066 RR Rails Bridge with Sarah Mei

00:00 4476
Download MP3

1:39 - RailsBridge


JAMES : So congratulations Papa Grimm! AVDI : Thank you. Thank you very much. JAMES : Say your daughter's name for me. AVDI : Ylva. DAVID : Does it require the facial expression that I can hear you making over the call? [laughter] JAMES : Yes.[This podcast is sponsored by New Relic. To track and optimize your application performance, go to rubyrogues.com/newrelic.]**[Hosting bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net.]**[This episode is sponsored by JetBrains, makers of RubyMine. If you like having an IDE that provides great inline debugging tools, built-in version control and intelligent code insight and refactorings, check out RubyMine by going to jetbrains.com/ruby.]**CHUCK: Hey everybody! And welcome to Episode 66 of the Ruby Rogues podcast. This week on our panel, we have James Edward Gray. JAMES : Hello! CHUCK: We also have David Brady. DAVID : Hey everybody! CHUCK: We have Josh Susser. JOSH : Hey again! CHUCK: Avdi Grimm. AVDI : Hello! And while it's true I am sick today with rumors that the virus has taken control of some of my brain functions are completely unfounded. Although I do have an inexplicable urge to climb to the top of a bladed glass until I’m eaten by a sheep. CHUCK:(laughs) I'm Charles Max Wood fromdevchat.tv . And this week we have a special guest and that is Sarah Mei. Is it 'Mei' or 'Mai'? SARAH : Mei. Yup, you got it. CHUCK: From Rails Bridge. You want to introduce yourself real quick and tell us about yourself. SARAH : Sure. CHUCK: I guess the two are the same, right? It must be early. Anyway, go ahead. SARAH : Yeah, it's early here too. My name is Sarah Mei. I'm a Ruby developer at Pivotal Labs and I also, about 3 years ago, co-founded a non-profit called Rails Bridge, and our goal is to make the Ruby and Rails community open to people that historically have been under represented. Our main project right now is workshops that we put on for women who want to learn Ruby. We've been doing those for about 3 years in San Francisco. They're free workshops. We've released all of our materials and all of our stuff, sort of running it like an open source project even though there's not a whole lot of code involved. We take pool requests and we are expanding to a bunch of other cities. We've had quite a few Rails Bridge workshops before conferences. We have one in Madison, I believe this month. And we've had a lot of people go and run their own conference or run their own workshops somewhere else following our pattern which has been really awesome too. And over that time, my original goal in doing this was to not be the only woman at the San Francisco Ruby meet ups. We pretty much accomplished that in the first year. I think we're sort of holding steady at about 20% women at the Ruby meet ups in San Francisco. And so after that happened, then I started expanding a little bit what my goals with the program were. One of the things I realized is that I really like Ruby and I really like the Ruby community and I would like it to continue to thrive. And for most open source communities, that means bringing new people in. So my goal now is to bring a lot of new people into Ruby and show them how awesome it is. CHUCK : Awesome. So I remember, man when was it? It was 2008, I think I was at Rails Conf and I was talking to some folks and I think it was Dana Jones. Is that right? I think she was talking about it. SARAH : Yeah. We had a lot of people who started out helping us out on Rails Bridge when we first founded it. And they all did a bunch of different projects and some of them are still running today. We have, there's a Rails Mentors Program, there's the BugMash. Rails Bugmash is a Rails Bridge project. And those projects kind of come and go as people have time to do them. The workshops seem to have a life of their own. But we do have other projects that we're working on and once in a while we can make progress on one of those too, but this is all in our free time. JAMES : So right. Just going off of what I've gleaned from Josh here, but it sounds like you had pretty sweeping success here. I mean you've mentioned that the attendants of the meet ups is going up. Doesn’t like GoGaRuCo have a very large number of women speakers this year do largely into your efforts and stuff? SARAH : Probably not due to my efforts. Probably mostly due to Josh's efforts but I think that one of the things that's interesting that I was reading about is that, if you have a start up company and there's a woman in your founding group even if she's not an engineer, that makes it much more likely that as the company grows, you'll have a more balanced engineering team. And the theory there is that, if you're not the first one, it's a lot easier. So I think the fact that Sandy was already signed up for the conference made it more comfortable for women to submit proposals. And then I think what Josh did was sort of the blind reading of the proposals also helped. JOSH : Yeah. There was an idea that I think I mentioned on the last podcast we did that I got reading Eric Reese’s blog talking about diversity and hiring. And they blinded the resumes to the identity of the candidate and Eric found that, "Oh wow! Suddenly, I have a lot more women who are coming in for interviews." So we just wanted to that in general for not just for diversity but for also for balancing against celebrities versus new speakers. But I think the thing that really made that possible is that we had so many women who submitted proposals this year. SARAH : Yeah. I'd do a little bit of cheer leading in that regard. JOSH : Yeah. DAVID : That's awesome. That’s pretty neat. CHUCK: So I want to clarify something really quickly about Rails Bridge. Rails Bridge is about helping people come into the community, right? SARAH : Uh-Huh. CHUCK: So I think a lot of people kind of get a little confused and they think that it's all about bringing women into the community and I've seen some of the Rails Bridge events and it seems like they're open to anybody and not just to women and I'm hoping you can clarify some of that. SARAH : Yeah. Personally I'm interested in bringing in all types of new people. I think that we have, had most success with our gender-based stuff. Because the woman who runs it with me, Sarah Allen, she and I know a lot of women which makes it really easy to recruit people. Just show up to the workshop at least initially when we were getting going. And we don't have a lot of contacts in other like communities of color for example. So we've been looking for partners to help us. We talk to those communities as well, but like I said about the events, our events are open to everyone. Our goal is really to introduce people to the Ruby community. So we really want the Ruby community to come out and teach, or TA, volunteer, help us out or even attend; maybe bring someone, family member to be a student because we really want to integrate them into the community. We don't want a little pot of women who know Ruby and they only know each other. We really want them to become part of the local community that they live in. CHUCK: So how do you find people that are interested in joining the community in your area? SARAH : Well in San Francisco, we haven't thought about that too much because our events tend to fill out within a few days of posting them. We seem to have an inexhaustible supply. CHUCK: Right. SARAH : But we have done a little bit of raising of people we know who are Java developers or PHP developers, and trying to get them to come. We got actually a lot people who are project managers or program managers, companies that use Rails and just want to get a little bit of experience with what their engineers are doing. And I actually think that that's perfectly, I support that use of our workshops. I think that raising the sort of the ambient level of tech awareness among the women that are at tech companies, even if they’re not going to become engineers is a worthwhile thing. DAVID : So Sarah, part of your answer was that you already have traction and Chuck's question was kind of like how do you get traction. I'm going to circle back and pin you down a little bit, because my next question is very, very specifically personal to me is that I want to get started with Rails Bridge. I want to start putting these on out here in Utah and we don't have a lot of traction. SARAH : Right. DAVID : Question in two parts: one is how do we get traction bringing in people out? And second one is, I'm a white dude in Utah. How do I get started with