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Are you making these 10 common coding mistakes?

coding mistakes

GUEST POST. Jade Gardner is a PHP developer at Hire PHP Develop. She likes to share thoughts on coding, development and web design.

It’s easy for coders to fall into pitfalls, if they’re unaware of the right points to follow. Simple yet powerful coding mistakes can make you fall deep in a mess, from where it’s hard to come back.

But if the coders are well aware of common mistakes beforehand, then half of their work is done. They won’t risk making those mistakes, once they are aware of the negative consequences.

It’s time to learn a bit more about the top 10 coding mistakes:

Billers, coders and other practice managers are cordially invited to take a quick look at the coding mistakes, which many of us make unknowingly.

1. Don’t play it fast

Remember that failing to learn the basics can undercut your code instantly. Most of the time, people overlook the arbitrary behavior of the user, which can otherwise affect your programming session.

2. Using reference like value

Coders try to control the values; they are assigned to or focus entirely on the reference of the exiting objects. Now this decision can only be take place by the programmer, known for writing this object and not by those, initialing and assigning it to the chosen variable.

3. Don’t trust your client blindly

Some of the worst security bugs will take place when the developers assume their client’s device will do the proper thing. And trusting clients blindly can be a foolish idea.

4. Neglecting the present libraries

This is a great mistake, especially common with Java coders. They do not have the right to just ignore the multiple numbers of libraries, as written in the Java sector.

5. Forgetting to free up resources

Whenever any program opens a new file, it is duty of the coder to free some resources. And that needs to be one, when they are through with the program.

6. Misunderstanding the default value

In some programming section, value types cannot be null. These are uninitialized variables with a value to it, termed as default value. And the coders must understand this default value for some variables, too.

7. Missing the “break” keyword

Java issues can be quite embarrassing and can remain undiscovered unless those are run in production. Therefore, coders must work on the “break” keyword, for a promising switch case block.

8. Working too much on frameworks

Coders have a tendency to function more towards frameworks and dedicate most of their time on that. This can be an easy mistake to overcome.

9. Control simplification

Coders, avoid those complicated controlling codes. Simplifications can go a long way.

10. Don’t sweat the details

Do not try to infuse more towards details. That will take some unnecessary time and devoid you from performing on next codes.

Following these 10 points is crucial if you want to avoid mistakes in near future.

Lack of women in tech getting worse, not better

Boardroom

It’s a well-known fact that women are underrepresented in tech workplaces, but despite industry initiatives to change this, representation is actually getting worse.

Worryingly, the number of all-male boards is on the rise, according to SvB’s “Startup Outlook” report, which suggests companies’ focus on diversity initiatives may be mere lip service:

For all the work being done to change this ratio in the U.S., this year’s survey respondents report there is no progress in the aggregate.

The bank surveyed 941 startups and found that 70% didn’t have a single female board member in 2017. This is up from an already unimpressive 66% last year.

Source: SvB Startup Outlook

Similarly, more than half of firms, 54%, reporting no female executives, up from 46% in 2016 to 54% in 2017.

This isn’t just a diversity issue, but a financial one too, as research has found that more diverse boards actually perform better than their more homogenous counterparts. A Grant Thornton study found that UK, US and India firms with at least one woman on board beat male-only boards by £430bn in 2014.

Grant Thornton’s Francesca Lagerberg compared diversity to a shift towards renewables when presenting the study:

We know it’s the right thing to do – both in terms of fairness and for sustainable future growth – but collectively society is dragging its heels.

One quarter of firms surveyed state they have “programs in place” to further diversity. Whether this will be enough to make a change, however, remains to be seen.

Is blind hiring the solution to tech’s diversity problem?

Source: Flickr

Researchers have found a great way to multiply female interviewees for tech roles tenfold in one fell swoop: just keep their gender a secret. (Sadly, this is not a joke.)

Tech recruiter Speak With A Geek did an experiment with blind hiring, and got some striking results.

Blind job auditions mean any identifying details – such as the candidate’s gender – are stripped away, leaving employers to make their decision on qualifications alone, rather than a snap judgment based on implicit bias.

