251 épisodes

For a long time, tech culture has focused too narrowly on technical skills; this has resulted in a tech community that too often puts companies and code over people. Greater Than Code is a podcast that invites the voices of people who are not heard from enough in tech: women, people of color, trans and/or queer folks, to talk about the human side of software development and technology. Greater Than Code is providing a vital platform for these conversations, and developing new ideas of what it means to be a technologist beyond just the code.
Featuring an ongoing panel of racially and gender diverse tech panelists, the majority of podcast guests so far have been women in tech! We’ve covered topics including imposter syndrome, mental illness, sexuality, unconscious bias and social justice. We also have a major focus on skill sets that tech too often devalues, like team-building, hiring, community organizing, mentorship and empathy. Each episode also includes a transcript.
We have an active Slack community that members can join by pledging as little as $1 per month via Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode)

Greater Than Code Mandy Moore

    • Technologies

For a long time, tech culture has focused too narrowly on technical skills; this has resulted in a tech community that too often puts companies and code over people. Greater Than Code is a podcast that invites the voices of people who are not heard from enough in tech: women, people of color, trans and/or queer folks, to talk about the human side of software development and technology. Greater Than Code is providing a vital platform for these conversations, and developing new ideas of what it means to be a technologist beyond just the code.
Featuring an ongoing panel of racially and gender diverse tech panelists, the majority of podcast guests so far have been women in tech! We’ve covered topics including imposter syndrome, mental illness, sexuality, unconscious bias and social justice. We also have a major focus on skill sets that tech too often devalues, like team-building, hiring, community organizing, mentorship and empathy. Each episode also includes a transcript.
We have an active Slack community that members can join by pledging as little as $1 per month via Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/greaterthancode)

    243: Equitable Design: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know with Jennifer Strickland

    243: Equitable Design: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know with Jennifer Strickland

    02:51 - Jennifer’s Superpower: Kindness & Empathy



    Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)


    07:37 - Equitable Design and Inclusive Design



    Section 508 Compliance
    Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
    HmntyCentrd
    Creative Reaction Lab


    15:43 - Biases and Prejudices



    Self-Awareness
    Daniel Kahneman's System 1 & System 2 Thinking
    Jennifer Strickland: “You’re Killing Your Users!”


    22:57 - So...What do we do? How do we get people to care?



    Caring About People Who Aren’t You
    Listening
    Using Web Standards and Prioritizing Web Accessibility


    Designing with Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman
    Bulletproof Web Design by Dan Cederholm

    Progressive Enhancement
    Casey’s Cheat Sheet
    Jennifer Strickland: “Ohana for Digital Service Design”
    Self-Care


    33:22 - How Ego Plays Into These Things



    Actions Impact Others
    For, With, and By
    Indi Young


    44:05 - Empathy and Accessibility



    Testability/Writing Tests
    Screen Readers


    TalkBack
    Microsoft Narrator
    NVDA
    Jaws

    Heydon Pickering


    Reflections:


    Casey: Animals can have cognitive disabilities too.


    Damien: Equitable design initiatives and destroying the tenants of white supremacy.


    Jennifer: Rest is key.


    This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode


    To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.


    Transcript:


    MANDO: Hello, friends! Welcome to Greater Than Code, Episode number 243. My name is Mando Escamilla and I'm here with my wonderful friend, Damien Burke.


    DAMIEN: Thank you, Mando, and I am here with our wonderful friend, Casey Watts.


    CASEY: Hi, I'm Casey, and we're all here today with Jennifer Strickland.


    With more than 25 years of experience across the product lifecycle, Jennifer aims to ensure no one is excluded from products and services. She first heard of Ohana in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind, or forgotten.” People don’t know what they don’t know and are often unaware of the corners they cut that exclude people. Empathy, compassion, and humility are vital to communication about these issues. That’s Jennifer focus in equitable design initiatives.


    Welcome, Jennifer!


    JENNIFER: Hi!


    DAMIEN: You’re welcome.


    MANDO: Hi, Jennifer. So glad you’re here.


    JENNIFER: I'm so intrigued. [laughs] And I'm like 243 and this is the first I'm hearing of it?!


    DAMIEN: Or you can go back and listen to them all.