Rails Bridge? How do I help foster this? How do I put up on event and make this happen? SARAH : Well to comeback, I think I misunderstood your question a little bit earlier, so the traction question. I think that when we were first getting started, we had a lot of people, men from the community who brought their significant others or their sisters or their mom, that kind of stuff. So a lot of our initial students were somehow related to people who are already in the community. And you'd be surprised how many wives for example, want to know what their husbands are doing or at least want a little bit of experience with it. DAVID**: (That is brilliant).SARAH : So that's for me, I think that’s the best way to start , I think, reaching out to the community you have and saying that, "Look, I know you've got a woman in your life somewhere that wants to check this out so why don't you bring her to this event?" And in terms of getting started, in terms of doing a workshop in your area, we've been trying to release all of our stuff, like I said before, release all of our notes on how we do it. We found that it's not really sufficient that there's something missing that can't really pick up from reading about what we do for some reason. And so we've had a lot of success with having people come and observe one of our workshops or observe one that's at a conference that they’re nearby to. And so that they get a feeling for what it is and then at that point, I think the written materials are really useful that talk about what to look for in a space, what you're needing in terms of volunteers, what types of problems you'll run into installing Rails on people's machines and that kind of stuff. DAVID : So it's like the bird flu. Go somewhere and get infected, then go home and spread it. SARAH: Exactly. [laughter]JOSH : Nice. CHUCK: So I'm also wondering, have you interacted with other organizations that do the same kind of thing? I mean, I think it was in March, I talked to Heather Payne from Ladies Learning Code. Do you ever like collaborate with each other and put things on? SARAH : We do. It's a pretty small community. I mean the Rails community in general is pretty small. But the development community, even I would say is pretty small. We all kind of know each other. There is an organization called PyStar which is doing something very similar with Python. There's an organization called Confident Coding I think. Confident Coding that is doing like this for JavaScript. And we also have, within San Francisco; we also have the Women Who Code Group. We have a few more other groups I think. We have Black Girls Code. And so we've been doing, certainly been trying to do join events; we've been moving people back and forth, doing talks in each other's things. I think one of the things that Rails Bridge hasn't done that well is help people follow up. So once they take the workshop, what's the next step? And so it's been really good for us to interact with some of these other groups because we can say, "Oh! Well what you should do is you should go to the Ladies Who Code meet up next week.", or "You should go to this meet up that's happening for Black Girls Code. You should volunteer at this class that they're teaching." So that kind of stuff has been really good for us to complement, I guess what we could do. JOSH : I'm curious in terms of numbers. I remember when Rails Bridge got started, one of the specificals you had with that, half of the attendees at GoGaRuCo would be women. SARAH : We still have that goal. JOSH : Okay. I can't give you numbers on our registration at this point, but we're not quite there yet. SARAH : Yeah. Yeah. JOSH : However, I think it is making progress. I think the sign up so far is, the number of women there has probably doubled the weight of our first goal at a Ruby Conference. SARAH : Yeah, the first one there was 6 of us. JOSH : Well there's many more than that signed up now. Yeah and I think part of that is definitely what's going on with Rails Bridge and the fact that there are just more women in the community. You know there's more speakers. The thing that disappointed me a bit this year is that our set of speakers were still white. SARAH : Yeah, maybe they should work with Black Girls Code and see what we can do for next year. JOSH : Okay. Sarah, maybe you can talk a little bit about like, I don't know, the challenges that you've been facing or dealing with and where are the directions that you're focusing your efforts now. Or was that too vague? SARAH: (laughs) Well I guess it means I can interpret it however I want, right?JOSH : Sample question. CHUCK:(laughs) I like the way you think. That doesn't work with my clients by the way.**SARAH : I always do that. I think, so one of things that we've been really trying to do is make it so that the organization doesn't depend on any one person running it. There's a book called, “The Starfish and The Spider", which is about leaderless organizations and how the starfish, you know you cut a starfish into pieces and each one grows a new starfish, right? And it's sort of the same methodology like Alcoholics Anonymous runs which is basically like anyone can just decide to start a group and call it Alcoholics Anonymous. And as long as they're doing the steps that are there in the book, that's what they want you to do. That's the goal of the organization. So we're trying to adopt the similar strategy where we really want people to try it out and do a Rails Bridge workshop if they want to. We've tried to lay down in some of our materials what it is that makes a Rails Bridge workshop a Rails Bridge workshop. And that's definitely a working progress that we're getting a lot of great feedback on actually so it's been good. But so organizationally, we are trying to make it so we can, so that Sarah Allen and I can be not necessarily critical to the organization itself, which is actually a pretty tough thing to do. JAMES : Sarah, I think Dr. Ned's given a talk several times about the groups that teach you how to do speeches and stuff. I think its Toastmasters. And they do that really well. Like they literally, have this group and they basically teach you how to go out and run a Toastmasters group and just kind of spread virally like that. And he talks about how he thinks what Ruby and Rails community should adopt that strategy that that's the winning strategy. SARAH : Ah! That's interesting. I didn't know Toastmasters did that. CHUCK: Yeah. It's also interesting to me that you know you have these different kind of meet ups, it seems like most of the, like just the users groups that I go to are pretty, they all follow the same format where you have a couple of guys that have prepared some topic that they're going to talk about. They get up. They walk through their slides, maybe do a little live coding and that's it. And so the idea of kind of doing a workshop is, it kind of gives a different flavor to a community event. And I think it will be interesting to see where it goes. I'm with Dave on really wanting to see something like that come here to Utah and see things benefit there. DAVID : Yeah. SARAH : We're trying to make it easier to start your organization, so we would love to have your feedback on how it works, if it works. We do have a decent amount of sponsorship money available that we can put towards events. We've got a really generous donation from Heroku and just a few other companies so we're trying to figure out like how can we spread this geographically; how can we spread this to other communities that we're not currently not serving. So those are our expansion plans. CHUCK: Well it's an interesting thing to not just from the sense of diversifying the community, but as you probably see in San Francisco and as we definitely see out here in Utah as well, there are way more jobs, way more seats for people to sit down and code for a living than there are people who will actually do it. SARAH : Oh definitely. CHUCK: There is just a huge shortage of technologists who can get in and do the work in Rails and so we would benefit from in that way too. And I worry a little bit sometimes because there is such a high demand for Ruby and Rails developers and that some companies might actually move away from it, not because of the technology, but because they can't find enough people to do the job. SARAH : Yeah, I thought about that too. We definitely... JOSH : I see people did that too. DAVID : Yeah, I've seen companies do that. SARAH : Yeah, I mean in San Francisco I get, I don't know, probably 2 to 3 recruiting emails a day for companies in