The gogaruco thing

I didn’t go to GoGaRuCo, which I’ve heard was great. I have been following the discussion about Matt Aimonetti’s talk and slides closely, and found Sarah Allen’s blog post (and follow-up comments) to be really interesting:

... the porn references continued with images of scantily-clad women gratuitously splashed across technical diagrams and intro slides. As he got into code snippets, he inserted interstitial images every few slides (removed from the slides below). The first time it happened, he mentioned that he wanted to keep everyone’s attention. It had the reverse effect. This technique was distracting and disrespectful to an audience who, frankly, is turned on by code. This crowd had just watch hour upon hour of code slide shows and live irb sessions, often on the edge of their seats as they absorbed the latest whiz-bang plugin or coding technique from one of the masters.

My two cents? Matt is probably a good guy, and he’s probably totally cool to women in his personal and professional life. This talk seems like a bit of a misfire to me, and a reminder that in the complicated world that we live in, it’s possible to upset other people without meaning to at all. You can prioritize unfettered expression if you want, but if that ends up makes a significant minority of Ruby programmers less psyched about being part of the community, personally I’d rather find some sort of middle ground.

I’m also liking the fact that a number of people commenting there (not everyone) are able to discuss this issue without calling people “puritan” or “uptight” on one side, or “sexist” or “exploitative” on the other side. These are complex issues and a bit of calm and benefit of the doubt helps.

Also, who the hell wants to be a porn star? That shit’s depressing. I’d rather have a career path where plastic surgery isn’t a big part of professional development, thanks.

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Tagged: ruby, gender

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