Working with computers, be it system administration, or software development, as a profession, is a young one. As such, it has many ailments of youth: there is a tendency to lose track of a proper work/life balance, there is rampant professional burnout, there is career euthanasia.
One of the most striking ailments of the computing profession is the lack gender diversity. I have no doubt that having more women practice this profession will benefit it greatly and enhance its contribution to humanity. The few women in this profession, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in my career, were, with no exception, remarkable and brilliant. I believe improving gender diversity will go a long way in tending other ailments of the profession I’ve mentioned.
So what can we, as veteran practitioners of the computing profession, charged with educating the next generation of practitioners, do to improve sexual diversity on our profession? We can start be telling young people that some of the most important tricks of the trade were dreamed up by woman. We can tell them the story of Grace Hopper.
This photography technique produces awesome results, maybe some of my photographer friends would like to try it? What really impresses me about this, is that this is an art form that could only come into widespread use today, when video screens are ubiquitous and digital images are extremely cheap to make. Truly, a 21st century art.
The release of Google’s ‘Go’ language seems to have shaken the world of computer languages in general and native-compiled languages in particular. That world was exclusively dominated by C and C++, but now we’re seeing more and more new languages appear and gain programmer mind-share.
In recent years, it seems the progress of programming languages was happening mainly in the realms of interpreted languages and byte-code-compiled languages. Native-compiled languages looking to attract developers accustomed to the convenience of those languages must provide similarly convenient features. The D language is no exception for this rule, hence it provides the following features:
Type inference – So programmers don’t need to manually specify the type of each variable.
Automatic memory and resource management. D includes a garbage collector as well as a ‘scope’ statement that allows setting up code to always run when exiting the current scope (Looks and feels similar to the ‘trap’ statement of shell languages).
Built-in high-level data structures such as hashes and dynamic arrays.
The lecture recounts the same themes and ideas he talked about in numerous other lectures and wrote about in his book “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free“. The difference about this lecture is that it was targeted at a somewhat less-technically oriented audience, and therefore includes basic high-level explanations as to why there are no such things as “golden keys” to cryptography.
I recommend sharing this with less technically inclined friends and family who care about freedom, surveillance and related policy.