the city that doesn't even include companies in the valley. And we do see a lot of, there's been a program running in San Francisco I think it's called "Dev Bootcamp", where the idea is that they all teach you Rails but they also teach you TDD and pair programming and sort of the Agile way of doing things in addition to the technology. And at the end of 8 weeks, they try to place you as a Junior Developer and that's how they make their monies, by using the referral fees they get from them, the placement. They also charge tuition. I believe how it works is that if they place you, then they refund part of the tuition from the fee that they get. So they've had a lot interest in that program. I think they had, I heard something like they had 40 slots and like 300 people applying for it. So it's not that there's a lack of people that want to do this but I feel like there's a lack of a road, a clear road to go from, "I want to do this" to actually doing it. DAVID : Well that's almost inherent in just like the Ruby ecosystem, right? I mean ‘cause there's an infinite number, there's not just a hundred ways to skin a cat, there's an infinite number of ways to skin a cat. And sometimes that can lead to, “optional paralysis” but at the same time, it’s what has enabled us as a community to get really, really offended at a pornographic talk and say, "You know what, as a community why don't we just put a stop to sexism?" And I really think those go hand in hand. SARAH : I agree. I think that the Ruby community is really awesome. There are a lot of communities where that kind of thing happens and it's just kind of, no one ever says anything, kind of fades into the ether. And that's one of the reasons why I'm so interested in keeping it around. Certainly, it's an amazing collection of people. And personality is, you know, sometimes conflicting but it's always interesting. That's for sure. And I think that I wouldn't be bringing women into this program, into the Ruby community if I thought I was bringing them into somewhere hostile or unwelcoming. JOSH : Okay, I was at the Steel City Ruby Conf last week, which was excellent and especially for our first year of conference they did an amazing job with it. I'm looking forward to go back next year. One of the things that really struck me about the conference was just that the focus on diversity was really obvious. It was just the feel of that conference was really different from a lot of other conferences I've been to. I think part of it was that the main organizer was a woman, so she definitely had the perspective of keeping an eye out for various things. But the content of the program, there were all of these talks that weren't about writing code; they were about being someone who's part of our community. SARAH : That's interesting. JOSH : So they had a whole talk about social justice and like a DSL for social justice and how do you talk and communicate about these concepts effectively. JAMES : That's awesome. SARAH : 'Cause the talk that I remember... Not the talk that I remember. The talk that I liked the best from the first Golden Gate Ruby Conference was the one about going to Africa and writing Rails apps to help them manage their health care. JOSH : Yeah, that's Jacqui Maher’s talk. SARAH : That's right. JOSH : About going to, I think it's Malawi where she spent a summer during an open source hacking there. SARAH . Yeah that kind of stuff. I just love that kind of stuff. JOSH : Yeah, that's the only conference talk I've seen that brought tears to people's eyes. SARAH : Yeah, that was pretty awesome. JOSH : Anyway, back to Steel City, just the whole vibe at the conference was really, like it was a really different vibe that I am used to from conferences. I'm not saying that other conferences had bad vibes. I go to a Ruby conference and I always feel like I'm at home and there's a group of friends and all that, but I think maybe more people felt that way at this conference. SARAH : That's interesting. How do think they did that? JOSH : Well they had an anti-harassment policy that featured prominently in their website and their communications. DAVID : That was the first thing I heard about them actually. JAMES : Woohoo! JOSH : Yeah, so I think that set the tone or help to set the tone. And then there is a diverse set of speakers and the content of the program, they crafted it to address a lot of these issues. I don't know what they did in terms of community outreach or where they advertised the conference, but just the group of people that I saw there, it was, it seemed pretty diverse. It wasn't just like a bunch of the Silicon Valley programmer dudes that I'm used to seeing there. It was pretty cool. Maybe that's just like what the Pittsburgh area is like in terms of the programmer demographic there. It could be. I'm not familiar with what things are like in that area. JAMES : I think that's a great sign of change though, that we can get together. I mean yeah, we should talk about programming but that's only one side of what we do especially in terms of like community and stuff. If we can't interact with each other well and avoid saying stupid or alienating things or stuff like that, then that's not cool. So it's great for us to also talk about those sides of things. CHUCK: And I think it's interesting too, I just want to point out that, I mean if it weren't for the Ruby community, I would probably be working in another community that's fun and interesting, you know, similar to what we have here. You know the Ruby programming language is terrific and don't get me wrong, I love it. But you know honestly, it's the personal interactions for me that really, really sell the language. It's the ability to get in and learn from smart people and kind of become better and all of the things that you get from the community. And so when we're talking about it, yeah, talking about code is one thing that is important that we all get better at that but we want to build this community into the thing that we ultimately see that we’ll get us where we want to be. SARAH : Yeah, absolutely. JAMES : The community is kind of one of the killer features of Ruby, right? JOSH : Now Sarah, Rails Bridge has like sponsors right? And they have companies that they interact with. Is there ever any sort of like “sales pitch” that you make to them about the value of diversity and why it's worth them investing in that? SARAH : That would probably be a good idea for us to put something like that together. JOSH : Okay. SARAH : I mean we're a bunch of programmers and I think that the thing that we do the least well is communicate with people about what we're doing and why we're doing it, although maybe actually event planning might be our worst part of doing it; but definitely the PR and the explanation aspect of things that we are trying to improve. I mean I think when we do talk to companies, a lot of companies kind of have already decided that they want to have more women in their development team. And that's why they're talking to us at all. So I think that we generally don't have to make the argument that they need us. Generally, we need to instead just try and figure out how we can help them find the people that they want to find as part of their sponsorship. But I've been surprised actually that maybe that is more of a San Francisco thing, I guess it's not so common in other parts of the country. But I went to a conference about a year ago now in New York and there are some really interesting, it was actually a Social Science Research Conference. And they were presenting current research on gender and diversity and creativity. One of the interesting things I talked about was the fact that, if you have a team of people solving a problem and one team has visual diversity to it; meaning gender diversity, racial diversity, to a search tech class diversity. Then even if they look on paper like they're not as qualified as the other teams, they will do better in the problem solving process. And the theory there is that when you are interacting with people who look different from you that you're not used to seeing, it gets your brain out of the same old, same old everyday group. And it gets you into a more creative space because your brain is already kind of out of its normal thing. The way they put it was it helps you think outside the box 'cause you're a little bit already outside of it while you're interacting with people that look different from you. DAVID : You don't think outside the mono-culture suddenly things that there aren't just many things that are automatically out of