Recording by AlterConf and Post Production by Confreaks
In this talk, I will explore an alternative route to entering the technology industry without having a traditional degree in computer science. I would like to connect with the listeners that have an interest in pursuing technology, but have fears of doing so due to having a degree in a completely different field. My goal is to utilize my experiences, build awareness around various resources, either known or unknown, and motivate those same listeners to take the chance and pursue their newfound interests. At the conclusion of the talk it would be ideal to have created a community to embark on this journey together; I am still growing and developing.
My talk will be on, being the face of an emerging technology company. Including topics such as, obstacles associated with being a young African American business owner, overcoming age discrimination found in the business community and breaking those barriers on a day to day basis. All as a way to pave a way for other young entrepreneurs, allowing them a better chance at success.
We've always been told that we're "other" when playing video games - even if people don't use those words, they never offer us the alternative. There's a default look for what a video game protagonist looks like and, if you do not fit that specific mold, you don't deserve representation. There are some games that try to change this and there are some that reinforce it harder than you thought possible. We have the ability to take hold of our medium and bring it forward so it represents all of us, not just the most marketable among us. The first step to that is identifying the failures our industry has repeated over and over in ignoring diversity. This talk intends to do just that.
A daily necessity of being openly trans in the tech industry is navigating microaggressions—the barely-visible, often unintentional slights that highlight trans people's position as separate from our cis colleagues'. These are even more frustrating in feminist spaces that pay lip service to trans issues but whose members fail to confront their own privileges. I'd like to tell you about my own experience transitioning, and the way it changed my treatment by friends and peers in the tech community. It's easy for us to think of marginalization as something that a nebulous "other people" do. But microaggressions show us that it is something we all participate in, often without meaning to. The aim of this talk is to showcase some common microaggressions faced by trans folks in tech, and examine their root causes, to open up discussion on how we can build a community that is safer for people of all gender identities.
Why is there such a lack of interest in STEM related fields in regards to people of color? As Juwan Platt says, they lack the contextual knowledge of why this stuff matters — and we as a community must inform them. A community guy himself, Juwan Platt encourages kids of color to take control of their future and dive into STEM related fields.
Low MISC: Why Encouraging Minority Involvement in Scientific Computing Is a Good Idea
The need for increased participation from under-represented minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields has been extensively documented. For example, The National Academies of Science report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing America for a Brighter Economic Future“ tells of the the importance of increasing the workforce of science and engineering professionals. However, with the United States minority population growing, it is becoming a challenge to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in science and engineering fields, including computing. Analysis of data from the yearly Taulbee Survey – which documents enrollment statistics from CS departments across the nation – shows a trend of decreasing enrollment in Computer Science for African-Americans from the Baccalaureate to the Masters and Doctoral level. This talk will further discuss the phenomenon and why it should even be a concern.
Are you interested in starting a family, but unsure of how it will affect your career? Then you don't want to miss this talk. Attendees will hear firsthand accounts from women, who made the decision to start a family, discuss how their choice has impacted their career, and the challenges they faced to re-enter the workforce.
Topics will include
How to prepare your emotional and mental changes of motherhood/parenthood?
How can the tech community provide more support to mothers?
Tips to face the demands of work, a newborn, and family
The perks of parenthood and technology
Panelists include: John I. McSwain III, Developer; Alex Bowers Schoen, Software Developer at CareerBuilder; and Liberty White.
This talk is informed from the presenter's experience as the first African-American female to earn tenure as an engineering professor in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. Earning tenure in 2011, she remains the only tenured African-American female engineering faculty member in the 146 year history of the university. When, at 29, she began her career as a professor, she had no idea how to navigate the academy as a Woman of Color (WOC). Although many people were not trying to be malicious, Cox found herself educating people who called her colored or mixed her up with the cleaning staff. With WOC representing only 5.7% of all science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) faculty at U.S. four-year colleges or universities, medical school, and university-affiliated research institutes, Cox has redefined what it means to be a WOC in engineering. Her accomplishments include garnering a presidential award (from President Barack Obama) for her research in engineering education, graduating 7 Ph.D. students (two that are working as academics at MIT and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University), garnering more than $10 million in research funding, and publishing more than 100 research publications. Cox will share how her experiences as a WOC in a male-dominated profession informed her work philosophy and motivated her to reinvent herself in an effort to help others who are not prepared formally to become pioneers in their work environments. In 2013, she founded her own company, STEMinent LLC, with a branch of the company (Prepared to Be a Pioneer™) focused on the professional development and empowerment of marginalized populations. Cox also took a five month sabbatical from her job to partner with an entrepreneur, to enter the tech field, and to develop a mobile application that aligns with her passion for connecting individuals to professional networks. Through her presentation of lessons learned, she will inform others how to implement strategies that will allow them to empower themselves and those who will come after them.
No longer is there an access divide, but a knowledge divide. Kids know how to consume technology, but they need to know how to create with it. To create with it they need to be computer literate. Computer literacy is more than just coding, it includes 6 skill groups that I've identified as the keys to empowering kids to be able to do computational thinking. This talk is for parents, educators, and kids to easily understand how prepare students for daily life, school, and their future career.
The talk will be a reflection on the speakers’ experiences organizing Different Games, the first conference on inclusivity and diversity in the games community. Schoemann and Asad-- the founder and a co-organizer, respectively-- will speak about the ways in which diversity was not just the focus for the conference, but a value that was practiced during the organizing process itself.
The technology realm is full of job listings ranging from blatantly terrible to simply excellent. The downright awful ones are not that hard to spot, while the ones that seize one's imagination and excitement are what drive learning and growth. But what about the ones that, on the surface, sound pretty good while hiding key elements wrapped within supposed "perks" or cultural ideals? These hidden red flags show the companies' actual culture and true values that may-or-may-not be quite so good. This talk will help a job hunter learn to be more discerning when reading job descriptions and how to spot and translate some of the common cultural assertions being made in less-than-obvious ways.
What does it mean to consciously design and cultivate access in our products, companies, and communities? Accessing diversity through the lens of experience and interface design leads us to some interesting observations from both sides of the screen. *Includes a brief digression as to why we rarely see developers with physical disabilities in startups or the Atlanta community.