nothing

About This Talk

I was motivated to give this talk because of the recent data from the StackOverflow 2021 survey, and a quote I saw. “If they don’t offer you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

I’ve been thinking about the persistent diversity problem in tech and how individuals from historically marginalized communities can move through this industry with that problem in mind.

The numbers speak for themselves. Anything the industry is doing address the lack of diversity in tech isn’t working and we need to be honest about this. At the same time, I believe that individuals need to do whatever they can to keep themselves motivated to stay firmly planted at the table. The most important thing I’ve tried to do is to create a talk that leaves those inspired, motivated, and encouraged to pursue a career in tech. I ask one favor from you. And that is to watch the talk more than once.

Takeaways

  1. Women played a pivotal role in the early years of computer programming
  2. There’s a space for you at the table — even though some people might tell you that there isn't.
  3. If you can’t find the job that makes sense for you (or if you aren't being encouraged by the people around you) there are ways to take matters into your own hands.

Let's Get the Conversation Going

In the comments section, please share any other noteworthy individuals you can think of, past or present, that have been instrumental in computer science & the tech industry.

Slides

>> Click here to download slides

🌈 Comment below and ask me questions — I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!


About Charlene Kuye

Charlene considers herself an "accidental coder" — never in a million years did she think she'd be working in tech. But, working towards becoming an instructor for Harvard's famous CS50 course was the catalyst for change she needed to enter the field. In 2020, she founded DCODED ACADEMY, an online hub dedicated to teaching and building a diverse community of UX/UI developers and designers.


This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2021 — a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on September 23 & 24, 2021.

Discussion (57)

Collapse
ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Hey everyone, thanks so much for all your comments for Charlene!

Please continue to ask questions that Charlene can answer during the Speaker Discussion later on today!

Collapse
srivera12 profile image
Sarah Rivera

Thank you for this beautiful and informative talk.
I'd love to learn more about the contributions of women and people from racial minorities in tech's past. Can you recommend any books or other resources to check out?
Thank you again for your powerful talk.

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

Thank you Sarah. Hidden figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is a nice place to start

Collapse
srivera12 profile image
Sarah Rivera

Thanks so much for the recommendation!

Collapse
amneet profile image
amneet-b

Hi! Reminder that if you have any questions for @ck1ldn to drop them here! We'll address these questions in the live speaker discussion going on right now. 📣

Collapse
chikichew profile image
Nicki (she/her)

Such an important message! I recently read "Invisible Women" by Caroline Criado Perez and I highly recommend it to anyone. In one chapter it touches on the topic of women in tech and it also speaks about the importance of inclusive datasets in machine learning.

Collapse
sabinevidal profile image
Sabine V

Started reading this book the other day, such an eye-opening read! Should be required reading for anyone in tech.
Only way we're going to make the world inclusive, is to make sure that the industries building the world are inclusive.

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

I'll check that out. Thank you for the recommendation

Collapse
ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Welcome to the discussion for @ck1ldn 's CodeLand 2021 talk! We're looking forward to your comments - and of course, questions questions questions!

Charlene will be addressing some of your questions during the Speaker Discussion later on, so please keep them flowing!

Collapse
raedyping profile image
Raedy Ping PhD • Edited

HAHAHAHAHA the space bar is an emery boarddaskjd;sklfj;lfkdjsk;f love it

women started this whole thing (Lovelace, Lamar, Hopper, M. Jackson, Vaughan, K. Johnson are cited as famous examples)

Collapse
stephback profile image
Stephanie Back

Haha! My thoughts exactly! What a terrible texture for a space bar.

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

Exactly! right? :)

Collapse
porton22 profile image
Peter Orton

(Question) As a person who does not fall into any minority category myself, I do see these issues in my present day-to-day. What would you say I could do to help take down these barriers for others, in normal everyday work?

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

That'a good question Peter. Open doors and invite groups in. Be vocal and visible. Mentor and volunteer if you can. But really, it's about not being afraid to ask questions and to challenge this lack of diversity. So being vocal and honest. We all win, when there's more diversity

Collapse
kaj profile image
Kajah

The history and the way its presented is super engaging!