scope? SARAH : Right. JAMES : Yeah, plus those people bring different biases to the table. So they're looking at the problems through a different lens, so they challenge their thinking and etc. CHUCK:**I was hoping I could just add that flare by showing up dressed up and start to maul. [laughs]JOSH : That usually works. SARAH : Yeah. I think that will work too. JAMES : Some of us are Jedis. Some of us are Siths. That's just the way it is. JOSH : Sarah, one of things that I've heard is that teams that have diversity on them already find it easier to hire. SARAH : Yeah, I think that's the “it's-easy-as-not-to-be-first” syndrome. CHUCK: Can I clarify something for a minute? They find it easier to hire in general? JOSH : Yes. CHUCK: Or easier to hire people who fit that kind of minority whatever? JOSH : Well it turns out that both men and women prefer to work on balanced teams. So you know hiring people becomes easier if it's not a mono-culture. CHUCK: I'll let Sarah finish what she was saying. Sorry, I just wanted to clarify that. SARAH : No worries. JOSH : Good point though. SARAH : I think that makes a lot of sense to me personally and I think that there are some research to back that up especially like I mentioned before, that if you've got a visible founder on your team who is female, it is much easier to find, to develop a balanced engineering culture. And I think that that's also true that you sort of get a critical mass at some point if you're like in some organizations where it's just like, "Okay, now we're like  we’re not going to be balanced but at least it would feel a little bit normal. Like a little more like real life." And that feels good. It feels good to work on teams that are not all the same as me. JAMES : So I'm curious to take the topic into kind of a different direction. We've talked a lot about getting traction, how to get people there and stuff like that but I'm just curious when you do the Rails Bridge workshops and such, do you do anything differently knowing that you have a diverse audience? SARAH : You mean do I do it differently from how I would teach sort of more typical Ruby audience? JAMES : Right, exactly. SARAH : No. I think that what we do is very individual. What we try to do is put people in various small groups with other students that have similar backgrounds. So if we've got 3 PHP people, we'll put them altogether with one teacher. If we have 6 graphic designers, we'll put them together with one teacher. And we encourage our teachers to go off the rails, so to speak, to explore the curriculum in terms of whatever their group of students is actually interested in. And we try to make it so that people really enjoy what they're doing. So they feel like they're actually making something. I think everyone likes to make stuff. One of the things that we do is that we make sure, we use Heroku and we make sure that you push your app out even if it really doesn't do anything. Push your app out to Heroku before lunch, in theory. And the nice thing about that is like a lot of people have never done something like that before. Now they've got a website with its own URL that they can like show their friends. And I think that that has a broad base of appeal to lots of different types of people. It might be a little different I guess from somehow traditional programming is taught, but I do think that it is, that a lot of people seem to like that method. CHUCK: Nice. So I want to ask and this is going to take us off topic a little bit. We've talked a lot about the workshops. What are the other aspects of Rails Bridge? 'Cause I know that there's more there than just the workshops. SARAH : We have some projects that have been active recently. We have the Rails BugMash, which we haven't had one of those for a little while but the organizers are still around. One of the interesting things about that is that, there's Santiago Pastorino, who's on Rails Core, got his first commit to Rails through the BugMash, one of our BugMashes and now he's on Rails Core. So there we go. And we're trying to also; we're trying to develop programs that will help us get more people in. And we've been focusing as you said mostly on the workshops, both organizationally and I guess also today we're in the podcast. But we're actually open to taking other projects under our wing. It's more like the way that we work is that if someone is interested in doing a project and it looks like it fits our mission broadly enough, then they can do that under name if they want to and we can help them find sponsors and things like that. So we've had a lot of sort of one-off projects that happen, workshops and other things and events. And so if you have a project that you're thinking about, that seems like it might be a fit for the type of thing we're trying to do that, broadly speaking, try to bring us more people into the Rails community then. We can help with organizational and sponsorship and stuff like that. CHUCK: Alright. Cool. DAVID : So I've got another off topic question. This is a tricky question for me to phrase which will become evident and the reason why it will become evident is so I figured out how to ask it. As two cultures begin to assimilate each other, at the outset, there's this sense of alienness, right? I've been very quiet during this episode and everyone thinks that I'm a spaz. I have got just all these jokes in my head going through and I'm like, "Nope, that’s a dick joke", "Nope, that’s a fart joke", "Nope, that's another dick joke." And I'm like, I'm still running consciously, running the rules of, "You can't do that because there's a lady on the show" and that's sexist or that's just coarse. You know what I mean? There's a point when the communities have assimilated enough that suddenly if the other person is a real person and there's... I had it described to me really well. Back in the 60’s of one of my professors was in band and they have a black bassist and they were waiting for the bus and the bassist dropped his bass on this dressed suit white, dropped it on his foot very consciously, slowly and deliberately. And this professor turned to me and was like, "Ah! Damn it! What the hell did you do? You son of a bitch!" And the black guy looked at me and said, "Thank you for swearing for finally treating me like a real person instead of tip-toeing around me." So my question is how do you know when you've kind of reached that point of where suddenly everyone is treating everyone else like real people? And the second question is how do you get people through the alienness? How do get them to embrace that alienness? So that they can come to the other side, you know what I mean, the melting pot can kind of sort of like make a potpourri instead of this segregated amalgam. JAMES: Surgical implants. [laughter]SARAH: Definitely solution no. 1. I think that's a really interesting question. One of the things I was thinking about whenever we have one of this sort of incidents where we've got porn in a talk. One of things I think about is a fat guy, got up in front of an audience that was 50% women. I don't think he'd give that talk. I think part of the reasons these talks continue to pop out once in a while is that people are, they come to a conference and they see a lot of men, so that puts them in a particular frame of mind. And so I think that's just association and just being around each other, is what gets us through that alien period. And I do feel, I definitely agree with you. We're definitely in that alien period and I can feel that every time I go to a conference when people stop swearing when I walk up to the circle (same deal). I think we're still in that phase. I'm not sure what I can do, or what we can do to hurry us through it other than talk about it. I think explicitly talking about it is very, very helpful and so I'm glad you brought it up.DAVID : So are we saying that there's 3 phases here? There's the phase where that you walk to a group of guys who are talking like they're in the locker room and they ignore the fact that there's a woman present and keep talking that way. Phase 2 is, you walk up and they realized that what they're saying isn't appropriate and like all shut down the conversation and look awkward. And then Phase 3 is they just never have that conversation. SARAH : Yeah. I think that's a great way to put it. DAVID: I would say Phase 3 is the conversation shifts to something that is valid and in scope. In others, you go from telling dick and fart jokes to stop talking, to "Let's have a conversation that's appropriate for this context". I may be phrasing it badly. SARAH : Well on the other hand, I would like to get to the point where we can be... A big part of the Ruby community for me is not necessarily the technical aspects of it. It's the going to bars after the conference part, right? DAVID: Right. SARAH: Or going somewhere and being social with people. And I would like to get to the point where that's possible in mixed groups. I mean it's certainly possible right now, but I feel a lot times that's not what happens. Like a lot of times people go out with people they already know or something like that. But I would really like to get to the point where everyone feels comfortable enough around people that are different from them so that we can just all swear together. (laughs) We'll get there but I think that we have to try. One of the reasons that I'm trying to do this is so that someday I can actually go up to the speaker podium and look out at a set of conference attendees that are half women. 