Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Me

Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Me

Recently, I changed my name. In the words of Douglas Adams, “this has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” This talk is a look at how sometimes when we are designing systems, we don’t think about every possible way in which they are going to be used—and how not thinking about that can have unintended but very negative consequences on the people we intend to use them.

92e32ff9bf0328b3d63c4d3c586d171b?s=128

Skylar MacDonald

July 15, 2017
Tweet

Transcript

  1. @helloiamskylar F A L S E H O O D

    S PROGRAMMERS BELIEVE ABOUT ME SKYLAR MACDONALD
  2. @helloiamskylar 2010

  3. @helloiamskylar ANYTHING SOMEONE TELLS YOU IS THEIR NAME IS —

    BY DEFINITION — AN APPROPRIATE IDENTIFIER FOR THEM. Patrick McKenzie Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names
  4. @helloiamskylar SKYLAR MACDONALD

  5. @helloiamskylar SKYLAR MACDHÒMHNAILL

  6. @helloiamskylar THE NAME I’VE GIVEN YOU IS WHAT’S ON MY

    ID #1
  7. @helloiamskylar Ali Shaker / VOA

  8. @helloiamskylar

  9. @helloiamskylar Flickr / Brandon Dimcheff

  10. @helloiamskylar ASK.

  11. @helloiamskylar DO NOT EXPECT IDENTITIES TO BE CONSISTENT

  12. @helloiamskylar MacDonald

  13. @helloiamskylar Tesco

  14. @helloiamskylar MY NAME IS ONE UPPERCASE LETTER, FOLLOWED BY LOWERCASE

    LETTERS #2
  15. @helloiamskylar McElroy

  16. @helloiamskylar O’Neill

  17. @helloiamskylar van Dyke

  18. @helloiamskylar van den Broek

  19. @helloiamskylar MacDonald

  20. @helloiamskylar MacDhòmhnaill

  21. @helloiamskylar skylar@macdhòmhnaill.com

  22. @helloiamskylar skylar@xn--macdhmhnaill-rhb.com

  23. @helloiamskylar Google

  24. @helloiamskylar Google

  25. @helloiamskylar Google

  26. @helloiamskylar MY NAME CAN BE RENDERED IN ASCII #3 (OR

    ANY GIVEN CHARACTER SET)
  27. @helloiamskylar DVLA

  28. @helloiamskylar I HAVE THE SAME LAST NAME AS MY FAMILY

    #4
  29. @helloiamskylar THE AMOUNT OF TIME I HAVE BEEN ALIVE ==

    THE AMOUNT OF TIME I HAVE HAD THIS NAME #5
  30. @helloiamskylar PEOPLE’S NAMES DO NOT CHANGE #6

  31. @helloiamskylar PEOPLE HAVE EXACTLY ONE CANONICAL NAME #7

  32. @helloiamskylar PEOPLE HAVE EXACTLY n NAMES
 (FOR ANY VALUE OF

    n) #8
  33. @helloiamskylar THE FACT THAT I’VE CHANGED MY NAME MEANS I’VE

    GOT MARRIED #9
  34. @helloiamskylar THE FACT THAT I’VE CHANGED MY NAME MEANS I’VE

    GOT DIVORCED #10
  35. @helloiamskylar THE FACT THAT I’VE CHANGED MY NAME MEANS I’M

    NOW IN A CIVIL PARTNERSHIP #11
  36. @helloiamskylar YOU KNOW HOW TO SPELL MACDHÒMHNAILL BETTER THAN I

    DO #12
  37. @helloiamskylar YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE “MACDHÒMHNAILL”, SO

    YOU’RE GOING TO TRY IT #13
  38. @helloiamskylar YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE “MACDHÒMHNAILL”, SO

    YOU’RE GOING TO TRY IT — EVEN THOUGH I’VE TOLD YOU IT’S PRONOUNCED ROUGHLY LIKE “MACDONALD” AND IT’S GOING TO BE EASIER FOR EVERYONE IF YOU JUST SAY “MACDONALD” #13
  39. @helloiamskylar Ò IS THE SAME AS Ó, RIGHT? #14