SWAG put forward 5,000 candidates to employers, in two different ways. The traditional applications, with names, backgrounds and genders included led to recruiters selecting just five per cent female interviewees.

What about the blind audition? You’ve probably guessed it.

When SWAG resubmitted the applications without any identifying details, the percentage of women selected jumped by a factor of ten.

With this method, over half, or 54%, of interviewees for tech roles were women.

SWAG isn’t the only organisation putting forward blind hiring as a way of increasing the stubborn lack of diversity in tech. Recruiters Gapjumpers actively help companies work with blind hiring, removing names and backgrounds from applications, and say:

While many believe the lack of women in technology companies is due to low application numbers, we find that women are taking blind auditions at a rate comparable to their representation in the US general population.

This bias is not a new phenomenon. Several past studies have shown both ethnic and gender bias, as recruiters routinely pass up job applications from qualified women, or applicants with foreign-sounding names.

Both anonymised applications and blind hiring have really become buzzwords in the last couple of years, with more and more tech companies turning to it in an attempt to get better at hiring by ability, rather than background.

And the figures show they need some help. SWAG, who keep a detailed tally of gender and ethnic diversity within US tech roles at major tech companies, say:

Diversity promotes innovative thinking, creative problem solving, and allows your company to remain competitive.

It seems tech firms struggling to improve diversity could benefit from this simple hiring trick. As SWAG suggests on their website: “Your user base is diverse, shouldn’t your tech team be?”

Women make up just 10% of the cybersecurity workforce

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Cybersecurity is booming, but women (still) make up just 10% of the cybersecurity workforce.

Indeed, despite the industry facing a massive skills shortage, depressingly little is changing. That 1 in 10 figure is unchanged over the past three years, new figures from the Global Information Security Workforce Study by (ISC)² show.

With less than one in four roles filled by women, the tech industry as a whole remains male-dominated – but this report shows certain sectors are falling even further behind.

The CREST report “Closing the Gender Gap in Cybersecurity” explores barriers to a more diverse workforce, and suggests that women are currently shying away from the cyber industry:

There are very few female applicants to the industry, thus leading workshop attendees to conclude that the marketing and perception of the industry is the main problem.

The cybersecurity industry is growing explosively, as hacking becomes a bigger topic, both in newspaper headlines, company budgets and government initiatives.

Recruiters are clamouring for new people, but according to the CREST report, the number of female applicants in the field is “incredibly” low.

The main reasons for this dearth? Cybersecurity professionals themselves suggest misperceptions of the industry and what skills are required are a big barrier.

“The marketing of the cybersecurity industry needs a lot of further consideration, particularly relating to ensuring its messaging is gender-neutral and thus attracting both sexes,” states the CREST report.

The report also emphasizes the importance of earlier initiatives to encourage girls to take STEM subjects:

Influencing children early in their education is a key to encouraging more girls into STEM.

7 grants to close the gender gap in STEM

PA Scholarships

Women are a minority when it comes to technology. Aware of the gender gap in the sector, companies, schools and nonprofit organizations are partnering to offer scholarships to women as a way to boost diversity and female representation in the STEM industry.

Project Ada has done a roundup of scholarships and grants that are accepting applications in the next months for women interested from learning the basics of programming to specializing in data science and engineering.   

Women Who Code + Hackbright Academy

WWC and the engineering school for women Hackbright Academy have partnered to offer scholarships to the course Introduction to Programming. The 12-week programme is an introduction for beginners who want to learn to code and to explore software engineering. The scholarship covers the US$3,000 course tuition fee.

Where: San Francisco, US
Deadline: June 15th
How to apply: fill in this form  

Atlassian Scholarship

This scholarship is offered by both software company Atlassian and coding school Galvanize. They are both offering four $5,000 scholarships to the Galvanize Full Stack Web Development program dedicated to Black, Latina, and Indigenous women who want to build their technical skills. Open to residents outside the U.S.

Where: Austin (Texas) or San Francisco (California)
Deadline: applications due 3 weeks before course start date. Drop an e-mail to admissions@galvanize.com for more details
How to apply: fill in this form

IBM Women in Data Science Award

The scholarship is dedicated to women applying to or who have been accepted to the courses Galvanize Data Science, Galvanize Data Engineering, or GalvanizeU Masters of Science in Data Science at the US-based coding school Galvanize. In partnership with IBM, $150,000 will be made available in tuition assistance for female data scientists and data engineers. Courses start in August and September, depending on location.

