John M

The J stands for John – jQuery

I got a badge!

I got a badge!

I don’t really think I’m an expert in anything but I also wouldn’t call myself an intermediate. I’m a comp sci major so I’ve definitely coded before but there’s also a lot I don’t know about coding! I actually thought this was a bit harder than I thought. I haven’t really done much programming on websites – outside of basic HTML/CSS – so I wanted to try out jQuery. I’ve learned a few languages but it’s really weird coding websites. The syntax is markedly different from C-based languages – python, Java, C++. Lots of parenthesis, dollar signs and nesting functions. The tutorial was pretty helpful and jQuery was great because of how visual it was. There’s something very rewarding about jQuery’s animations and special effects.

I think coding is important and Code Academy is a good avenue to learn but I still think there’s nothing like having someone who cares about the subject and the learner. A physical coding camp, a friend or a class would, in my opinion, be the best way for a complete beginner.

One Industry, Two Genders and All Kinds of Games

Gaming has traditionally been dominated by men but the gap has decreased year after year with 2014 being another landmark year of growth for the entire industry and for women. There are a lot of pervasive stereotypes in the gaming industry and community but a big one that I have always had is one of age and sex. It is easy to think when playing most first-person shooters or browsing some dark corner of 4chan that the majority of gamers are teenage boys who have not fully matured yet. In fact, that seems to be completely wrong and more people should realize how diverse the gaming demographic actually is. In fact, there are almost as much women playing games than men.


Women and Technology circa 1980’s

1980’s saw a real growth in technology both in the scientific field and in the consumer industry. Women had a large impact in both and here are some things related to women and technology in the decade.

Women in Science and Technology Equal Opportunity Act, 1980

Photo from the Digital Library of Purdue University.

Photo from the Digital Library of Purdue University. Photo source.

This bill was created with the intent to “encourage the full participation of women in scientific, professional and technical fields.” It was meant to assure equal opportunity to study, train and work in technology fields for women. It was introduced in 1979 and passed the Senate, the House and was signed by the President in 1980.

For additional reading about the Women in Science and Technology Equal Opportunity Act, see this link.

NPR Archives

Photo from Yahoo Tech Blogs.

Photo from Yahoo Tech Blogs. Photo source.

This photo shows three women in an NPR radio studio cutting tape for the air. A new blog has popped up that is devoted to archiving NPR’s last thirty years. There are a lot of interesting photos and stories about the general past of the seminal radio station but this photo shows how women were involved with the content and also the technology side of the station.

For additional reading about the NPR Archives, see this link.

Cincinnati State’s Workshops

Photo from Cincinnati State Archives.

Photo from Cincinnati State Archives. Photo source.

Cincinnati State hosted a workshop, “Expanding Non-Traditional Career Options for Women.” Outside of being an incredibly descriptive titled, the workshop encouraged any women to join “non-traditional” fields like computing or, at this time, any STEM field.

For additional reading about Cincinnati State’s past efforts to bring more women in computing, see the link.

IBM Fellow – Francis Allen

Photo from Vonguard's Flickr Album.

Photo from Vonguard’s Flickr Album. Photo source.

As seen in the photo, Frances Allen is standing beside the IBM 7030 which she helped create due to her huge body of work and expertise in compilers. Allen was a part of the first generation of women who joined IBM Researchers in the 50’s. In 1989, she became the first female IBM Fellow. This award honors her “sustained history of technical achievements and business accomplishments.”

For additional reading about Francis Allen, see link.

“Women as Computer Scientists” Campaign

Photo from the Minnesota News Entity, MinnPost.

Photo from the Minnesota News Entity, MinnPost. Photo source.

This picture was a part of a marketing campaign created by the Babbage Institute, an archives and research center for computing, designed to normalize the image and idea of women as computer users. This was incredibly important in the past to encourage women to do fields like computer science. This campaign is still incredibly important today.

For additional reading about the decreasing numbers of women in the computing field, see the link.

Proposed course: The New Literacy

The course would be titled The New Literacy. The final product would be an iPhone app and the whole course would be geared toward teaching students all of the processes that go into making the app, ie design, coding, graphics, layout, etc.

The course would have no prerequisites and it would be 3 hours. Ideally everyone would have to take this course and it would count toward common curriculum. For students who are more experienced in any aspect of the course there would be an option to work either in groups or individually if they feel they would like to be challenged more.
The course would go over design and layout, using adobe products such as photoshop, indesign, illustrator and premiere (they would be required to host a video in their app). Then they would move into the coding aspect of the course, it would also cover some of the logic behind coding.
At the end of the semester students will present their iPhone app to the class and constructive criticism will be offered.