  40. @helloiamskylar SCOTTISH GAELIC IS THE SAME AS IRISH GAELIC #15

  41. @helloiamskylar MY NAME IS IN GAELIC, SO I MUST SPEAK

    GAELIC #16
  42. @helloiamskylar YOUR SYSTEM UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “LEGAL NAME” AND

    “PREFERRED NAME”, SO EVERYONE’S MUST, SURELY? #17
  43. @helloiamskylar YOUR SYSTEM UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “LEGAL NAME” AND

    “PREFERRED NAME”, SO EVERYONE’S MUST, SURELY? #17
  44. @helloiamskylar IF YOU GET THIS WRONG, IT’LL BE BASICALLY FINE.

    #18
  45. @helloiamskylar NAMES ARE CENTRAL TO OUR IDENTITIES, VIRTUALLY BY DEFINITION.

    Patrick McKenzie Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names
  46. @helloiamskylar I CHANGED MY NAME TO SKYLAR MACDONALD. Well, yes,

    MacDhòmhnaill, but whatever.
  47. @helloiamskylar DO NOT CALL ME BY THE NAME I USED

    PREVIOUSLY.
  48. @helloiamskylar THAT’S NOT MY NAME.

  49. @helloiamskylar YouTube / VEVO

  50. @helloiamskylar DEADNAMING

  51. @helloiamskylar DEADNAMING PUTS PEOPLE AT RISK

  52. @helloiamskylar Snapchat / GitHub (Keybase) / HubSpot

  53. @helloiamskylar Snapchat / GitHub (Keybase) / HubSpot

  54. @helloiamskylar Facebook

  55. @helloiamskylar Wikipedia

  56. @helloiamskylar Medium / @zip

  57. @helloiamskylar Facebook

  58. @helloiamskylar Facebook / DVLA Facebook

  59. None
  60. @helloiamskylar

  61. @helloiamskylar

  62. @helloiamskylar

  63. @helloiamskylar

  64. @helloiamskylar

  65. @helloiamskylar

  66. @helloiamskylar YOU NEED TO KNOW MY GENDER #19

  67. @helloiamskylar YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF GENDER IS THE SAME AS MINE

    #20
  68. @helloiamskylar I IDENTIFY WITH A GENDER THAT IS PART OF

    YOUR FINITE LIST #21
  69. @helloiamskylar IF YOU GET THIS WRONG, IT’LL BE BASICALLY FINE.

    #22
  70. @helloiamskylar Twitter / @coyohti

  71. @helloiamskylar Kylie Jack

  72. @helloiamskylar Kylie Jack

  73. @helloiamskylar DON’T ASK.

  74. @helloiamskylar DO NOT EXPECT IDENTITIES TO BE CONSISTENT

  75. @helloiamskylar DO NOT EXPECT IDENTITIES TO BE CONSISTENT Kylie Jack

  76. @helloiamskylar FORMS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

  77. @helloiamskylar ! " Apple

  78. @helloiamskylar

  79. @helloiamskylar # Apple

  80. @helloiamskylar PEOPLE’S IDENTITIES ARE NOT EDGE CASES

  81. @helloiamskylar IF YOU OUT ONE TRANS PERSON YOU HAVE FAILED


    AS A DEVELOPER
  82. @helloiamskylar YOU HAVE FAILED
 AS A DEVELOPER IF YOU EXCLUDE

    ONE NON-BINARY PERSON
  83. @helloiamskylar YOU HAVE FAILED
 AS A DEVELOPER IF YOU CAN’T

    CHANGE ONE PERSON’S NAME
  84. @helloiamskylar ASK THE QUESTION YOU ACTUALLY WANT THE ANSWER TO

  85. @helloiamskylar DON’T COLLECT INFORMATION YOU DON’T ACTUALLY NEED

  86. @helloiamskylar 2017

  87. @helloiamskylar @helloiamskylar skylarmacdonald.com FALSEHOODS PROGRAMMERS BELIEVE ABOUT ME Format Development

    With thanks to
 Patrick McKenzie Sam Kitajima-Kimbrel Jessica Rose Alex Dytrych Daniel Irvine Dan Pelensky Franzi Sauerwein