Where: Austin, Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle
Deadline: applications due 3 weeks before course start date
How to apply: fill in this form 

ThoughtWorks scholarship

This scholarship aims to teach women how to code in 12 weeks. The sponsorship is being offered by ThoughtWorks in partnership with Makers Academy. The full 16-week programme costs £8,000 but is free to the six winners of the scholarship. Applicants will need to commit three months full time to the course from either 15th August 2016 or 26th September 2016. There is the potential of a position at ThoughtWorks at the end of the programme.

Where: London, UK
How to apply: applicants can register their interest at this link 

try! Swift conference

This scholarship to the New York conference try! Swift is being offered to underrepresented groups in the tech industry, including women. The financial aid is being sponsored by Instagram, Meetup, Twitter, Technically Speaking, and Swift Studies. The candidates must be able to attend the conference on September 1st and 2nd. The scholarship covers the conference ticket. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided to all conference attendees during the conference. It doesn’t cover travel expenses.

Where: New York City
Deadline: June 17th
How to apply: fill in this form 

Google Travel and Conference Grants

This scholarship by Google aims to encourage attendance to conferences in Computer Sciences and related fields by underrepresented groups in the technology industry, including women. The grant, provided to North American and European residents, provides free conference registration to selected candidates. North Americans residents will also receive US$500 post-conference reimbursement to retroactively be used toward airfare and accommodation costs. European residents will receive up to €1,000 towards travel and accommodation costs. Grants for Europe are exclusively dedicated to women in technology.

Where: North America and Europe
Deadline: list of deadlines for North America is here and for Europe is here
How to apply: North Americans fill in this form | Europeans fill in this one

2016 Grace Hopper conference

Google is offering grants to the 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference taking place in Houston, Texas from October 19 – 21, 2016. The sponsorship is for students and industry professionals from North America. Grants include conference registration, round trip flight to Houston, arranged hotel accommodations from October 18-22, US$75 reimbursement for miscellaneous travel costs and a social event with fellow travel grant recipients.

Where: Houston, Texas
Deadline: July 10th
How to apply: fill in this form
*Residents from outside North America can apply for grants to the GHC conference here

Picture credits to “© European Union 2013 – European Parliament“.

Role models and flexible hours: 4 things a survey of 1,500 professionals taught us about getting women into tech

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More role models and flexibility. That’s the key to getting more women into tech careers, based on a fresh survey of over 1,500 women working in STEM.

The women were asked what the biggest career challenge was they faced as a woman working in a male-dominated environment.

Women make up just 24 per cent of the STEM workforce, according to US census data. And dismayingly, several fields are only becoming more unequal with time, not less. The proportion of female computer science undergrads in 2011 was less than half of what it was in the early eighties.

Clearly, this is an environment that poses unique challenges – here are four key takeaways from the results of the survey, conducted by Women Who Code and Pluralsight.

1. Women need a confidence boost

Women report a ‘pervasive lack of confidence in navigating a male-dominated workplace’ according to the survey.

Nearly two in three,  64 per cent, reported a lack of confidence is holding them back in their career.

And those in leadership positions struggle especially with this, as 19 per cent reported that the male domination of their work environment is holding them back, more than twice the average rate of respondents.

2. Wanted: Mentors and role models

The key to tackling the lack of confidence is clear based on this survey: Women need more female role models to look up to.

Over 60 per cent of those surveyed agreed that having more women on their team would be beneficial.

3. Who’s getting the promotions?

Are men more likely to get promotes? Nearly half of respondents aged 21-49 believed their male coworkers were more likely to get promoted over them.

Indeed, the lack of opportunities for advancement was listed as the biggest career hurdle among women surveyed.

4. Flexibility is key

Flexible work hours are the number one thing needed to get more women working in tech careers, according to this survey.

No less than 1 in 4 of those surveyed agreed that flexibility is the most helpful factor for getting more women into tech, over other factors like mentors and quotas.

