17 May 2014
(updated 17 May 2014 at 04:49 UTC) »
Sometimes, life is so weird.
So, now I am implementing a solution that could actually have over a million users. I love it because it leverages educational opportunities for all students.
I dislike Google. They contacted me about a tech writing job. They apparently give programmers a tech test... about simple things like binary trees and data structures.
They wanted a tech writer who could code. The recruiter wouldn't listen to me.
Here's my question - If you want a tech writer who can program... give me the damn tech test you stupid mother f**kers.
Next time, I'll just send my Sourceforge and Github info. No more freshmeat....
WTF! I don't want to do tech writing anymore at this point in my life. I don't want to be someone's code monkey either.
I don't want to be a server babysitter but it's the best opportunity I've had in awhile. When I started with GNU, I couldn't even get an admin job. In fact, a recruiter told me he didn't believe I wrote the Linux Essentials. I said, ????
He said, "well I can't use linux." I said, "I have a degree in computer science. You don't" He said, "clients aren't going to believe you, even if it is true. I'm just letting you know."
I don't have to prove I can code. Check out my code bitches.
I LOVE to code. I LOVE to find solutions and tweek my code. I love being the only one who can get a robot to work in a contest because I rock C++ and assembly.
I LOVE solving customer coding issues when the electronics engineer who worked on the touch technology cannot figure it out.
Sad... really. No one believes in me.
I have to say the one thing that really has kept me positive is that my current manager has absolute faith in my abilities. That is the only thing that really helps me out. I mean, First Wikipedia, then Google. I don't care if they don't think I can code. I don't care to work for them. It just really hurts because I got the degree because... I thought that would prove it.
Don't you know that they just give away those Comp Sci degrees to anyone...
When I was in the computer science program in college, there was a job fair. I applied by adding my name to a list with my phone and email.
I received a call from the girl in the college careers office. The call went like this:
Her: Hi, I'm calling from college careers. I noticed you put your name on the list for the Coops and positions at Computer Sciences Corporation. I wanted to let you know that was a mistake.
Me: What was a mistake? Are they not interviewing?
Her: No, I mean, this is for people who are into computers a lot and have a lot of computer skills.
Me: Like people in the computer science program?
Her: Yes, so I'll just take your name off the list.
Me: No. No you won't. I'm in the computer science program.
Her: Oh, but this is for people who do like coding and stuff.
Me: I do coding... and STUFF.
Her: Yeah, but this is for, you know.... guys who are really good with coding and computers.
Me: Yeah, I code, I do web design, I can do database.
Her: Oh, you can do web design.
Me: Yes, and code.
Her: Ok, well I guess we can leave your name on the list.
I went further in the interview process than anyone at that college ever did.
They wined and dined me. I received like Airborne Express invitation for a formal meet and greet. .
Screw you little girl in the Career Services, Qim Gil at Wikipedia and Jeremiah Anderson who wouldn't even let me finish listing my skills. Screw. You.
Sexism: Wikimedia Foundation – We will keep you in mind for “LESS CODE RELATED TASKS”
As a woman in the FOSS communities for over 15 years, I know the issues and have experienced sexism within and from without the community.
Some are ridiculous to me. Some are serious offenses. This time, I was offended.
In fact, one of my best friendships was forged in IRC in 2000 with someone who had no idea I was not male and made the statement that “women belong in the kitchen”. Of course, I demanded an apology, thus exposing myself as female.
You see, that is the great thing about IRC. That 1337 programmer giving assistance with C++ or Java, that could actually be a female and you had no idea!
I saw there was an opening for a Technical Writer at Wikimedia Foundation. You know… the Wikipedia people.
I had all the qualifications. So, I applied. Sounded righteous. It was remote with a few days in San Fran. I met all the requirements. On the first interview, I was asked if I used IRC. IRC! Of course. I was using IRC when lilo was running freenode. Tragic.
So, imagine my surprise when I received a reject notice from Wikimedia Foundation.
I was surprised. I had the experience and skills.
What happened here?!
Keep in mind, I have worked as a programmer, have a degree in computer science and a Masters in IT from ASU. I have written more programs than I can ever count in C, Java, C++. I have written a few database driven apps for work, using PHP and SQL. I have several Droid Apps I created on Google and I also have written Linux installers and ported software to GNU/Linux distros. In fact, I am working on a mobile Moodle app right now and have a distro PicLE (Pic learning environment) I am working on. I have embedded (mostly microcontrollers from Microchip) and know 8086 assembly. I could go on and on, but I won’t. All of this is on my resume and was emphasized in the interview.