    MANDO: Yeah.


    CASEY: That must be 5, almost 6 years?


    JENNIFER: Do you have transcripts of them all?


    CASEY: Yes.


    JENNIFER: Great!


    MANDO: Yeah. I think we do. I think they're all transcribed now.


    JENNIFER: I'm one of those people [chuckles] that prefers to read things than listen.


    DAMIEN: I can relate to that.


    CASEY: I really enjoy Coursera courses. They have this interface where you can listen, watch the video, and there's a transcript that moves and highlights sentence by sentence. I want that for everything.


    MANDO: Oh, yeah. That's fantastic. It's like closed captioning [laughs] for your audio as well.


    JENNIFER: You can also choose the speed, which I appreciate. I generally want to speed things up, which yes, now that I'm getting older, I have to realize life is worth slowing down for. But when you're in a life where survival is what you're focused on, because you have a bunch of things that are slowing your roll and survival is the first thing in your mind, you tend to take all the jobs, work all the jobs, do all of the things because it's how you get out of poverty, or whatever your thing is.


    So I've realized how much I've multitasked and worked and worked and

    • 57 min
    242: Considering The Social Side of Tech with Trond Hjorteland

    242: Considering The Social Side of Tech with Trond Hjorteland

    01:20 - The Superpower of Sociotechnical System (STS) Design: Considering the Social AND the Technical. The social side matters.



    Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity by Michael C. Jackson
    Open Systems


    Mechanical
    Animate
    Social
    Ecological

    On Purposeful Systems: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Individual and Social Behavior as a System of Purposeful Events


    09:14 - The Origins of Sociotechnical Systems



    Taylorism
    Trond Hjorteland: Sociotechnical Systems Design for the “Digital Coal Mines”*


    Norwegian Industrial Democracy Program



    18:42 - Design From Above vs Self-Organization



    Participative Design
    Idealized Design
    Solving Problems is not Systems Thinking


    29:39 - Systemic Change and Open Systems



    Organizationally Closed but Structurally Open
    Getting Out of the Machine Age and Into Systems Thinking (The Information Age)
    The Basis for the Viable System Model / Stafford Beer // Javier Livas
    What is Cybernetics? Conference by Stafford Beer
    Jean Yang: Developer Experience: Stuck Between Abstraction and a Hard Place?
    The Embodiment and Hermeneutic Relations


    37:47 - The Fourth Industrial Revolution



    4 Historical Stages in the Development of Work


    Mechanization
    Automation
    Centralization
    Computerization

    Ironies of Automation by Lisanne Bainbridge
    Ten challenges for making automation a "team player" in joint human-agent activity
    Jessica Kerr - Principles of Collaborative Automation


    Reflections:


    Jessica: “You are capable of taking in stuff that you didn’t know you see.” – Trond


    Trond: In physics we do our best to remove the people and close it as much as possible. In IT it's opposite; We work in a completely open system where the human part is essential.


    Rein: What we call human error is actually a human’s inability to cope with complexity. We need to get better at managing complexity; not controlling it.


    This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode


    To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.


    Transcript:


    REIN: Welcome to Episode 242 of Greater Than Code. I’m here with my friend, Jessica Kerr.


    JESSICA: Thanks, Rein and I'm excited because today we are here with Trond Hjorteland.


    Trond is an IT architect aspiring sociotechnical systems designer from the consulting firm Scienta.no—that's no as in the country code for Norway, not no as in no science. Trond has many years of experience with large, complex, business critical systems as a developer and an architect on middleware and backend applications so he's super interested in service orientation, domain driven design—went like that one—event driven architectures and of course, sociotechnical systems, which is our topic today! These happen in industries across the world like telecom, media, TV, government.


    Trond’s mantra is, “Great products emerge from collaborative sensemaking and design.” I concur.


    Trond, welcome to Greater Than Code!


    TROND: Thank you for having me. It's fun being here.


    JESSICA: Trond, as a Northern European, I know our usual question about superpowers makes you nervous. So let me change it up a little bit: what is your superpower of sociotechnical system design?


    TROND: Oh, that's a good one. I'm glad you turned it over because we are from the land of the Jante, as you may have heard of, where people are not supposed to be anything better than anybody else. So being a superhero, that's not something that we are accustomed to now, so to speak.


