Dear Mom and Dad: Thanks for Teaching Me Unix
This week, I went to a Women In Tech panel at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, and the arguments got pretty heated. One of the points raised — for what feels like the millionth time — was that young girls aren’t as encouraged to get advanced math/sciences/programming education, which very likely influences the large gender ratio in the tech startup industry.
I’ve had the opposite experience, and it’s certainly due to your support. I’m a woman in tech who has enjoyed every single second of it, often relished in and capitalized on my uniqueness, and has never felt one moment of discrimination. Maybe this has been blind luck. Maybe I’m not as “geeky” as I fervently hope. Maybe I’m being a big iPollyanna in response to a panel that was shockingly embarrassing and devolved into a “catfight.” What I do know is that I could talk on and on about all the seemingly insurmountable problems and frustrations, but I’m more inclined to take a break to appreciate my own experiences.
I remember being about 7 when I first became curious by the amount of time you two spent on the computer. Of course, I was already pretty into the Logo Turtle and gleefully landing my helicopter on the scurrying hostages in the Choplifter game on my Apple 2C. But all this seemed like child’s play to me and I wanted to know more.
So when I asked, what did you do? Well, you taught me Unix.