Yet, I received a rejection letter. A nice one… So I found Quim Gil, the Lead who was available in IRC, and asked him what happened.
Around 2:13pm MST 12/17/2013
I hoped, maybe they didn’t go with the project. So, I decided to find the lead, Quim Gil (qgil) on IRC and ask him.
aicra: Hi Qim. I was wondering. Did your team decide not to go with a technical writer at all for the 3+ month contract or was there some reason I was not selected
qgil: we haven’t selected a candidate yet, and I can’t comment anything to anybody at this point
qgil: or.] wait
qgil: did you receive a notifcation?
aicra: I was surprised
qgil: what is your real name?
aicra: and disappointed but from your response, I see that there are possible candidates so it was probably me
aicra: Marcia Wilbur
aicra: worked at the FSF
aicra: Community minded
aicra: Free speech advocate
qgil: I remember, not all the details but I remember
aicra: I was hoping it was that your team decided not to select a tech writer. But I see. It was something I lacked, something about my qualifications that did not fit
aicra: Appreciate your time
qgil: you can send me an email asking for details, I would need the time that I don’t have now to reply properly
qgil: I think your qualifications are good, but this 3 month contract has a very precise goal where developer experience is appreciated beyond technical knowledge
aicra: No, Funny thing was I was trying to reach out to you on irc earlier but never saw you on until today. Maybe we have different IRC hours
aicra: Appreciate it.
aicra: Good luck. If it doesn’t work out, please keep me in mind
qgil: I actually marked your application as someone to keep in mind for more community and less code related tasks. True it is! :)
qgil: tech community, I mean
aicra: Great! Thanks!
qgil: thank you for your interest in contributing to Wikimedia
aicra: hold on a second
aicra: Sorry but did you write less code related?
aicra: I see
aicra: Can I ask what language?
I did not receive a response. I waited several minutes. Had to run anyway.
So, I did email him as a follow up before running out the door. Here is my response.
I just wanted to follow up on the comment made about “less code related tasks”.
In fact, that is more disappointing than if the reason had been something else.
I have a 2 yr. degree in computer science with data structures, assembly and database which means I am very knowledgeable and experienced with:
I also worked on the Gentoo fork. I have created database driven applications and Linux installers as well as Android applications.
I have not worked as a programmer, except at Aries and my resume does not reflect a lot of programming but unless it is Python (which I haven’t touched since 2005)...
However, I would think that with a degree in Computer Science one might know that I have coding skills.
Shortly thereafter, I received an email that my reject letter was a mistake. Actually, I received an email that the reject letter was an “ACCIDENT”.
I am so sorry – I rejected you by accident! We actually want you to have a conversation with Quim this week if you are available?
Akshata will get you scheduled once you send us your availability.
Sorry again for the error.
Was it really? Or was it to cover themselves so people wouldn’t learn about what transpired?
Seriously, though. I started to wonder about how many female developers are at the Wikimedia Foundation? What was the attitude toward female developers in our community?
I kept thinking about those words:
…developer experience is appreciated beyond technical knowledge.
LESS CODE RELATED TASKS!
So, before committing to an interview, I asked about diversity. The response was as professional as any corporation or organization.
They do seem to have somewhat of a diverse workforce.
All the while, all I could think of was…
LESS CODE RELATED TASKS!
I believe that Quim’s first response when he saw my name was female was to let me know I didn’t have the coding ability they wanted. Really?
Great assumption! Am I to give him the benefit of the doubt?
…developer experience is appreciated beyond technical knowledge.
I don’t think my developer experience is appreciated or could be appreciated!!!
No. I’ve been a female developer within this community for well over a decade. There were no females at Slashdot, Tina was the lone female at NewsForge and the only reason I got as far as I did was because in the beginning, these guys had no idea I was female in IRC, I was a computer science major at Arizona State and I love to code.
So, thanks Wikimedia, but no THANKS!
Side note: I believe Wikipedia has lost it’s connection to our community and the support. The point is, “Why are they paying someone to do this gig if they had community support!” Forking has already been suggested and as I write this, Wikipedia is being decentralized and will soon be available P2P as a community effort, not managed by Wikimedia Foundation.
As for me, I’ll keep focusing on Free Speech, censorship and maybe scandalous behavior (cough – Wikimedia)!
P.S. Not to be crude, but really, just because I have the ability to Quim, doesn’t mean I can’t code… Quim!
Again, it has been awhile.
Today, I had an interview with a company that needed a technical writer who knew Unix. While I could go into the differences between UNIX and GNU/Linux, I would rather focus on what is happening within our community.
We used to be a community. We worked together on projects and we lifted each other up. What happened today was a complete shock to my system.
