Panel Pre Post


Finished the panel discussion a little while ago and several conversations since then and now that I am at a computer I wanted to quickly post about it.

I was very nervous to begin with but all in all I think it went well. We tried to hit on some things that we feel would help with getting more women into the Rails Community specifically as well as in the development world period. We only gave 5 minutes to the CouchDB talk mostly because we personally (Myself, Sarah and Lori) would like to move on. I did tell David Hanson to please keep his mouth shut next time but I did that in a light-hearted way to try and lighten the mood a bit. I hope he took it that way.

My biggest whoops was that I actually said and believed I didn’t know Matt but after the talk he came over and pointed out that I DID indeed know him. In fact, we have had a very lengthy conversation about women in development in the past (I do remember him and did as soon as I connected his face with his name). Anyway I felt like a jackass.

I want to do a more lengthy recap of the whole panel and the various discussions that took place before and after but for now I would like a reprieve. I am a bit on the drained side and if I tried to cover everything just now, I wouldn’t do a very good job. So give me a day or two to get my write up out.. maybe Sarah and Lori will have more energy to do the post than I do just now.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who came to the panel. Including all the Ruby/Rails big wigs. ;-)


7 Responses to “Panel Pre Post”

  1. Lori Olson

    Thanks, Desi. And ditto thanks to RailsConf for their support of our panel. I, too, have a number of thoughts percolating, and would like a little time before posting anything detailed. I hope everyone will feel free to catch up with me at the conference if you want to discuss anything related.

  2. gloriajw

    Desi, congrats. Don’t feel badly at all. Being placed in such a position on that panel is nerve-wracking. This issue has been discussed time and again for _years_, and will continue to be discussed again and again. There is no single magic solution, aside from awareness. If you’re helping to bring about awareness, you’re doing a great job.

  3. Jennifer Lindner

    yeah, hey Desi. It’s such an odd time because some people are totally aware of the legitimacy & complexities of these issues, and others are still totally in the dark. I agree with Gloria that it takes a lot of strength on all of your parts to publicly confront this topic. I just posted a comment on fhwang,net about Matt’s talk/ruby rails women.

    Enjoy your quiet time gathering your thoughts… you’ve sure earned it.

  4. Enrique

    Hi Desi,

    I could not make it to the railsconf (being in London does not help on that), but I just finished watching the recording.

    I am really happy that you guys stood up and raised your voices. The whole debate of women vs. men sounds like another form of xenophobia or racism to me. I really have no idea why our industry is not able to see people instead of the sexual distinctions we do. This things should be part of life outside of professional life and nothing to do with our work.

    Was great watching you guys and I am happy to see this movement, although I hope that it will soon be obsolete as this will not be relevant due to real equality!

  5. Mike Bailey

    Congratulations on a good session.

    I just watched the video[1] and was wondering how many people there were in the audience.

    Also, did you guys speak about porngate09? Was it edited out of the video?

    - Mike


  6. Caroline Schnapp

    1h51am here in Montreal. Just finished watching the panel presentation on bliptv, I had to see it through, even if it’s late. I’m home alone (live by myself). Parenthesis: Freelancer, web developer and designer, electrical engineer, not a mother, paraplegic, blabla… what else. In love with Ruby on Rails!!) Feels like something really important happened here for me thanks to your presentation. Thank you, Desi. You were wonderful. I don’t know any of you, and am certainly not part of the Rails community. I ‘know’ some men who are but I am just an outsider. Maybe I prefer it to be that way, as long as the fun work comes in, with the good money too. Will it. It will… Has to. Although I wish it wasn’t so lonely for me. I have so much to say regarding the thoughts that were expressed there, by you and Sarah and Lori. I will make a point to express myself on my blog. Thanks again. And, yeah, dammit, it should not be up to the women again to help the women, it’s up to the ‘Whole’, hence… men, as they are 95%+++ of it, to reach out and make a difference. Not by turning a woman who’s not into it… into it. But by helping women who _are_ into it, but may not have the confidence and the (guts to seize?) opportunities, to infuse them with that ‘male’ confidence that pushes most men to embellish somehow their qualifications (I see that ALL the time lol). I tend to do the exact opposite: I will say I know less than I know, how crazy is that.

  7. Hanna Kalinowska

    thank you all very much for the talk, it was very inspiring. It was the first time I have heard the name ‘infidelity problem’, it made me realize I’m not the only one who feels this way, I’ve always thought it was my flaw of character, or something I got from my upbringing. And in some way it did, I think this comes from a long tradition of patriarchal society, that women often get the idea that they’re not good enough for some things, and it will take a few more generations to change. Women are getting more and more confident, but there’s still a lot to do. So you’re doing a great job just being there and speaking up, thanks a lot for that!


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