Build a better list of code experts

I’ll admit that I post this in frustration. I’ve been watching several prominent conversations on social media that seem to argue (from the distance that is always social media) that everyday misogyny is ok, that gendered/sexed derogatory language is a cute example for corpus analysis, and that there just aren’t any good women out there doing “hard core” code work we can point to (I don’t support that formulation, nor the idea that all people need to code – but it’s dumb to say there isn’t anyone out there doing it already).

Then came Scott Weingart’s annual analysis of the Digital Humanities conference, in which he observes that 1% of authors selected “gender” and 10% selected “cultural studies” as topics in their presentations. I’m grateful for the work that Scott does on this, but every year I feel like I need a drink to read it, and then maybe two after. As Scott notes, not only are topics a concern, but since he’s been doing the analysis the percentage of women presenting has held steady at roughly 1/3. As he put it “The fact that the status is pretty quo is worthy of note, because many were hoping that a global DH would seem more diverse, or appreciably different, in some way.”

Yeah, that’s an understatement.

So, I’m not going to sugar coat this – in addition to “congratulations you have an all-male panel” and the new “Congrats, you did not cite any feminist work” – we could now have a “congratulations, you have all male programmers”. I don’t have time to start that tumblr, because I’m getting ready to go talk about online misogyny. But please, feel free to take that idea and run with it.

For now, here’s a starter guide for all of those who would like to do better and include the many talented people who do codework within Digital Humanities who don’t identify as men. This is a tactical response to a crap situation and was a collaborative, distributed effort accomplished in under 24 hours. Please feel free to add more people in the comments and I’ll move them up as time allows.

Elisa Beshero-Bondar
Annie Swafford
Beth Coleman
Melissa Terras
Loretta Auvil
Carolin Odebrecht
Bridget Almas
Anouk Lang
Whitney Trettien
Karen Gregory
Sharon Howard
Micha Cardenas
Micki Kaufman
Lynn Cherny
Jen Lowe
Giorgia Lupi
Stefanie Posvec
Zara Rahman
Hannah Wallach
Cait Sydney Pickens
Michaela Malhberg
Beatrix Busse
Allison Parrish
Nat Buckley
Melody Kramer
Terttu Nevalaienen
Jacque Hettel
Bess Sadler
Elli Mylonas
Jean Bauer
Bethany Nowviskie
Wendy H.K. Chun

The 551 people on this list: https://twitter.com/jeresig/lists/women-who-code/members and

The 317 people on this list:https://twitter.com/BecomingDataSci/lists/women-in-data-science/members

From comments (thanks and keep ’em coming!:)
Tassie Gniady
Wendy Hsu
Marissa Gemma
Bridget Almas
Amanda Visconti
Michelle Davison
Wanda Eugene
Connie Harper
Mia Ridge
Loren Scherbak
Rebecca Sutton Koeser
Elizabeth Bonsignore
Kirsten Keister
Tanya Clement
Lisa Rhody

14 thoughts on “Build a better list of code experts

  1. Yes! We exist! And we kick ass! Also, for your list: Wendy Hsu, Marissa Gemma, Bridget Almas, Michelle Davison, Wanda Eugene, Connie Harper, Mia Ridge, Loren Scherbak, Rebecca Sutton Koeser, Amanda Visconte.

  2. I sometimes hesitate to identify as a full-fledged programmer, but I’ve built big databases, do R and Python, and definitely work with big data.

    Thanks so much for this list.

  3. I’m still a Ph.D candidate but I’ve built my own MySQL database for my dissertation, and starting to build my corpus of primary texts by web scraping with Python to then topic model and analyze with n-gram. My coding skills are limited but growing every day!!

  4. It’s so great to see this list growing! (For search purposes, by the way—my last name is spelled Visconti, not Visconte as above.) Some more doing codework in DH (from present and past MITH staff): Elizabeth Bonsignore, Kirsten Keister, Tanya Clement, and Lisa Rhody.

  5. I code too, and just like Dot I work mainly with XSLT, but whenever I need something else, I learn and use new stuff. Thanks for building this list!

  6. I code (Rails, C, C#, PHP) and run my own freelance UX/web design & development business (front-end: HTML5, CSS3, Sass, Liquid, jQuery, javaScript). I’ve also built and managed mySQL databases. Much of this overlaps with my DH/academic work, too.

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