I have never been a system administrator. It would be a lie to say I had not thought about it. Instead, I spent my time advocating for freedom and coding. Why? I love it. Why else would you do anything? Oh... yeah. For $$
Well, since I had been using Debian all these years, I had a chance today to look back on some of my work. I have created installers and programs, I have ported applications that were only ported for Red Hat to Debian and got these to work. Upon contacting the companies, they told me... we don't care if it works on Debian, only Red Hat.
Before it was commonplace, I was making isos and using cdrecord to burn CDs, showing anyone who would listen how. In fact, I was instrumental in the first installfest in Phoenix. Yes, I have been a part of the community both online and in real life.
Yet today, I felt like a luser, a newb and why?
Because I am not a sys admin and I was applying for a job where I would work with server babysitters.
I believe my expertise is in the mid to high level. However, I was asked questions about things I never use, like /op. (Don't use it because really... it's all about me.)
I have tinkered with SaaS, worked on embedded applications and hardware and the list goes on and on... boring, I know.
The point is that I *thought* we were a community. I *thought* it didn't matter whether one was a programmer or a sys admin or even a n00b.
Haven't these people read Emmett's Welcome Wagon?
Now, I see that there are many opportunists just using Linux for profit.
I have actually de-constructed several programs that use ffmpeg but do not include the GPL. A lot of companies are using our work and not including the GPL. One company that makes a good profit using FFMPEG and does not include the GPL is Articulate. Another is Adaptive.
There are companies that offer a "free" compiler. They do offer the code, but it is so obfuscated, it would be challenging compiling this mess. The product manager laughed as he told me this.
There are so many positives that have come from our community. Unfortunately, I am seeing a lot of negatives. Not anything we have done, but the unintended consequences of our pure vision.
Today is a sad day for me.
Perhaps tomorrow will bring more hope for community. At least I can say that we did have good intentions and made some positive changes. Unfortunately, the businesses and opportunists are dividing our efforts and our community with their labels as:
Any insinuation that a programmer is less valuable than a system administrator hurts our community.
Working together is what we did. It's how we succeeded and to see that change, even on a small level is devastating!
Let's get together and work together. That's how we are going to make things happen.
Well, it's been awhile!
I left Microchip a couple of years ago for many reasons, the least not being that my supervisor didn't know what an infinite loop was.
The fact is that the weeks prior to my leaving, I was set to teach a course at the yearly Masters conference on embedded and Linux. This course was cancelled. The reason, I was told that there just wasn't any interest.
At that time I was also working on a distro project aimed at embedded users. This project was scrapped at about the same time the class was cancelled.
Feeling stagnant and feeling that things were not going to change, I left to pursue other options. I don't regret that decision, as much as I did love working in an engineering environment.
I was looking for a job for my sister, who is in finance, so I looked at Microchip and found this post for a Linux Fellow. Ironically, I meet the qualifications. These big companies have no idea what they have. While Microchip was not at all the evil empire that other corporate entities are, they still failed to recognize the talent and skills of their current staff pool...
Microchip is seeking a dynamic open-source leader, speaker and developer to be our Linux Technical Fellow, internally and for the embedded Linux community at large. The individual selected for this position will be responsible for executing the following objectives:
1) Shape the strategy for Microchip to become a respected player in the embedded Linux community.
2) Working with architects, ensure that Microchip devices and software present a world-class solution.
3) Guide the realization of the strategy developed above, staffing and leading a team to do so.
4) Represent Microchip’s growing dominance in the community.
5) Improve and maintain Microchip’s relationship with key Linux influencers.
•Develop a viable, culturally-appropriate business strategy to make Microchip a vital force in embedded Linux.
•Ensure that Microchip’s silicon devices represent a viable vehicle for embedded Linux.
•Ensure that Microchip’s software offerings appropriately support the Linux eco-system.
•Ensure that Microchip’s Linux offering meets or exceeds the demands of our customer base.
•Represent Microchip to the community when necessary.
•Represent Microchip’s Linux offering to key customers as required.
•Coordinate the embedded Linux message with marketing professionals.
•Attract and build a first-rate development team and lead the realization of the agreed-upon strategy.
•Step in and provide hands-on guidance, including coding, when necessary.
Job Requirements :
•Bachelor’s Degree in a technical field, preferably an advanced degree.
•Proven, demonstrable track record bringing Linux to the embedded world.
•Minimum five (5) years contributing to the open-source, preferably Linux, community.
•Excellent verbal (including public speaking), written, teaching and presentation skills.
•Strong organization skills.
•Strong leadership skills.
•A team-oriented perspective.