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 Post subject: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:01 pm 
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There appears to be a massive lack of diversity in the OSDev community with very few females in evidence even though everyone here is self-selected and there is no barrier in the way. How can we correct this and encourage more females to waste their lives in the same way as the army of obsessive males?

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:31 pm 
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I don't think you can - or should - force diversity. It's not as if there is anything preventing females from OS development.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:32 pm 
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Shouldn't this thread be integrated into:

"Non-PC OS Development and Different Character Sets"


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:12 pm 
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DavidCooper wrote:
There appears to be a massive lack of diversity in the OSDev community with very few females in evidence even though everyone here is self-selected and there is no barrier in the way. How can we correct this and encourage more females to waste their lives in the same way as the army of obsessive males?

While there may be no direct barriers to entry, there are significant barriers to entry on a societal level. Here where I live there is still a considerable bias in what is considered "normal" behaviour and interests for boys versus what is considered "normal" and interests for girls. These archetypes can get quite strong, especially in high school. And from what i can tell (which is admittedly, limited), these biases are no less strong in other countries, particularly America.

This leads already to a difference in number of people considering working with computers as something that might be fun. Combine this with the significant amounts of female-unfriendly attitudes in various computer science communities online and offline, and it becomes rather unattractive for women to pursue programming and related fields, either as a hobby or professionally. Add to this the problem of implicit selection bias, where people have been shown to select against women for certain job positions and admissions to things like university even when they themselves were not conscious of doing so, and this leads to a significant barrier to entry and progression into computer science.

As operating system development is a fairly advanced sub-discipline, all these problems compound, resulting in the observed lack of diversity.

iansjack wrote:
I don't think you can - or should - force diversity.

Forcing diversity is never possible, we can't tell people they should do this weird thing of building their own Operating System. However, we should do our utmost best to weed out the our biases and cultural problems that prevent women from entering computer science in general, and OSDev specifically. These problems are fixable, but requires us all to be bold and accept that there is a problem. Unfortunately, as the recent google email leak showed (see e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08 ... immediate/ or related news story), there still is a long way to go on that front.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:09 am 
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FWIW, a quick head-count in my (9-to-5) office gives 2 women out of 10 people. Going up one level to the whole department, there's a couple dozen more men and only two more women, one of which is the secretary.

Looking back to previous employments, that's a pretty normal ratio. In my previous job there was one women in a team of eight. In the job before that, there were no women among the development staff (but three secretaries and two women in HR).

Even at demo parties, a scene about as relaxed and diverse as you can get and still be about computers, there were distinctly less than 50% females in attendance.

So OS Dev simply reflects the computer / programmer scene as a whole.

Moreover, there is not even a setting in the user profile to select male / female / other / won't tell. And there is no reason for a woman to say "by the way, I am female" in a casual discussion about CPU registers or IPC protocols, just as none of the guys run around flaunting their masculinity when talking about compiler settings. So how would you know how many women are reading this right now? 8)

And...

...why would it matter?

From my experience, both previous and in my current team, software is a field where, more than anywhere else, people tend to simply ignore such trivialities as to whether you carry your reproductive organs on the inside or the outside. You are what you know. And, at the end of the day, that is how it should be, shouldn't it?

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:03 am 
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DavidCooper wrote:
There appears to be a massive lack of diversity in the OSDev community with very few females in evidence even though everyone here is self-selected and there is no barrier in the way. How can we correct this and encourage more females to waste their lives in the same way as the army of obsessive males?


Perhaps, we could show our daughters, sisters and female friends how cool this is?


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:12 am 
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i had a more relevant first comment on this, and it was instantly got deleted by brendan. i dont really think i will post a lot on this forum, if it is part of the liberal brainwashing censorshipping media franchize.

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:33 am 
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I smell an American Taliban snowflake. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:40 am 
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alexfru wrote:
Perhaps, we could show our daughters, sisters and female friends how cool this is?


Aside from my wife being a Certified Java Programmer and me having shown my daughter the first steps toward programming (my son is a bit too young yet to be interested)...

