Tech Blitz: Facebook Developers Attract Women and Minorities

Izenda Content Strategist

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More Women Attend Facebook's Developers' Conference

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 that should be shared or have a comment, send it to me via email.

Facebook Developers' Conference Attracts More Women, Minorities
More women and minorities were attending Facebook's annual developers' conference, F8, this week (April 18-19, 2017), according to demographics shared with TechCrunch. Women who registered represented a nearly 5 percent increase from last year, up to 28.7 percent.

While F8's demographics show it's more racially diverse, it's not the same when it comes to gender. Facebook said racial minorities make up just 10 percent of its U.S. employees, but attendees of these underrepresented ethnicities in tech reached 19.3 percent. But while 33 percent of its employees are female, only 28.7 percent of 58 attendees are female.

Workers Assembling iPhones Stuck in Monotonous Job
After spending a few weeks one summer at a window assembly plant, I don't envy a New York University student who worked long overtime hours at a factory in China assembling iPhones in a six-week project. His 12-hour days included typical tasks such as inserting a single screw into iPhones on the assembly line, repeating that task for hours for pay reportedly slightly higher than minimum wage in Shanghai, China, according to a Business Insider report.

Like hundreds of thousands of workers in China, Dejian Zeng slept in a shared dorm room and ate most meals at the factory canteen. The difference between him and other workers was that as a grad student at NYU, he didn't need to work.

During the day, he and other workers slept in a shared dorm room. The cycle started over again every evening for six days a week. Rest seemed to be the main concern for workers caught in long hours with few breaks and lots of monotony.

VA Plans to Leave Software to the Experts
At least one federal agency plans to get out of the software development business. Acting Veterans Affairs CIO Rob Thomas revealed the plan at the Government Information Technology Executive Council Summit earlier this month, according to a FedScoop.com report.

"We're getting out of the software development business - it's not a core competency," acting VA CIO Rob Thomas said.

The VA will go full into commercial, doing software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service. The VA still has some systems running on COBOL programming. Thomas said they've made modernizing those systems the top priority for this year.

(Also check out FedScoop's "Top Women in Tech 2017" list.)

Microsoft Joins Push into Serverless Computing
Developers won't have to spin up virtual machines, worry about installing applications, or managing other elements of the system if people like Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich have their way.

Developers have fewer worries in spinning up virtual machines as the code is handled directly by the cloud service, with pre-defined events triggering actions. As is the case for most cloud services, developers and companies get charged based on the resources applications use.

"This is like a nirvana for developers," Russinovich said at the company's Redmond headquarters last week, according to GeekWire.

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