    So the topic there, sociotechnical system, what makes you a superhero by having that perspective? I think it's in the name, really. Do you act

    • 48 min
    241: Data Science Science with Adam Ross Nelson

    241: Data Science Science with Adam Ross Nelson

    01:25 - Teaching, Learning, and Education


    06:16 - Becoming a Data Scientist



    Opportunities to Create New Knowledge
    Data Science Science


    19:36 - Solving Bias in Data Science



    Weapons of Math Destruction


    23:36 - Recommendations for Aspiring Data Scientists



    Hire a Career Coach
    Creating and Maintaining a Portfolio
    * Make a Rosetta Stone


    Make a Cheat Sheet
    Write an Article on a Piece of Software You Dislike


    A Few Times, I’ve Broken Pandas
    Kyle Kingsbury Posts

    Contribute to Another Project


    Post On Project Contribution


    Spend $$$/Invest on Transition
    Bet On Yourself


    45:36 - Impostor Syndrome



    Immunity Boosts


    Community
    Know Your Baseline


    Clance Impostor Phenomenon Test
    Dr. Pauline Rose Clance
    The Imposter Phenomenon: An Internal Barrier To Empowerment and Achievement by Pauline Rose Clance and Maureen Ann O'Toole

    Disseminate Knowledge

    Confidence Leads to Confidence
    Dunning-Kruger Effect
    Johari Window


    Reflections:


    Mae: Checking out the metrics resources on Impostor Syndrome listed above.


    Casey: Writing about software in a positive, constructive tone.


    Mando: Investing in yourself. from:sheaserrano bet on yourself


    Adam: Talking about career, data science, and programming in a non-technical way. Also, Twitter searches for book names!


    This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode


    To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.


    Transcript:


    MANDO: Good afternoon, everyone! Welcome to Greater Than Code. This is Episode number 241. I'm Mando Escamilla and I'm here with my friend, Mae Beale.


    MANDO: Hi, there! And I am also here with Casey Watts.


    CASEY: Hi, I am Casey! And we're all here with Adam Ross Nelson, our guest today.


    Welcome, Adam.


    ADAM: Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for having me. I'm so glad to be here.


    CASEY: Since 2020, Adam is a consultant who provides research, data science, machine learning, and data governance services. Previously, he was the inaugural data scientist at The Common Application which provides undergraduate college application platforms for institutions around the world. He holds a PhD from The University of Wisconsin: Madison in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis.


    Adam is also formerly an attorney with a history of working in higher education, teaching all ages, and educational administration. He is passionate about connecting with other data professionals in-person and online. For more information and background look for his insights by connecting with Adam on LinkedIn, Medium, and other online platforms.


    We are lucky we have him here today. So Adam, what is your superpower and how did you acquire it?


    ADAM: I spent so much time thinking about this question, I really wasn't sure what to say. I hadn't thought about my superpower in a serious way in a very long time and I was tempted to go whimsy with this, but I got input from my crowd and my tribe and where I landed was teaching, learning, and education.


    You might look at my background with a PhD in education, leadership, and policy analysis, all of my work in education administration, higher education administration, and teaching and just conclude that was how I acquired the superpower. But I think that superpower goes back much further and much deeper.


    So when I was a kid, I was badly dyslexic. Imagine going through life and you can't even tell the difference between a lowercase B and a lowercase D. Indistinguishable to me. Also, I had trouble with left and right. I didn't know if someone told me turn left here, I'd be lucky to go – I had a 50/50 chance of going in the right direction, basic

    • 1h 2 min
    240: No Striving, No Hustling with Amelia Winger-Bearskin

    240: No Striving, No Hustling with Amelia Winger-Bearskin

    02:11 - Wampum.Codes



    MIT Co-Creation Studio
    Mozilla Fellowships
    Check out some episodes!