...do you really think "us programmers" are cool? To an outsider? :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:14 am 
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There seems to be an inherent aversion to programming particular to the female gender and with the changes to the employment structures it may undermine their social and de-facto political status. What is worse, is that it may be due to hormonal differences and not just cultural phenomena. I believe this will become a critical issue later on.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:16 am 
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I can't help but think that this is a satirical post by OP :wink:.

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:24 am 
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MichaelFarthing wrote:
Shouldn't this thread be integrated into:

"Non-PC OS Development and Different Character Sets"

Like it! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:27 am 
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alexfru wrote:
DavidCooper wrote:
There appears to be a massive lack of diversity in the OSDev community with very few females in evidence even though everyone here is self-selected and there is no barrier in the way. How can we correct this and encourage more females to waste their lives in the same way as the army of obsessive males?


Perhaps, we could show our daughters, sisters and female friends how cool this is?

I'm not going to lie to them. It most definitely isn't cool - anymore than doing crossword puzzles or flying airliners is. I don't think that people who program because they think it is cool are going to produce very good work.

I suspect that most of the less productive threads here are started by people who are only writing their "OS" because they think it makes them look cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:40 am 
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Please keep this lovely page feminism free. I don't want to see triggered females having a racism related conversation on an operating system development forum.
I think that our hobby is not very wide spread. We ourselves decided that we wanted to create an operating system and probably our curiosity was the main factor.
We shouldn't force people into doing something just because why not. People should do what they like without being suggested what to do. Humans have their own brains to decided.
If you don't have anything that interests you, then you are probably a giant failure. There are almost infinite amount of hobbies in this world, so choose one.

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity at OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:13 am 
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I may well have misjudged things as there could be dozens of active members of this forum who are female and who keep that well hidden, and I may also be wrong in imagining that most of the people here are primarily self-taught as a result of racing far ahead of whatever teaching was on offer to them at school. I wondered if this thread might lead to lots of people pointing out that they're female, but I also thought it unlikely to happen unless a question was asked through an anonymous poll. I'm not sure such a poll would be a positive thing though as it might just reinforce unhelpful attitudes, so I don't recommend setting one up.

We know that if you give toys to young chimpanzees, the male ones will mostly select toy cars while the females go for the dolls. We also know that young female wild chimps have been observed carrying rocks around with them which they balance on their backs as they pretend to be carrying a baby. There are very real differences which guide our interests, and boys tend to be more interested in complex technical toys. There are plenty of exceptional individuals though who go against the trend, and they can face discrimination, so it's important to encourage them to follow their interests and to stamp on anyone who tries to make out they don't belong in the field they wish to enter. Anyone who stands as a barrier to females getting a fair go in the tech industry where their abilities are on a level with males should be sacked without hesitation.

The recent Google case is unfortunate though as it involves someone being sacked for propagating views which, while certainly questionable, don't appear to be sufficiently far wrong. Was he really such a threat that his views couldn't be tolerated in the company? He wasn't arguing that top programmers can't be female or that men should be selected over women if their skills are equivalent, but was criticising the policy of running exclusive courses to train women up to get them to the point where they can compete against males. This arguably selects people who have a less genuine interest in the subject than the ones who have got themselves to that level without such intervention. However, it's also possible that it actually rescues people who have always had just as strong an interest in the subject and the same degree of natural ability but who have been pushed aside at earlier stages by more aggressive rivals, or who have been held back by cultural pressures, including some within their own home. The way to deal with this should be to study the facts (or do more testing to establish the facts) and resolve the issue that way rather than taking the lazy option of sacking the individual who dared to speak out. In speaking out so openly, he put himself in a position where he risked being shown to be wrong in a very embarrassing way, but he's been let off the hook by being sacked instead without anyone bothering to prove him wrong, and that's what's so unsatisfactory about this.

Here's the big question: if by selecting people with less capability on the basis of gender and training them up to the point where they (superficially, at least) have the same capability as the other gender, are you actually selecting people who will advance their abilities beyond that point at the same rate and who have the same degree of problem-solving skills, or are you now discriminating against people who didn't need to go through such a course and who would have performed better for the company if you hadn't gone instead for people who were artificially boosted into it? If the answer to that has already been established, it should have been sufficient to show that to everyone and tell the guy to shut up (and perhaps to demote him if he was in a position to hire and fire anyone). But if the answer hasn't been established, the danger is that he's been sacked for being right.

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