Baltimore BarCamp 2009

I had a fantastic time at BarCamp Baltimore today. I’m so glad I got my butt
out the door (with Stacey’s help) early on a Saturday morning to attend. There
was some great energy going on there. Got to see some friends; put some faces
to names; and met a lot of cool new people. The best part was definitely the
conversations at lunch and between sessions.

My sole contribution was to suggest a “How do we get more women into software”
topic, which was developed by the organisers into “Education / Diversity”. As
I’d hoped, it spawned a pretty vigorous discussion, and also as hoped, I spend
most of the time listening. Unfortunately there was a lot of handwaving about
fixing the school system which I felt was pretty pie-in-the-sky. But there were
also some good practical steps suggested.

My concrete takeaways from the session were:

* Mentoring, mentoring, mentoring. Find some way, such as after-school
programs, to catch girls and minority kids young. Pass on the passion for
tech before they get locked into gender roles and social conditioning about
what they can and can’t do.
* For hiring and broadening tech groups, reach out to womens groups and
minority organisations like Black Engineers.

Unfortunately, one of my other takeaways from the session was that one reason
women aren’t as prominent as men in technology is that male geeks like to hear
themselves talk, sometimes at the expense of the women in the room. Even when
the women in the room might be the ones with the most to say about the topic at

The other standout session for me was the HackerSpace one. I was excited to
learn about HackerSpace and I hope the nascent Baltimore group succeeds. It’s
good to see old-school tinkering and software/hardware hacks going on.

All in all a wonderful way to spend the morning and afternoon. I came away
energized and excited about the explosion of cross-disciplinary creativity going
on in this time and place. I’m looking forward to more events like it. Many
thanks to Dave Troy and everyone else for making it happen!

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  1. While you were at BarCamp, I was at Open Source Bridge. This con was attended by a high percentage of women (perhaps twenty-five percent?). A couple sessions talked about women in open source or the things keeping women out of open source. Several women commented that they felt comfortable at the conference. Maria Webster (of the .51 website) said as much too.

  2. I wrote a linguistics paper on a similar topic once. It was about women in IT in general, not specifically software, but the same principles apply.

    A very very simple way to get more women into IT is to CHANGE THE WAY YOU WORD YOUR EMPLOYMENT ADS.

    Run a quick search on monster for “software engineer” or “programmer.” Get a few samples that you think seem pretty standard. Then run a search for “Human Resources” and “Social Work.”


    I bet you $20 that any software company that breaks that mold for employment ads employs more women in IT than software companies that don’t.

    1. Does this apply to the kind of ads people run in my neck of the industry? E.g. “We’re looking for a kickass hacker who’s passionate and wants to change the world, and plays a mean game of ping-pong”. Are you talking about that kind of ad, or the more traditional software ads? Or does it go equally for both kinds?

      1. I have seen very few of those hacker type ads in general job search places. Don’t most of those run in venues targeted at people already in the software industry?

        In any case, no. Those ads are different. I am talking about the vast majority of ads that give you a list of skills you must have, maybe some kind of bullshit PR blurb about the company with some buzzwords in there, but tell you nothing about who you will actually be working with and what kind of work environment it is.

        There are exceptions to every rule, but most ads I’ve seen for the IT industry are extremely impersonal. They could be advertising for a human being, but they rarely mention it. The skillset is always more important than the human being behind it.

      2. Oh, and I will also add that the effect is cumulative. When little girls start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, then get around to researching it in high school, this technical skill jargon is what represents the industry. It is not welcoming or appealing to anyone who happens to like working with actual human beings. So girls, who are on average more concerned with that sort of thing, gravitate toward human oriented professions. Even girls like me, who have some of the skillset and could with a little effort bring themselves up to speed.

        I went looking for the paper last night, but couldn’t find it. It’s probably on a CD somewhere in my parent’s storage unit.

  3. Example 1

    Job Summary

    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    Computer/​IT Services
    Job Type
    Full Time
    Career Level
    Experienced (Non-Manager)
    Job Reference Code

    Computer Programmer Analyst, Systems Analyst-Admin. DBA, Software Engineer
    About the Job

    Computer Programmer Analyst, Systems Analyst/​Admin.​, DBA, Software Engineer – Sewickley, PA

    Positions available for candidates with following skills: Oracle, Unix, C/​C+​+​, Sybase, Perl, SQL, PB, PFC, HTML, ASP, VB, Power Builder, XSL, XSLT, Delphi, SAP R3, ABAP/​4, MS Access, Lotus Notes, Domino, Active X, COM, Oracle, SQL Server, FINAPPS, Java, J2EE, DB2, AS400, RPG, HTML, JSP, .​NET, ASP.​NET, VB.​NET, Visual Studio.​NET, C#, XML WebServices, SOAP, JMS, IBM MQ series, EJB, Servlets, JDBC, Applets/​Swing/​AWT, MVC/​Struts framework, RMI, XML, SAX, DOM, CORBA, JDK1.​4, Java Multithreading, Java Mail, Java Beans, Coldfusion, Business Objects, Siebel, Peoplesoft, Weblogic, Websphere, Webservices on Sun Solaris, UNIX, Linux, & Windows systems.​ Send resume to: Software Specialists, 2591 Wexford Bayne Rd.​, Ste.​ 400, Sewickley, PA 15143.​

  4. This one isn’t bad

    Software Engineers – The job you want

    Visualize this. You’re handed new projects that challenge you on all levels. You’re given recognition for your ideas and achievements. You’re making contributions that propel business growth, and you’re earning compensation that reflects your sterling accomplishments. If that’s what you want to see in your near future, Manpower Professional has a career opportunity for you.