    Super-Group - Indigenous Tech, Indigenous Knowledge: Wampum.codes as a model for decolonization [Episode]
    Weirdness with MorningStar [Episode]
    Comedy in the age of Quarantine: A conversation with comedy writer and performer Joey Clift [Episode]
    Rock Hands with "Roo": a conversation with DeLesslin "Roo" George-Warren [Episode]



    08:13 - Amelia’s Superpower: Being invited to cool parties!



    no-funding.com


    11:26 - Storytelling & Performance



    The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture


    20:16 - “Indigenous Antecedent Technology”



    Decentralized Economies


    24:16 - “Ethical Dependencies”



    Indigenous wisdom as a model for software design and development
    Articulating Values
    Community Accountability
    Policing vs Accountability


    35:48 - Handling Disagreements and Giving Permission to Fail


    40:55 - Robert’s Rules of Order


    44:23 - “No Striving, No Hustling”


    47:33 - Facilitating Communication with Peers



    Storytelling Cont’d
    Studio Ghibli Storytelling
    "Ma" – Negative Space


    This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode


    To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.


    Transcript:


    CORALINE: Hello and welcome to Episode 240 of the Greater Than Code podcast. My name is Coraline Ada Ehmke. I'm very happy to be with you here today, and I'm also really happy to be here with my great friend, Jamey Hampton.


    JAMEY: Thanks, Coraline. I'm glad to be on the show with you, too, and I'm also here with my great friend, Jacob Stoebel.


    JACOB: Aw, hello, and I'm going to introduce our guest.


    Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist and technologist who creates playful work with XR, VR, AI, AR, AV, and other esoteric systems of story and code. Amelia is the founder and host of wampum.codes podcast and the stupidhackathon.com. She is a Senior Technical Training Specialist for Contentful and host of the Contentful + Algolia Developer Podcast DreamStacks. She is working on ethics-based dependencies for software development as a Mozilla Fellow embedded at the MIT Co-Creation Studio.


    Welcome to the podcast.


    AMELIA: Thank you so much! I'm so excited to be here. You all are some of my favorite people, so [laughs] excited to chat on record.


    CORALINE: And today's going to be very technical; we’re going to ask you some very technical questions about XR, VR, AI, AR, AV and…


    JAMEY: That's a lot of letters.


    CORALINE: SP, everything.


    AMELIA: [laughs] Yeah, we were at a function. Coding. Yeah, let's crack it. [laughs]


    CORALINE: Amelia, just on a personal level, I'm so happy to have you here. You and I have talked before, we're both involved in ethical source, and I’m such an admirer of your work. I'm so happy to have this conversation in public with you today.


    AMELIA: Oh, back at you, Coraline. I love ethical source and I've been so excited to join your team of rebels, exciting thinkers, and dreamers. So I'm really excited to be here with you and in community with you.


    CORALINE: So Amelia, I first became aware of your work through your wampum.codes project that you did. Well, it's an ongoing project, but I guess, you started it with the Mozilla Fellowship. Can you talk a little bit about that? I think it's really fascinating.


    AMELIA: Oh, thank you so much for the opportunity. When I started my Mozilla Fellowship embedded at the MIT Co-Creation Studio, it was actually pre-pandemic. So it was right, but not very much so it was only a couple of months. We got to go to London and meet each other and I got to hang out a little bit at MIT

    • 1h
    239: Accessibility and Sexuality with Eli Holderness

    239: Accessibility and Sexuality with Eli Holderness

    01:35 - Eli’s Superpower: Germinating Seeds & Gardening


    03:03 - Accessibility in Tech



    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
    Remote Work


    09:16 - Having Conversations with Leadership/Management



    Trust & Honesty
    Communication
    Shame & Guilt; Managing Expectations


    18:26 - Team Culture and Support



    Setting Good Examples
    Reducing Stigma
    Removing Onus


    20:09 - Human Performance & Safety



    People are the source of your success
    Pretending Out of Fear and Rejection
    Context-Switching


    29:09 - Being Who You Are – Sexuality in the Workplace



    Battling Thoughts of Deception
    “I am allowed to change at any time.”
    I Am Me by Virginia Satir
    Discarding Things That No Longer Fit
    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō


    37:33 - Sobriety & Drinking Culture


    Reflections:


    John: Your marginalizations are not problems to be managed. They’re just who you are.


