Tribal Knowledge from my Tribe to Yours

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Have stock photo models become self-aware or is this woman completely unsure of how to mimic human emotions?

Interviews are weird. How can we learn everything about who a person is as a colleague in 30 minutes to an hour? Technical interviews are even weirder… because they’re secretly standardized.

Yeah. Did you know that? Technical interviews follow an incredibly predictable pattern, across not only companies but roles. If you are interviewing for a job where you will be writing and reading code, you’re essentially going to be given a standardized test. It fits with the tech industry’s obsession with meritocracy. A standardized interview is fair because then everyone has an equal chance to do well, right? …


My move from corporate to startup life and solving real problems

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Casual murals at our open space office #soHip

When I managed to land a job at Microsoft right out of college it felt like a miracle. I didn’t know anything about tech, or corporate America, but I had clawed my way through thanks to a combination of determination and shamelessness. Universities are complicated, and as the first person in my family to pursue a higher degree, I had to figure out the rules to the game without a coach. Getting into tech felt the same, like I was the only player without a rulebook. But thanks to an endless list of friends and colleagues I slowly figured out how to unlock those opportunities. Ever since I have been on a single-minded mission to share those learnings with others. I know tech can be a life-changing opportunity, it was for me, and I know there are so many others who would thrive if they only knew how to actually get here. But time and again my efforts are thwarted. Amazing, talented students get rejection after rejection while other students sail through without any issues. …


Thanks for the good times

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Friday August 10th will be my last day at Microsoft, just two months shy of my 6 year anniversary. In 6 years I’ve been on 4 different teams and had 7 different jobs. This is where I found my tribe, made hundreds of friends, got to work with thousands of young people, and for a brief moment- felt like I had found a place for myself in the world. Turns out I was wrong about that last part. …


How a personal hero gave me the scare of my life and challenged me to really listen

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Massive shout out to all the women who walked through decades of hate with their heads held high

Last year an unpleasant young man published some very upsetting things:

For weeks, rebuttals and dissections of the above “manifesto” seemed to clog every tube in the internet. Yet, despite the volume of conversation, the messages were surprisingly homogeneous. Responses fell into one of two categories:

  • The “correct” category: “James Demore is AN EVIL, IGNORANT, RACIST, SEXIST IDIOT and he should be punished to protect good people from his dangerous ideas”
  • The “incorrect” category: “James Demore is a PERFECT ANGEL MARTYR who sacrificed himself for free speech and truth so that I could come forward and share exactly why I think that less qualified minority doesn’t deserve what they…


A tribute to the activists doing the hardest work imaginable

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Artist Paola Mendoza’s poignant protest of the Trump administration’s inhumane family separation policy

It has been an absolutely fucking awful week and a half.

That was the first sentence of an article I published in August of last year, only 10 months ago:

Over the past week I have watched my community rage against atrocities so horrific it is a rare conversation where we don’t all have tears in our eyes.

I find myself struggling to find my own voice in the din. To do something, to say something, to take action that means something. Thoughts of children being ripped from the arms of those that risked not only their own lives, but the lives of their families to bring them to a place they thought would be safer than their homes have consumed me and left me paralyzed. …


little bitch, you can’t fuck with me

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If you are like me, a living human in 2018, you’ve been listening to our lord and savior Cardi B on repeat since she blessed us with her confidence clapback anthom Bodak Yellow last summer.

This weekend she dropped her new album Privacy Invasion and IT IS FIRE. She also was the musical host of SNL (where she decided to bless us mortals with the knowledge that she is hella pregnant and we didn’t know, iconic)

SNL also spoke to my soul with a sketch that I am pretty sure they based on my super funny tweet last week:

Halloween 2018 Costume Goals: Aidy B dressed as Cardi…


Reflections on Stoneman Douglass as an educator, a capitalist and a human

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My undying gratitude to the courageous survivors of MSDH. Artist Pia Guerra https://thenib.com/

I am not a mother- but I have had the incredible honor of being old enough to help raise my little sister. Often I reflect on how much courage it takes to be a parent. To choose to bring a child into the world is to choose to let a part of yourself walk around outside of you. To put all your love and soul into another person is beyond terrifying, because nothing you do can ever keep that part of yourself perfectly safe.

Five years ago a very ill man was able to legally purchase a weapon of war and took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary. The day after Sandy Hook as per usual I dropped my sister off at school. As she got out of the car I told her I loved her and instead of speeding off to work like usual I watched her walk up to that building and the door close behind her. Immediately the thought struck me “what if that was the last time I ever saw her”. I called in sick to work that day. Every day afterwards when I dropped my sister off I thought of the Sandy Hook parents. Those parents who did what they had to- leave the love of their lives in the care of others. To love your child means you have to help them navigate this terrifying world, it means you have to let them outside the walls of your protection. For weeks I cried every time I dropped her off. I cried because I got the privilege to drop her off one more time, that for another day we were safe. …


I thought we had done better

Once upon a time women were so fucking beaten down they advocated against suffrage:

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Those smiles definitely say “This is totally my idea and not at all related to the man who beats me standing behind us”

Once upon a time women were so brainwashed that they felt a woman doing anything outside the home was an abomination:

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I’m not saying it’s fair… it’s just the truth

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Ann Arbor, MI 1996 Keshia Thomas throws herself over the body of a man with SS tattoos to save him from an angry mob

It has been an absolutely fucking awful week and a half. I am going to be 100% honest, I had not one, but two different conversations about the Google Memo that left me in hysterical tears. I looked at photos of the white supremacists marching through Charlottesville and I wept. What made me the most despondent, the most hysterical, wasn’t my own feelings being hurt- but the idea that these are the words, the voices, the images that my students are consuming right now.

The idea that one of my students might see these fucking idiots who get to raise their voices so loudly and think their own voices will never be heard over this insanity. Why?! Why does it make national news when a white man writes all his hate down in a neat letter, but when people of color and women have been screaming for love and equality it’s considered a “fringe interest group”. How on Earth do we have a president afraid to condemn this behavior because he might “alienate his base” and then turn around and point fingers at the anti-nazi protesters?! WHAT IS THIS WORLD OUR CHILDREN ARE GROWING UP IN?! I couldn’t handle it. …


Actually engaging in diverse thought does

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I am pissed. There is some goddamn bullshit going on in our industry that has come to light recently. It’s great that we can start talking about these issues out in the open. What’s even worse, is how so many of my colleagues have responded to this renewed conversation around diversity:

Well, get ready, because I am here to shout about it on the internet.

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I have a lot of things to say about diversity right now so the next few posts will focus on that. …

About

Kasey Champion

Software Engineer at Karat & Comp Sci teacher at Franklin High & University of Washington. Passionate about #techforgood and #cs4all **opinions are my own**

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