'Cause I think that really does, it changes... Some of you have been saying already. It changes the feeling of the room. It changes the feeling of who's there and what's going on, in my opinion in a positive way.JAMES: Yeah, if I look out and the room is half women, that's going to be awesome. But if I look out and the room is half Dell users, I mean I'm leaving. That's it. [laughter]DAVID : Those aren't people. Those aren't people. JAMES : You can go too far you know. DAVID : I laughed at Mountain West Ruby Conf this year because Angela Harms stood up in her talk and she dropped about 4 or 5 F-bombs. And on the 3rd one, she covered her mouth demurely and said, "Oh! There are ladies present." SARAH : She's got really a good way to disarm it. JAMES : She's really good at that actually. She will usually tell like, you know, a typical guy-like joke or something in a way to assert that she's here and she's part of this too and I like that about her. CHUCK: And I think part of what, going back to what Dave was talking about for a minute. For a long time even the guys on the show I kind of saw is that, that Ruby guy, you know that expert guy  that was kind of intimidating or this or that. You know what we kind of have the same thing in a different way with the people that we don't know that are different in the community. And really, I think what we need to do is just kind of humanize the people that are out there; the person that is a little bit different ethnically or is different because they're different gender or whatever. Their lifestyle or whatever anything you may know about them. We tend to categorize people and it's not until we kind of get to know those people that we really become familiar enough with them to treat them like just regular member of the community or a friend. And the issue is that even when we categorize people, it's really hard to know because someone you know like Angela Harms can drop an F-bomb and she could care less. And then there are other people out there, men and women, where if you're using that kind of language, they find it highly offensive. There's just really no way to know and so figuring out where that line is different for everybody. But if you kind of treat everybody like they're there and they are there for the same reason as you are, and they are interested in some of the same things you are and they just get to know them. A lot of times you can figure where that line is and then you can act appropriately to that. DAVID: You start to be able to discriminate between dick jokes and misogynist jokes. [laughter]JAMES : Right, exactly. AVDI : Now that's kind of a big deal too that, you know, discrimination. I think a lot of the confusion that I see in people that are upset by reaction to misogyny or whatever other kind of “isms” is, just not understanding that there's a difference, like what you say, there's a dick joke and something that's genuinely, you know not just offensive, but I think Steve Klabnik would say “oppressive”. SARAH : I would use the term 'alienating'. AVDI : Yeah, alienating. That's actually an excellent term because I do think that oppressive is kind of a strong word that maybe needs to be reserved for certain instances. CHUCK: Right, but it's still demeaning. AVDI : Or alienating. You're right. I think alienating is an excellent word. DAVID : Well Steve used that word very carefully because if you alienate a white dude, he's got 90% of the technical culture to go back to. If you alienate a black woman, she's alone. I think that's what he meant by oppressive. AVDI : Yeah, that's a good way to put it. The white dude is going to cry all the way to the bar and forget about it. It's that there is a difference between just being coarse, which we sometimes are in this community; and in saying things which make people feel uncomfortable, feel left out, feel like they're not part of the group and that's something that you can learn to differentiate. JOSH : One of the things that I realized earlier this year, I was at Mountain West and there was that ridiculous Pinterest for Dudes lightning talk that actually got David up on stage, trying to have a word. DAVID : Try not to do that Josh. I would not have had the courage to do that had you and Angela Harms not convince me that that was necessary. I was totally content to sit there and just let it go by. JOSH : Well good for you for stepping up man, but part of what came out of that conversation was some of the tweeting back and forth; somebody was saying, "How are we supposed to deal with this stuff? Like always censoring what we're saying and worrying about people's reactions etc.” And my response to that was, and I kind of spread myself saying it and now I like that position is that, “If you change the way you think about things, you really done have to think about censoring what you're saying.” JAMES : Right. JOSH : Change your thinking. It'll just naturally change what your thoughts and speech and actions are. If you don't think of women as being significantly different or less capable than male developers, then you don't have to worry about, "Oh! Am I going to say something that is alienating to women developers?" AVDI : That implies that they are less capable. That's completely true. Most of us don’t have a problem when we go into a corporate boardroom we're not like, "Ah man! Should I tell people about my bowel movement this morning or not?" DAVID: Yes! [laughter]CHUCK: Thanks Dave. AVDI : David Brady exploded. Most of us... DAVID : I feel oppressed. AVDI : It's not like we're constantly trying to figure out stuff like that because most of us have learned to think in a way to just sort of naturally understand what constitutes professional speech. CHUCK: Well the other thing is I think people; they make the assumption of, so for example in the development teams that I've been in, it's been very comfortable. In some cases, you could be actually extremely crude or crass. You know it was funny and it was all cool and I think some people kind of just extend that out to the community not realizing that there are other types out there. So while you're adapting the way you think and the way you perceive the community, at the same time just be aware. Just think about who might be there and the ways that they might construe what you're saying. SARAH : I think a lot of it comes down to being aware of the privilege that you have. You know I have privileges of a white person, but I don't have gender-privilege. But I can sort of like use that to think about and I've used that to sort of influence my thinking in terms of how I talk about people of color and things like that, and people of different genders. Because there are gender minorities even beyond sort of the difference between women and men, right? And we've been trying to welcome all types of people to our workshops. A lot of it is just thinking about a little bit, thinking about it from the point of view of what privilege do I have that might be influencing what I'm saying. And if you think about that then, I think as you said, overtime it provokes a natural change in how you speak. DAVID : I think I would tamper what Josh said about saying there’s an equal part. All humour is contextual. I'm going to go have lunch today with 3 people, all 4 of us. The reason we're going to have good lunch is we all have anxiety disorder. And there's going to be some comments and some humour made that is very specific to the fact and by the way, all 4 of us are white males who shave their heads and have beards. I mean we are going to look like a skinhead convention. Actually, we’re a pretty well temperament