the Week of January 20, 2015
Super hero-like figure looking out over a cliff.

In this issue, we explore the culture and politics of programming, software development and engineering teams. We discuss how industry monoculture affects the future of computing, analyze hacker mythologies and critique the rise of code schools. We look at biases and stereotypes about programming languages, and learn about how engineering management models impact workplace diversity. Plus, dysfunction in the computer science pipeline, and the true motivations behind the learn to code movement. Photo CC-BY Zach Dischner, filtered.

Computer science classroom , showing students with open computers.

Exclusion and Exceptionality in the Pipeline

In computer science classrooms across high schools and universities, minorities are excluded and exit early in the pipeline.

Image of a large silo backed by gray skies.

On “Learn to Code”

Should industry be allowed to dictate our school curriculums?

Roll of one-hundred dollar bills.

The Code School-Industrial Complex

While some code schools are intentionally predatory institutions, many more simply recycle the tired tropes and biased practices rampant in startup culture.

Command center on a frozen lake.

Engineering Management and Diversity

Command-based vs service-based management.

A chip board.

Monoculture and the Future of Hardware

Hardware is too often ignored when it comes to improving inclusivity.

Lego figure of Grace Hopper.

C is Manly, Python is for “n00bs”: How False Stereotypes Turn Into Technical “Truths”

We need to question our “objective” and “technical” opinions about programming languages.

Unicorn stencil on a wall.

Hacker Mythologies and Mismanagement

Myths about engineering management harm projects. This makes them annoying and expensive. They also harm people. This makes them dangerous.