Issue 17

the Week of February 23, 2015
Chess pieces.

In this issue, we challenge technical privileging in open source and discuss inclusion of non-coding contributors in open source projects. We cover the danger of the online harassment game, critique hearing monoculture in tech and society, and examine barriers for women of color in coding schools. We look at learning to code as a tool for under-served groups and hear the personal story of a Latino coder in the tech industry. Plus, an article on mental health, new technologies, surveillance and their consequences. Photo CC-BY Nestor Galina, cropped and filtered.

Shelves of patient records.

Mental Health Surveillance: There’s an App for That

What happens to all the data trails we leave in our digital wake? What kinds of precautions should we take with our health data? How do we bake a ‘Do No Harm’ Hippocratic ethic into health technologies? And what are the trade-offs between improving care and increasing surveillance?

Close-up of a keyboard.

Why I Learned to Code

Giving access to a tool as powerful as code creates social change and spurs economic mobility for those who have not shared equally in the rewards of the technological renaissance.

Panoramic of Crater Lake, a scenic view of water, mountains, trees and hazy sun.

The Hearing Monoculture Rejects Those Who Can’t Hear

I have never met another person who is deaf at a hearing tech conference. I regularly see uncaptioned video tutorials for open source libraries and transcript-less tech podcasts. I stopped going to tech meetups. Without any representation in tech, I grew up a token.

Photo of Alex Rodriguez.

The Untitled Life of Alex Rodriguez: Fall & Get Up Through the Lens of a Latino Coder

My experiences call into question what we can do better to make more Latinos successful in tech.

Desks and chairs in a classroom.

Institutional Barriers for Women of Color at Code Schools

In an industry where black, Latina, and indigenous womyn make up less than 3% of the field, we know that walking through those code school doors, we will be outliers.

Photo of an iron gate opening into a garden.

Non-Coding Contributors in Open Source

The tradition of privileging only technical skills triggers imbalance and inequality.

Image of a target with bullseye.

The Harassment Game

The rules never really change, but the potential for harm keeps escalating.