Find Ways to Forge Ahead in Tech Despite Harassment Claims, Other Challenges

Izenda Content Strategist

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By Bob Pepalis, Izenda
bob.pepalis@izenda.com

Each month we take a look at recent technology news to spot the trends and advances in software and other industries. If you spot a piece of news to share or have a comment, send it to me via email.

Forge Ahead in Business and Technology

Workday's Lynn Christensen offers her lessons to help women and businesses forge ahead in technology industries.

She'll tell you technology is human by nature; everyone in the company has to do their part. Your success starts with you.

My favorite advice suggests you think of the big picture by setting goals or taking action that's part of a bigger plan. "Don't do what many women do by getting lost in the weeds with a focus on tactical projects," Lynn says.

"Haters Got to Go," Reddit Says

Reddit banned another scary community after popular (in that community) posts displayed a hatred of women and even advocated rape, according to a story in The Guardian.

The social news aggregation and discussion site banned "Incels," which labeled itself as a support group for people who lack romantic relationships and sex.

Reddit updated its policy to prohibit content that "encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or group of people."

Don't Give Up on Tech-Related Career

Has the chance to advance in the tech industry seemingly passed by you? Are you about ready to unsubscribe from the WITI.com newsletter? Don't do it. Even if you have no intention to spend ten weeks in a coding boot camp, you still have a chance to a tech-oriented career.

According to at least one woman in the industry, knowing how to code isn't necessary to be part of a tech team. How? A suggestion by G2 Crowd's Adrienne Weismann deals with spreadsheets. As much as I hate to admit, companies still use Excel. Free or affordable tutorials exist that can help you master the land of spreadsheets.

Many of her suggestions involve asking questions. It's amazing how few people talk tech with their companies' experts. Getting exposed to tech in this way can also help you decide if software development is in your future.

Women Use Tech to Answer NGO's Missions

The nonprofit sector has shown growth of women in technology management positions remains central to NGO's (non-governmental organizations) missions, according to a story by Leon Kaye on TriplePundit. NGO uses tech to transform lives and raise millions of dollars.

Kaye wrote of the inspiration these women provide by pushing social change worldwide and in their organizations.

Jennifer Douglas, executive vice president and chief information officer of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said information technology helps her colleagues see results.

"Technology is not about the tool itself; it's about the organization's strategy," Douglas said during a Dreamforce Idea Forum earlier this month. One part of the MS Society's strategy uses social media to help raise millions of dollars.

Expect More Harassment Allegations in the Tech Industry

Some women in Silicon Valley expect more allegations of harassment, which isn't surprising.

The climate of the industry became inhospitable with its gender imbalance. Rare is the person who doesn't feel uncomfortable upon realizing there's no one around like them. With no more than a quarter of tech industry employees made up of women, and barely more than 10% of the executives, change has been slow.

The New Yorker's Sheelah Kolhatkar reports that through years of failed attempts to resolve harassment complaints through HR or lawsuits, women have found another method. This method is one we're all hearing about, as Kolhatkar says, "women have found a path that produces results: gathering an unimpeachable number of witnesses and going public."

Hiring Trends Point to Slow Change in Diversity

If hiring trends continue, it won't be until 2070 that women catch up to white men in technology employment rates. Tack on another 15 years for African-American representation to match it.

The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council estimates generations will pass before the rates match. According to the Boston Globe story, 5.3% of white males work in computer jobs, while approximately 2% of women, African-Americans, and Latinos are in the same fields.

Angular and Swift Most Popular with Developers—for Now

Stack Overflow data shows Swift, Apple's programming language, and Angular, Google's web framework, are most popular.

The Q&A site for professional and enthusiast programmers bases its data off its "questions by" tag.

Other popular topics include IDE Android Studio, iPad, and TensorFlow.

Technologies showing a loss of interest by developers on Stack Overflow include JavaScript framework Backbone.js, game engine Cocos2d, Silverlight, and Flash framework Flex.

But don't base your career just on these popularity figures. Look where the jobs are to see if your interests match them.

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