Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Shaving my head made me a better programmer (NDC Oslo 2019)

Shaving my head made me a better programmer (NDC Oslo 2019)

(Given at NDC Oslo on June 20, 2019)

How do perceptions and stereotypes affect those in software and on engineering teams? I used to believe that code had no gender or race. That "good code" was good code and talented developers would always succeed in the meritocracy of the tech industry. This talk tells the true story of how repeated experiences of sexual discrimination and harassment led me to hack my appearance by shaving my head to change the way I was perceived as a programmer. I will also share the lessons I have learned from my work as an advocate for racial and gender equity in tech and how you can apply them within your organizations and communities.

Alex Qin

June 20, 2019
Tweet

More Decks by Alex Qin

Other Decks in Technology

Transcript

  1. Shaving my head made me a better programmer @alexqin #ndcoslo

  2. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  3. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  4. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  5. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  6. you had me at Hello, world! @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  7. you had me at Hello, world! @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  8. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  9. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  10. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  11. it felt like I was hyper visible and invisible at

    the same time @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  12. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  13. Prove it. Do you even know what the command line

    is? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  14. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  15. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  16. So… When are you going to fuck Alex? @alexqin .

    #ndcoslo .
  17. You are a programmer? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  18. Well not really… I am trying to become one… @alexqin

    . #ndcoslo .
  19. the act of programming makes you a programmer @alexqin .

    #ndcoslo .
  20. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  21. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  22. BE BETTER THAN ALL THE BOYS! @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  23. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  24. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  25. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  26. You are a programmer? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  27. You are a programmer? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  28. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  29. “He’s a really nice guy” 1 @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  30. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  31. Do you have a boyfriend?
 
 Do you like to

    dress sexy for him? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  32. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  33. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  34. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  35. “Don’t be so stuck up” 2 @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  36. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  37. None
  38. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  39. None
  40. “You have a lot of promise” 3 @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  41. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  42. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  43. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  44. “I don’t want to sleep alone” 4 @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  45. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  46. None
  47. MagmaConf @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  48. “Women like the attention” 5 @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  49. Women exist to serve men. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  50. You look like a 
 mustard sandwich. @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  51. Women like the attention. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  52. I would have to 
 lower the hiring bar. @alexqin

    . #ndcoslo .
  53. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  54. nowhere felt safe @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  55. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  56. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  57. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  58. why do I love code if code doesn’t love me

    back? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  59. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  60. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  61. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  62. MEET ALL THE WOMEN! @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  63. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  64. When I cut my hair short, I stopped getting sexually

    harassed at tech events. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  65. Become a BAD ASS programmer! @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  66. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  67. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  68. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  69. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  70. BAD ASS @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  71. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  72. How do I talk to women at bars? @alexqin .

    #ndcoslo .
  73. BAD ASS @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  74. NOPE @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  75. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  76. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  77. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  78. HACKER @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  79. I was no longer hyper sexualized and under skilled @alexqin

    . #ndcoslo .
  80. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  81. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  82. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  83. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  84. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  85. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  86. HACKER @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  87. the tech industry is not a meritocracy @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  88. Cut your hair. Become a BAD ASS. Be more of

    a bitch. Learn to ignore it. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  89. Started quest to change tech @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  90. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  91. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  92. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  93. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  94. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  95. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  96. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  97. Blazon @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  98. Blazon @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  99. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  100. Madelyn @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  101. Technovation @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  102. GroGreen @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  103. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  104. GroGreen @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  105. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  106. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  107. With great power comes great responsibility @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  108. you shouldn’t have to 
 change who you are 


    to do what you love 1. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  109. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  110. excellence in code can come from anyone 2. @alexqin .

    #ndcoslo .
  111. Blazon @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  112. GroGreen @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  113. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  114. we need technologists from all backgrounds 3. @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  115. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  116. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  117. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  118. liberation @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  119. “I am not free while any woman 
 is unfree,

    even when her shackles 
 are very different from my own.” 
 - Audre Lorde “No one is free until we are all free” 
 - Martin Luther King, Jr. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  120. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  121. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  122. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  123. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  124. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  125. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  126. founder @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  127. founder director @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  128. founder director public speaker @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  129. founder director public speaker social justice warrior @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  130. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS @alexqin .

    #ndcoslo .
  131. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS workaholic @alexqin

    . #ndcoslo .
  132. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS workaholic party

    girl @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  133. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS workaholic party

    girl coding icon @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  134. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  135. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  136. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  137. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  138. trauma @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  139. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  140. burnout @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  141. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  142. divorce @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  143. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  144. rage @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  145. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  146. fear @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  147. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  148. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  149. suicidal @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  150. “I drove him, drove them all, 
 to be first,

    be bold, be perfect—be the greatest. 
 What I did not do was drive them 
 to be whole, to be free. ” 
 Casey Gerald @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  151. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  152. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  153. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  154. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  155. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  156. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  157. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  158. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  159. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  160. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  161. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  162. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  163. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS workaholic party

    girl coding icon @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  164. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS workaholic party

    girl @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  165. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS workaholic @alexqin

    . #ndcoslo .
  166. founder director public speaker social justice warrior BADASS @alexqin .

    #ndcoslo .
  167. founder director public speaker social justice warrior @alexqin . #ndcoslo

    .
  168. founder director public speaker @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  169. founder director @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  170. founder @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  171. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  172. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  173. accountable @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  174. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  175. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  176. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  177. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  178. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  179. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  180. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  181. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  182. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  183. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  184. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  185. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  186. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  187. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  188. the future is in the margins @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  189. How do I make my organization more 
 diverse? @alexqin

    . #ndcoslo .
  190. how do we heal? @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  191. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  192. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  193. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  194. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  195. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  196. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  197. fear @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  198. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  199. rage @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  200. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  201. powerless @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  202. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  203. social justice warrior @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  204. social justice warrior fuck the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy

    @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  205. “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  206. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  207. trauma @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  208. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  209. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  210. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  211. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  212. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  213. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  214. tech is not a meritocracy
 
 excellence in code can

    come from anyone we all deserve to 
 be here, be safe, and thrive 
 no matter what body we were born in @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  215. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  216. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  217. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  218. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  219. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  220. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  221. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  222. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  223. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  224. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  225. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  226. what if @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  227. what if @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  228. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  229. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  230. what if @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  231. what if @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  232. what if @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  233. “We heal ourselves, 
 and we heal in relationship, 


    and from that place, simultaneously, 
 we create more space for healed communities, healed movements, 
 healed worlds.” 
 adrienne maree brown @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  234. None
  235. None
  236. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  237. “At this point, we have all of the information we

    need to create a change; it isn’t a matter of facts. It’s a matter of longing, having the will to imagine and implement something else.” 
 adrienne maree brown @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  238. “Transform yourself to transform the world”
 
 Grace Lee Boggs

    @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  239. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  240. my liberation cannot come at the cost of harming others

    @alexqin . #ndcoslo .
  241. @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  242. “Wage Love” 
 Charity Mahouna Hicks @alexqin . #ndcoslo .

  243. @alexqin @codecooperative