person that’s fairly well emotionally balanced except for the anxiety thing. One of the people that's coming is a person that he and I played a game that's called "What's the Most Horrible Thing You Could Possibly Say Right Now" and we play this game in private. CHUCK: I think I know who this other person is. DAVID : You probably do. It's Reddy Taylor on Twitter and he's a really, really good friend of mine. And he's an orphan. I insult him for being an orphan, you know like, "You're mom didn't die of because a drunk driver hit her. She was looking for a way out.", "Oh my gosh! That is the most horrible thing. Well I can't have kids." So he turns around and slings infertility jokes right back at me. And outside of the, I'll make this very clear to anybody listening to this show, it is not okay to walk up to me and make an infertility joke. Because that is a thing that Randy and I share that is contextual and when we are outside of that context, that goes out of bounds. I do totally agree that there are some things that you just need to grow up and let them go permanently out of bounds. Misogyny needs to go out of bounds. And it's something that's invisible to you at first especially if you grow in 70s Utah. JAMES: Oh, shut up and take it like a man. [laughter]DAVID : Yeah exactly. Anyway, there are things that in context and things that are out of context. James and I have made wheelchair jokes, that are okay because it's between me and James and there some of them that I tweeted, I can't remember what it was. It might have actually made into the public show but I think it was in the pre-call. And basically James said, "I laughed so hard and I fell out of my chair.", and I said, "Is that an approval or is that a cry for help?" And I tweeted something like that and then I realized: Wait, Twitter is in global context. There are some people who are going to be offended and hurt by this and so I pulled it down. James sent me a direct message, "Why did you pull that down? That was funny." and then I said, "Yeah, between you and me it's funny. But in global context, it's not." AVDI : It's more of familiarity. DAVID : Yeah. AVDI : And I don't think it specifically a Ruby thing, a geek thing or anything but you know, you have to realize that there are things that are, like you say, they're funny in context, they’re funny within that context of familiarity. I'm Jewish. I have a dear friend who can make the most horrible Jew jokes or Holocaust jokes or something to me and we laugh because we have that context, because we have that deep, deep familiarity. My wife and I joke around about being barefoot pregnant and in the kitchen. SARAH : I totally agree that the context is important and I think that's one of the reasons why some of the groups that Rails Bridge works with are actually do-do women only events. And part of that is to gain that context so that we have that context and so we can talk about things without having to explain to much about why we're doing it. And so, I personally believe that it's best to have mixed-gender events. But there are people in the sort of diversity and development community who believe they would like to have women only spaces and part of that is because it's so rare that we have so many of us together and we can have that context. And partially because I think that it's… sometimes when there's someone there that doesn't show that context, it can be hard to explain some of the stuff that we're talking about. DAVID : Like if I attend one of those meetings and I'm a well-intentioned spaz, and suddenly all of the women in the room shut down because of a statement I made that I'm completely ignorant to the fact that I’ve just given offense. Okay, that's a great learning opportunity for me but I'm wasting 20 people's time while I have my learning moment. And so I think there's value involved, mixed gender and also you know if some people... You know what my wife is an incredible introvert. She would much rather go to, she would feel much safer at one or two exclusively women events. SARAH : We've thought a lot about that in trying to, I thought about that in terms of should we do women only workshops and ultimately, we've decided that that is definitely a need in the community. But we think that there out there groups that's seem to be filling that up pretty well so we've decided to keep with our model. We do-do things like we also offer child care at the workshops, that kind of stuff, because a lot of women are sometimes single moms or maybe primary caretakers of their kids. 'Cause you know of course, being a programmer is a great thing to do part-time, so if you are a stay at home parent, you could be very liberating to learn how to program and to be able to do that part-time while your kids are at school or something like that. There's a whole demographic there that I think we haven't even really begun to reach yet. CHUCK: So we need to get with the picks pretty soon, is there any other aspects of the Rails Bridge or the workshops that you want to talk about before we wrap this up? DAVID : Have we talked about how to do it? If somebody wants to do a RailsBridge in their town, what should they do? Or if somebody wants to go volunteer and teach at a RailsBridge workshop, what should they do? SARAH : We have a list on our website of all the upcoming workshops and where they are, so volunteering is probably the best way to get started if there’s one in your area. The format of them is pretty much the same. We have an install fest the night before and usually like that's the most frustrating part from the whole process of doing this is installing Rails on people's various computers. And I've become sort of not by my own volition, but I've become an expert in installing Rails on Windows and I don't even have a Windows machine; but I just have to become that person. Then, we want people to go home and kind of sleep it off, the frustration of getting all of that stuff installed. And then we come in, in the morning and we do an all day workshop. And there's a couple of things we think are key to this experience and one is that we want to make that sure people get social time with the members of the community who are there. So we always bring in lunch so that we can have, people can have an hour, an hour and a half of social time with the teachers and TAs. Sort of interact with them more on a personal level and less on the student-teacher level. And then, we also have an after party, where we give drink tickets to the volunteers. And the nice thing about that is that it's another social opportunity for people to mix. It also encourages the volunteers to show up. So we really are focused on trying to get the community and the people who are at the workshop to interact, because on the theory that if you're going to come to a meet up, you might be more likely to go to a meet up where you know somebody than to a meet up that you have no idea who's going to be there. JOSH : Interesting. I've noticed that the San Francisco Ruby Meet Up Group keeps sending out announcements or maybe it's just Rails Bridge who's sending them out, but anyway, there's this repeating events that happen for students who've been through these workshops for them to regularly get together and practice their skills. SARAH . Yeah, we have people that are organizing follow up sort of hack nights kind of deals. And some people actually do want, as their personality as such, they really want to go through the entire curriculum and do everything in it. And other people have more of a, "I just want to play around and explore. I've got a project I want to work on." And one thing that we've discovered and I'm not quite sure why this is, the term “hack night” is a little bit intimidating to a lot of women even if they are developers, even if they're already developers. JAMES : So we have the same problem here at our local group, even though it's mostly male. We've actually looked into it quite a bit. It's like you say it's intimidating. From what people tell us they think, "Well I'm not skilled enough to pair with those people" or "I won't be able to follow what they're doing." Or whatever but I just wanted you to know, it's not a unique to women problem. Whenever, like if we all do a normal meeting with contents and stuff like that, we can sometimes get 20 people out if we hold the hack nights, it's like crickets. SARAH : Interesting. DAVID: Is “hack” a subtly gender-positive word? This will come out on my picks but there's some stereotypically sexist language, well stereotypically sexual language; would you