    You offer your unique skills and experiences. And Manpower Professional offers something unique for you. We work with you to match you to opportunities that allow you to do things differently, get ahead and build a lifelong career. In this position, you’ll have the opportunity to:
    # Work with other Software Developers to design and implement applications and infrastructures. This includes creation of middleware and internal api’s

    # Maintain and enhance applications on an ongoing basis per user/customer feedback.

    # Optimize performance and scalability as necessary to meet business and financial goals of applications and environment.

    # Collaborate with team leads, internal users and other developers to clarify and finalize requirements and produce corresponding functional specifications for general applications and infrastructure.

    The position includes the following qualifications:
    # BS in Computer Science, or related field preferred.

    # Five to ten years of Java or C# development experience for proprietary technologies
    in a fast-paced environment.

    # Excellent object oriented software systems design skills and architectural skills.

    This is the right opportunity. Tell us why you’re the right person.

  5. Daddy, when I grow up, I want to work in a continuous integration environment. . .

    About the Job


    redLantern (www.​redLanternU.​com) provides software solutions to the higher education academic community in the areas of degree certification, transfer credit evaluation, and academic advising.​ We are currently seeking software developers familiar with Web UI technologies to deliver new functionality to existing products, and to be part of the team that will consolidate and replace existing redLantern web and desktop applications into a single integrated Campus Suite.​


    · Product requirements gathering and implementation design.​

    · Development and enhancement of redLantern software products.​

    · Development and enhancement of product installation procedures.​

    · Technical documentation and support of redLantern products.​


    · Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Systems Analysis, MIS, or other related field.​

    · Demonstrated proficiency in Java programming and various Java Frameworks.​

    · Demonstrated proficiency with Javascript, Yahoo UI, Google Web Toolkit, Flex, or other AJAX technologies.​

    · Demonstrated proficiency in object-oriented programming techniques.​

    · Good communication, organizational, and analytical skills.​

    · Ability to work cooperatively with numerous constituencies.​


    Demonstrated proficiency with some of the following technologies is preferred:

    · Various Relational Database Management Systems (Oracle, DB2, MS SQL Server).​

    · SQL, JDBC, and related programming tools.​

    · Programming for multiple environments, including various versions of Windows, UNIX, and Linux.​

    · Various web application servers (Tomcat, WebSphere, WebLogic, Oracle OAS)

    · Programming with Spring and Hibernate.​

    · Experience working in a Continuous Integration environment using Ant, JUnit, CVS, and related tools.​

    · XML, HTML, Javascript.​

  6. And then there is human resources

    Job Description:
    Human Resources Generalist

    Ajilon Office is currently in a direct hire search for an experienced HR Generalist. This excellent opportunity is with an established client in the Washington DC Metro area.

    This role performs duties at the professional level in some or all of the following functional areas: employee relations, training, employment, compliance, compensation, benefits management and recruiting.

    This position requires an extremely perceptive person, who is capable of relating to individuals at all levels within the organization. The Generalist must be sensitive to both company needs and employee goodwill.

    • Responsible for general human resources recordkeeping, and maintaining all employee and applicant documentation as dictated by governing agencies
    • Assist with Recruitment tasks as needed (review applications, interview)
    • Coach, counsel and guide managers before the execution of employee disciplinary actions
    • Act as employee relations specialist
    • Monitor employee eligibility for insurances and 401(k) participation. Review benefits with employees and process enrollment, cancellation or changes for medical and dental insurance.
    • Reconcile medical and dental invoices for payment processing.
    • Monitor and record Employee Performance Evaluations
    • Responsible for ensuring compliance, monitoring and updating I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification log; maintain files for I-9 forms.
    • Report, maintain and monitor all Worker’s Compensation Case files; follow-up on open cases.
    • Maintains and coordinates employee recognition programs.

    • Bachelors Degree or the equivalent years of experience.
    • Minimum 3 years experience in the administration of benefits and compensation programs and other Generalist Human Resources programs.
    • Excellent computer skills in a Microsoft Office environment. Must include demonstrated skills in database management and record keeping.
    • Effective oral and written communication.
    • Excellent interpersonal and coaching skills.
    • Evidence of the practice of a high level of confidentiality.
    • Excellent organizational skills.