Collapse
raquii profile image
Raquel Román-Rodriguez

This was such an awesome talk. Thank you for this! As a teenager, I wanted to work in video game design. I got the opportunity to do a program the summer before my senior year of high school where I took some courses at a leading institution for game design. At that program, another participant told me during our final showcase, "You know, at the start of this I thought you were just pretending to like video games, but you're actually pretty good at this."
I ended up not even applying to any programs for game design my senior year, because I knew my life would be filled with comments like this, working to overcome hiring managers and bosses who thought this (or worse), and as a 17-year-old, I couldn't handle it.
The world has changed some since then, but I've changed a lot. After years of working as a professor of music and performing as a professional singer, I decided to pivot to software engineering. I signed up for a bootcamp and developed my first-ever video game this year! It was such an awesome experience.
The idea of making the seat for yourself is so important, as is confronting the internalized biases we have that we direct toward others, exploring the inherent biases we hold without realizing, and using our power to continue to "bring chairs" for others.
Thanks again for the awesome talk!

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

This really hit home. Thank you for sharing.
I was once told to give up on the python course I was struggling with.."Coz the world will always need janitors" (unquote)
Comments like that are a red rag to a bull for me and I went on to pass the course with a distinction. The rest is history as they say

Collapse
shelleymcq profile image
Shelley M

Fix your makeup while you work...WOW! The nail file space bar makes my skin crawl :D

Collapse
stephback profile image
Stephanie Back

Such a great talk! It's inspiring (and, most certainly, frustrating) to hear about the history of women. It sounds like we are on our way to diversifying the tech industry! Thanks for the great talk, Charlene!

Collapse
jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

Wow, such an amazing (and infuriating) history lesson! Thank you Charlene.

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

Thank you Jeremy. I appreciate you taking the time to watch

Collapse
jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

My first job, in 1998, had a majority of women developers. And in the years since, it's usually been less and less women developers. I forget if it was you or one of the other awesome presentations, but diversity is the key ingredient to solving problems.

Thread Thread
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

Absolutely! It's a win-win

Collapse
fizzybuzzybeezy profile image
fizzybuzzybeezy • Edited

Charlene, thank you for the talk! So great to learn and be reminded of the contributions to the world from brilliant women (in particular women of color) in tech. Also, I lived through the hurdles culture in school and I'm dismayed, but enlightened on the ill-effects it has had on participants.

Also guessing: Rubber ducking: Talk to the duck (or a friend) and come up with solutions to one's own issues?

Again, thank you!

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author • Edited

Thank you so much. Yes, you're right about the rubber duck :)

Collapse
destiny16 profile image
Destiny-16

I really enjoyed this presentation! I often feel like I don't belong as a woman in tech. Being reminded of the immense impact that women have made on this field made me feel inspired and empowered :)

Collapse
remcoboerma profile image
Remco Boerma • Edited

Question to the panel: how can someone in tech best invite folks from the diversity groups? If you're not in those communities yourself, how to connect to create more opportunities?

Maybe simply put: How to be more inclusive?

Might be like Lucy's question.

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author • Edited

I think the fact that this question is asked, goes a long way. It shows a willingness, an acknowledgment. It opens up a dialogue. So it's about approaching those groups working with diverse communities and asking how can I help. Any amount of help is always welcomed

Collapse
raedyping profile image
Raedy Ping PhD

This was beautiful, thank you.

Collapse
noviicee profile image
Novice

Hello hello

Collapse
luiscastillokc profile image
Luis Castillo

Love these quote. Empower anyone that anything is possible. Thanks You Charlene

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

Thank you Luis

Collapse
debrakayelliott profile image
Debra-Kaye Elliott • Edited

This was such a great talk! 🙌🏾 🙌🏾

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author

Thank you Debra. Much appreciated

Collapse
ck1ldn profile image
Charlene Author • Edited

Such lovely comments! Than you so much. Let's make the Petticoat 5 a thing. KickStarter here we come LOL

Collapse
jestella profile image
JE-Estella

Thank you for this insightful talk!

Collapse
middleway13 profile image
Middleway13

We salute your work, such a powerful presentation. 1!

Collapse
stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Thank you for bringing this very important topic to us today! I've done a lot of volunteering with Ethnic Studies, and you did a great job of bringing it to software development.

Collapse
jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Great, energizing talk! The history of the evolving face of tech is fascinating!

Collapse
ikramsalim profile image
Ikram Salim

This moved me to tears, thank you Charlene.

Collapse
noviicee profile image
Novice

"Diversity brings innovation" What a point.
Awesome talk. Thanks a lot!

Collapse
mraubreycodes profile image
Aubrey L. Fletcher

This talk was awesome!

Collapse
ckn00b profile image
Christian New

Really powerful stuff. Excellent talk @ck1ldn

Collapse
sabinevidal profile image
Sabine V

Really enjoying this talk! Does make me want to throw something at a wall sometimes... but hopefully tech is only going onwards and upwards for all!

Collapse
deweyhammers profile image
Richard Dewey Hammers

This is very interesting to learn