get more female participation if you had a build night? SARAH : That's an interesting question. We have been calling some sort of workshop follow up meetings. Although, ultimately what they are hack nights and we've gotten a lot of mileage out of that but a build night, actually that's a great idea. CHUCK: Alright, well we need to wrap this up and get to the picks. DAVID: I just helped a woman on the show to accept a sexist term. What do I win? [laughter] A beating. It's going to be a beating isn't it?CHUCK: I'll pay Randy off to beat you up. Alright, let's get to the picks. Josh, why don't you start us off? JOSH: Oh okay, I can do that. Let's see. I have notes here. Okay. I don't know if this going to come off as inappropriate for this talk, but when I was at Steel City Ruby Conf last week one of the sponsors is this company called 4moms. And it's a woman-founded business. They were 4 moms who got together and created a business of creating like cool stuff for mothers. They had a device there which is like one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It was a baby stroller that had electric motors in it that would fold itself up so you could put it in the car and then you push a button and it unfolds itself into place. I took a video of it and it was amazing. I showed everyone in my family and they were like, "Okay, I got to get pregnant now so that I can go ahead and buy this." [laughter]JAMES : That is insanely cool. JOSH: So this pick is for Avdi because you have a new-born now. And it's just great. It's their origami stroller. It's amazing. And then while I was back home, while I was back in Pittsburgh, I was hanging out with my family, (that's where I grew up), and I started to teach my niece who's in middle school a little bit about programming, and I fired up Hackety Hack. We only had a few minutes to play with it but we're going to be Skype-ing every week and doing some programming stuff. And she just like got right into it and Hackety Hack was great to get it all set up. I did give kids really a shot and it was a little too much to deal with the installation, so we set that aside and worked with Hackety Hack and Hackety Hack was great and very straightforward. So, kudos to Steve Klabnik and the rest of the Hackety Hack folks because that was a much simpler experience and it worked well. And then the last thing that I'm going to pick here is the SkyCube Kickstarter Project. This is a friend of mine here in San Francisco who's an astronomer and a developer put together a Kickstarter project to launch a satellite. So, everyone's all excited about the curiosity Rover landing on Mars and taking pictures and all that and that caused billions of dollars. But everyone's saying, "Hey! Hey! That's a lot cheaper than the Olympics. We should more of those things, right?" So this is the way you can do more of these things and space explorations. So they have a Kickstarter project, they're raising money to launch a very small satellite into orbit on the Space-X Rocket. And then if you donate to the Kickstarter campaign, you get to do things like decide where on Earth the satellite is going to take photos of. So you can like program in some coordinates and say, "Hey! I want a picture of my house."**JAMES : You can also send Tweets from space. JOSH : Yes, you can tweet those photos from space. It's pretty cool. So I'll put a link to that in the notes and I put some money in this week. And George Takei actually got on top it too, so they're probably going to fill it up quickly. If you want to be on the Kickstarter, you should jump on it. CHUCK:**That just brings to mind a totally new way of publicly stalking somebody. [laughter]JAMES : Nice. JOSH : Okay. CHUCK: Anyway, David what are your picks? DAVID : Okay for starters on, I want to second 4moms.com . Josh, did Shawn come find you in the conference? JOSH: I don't know. (laughs) I talk to people and I don't know their names.DAVID : Okay. So I'm working with the team that's centered out of trying to get to the JOSH : Oh yeah, yeah. Shawn. I talked to him. DAVID : So he's a .NET refugee, brand new to Ruby and like our first week home, we got near distributed wide teaming. On Thursday he says, "Oh! There's a Ruby Conference near me." and I'm like, "There is? In Pittsburgh? What?" and he said "Steel City Ruby Conf". And I'm like, "Steel City Ruby?! Oh my gosh! This is a part of Ruby culture Shawn. You have to drop everything and go to this conference!" So he did and he begged. They were sold out but somebody got him a ticket. He laughed and laughed and laughed and he had to explain this joke to me but now it makes me laugh. 4moms got up and demonstrated 2 products: one was the origami stroller and the other one was a playpen. Now, Shawn basically said you could tell who had kids and who didn't. All of the people who did not have kids went to the origami stroller because it's powered. It's a transformer. You push this button and it deploys. It's super cool. But anybody who has parents knows that playpens are the satanic offspring of Rube Goldberg and they also make a playpen. It's just the stand-up little pillar and you walk up to it and you just grab it by the center and you push down. And that's it. You have to go watch the movie. It is terrifying. She just walks up and she just pooft! and the whole playpen deploys and it's done. She walks away. And she grabs the tab in the center of the floor; it sucks back up into this little portable pillar. And Sean was laughing, he says "I've got 5 kids." And he says everybody who had kids is looking at the playpen saying "I have to have this!" And all the engineers were looking at the stroller going, all the child engineers going on the stroller saying, "This is so cool. It’s the awesome technology." Anyway which is a very interesting breakdown of the paying point literacy, I guess the paying literacy of parenting falls in. I always try to make my pick short and I always fail and I haven't even started. So now I will start my picks which are two very equipments. Two books: the first one is “You Just Don’t Understand” by Deborah Tannen. I think it’s relevant to our description here. Fantastic book written in the late 80s and it’s basically a book about stereotypical conversational styles of men and women. So basically, she comes out and she says, “Look. I’m not saying men talk this way. I’m not saying women talk this way but I am saying that statistically if you average them, there is this type of behavior.” And there is a tendency for the stereotypical male in talking to put down other people because stereotypical men want to establish a hierarchy; whereas the stereotypical female will say something supportive and consensus-building because stereotypical females tend to build culture and tend to increase their network. And after reading this book, I discovered why my wife and I get along so fantastically and that is because stereotypically speaking, I talk like a woman more than I talk like a man. And she in turn talks more like a man than like a woman. So our conversational styles complement each other very, very well. So when she says that men are like this or women are like this, she caveats it by saying this is stereotypical and I’m just going to talk in stereotypes and I’m going to talk about the implications of the stereotypes; and it’s a fantastic, fantastic read. She wrote a follow up to it called “You Still Don’t Understand” in like 1999 or so; and it’s more of the same. So if you read “You Just Don’t Understand” and you don’t get it, go read “You Still Don’t Understand”. And then my second pick is a total chick flick or a chick book because I told a joke on Twitter and nobody got it, and then James told me I had to actually use this as my pick. