Lurking Tool Hit One

I was asked in the BlogHer chat if my ears were burning and I can see why — I was mentioned in the opening session debate of the conference.

Here is a liveblogging account where Mena Trott says that I dismiss her, and criticize the company because there are no women in it. I don’t think I’ve mentioned Mena Trott for the longest period of time, but I have been critical of Six Apart as the company has not hired women to do back end development. In fact, I don’t think any women are involved with the development of the tool at all now, but could be wrong.

As for Meg Hourihan, I’ve never dismissed her contribution as a Blogger developer, and Catarina Fake knows I hold her in high esteem. Interesting.

What followed is a note about Marc Canter and if we don’t like how the tools work, create our own and tell the guys to fuck off.

A great idea Marc. I’ll start something and then see if Joi will fund me. Then the blogging guys could do what they want, undistrubed by us pesky women asking embarrassing questions.

Most definitely looking forward to hearing the transcript now.

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15 Responses to Lurking Tool Hit One

  1. marnie webb says:

    I’m hopeful that I represented the comments accurately. With luck there are some other accounts to help provide a rounded view. I think that the way I phrased the comment was too broad. Your comments about 6Apart were (I think) used as the jumping off point. My writing implied the critizism of the others — Mena Trott didn’t.

  2. Shelley says:

    Marnie, did you have fun at the conference? The chat room was fun.

  3. marnie webb says:

    Actually, I am having fun at the conference. I wish I could have been in the chat room. The internet was spotty.

    Thanks for asking.

  4. Don Park says:

    Are you saying there should be a quota? If so, what do think is the fair share of women engineers?

    None of my current clients have women engineers but good engineers are scarce enough to make sex-related concerns unaffordable luxury even if they were secretly harboring chauvinistic ideals.

  5. Marc Orchant says:

    I have to agree with Don. Qualified developers are indeed a rare enough commodity that we don’t have time for petty discriminators like gender. Interestingly, both of the product managers at my company are women, even though all of our developers (at present) are men. We did have a women candidate come through the interview and testing cycle this week. It’ll be interesting to see, assuming she has the right skill set and is extended an offer, what she thinks about working with an otherwise all-male development team.

  6. Marc, Don: I recommend you read the post When we are Needed

    Shelley: The When we are Needed post has a problem with a blockquote/p being closed in the wrong order.

  7. Suzan Foster says:

    It’ll be interesting to see, assuming she has the right skill set and is extended an offer, what she thinks about working with an otherwise all-male development team.

    Business as usual, i would expect.

  8. Don Park says:

    I’ve read ‘When we are Needed’ and agree that situation for women in IT is worsening and focus on speed driven hasn’t helped either. But I don’t see anything other than time that can reverse reverse the ongoing trend.

    Anger is anger and it’s good to vent anger even if there is nothing that can be done. But is it fair to direct anti-Ice Age rant against toward startup companies like 6A and Technorati whose daily struggle for survival leaves no time to notice that they are on a moving glacier?

  9. Karl says:

    is it fair to direct anti-Ice Age rant against toward startup companies like 6A and Technorati whose daily struggle for survival leaves no time to notice that they are on a moving glacier?

    It is especially fair when these companies play to our ideals to sell their services.

    However, I think the most chance for opportunity is in engaging large corporations help sponsor change.

    The question needs to be asked – where is the next generation of software engineers coming from and what are we doing to make it the best it can possibly be?

  10. Jay Rosen says:

    Shelley: I thought when Mena was talking that she could have said, “I am going to answer her post with a post of my own, so I urge everyone here to read both, and post yourself on women in the tech industry.” That would have been using blogging well, in my opinion.

    Also, in reference to When we are Needed, see Halley Suitt’s account. Her impression was that a “compete less” atmosphere prevailed.

  11. Shelley says:

    Marc, I am writing another long post about the culture and how the job search and interview process works with many of the high-tech businesses — in line with the post Gerard mentioned. (BTW thanks Gerard, I fixed the post.) I am curious as to your company’s interview techniques and questions. If you have a moment, I wish you would note these in an email to me or in comments.

    Don, why is it anytime I make mention of the obvious–the imbalance of women to men techs in many of the companies indirectly related to weblogging–someone always mentions quotas? Is it that you all can’t believe we women could get into these companies legitimately if all things were equal? If so, I wish you would come out and say this instead of beating around the bush.

    As for Six Apart: this company is a multi-national corporation that has the largest hosted weblog site in Japan, and I believe elsewhere if LiveJournal beats out Blogger. It has grown enough to bring in a CEO from the outside, to have a board of directors, and to be treated as a very serious technical company. It is not just “Ben and Mena” any longer.

    And I am not angry. Where did you see that I wrote I was angry? From whence came this emotional context? I am not angry. I am determined. I am very, very, determined.

    Karl, your comment about ideals is a good one. As for the next generation of software engineers: unless we start to see changes soon, software engineering in this country is trending to be a males-only profession. Knowing you, I’m fairly sure you’ll agree with me when I say this isn’t the ‘best’ it could be then.

    Jay, it was bizarre for her to bring this up in that context. Mena works with a company that builds weblogging software. Why she won’t use her weblog to address issues that come up in weblogging boggles my mind. I don’t think she did herself or the company a favor bringing this up like that at the conference — especially with me not being there.

    As for Halley’s post: there is a contradiction in what she’s saying. She says don’t go by the rules, but do ask and pester for links. This, to me, is a contradition. Still catching up on reading. One of the panel members has quit her weblog, which was interesting.

  12. Don Park says:

    Shelly, it’s Don, not Dan. Anyhow, I wasn’t suggesting that quota was the only solution. It did pop into my head first though because your criticisms were directed at existing companies. For new companies, I don’t think investment funds for women will work beyond supplemental role. Rather I think increasing government grants for researches that reveal new women-specific market opportunities might be more effective.

    Sorry about confusing anger with determination. Differences between the two are difficult to notice from outside.

  13. Shelley says:

    Sorry Don. Typo on the name.

  14. Phil says:

    Don:
    I wasn’t suggesting that quota was the only solution. It did pop into my head first though because your criticisms were directed at existing companies.

    Or maybe getting a higher proportion of women hired is not about adding something to the process (a quota) but about taking something away.

  15. jeneane says:

    Phil: Amen.