  7. Heh, here’s one that is so obviously oriented toward women. . .

    Careers at lucy
    At lucy, our passion is to design, market and sell fashion forward performance apparel that inspires athletic women. We love working out, and we also love fashion: using a mix of high-tech fabrics, precise fit and a stylist’s eye, we create gear with the design, color and feminine details that can only be found at lucy.
    Headquartered in the Pacific Northwest city of Portland, Oregon, lucy has charted an unconventional path to success. Debuting in 1999 as a strictly online retail store, the company shifted its focus to a bricks-and-mortar retail chain in 2001. Today, the company operates as both an online retail store and a chain of more than 60 stores across the United States. In 2007, In August 2007, lucy was acquired by VF Corporation, a global leader in lifestyle branded apparel with a diverse portfolio of brands such as Vans, The North Face and 7 for all Mankind. (
    Why Work at lucy?
    Our fun, vital culture is all about enthusiasm; it’s woven into the philosophy and core values upon which our company was founded. lucy isn’t just another corporation – rather, we’re an energetic community that thrives on teamwork and open and honest communication. Dedicated individuals with positive spirits fuel our company: together, we strive toward our goal of inspiring athletic women through fashion forward performance apparel.
    We believe in:
    Performance & fashion
    Innovation & style
    Working out & loving it.
    This is lucy. Try us on.
    Top reasons to work for lucy:
    · lucy has a great discount on great clothes
    · lucy has unique products that make our customer feel great and inspire her active life!
    · lucy offers an opportunity to work with smart, fun people
    · lucy is in the positive energy business!

    Human Resources Manager Position
    As a member of the HR management team, the incumbent of this generalist position is responsible for providing HR support to all areas of lucy’s business operations, helping to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the company’s workforce. In addition to providing recruiting and employee relations services, this objective is achieved through the development and administration of culturally-supporting policies, procedures and programs and by managing the implementation and execution of various HR projects.

    Key areas of responsibility include recruitment, employee relations, talent development, policy and program administration, compensation, benefits and compliance. This position is also responsible for helping to ensure lucy’s cultural integrity and dedication to its associates are upheld. The HR Manager incumbent applies excellent work habits, professionalism, initiative, creativity and ingenuity daily in all aspects of her or his work.
    · Responsible for the development and consistent application of lucy’s corporate recruitment methodology. Regularly evaluates the recruiting, selection and hiring practices of associates in all locations to ensure that our processes result in lucy hiring the best candidates who have the highest likelihood for success in our environment. Develops and trains managers on recruiting and interviewing guidelines and practices.
    · Participates in the recruitment and selection of Field management positions and monitors compensation decisions to ensure consistency and competitiveness.
    · Responsible to ensure lucy recruits a diverse group of candidates and monitors the diversity of hired associates.
    · Manages internship programs with local universities and other organizations.
    · Administers Affirmative Action Program.
    Employee Relations:
    · Responsible for development and successful execution of the lucy associate on-boarding process to ensure a high touch welcome that reflects lucy’s values and quick ramp-up time for new hires. Coordinates with Managers on development and implementation of 30-60-90 day goals at point of hire.
    · Provides Employee Relations assistance to all lucy associates.

    [cut off due to LJ comment limit, but you get the idea]

  8. Social Worker

    Full-time position available. (EOE/M/F/V/D)

    Qualified candidate must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. Must be familiar with the MDS and Care Plan process, social histories and discharge planning.

    Caring environment
    At Life Care Centers of America, we appreciate your desire to care for others and give hope to those who need encouragement. Our focus is mission-minded with the intention of giving only top-quality care to those in our facilities. We strive to satisfy our residents and take pride in encouraging them to fulfill life to its fullest. As a community, we appreciate who you are. We thrive from growing together and forming relationships that are irreplaceable.

    Professional development
    We also understand that you want to succeed not only as a person, but as a professional. This is why we are excited to grant requests for professional growth opportunities for you to advance your career.

    Our competitive benefits package will help you feel secure in your new position:

    * medical and dental coverage
    * 401(k)
    * paid vacation, sick days and holidays

  9. Hackers. . .uh. . .not wanted

    Ran a quick search on for “hacker,” just for kicks. Came up with nothing avant garde. Everything fit the mold. Only one job that came up actually had “hacker” in the ad title.

    1. Re: Hackers. . .uh. . .not wanted

      Yeah, the interesting jobs don’t bother advertising in Monster, and I wouldn’t advise any software engineer to list with them or even open the site. It’s pointless and potentially depressing.

      The worthwhile ads are on sites like startuply, but even then, most of us get jobs through networking, not job boards.

    2. Re: Hackers. . .uh. . .not wanted

      Come to think of it, if girls are looking on that could be part of the problem. I can’t stress enough how completely irrelevant sites like Monster are to the world I work in. We’re hiring at Devver, and I don’t think we would ever list with Monster.

      1. Re: Hackers. . .uh. . .not wanted

        That’s a good point too. I have yet to find a worthwhile job on Monster. My dad says that something like 80% of the jobs aren’t even available or have already been filled.

        Still, the tech industry has a high ratio of jargon to people words in their ads, almost everywhere I’ve seen them advertise.

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