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. This is of course the first line of “Pride and Prejudice and the Zombie”s which you can get on the iPad. It’s an interactive eBook. If you hold it right side up, you read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If you flip it upside down, you get the original text of the Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And if you turn your iPad sideways, you get a side by side transliteration of the two stories. It is FANTASTIC. They followed the original plot of Elizabeth Bennet and all the characters there. The same plot twist and turns are there but zombies have ravaged all of England and it’s a fight to the death in every other scene and they have just completely worked into zombie. Like Elizabeth goes to the ball and it’s a disaster. Well in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it’s a disaster because after insulting the love interest, I can’t remember his name now, Mr. Darcy. After insulting Mr. Darcy, which is the disaster in Pride and Prejudice, she then stomps off but before she can stomp off, zombies crash into all the windows. And all the ladies in waiting form up into a back-to-back pentagon, draw their swords from under their petty coats and begin fighting the zombies. And so the women in the book are very empowered. They’re better zombie fighters than most men. It’s a fantastic, fantastic read. Chuck is pointing out in the back channel that there is actually a book called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so yeah, go ahead and read that. If you have an iPad, I recommend the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Interactive eBook because it’s interactive. There are like blood-stained fingerprints on the pages that you tap on and like zombies animate and growl and you put down the mascot and it fires. It’s  fantastic. That’s yet one pick that has gone on the way heck too long from David Brady. CHUCK: My wife is going to appreciate you Dave ‘cause you might actually get me to read Pride and Prejudice. DAVID : That’s why I read it. Honestly, I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and thought “This is fantastic!” and I went and looked at Pride and Prejudice, I’m like “Oh! This is actually a good story. Holy crap! I’m reading the book equivalent of a chick flick.” CHUCK: Nice. Alright, Avdi what are your picks? AVDI : Well I don’t have any technical picks this week because I’ve been kind of distracted by the birth of our latest child. But sort of that vain, I just want to pick Midwives and Dulas. As some probably know from my tweets and stuff, we had another, our third happy, healthy, peaceful, home-birth with the attendance of a couple of midwives and close family friend and a doula. I was just struck once again by just like their dedication to their work. They come out at any hour. They wake up and come out rushing out at any hour of the night and then just put their whole focus and attention on the mother and they’re very, very attentive. They’ll stay up all night if they need to. It’s just a wonderful experience working with them. So if anybody out there is looking forward to the birth of a child, I highly recommend the services of a doula and midwife as well if you can find one. CHUCK: Alright. James what are your picks? JAMES : I cannot believe I have to go after David Brady. I mean, seriously. Now I do have a good bunch of cool picks… DAVID : People say that at the bathroom line all the time. JAMES: It’s the same after your picks. [laughter]DAVID : Like them out! JAMES : I’ve been getting in the physical computing quite a bit lately and I would say I’m like a total idiot. I guess I’m the last person on Earth to discover this but holy crap, this stuff is cool! You could do anything with physical computing and you can hook stuff up. I believe a little bit of Arduino in the past and stuff and happened to enjoy various smudge. I mean its okay and that was pretty neat. But what really get me over the hump was I stated playing with a 3D printer. But my latest obsession has been the Raspberry Pi which I paid last week I think. And I haven’t had time to read it yet but as a chaser for that pick, just a few minutes before our show today, the Prags announced that they now have a Raspberry Pi Book. So I expect that to be all kinds of awesome and it is cool if you’re getting a new Raspberry Pi. In other avenues, there was a good talk at Rails Conf that I missed while I was there. And I finally got around of watching the video on Conferensum. I’m really glad I did because it’s RoRoRoomba. And the speaker, I forget who it is, Charles Abbott shows how he talking to his Roomba being a Ruby and it’s pretty cool stuff. He shows you various things about moving it around and stuff. At the end, there’s this really cool live demo where his Roomba’s driving around the audience and playing the imperial march and stuff like that. It’s pretty neat and pretty easy to get into and you know some of us probably have a Roomba lying around and stuff, kind of a fun way to get into physical computing. It’s pretty easy. And then also I was made aware of this week which I didn’t know about “Make Magazine”. And it’s just this magazine of like these kind of projects; doing things, building all kinds of crazy stuff like from do-it-yourself coffee systems to the more complex robots and stuff like that, which is really awesome. And I guess they also have a podcast which I didn’t know about. So anyways, lots of great resources if you’re kind of getting in physical computing, I think the Raspberry Pi or something like that. RoRoRoomba is probably one of the easier gateways and you can start feeling with things and odd reading things in your house and chasing people around with the Roomba which is just awesome. So those are my picks. CHUCK: Awesome. So I guess it’s my turn. The first one that I want to pick and let me see if I can find it here, it’s called LeadPlayer and, hang on. Yeah, it’s LeadPlayer. And basically what it is, is a player that sits on top of a YouTube video that you imbed on you website and during the course of the video you can actually set it up so it will stop and request information from the person or it’ll put a link called the Action on the screen, on the video, so you can put “Click here for more information” or if you have links that you want people to go to then click them, and it’ll open them in another tab and that kind of stuff. It’s a pretty handy little player that I’m going to start using on some of my stuff. I’m just looking around my test trying to figure out what else to pick ‘cause things have been so nuts lately. I think that’s it for this week. So Sarah what are your picks? SARAH : Well let’s see. So, one of my picks is I’ve been reading a lot of books by William James. He’s a psychologist from the 1800s and he sort of without meaning to; founded many of the schools of thought of psychology that still exist today. And what I like about his writing is that he can take an idea that is incredibly blasphemous to his audience and he can talk about it in a way that makes it palatable to them. It’s really, really amazing. And it’s something I wish I was better at. So I highly recommend reading some of his books, it’s the one that I’m working on right now is “Varieties of Religious Experience” which is really interesting. My second pick is the fact that the RubyConf CFP closes on Friday. So everyone should go and send in their talk ideas to Ruby Conf. It’s going to be in Denver. And my last one is the, I’m sure this has probably been picked before but the XKCD Password Picking Method, wherein you pick 4 random words and string them together. My iPhone was stolen yesterday and I went in and change all my passwords and what was really awesome about it was I went in there, I looked in the William James book and picked out all these Victorian-sounding words and put them all together. It’s kind of hilarious but I’m never going to forget that password. So I highly recommend using that method. JAMES : That’s so awesome. CHUCK: Nice. DAVID : By the way, I whole-heartedly second the William James recommendation; one of my favorite, favorite writers. CHUCK: Yeah. Alright, let’s go ahead and wrap this up. We will be talking to the authors of “Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests” in a couple of weeks. So be reading that book so that you’re ready for that conversation.  Also, you can sign up for the Ruby Rogues Parlay and you just go to rubyrogues.com and it’s over on the right. You can just sign up there. Other than that, just want to thank Sarah for coming on the show again. Really, really appreciate it. Just been an excellent episode about all of this stuff. SARAH : Thanks for having me. CHUCK: And I think we’re going to corner Dave and we’re going to sit down and figure out what’ll take to put a workshop together. DAVID: I thought you’re going to say, “I’m going to corner Dave and talk about what’s appropriate to talk about on this podcast.” [laughter]**JOSH : It’s not every week. DAVID : Actually yeah, we just have a standing appointment now. CHUCK: I was going to say, “It’s a lost cause Dave.” I knew that when you joined the show. Anyway, so yeah thanks Sarah. SARAH : Thanks for having me. CHUCK: ** We’ll wrap this up. We will be back next week!

Sign up for the Newsletter

Join our newsletter and get updates in your inbox. We won’t spam you and we respect your privacy.