Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Mozilla NZ

The last couple of weeks were quite exciting in the Mozilla Auckland office: interns Michael Ventnor and Brian Birtles started, and new hire Jonathan Kew was visiting. Michael has been working on bugs related to text-shadow and box-shadow, and is looking for more GTK integration projects. Brian will be working on SMIL. Jonathan is working on text and fonts; his current project is implementing Core Text integration for Mac while fixing some blocker bugs on the side. Everyone else is busy with their usual stuff; Karl just landed downloadable fonts support for GTK/Pango on trunk.

On Friday we went out for a Christmas-y dinner bash at Al Dente.

Mozilla NZ dinner


(Rhetorical Question)
Why are there no women?
Sebastian Redl
Look harder.
Robert O'Callahan
While it's true there are two women in the photo (and one more taking the photo), it's also true that there are no female developers in the Mozilla NZ office.
That's because women who do our sort of work are rare. They do exist --- I know a few --- but the ones I know are in the USA and busy being professors or cashed-up Google zillionaires or are otherwise happy where they are. I would hire a qualified female applicant in a heartbeat if one appeared; none has.
The reasons for this unfortunate situation are complex and controversial and not well understood by me, so I won't try to explain. You can read a lot of research on this subject. It's definitely not just a Mozilla problem or a NZ problem, it's a world-wide, industry-wide problem.
It's not even a problem.
Of course its a problem...
Its worthwhile to have a different kind of view in every workspace(a woman's brain work differently from a man´s) so its problem that there's so few woman working in our field.
Plus its more fun to hang out in a diversified ambient &etc&etc
First, it's not a problem if they don't want to do it. And they don't, mostly.
Second, you're wrong. Variety is the spice of life, but nobody believes that all recipes should be 50% salt: you add a LITTLE for flavor. It's possible to have too much of a good thing. Massive diversity is not a strength, it's a headache. Human nature is what it is and no amount of wishful thinking and fantasizing will change it.
Freedom is the answer. Let women do what they want, but if they don't want to be computer scientists and programmers, then so what. And if employers don't want to hire them, then so what -- according to you, they're only hurting themselves and should be out of business in short order relative to an "enlightened" employer.