I’m An Ex-Google Woman Tech Leader And I’m Sick Of Our Approach To Diversity!
Vidya Narayanan

The most tragic thing about this article is that you reference Photoshop as being more ‘creative’ than Python, and set a dichotomy between ‘creative’ vs ‘logical’ work. That’s a false dichotomy: you can create a Photoshop out of Python — code and hardware are the deepest level of digital creation. I started as a Fine Arts major but the work I do now is the most creative I’ve ever done, in a field most people imagine to be tediously rote. Creative logic makes innovative code but my education in computer science was horribly inane and constrained in terms of how logic was taught.

The pipeline problem is hard to solve if the message from education is that as a programmer you don’t get to be creative; passing that message to young women basically ensures that the most creative women (and therefore the most talented programmers) won’t come into the field. Sure there’s a lot of ramp up to be comfortable enough to code creatively and still make quality software, but part of the obstacle is realizing that you can make cool stuff out of code. Have you considered supporting your daughter with some audiovisual programming challenges? I love Processing http://processingjs.org/ or Chuck http://chuck.cs.princeton.edu/ Also the Haskell School of Expression is very nice for some functional programming. The best programmers know that programming is fun! Making crappy calculators on the command line is not fun for many, and they’ll wipe out just from the tedium of the education.

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