What do you think would get more women into tech? Comment or tweet us @ProjectAda_!

Where are all the female speakers in STEM? IP Expo Manchester has more speakers named David than women

Photo: Flickr/Ignite New Zealand

Women are grossly underrepresented as speakers at tech conferences, and IP Expo Manchester, opening today in Manchester, is no exception, as a Project Ada analysis reveals it has just seven per cent female speakers.

The problem is a familiar one: women are missing not just from the industry, but on stage. Even when an event’s audience is more equally split between genders, among keynote speakers and panelists women can still be hard to find, and all-male panels still all too common.

At IP Expo Manchester, held 18-19 May, just three of the 43 speakers advertised on the website are women. A whole 92.5 per cent of the speakers are male.

In fact, there are more Davids among the event’s speakers than there are women, as we found that four of the promoted speakers are named David – and just three are women.

Proportion of male and female speakers at IP EXPO

IP Expo Manchester’s organisers tell Project Ada they’d love to see more female keynote speakers and panelists:

“It is one of our main aims, that we remain focused on attracting the thought leaders in the field, irrespective of gender but would certainly like to see a bigger representation from the talented women in technology,” said a spokesperson for the event.

This year speakers include Dr Sue Black and Dame Stella Rimington.

This isn’t just a problem for IP Expo. “Where are the women speakers?” is a question that’s been asked time and again. It’s a vicious circle, of course: with a lack of women in the industry leading to a lack of women on stage – damaging women’s career prospects.

But women are underrepresented even when taking into account their smaller numbers in STEM industries. And not all the blame can be laid at organisers’ feet: Women, it seems, are more likely to say no, when asked.

In 2013, researchers from the University of Sheffield found 50 per cent of female biologists turned down an invitation to speak, against just 26% of men.

IP Expo Manchester’s spokesperson confirmed this has been a difficulty:

We’ve worked really hard to promote gender equality on our keynote programmes, however, despite approaching a huge selection of relevant, qualified female speakers it is really difficult to get commitment.

So is there a good way of solving the problem? One study suggests that an effective way of increasing female speakers is actually quite simple: make sure there is at least one woman organising the event.

One woman makes all the difference, according to researchers at Yale University and Yeshiva University, who found that having one or more women involved in organizing scientific conference increased the proportion of female speakers by 72 per cent.

7 scholarships and grants for women in tech

money

It is widely known that women are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, both in the academic world and in the market place.

Some initiatives, from the private sector, independent institutions and universities, try to tackle the gender gap in the STEM industry by providing financial support for women who show a passion for the hard sciences.

Project Ada has selected seven funding opportunities that are or will be open soon for submissions in the UK and abroad. If you are a woman in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, you may be eligible to one of these scholarships and grants:

1. Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is aimed to fund female students in the areas of computer science, computer engineering, informatics or a closely related technical field. In the 2015-2016 academic year, the program awarded a € 7,000 award for the year.

Winners are awarded scholarships based on the strength of each candidate’s academic background, passion for increasing the involvement of women in computer science, and demonstrated leadership.

Award: a € 7,000 award for the year
Requirements: to apply it is necessary to intend to be enrolled in or accepted as a full-time student in a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD program at a university in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.
Application date: open in Autumn 2015
More detailshttp://www.google.com/anitaborg

2. Most promising female applicant (STEM courses)

This generous scholarship by Bournemouth University, of a £9,000 tuition fee waiver, will be awarded to the most promising UK female applicant applying for a full-time undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) course offered at BU.

Award: a £9,000 tuition fee waiver
Requirements: Be a female applicant for a full-time STEM subject undergraduate course delivered at Bournemouth University
Application date: close by 31 August 2015.
More detailshttp://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/futurestudents/undergraduate/funding/vc-scholarship-stem.html

3. Level Up

If you are looking for an opportunity to study in the US, this might be a good one. Level up fellowship is targeted for individuals from low-income backgrounds who have shown a passion for technology and a strong commitment to build a career in tech.

To apply, the candidate has to be referred by one of the following institutions: YerUp, Women Who Code, Npower, Per Scholas and Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS).

Requirements: The program is for candidates accepted into Web Development Immersive (WDI) and User Design Experience Immersive (UXDI) courses in in New York City, San Francisco, or Washington DC.
Next deadline: 29 April for WDI in New York. 29 April for UXDI in NYC, SF and DC.
More details: https://generalassemb.ly/opportunity-fund/fellowships/level-up

4. Top entrepreneurship program with Draper University

The programme offers a seven-week Silicon Valley live-in entrepreneurship program for entrepreneurs aged 18-28 from all over the world.

The university has created more than 100 startups that have raised more than US$ 10 million, funded by investors including Marc Andreessen, Tim Draper, and Marc Benioff.

Award: The university provides one US$ 5.000 scholarship for women in STEM and one full scholarship for Women Who Code members.
Requirements: be an entrepreneur aged 18-28.
Application date: the second round for applications closes 1 May.
More details: http://draperuniversity.com

5. Delphix Technology Scholarship for Women

Delphix, the software company based in Palo Alto, California (US), is hosting a coding competition to get more women inside the company. The initiative is to help company to create a more diverse team. As the company says:

“At Delphix we believe that the best products are built by a diverse team of great engineers.”

Award: the winner receives $5,000 to be used toward tuition fee
Requirements: full-time college students pursuing a technical degree like computer science, mathematics, information technology, applied mathematics, electrical engineering etc in the US.
Application date: open from June 1, 2015 until November 15, 2015. Winner will be announced on December 11, 2015.
More details: http://scholarship.delphix.com

6. Conference: Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Grace Hopper Celebration is awarding scholarships for its conference, the world’s largest technical conference for women in computing. The event is on Oct 14-16th, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

Undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from around the world are encouraged to apply.

Award: The GHC Scholarship Grants for students typically cover all expenses for attending the conferencing including conference registration, meals, lodging, and fixed amount of travel reimbursement funds.
Application date: close on Wednesday, April 15th
More details: http://anitaborg.org/awards-grants/ghc-scholarship-grants/

7. The Anita Borg Systers Pass-It-On (PIO) Awards

This award provides small grants for women over 18. According to the organisation, the awards “honour Anita Borg’s desire to create a network of  women technologists helping one another”.

The cash awards are intended as a means for women established in technological fields to support women seeking their place in the fields of technology. The program is called “Pass-It-On” because it comes with the moral obligation to “pass on” the benefits gained from the award.

Awards: open to women in all countries and range from US$ 500 to US$ 1000.
Requirements: any woman over 18 years old in or aspiring to be in the fields of computing can apply. Click here for details of projects accepted for grants.
Application date: 22 April 2015.

(Featured image: Anita Borg (January 17, 1949 – April 6, 2003), American computer scientist. Photo by Ignite. Also, woman making it rain by expresscredit.)

The best female animators you’ve never heard of

Photo: Erianisbest, Wikimedia

Animation is yet another niche in the tech industry where women are under represented. While you may have heard of Nick Park or Walt Disney, it’s unlikely you’ve heard about any women in the same field.

Here are some of the best, and possibly the trippiest, female animators and their creations.

Allison Schulnik

Allison Schulnik is an artist from LA, specialising in eery, but beautiful paintings that show the world at its most weird and wonderful.

Her animation, EAGER epitomises her style and is likely to make you wonder what on earth is going on.

Alison De Vere

A step back in time takes you to Alison De Vere, an English animator who worked mostly from Cornwall. She also worked in London, most famously on the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine video. Her crowning glory is generally considered to be The Black Dog, released in 1987, which tells a story of self discovery and development.

Julia Pott

Julia Pott is an English artist currently living in New York. Her drawings are intensely stylised, and often feature strange creatures that only resemble real animals. Her short animation, Belly, is one such example of this, and is guaranteed to make you feel something. I’m just not sure what.

 

Arisa Wakami

Probably the most cheerful of the four, Arisa Wakami is a Japanese animator, specialising in stop motion and lyrical sand painting. Her two minute animation, Blessing, was nominated for an award at Animateka in 2011. She also holds animation workshops for children.

Who’s your favourite female animator?

Featured image: Erianisbest, Wikimedia, used with a Creative Commons license. 

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