    Mandy: “I own me and therefore I can engineer me.” – Virginia Satir


    Rein: “I own everything about me, My body including everything it does; My mind including all its thoughts and ideas; My eyes including the images of all they behold; My feelings whatever they may be… anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement My Mouth and all the words that come out of it polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect; My Voice loud or soft. And all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself.” – Virginia Satir


    Eli: How complicated and complex but beautiful it is to be a person. Make space.


    This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode


    To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.


    Transcript:


    JOHN: Welcome to Greater Than Code, Episode 239. I’m John Sawers and I’m here with Rein Henrichs.


    REIN: Thanks, John! And I’m here with my friend and a very special co-host, Mandy Moore.


    MANDY: Thanks, Rein. Hi, everyone! Today, we’re here with Eli Holderness.


    Eli has been in tech for 5 years since graduating in 2016 and has become disabled with CFS a few months into their career, which has really affected how they view the industry and what jobs they've been able to take. They're also genderqueer, bi, ADHD, and Jewish, and they're excited to talk about finally having a job where they can bring their whole self to work. They're quite an extrovert and have been blessed with a strong queer support network since university, and are keen to break down the barriers into tech that shut out other marginalized folk who aren't so lucky as Eli has been.


    Welcome to the show, Eli.


    ELI: Hi! Yeah, I'm super excited to be here and really honored to be here for Mandy’s first in on the panel.


    I don't really have a thesis statement for what I want to talk about today, other than I guess, general topics around accessibility and tech, and an interesting aspect of that is things that have changed over the last year with the recent horribleness.


    MANDY: That sounds great. But first, we have to ask you the question we always ask everyone and that is what is your superpower and how did you acquire it?


    ELI: So my superpower is, if you give me a seed, like a plant seed, I can probably germinate it and it's a double-edged sword. Recently, I saw my parents. I was lucky enough to see my parents early in the year and my mom was making a tie out with Seville oranges and she said, “I've got all these Seville orange seeds. Do you want them?” And long story short, now I have a whole crop of orange seedlings on my windowsill because I just cannot stop myself.


    I'm not really sure how I acquired it. I think I might h

    • 45 min
    238: Contributing to Humanity and Mutual Aid – Solidarity, Not Charity

    238: Contributing to Humanity and Mutual Aid – Solidarity, Not Charity

    01:00 - Mae’s Superpower: Being Able to Relate to Other People and Finding Ways to Support Them


    03:42 - Contributing to Humanity (Specifically American Culture)



    Title Track Michigan


    Climate Change
    Clean, Accessible Water
    Hate & Divisiveness; Understanding Racial Justice



    07:01 - Somatics and The Effects of Yoga, Meditation, and Self-Awareness



    Flow
    Kripalu
    PubMed
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


    Debugging Your Brain by Casey Watts



    12:20 - Mutual Aid: Solidarity, Not Charity



    WeCamp
    Ruby For Good
    Harm Reduction
    Encampments
    “We keep us safe.”
    Rainbow Gatherings
    Burning Man
    Big Big Table Community Cafe


    33:17 - Giving vs Accepting Help; Extending and Accepting Love, Empathy, and Forgiveness



    Collective Liberation
    The Parable of Polygons
    Listening: What could be of use?
    99 Bottles of OOP – Sandi Metz


    48:25 - The Mental Health Challenges of Being a Programmer



    Celebrating Small Wins; “Microjoys!”


    Reflections:


    Casey: The word mutual aid can be more approachable if you think about it like people helping people and not a formal organization. Also: help and be helped!


    Jamey: Valuing yourself and the way that helps the communities you are a part of.


    Mae: Engaging with users using the things you're building is a reward and a way to give yourself “microjoy!”


    This episode was brought to you by @therubyrep of DevReps, LLC. To pledge your support and to join our awesome Slack community, visit patreon.com/greaterthancode


    To make a one-time donation so that we can continue to bring you more content and transcripts like this, please do so at paypal.me/devreps. You will also get an invitation to our Slack community this way as well.


    Transcript:


    JAMEY: Hello and welcome to Episode 238 of Greater Than Code. I am your host, Jamey Hampton, and I'm here with my friend, Casey Watts.


    CASEY: Hi, I'm Casey, and we're both here today with our guest, Mae Beale.


    Mae spent 20 years in and out of nonprofit-land, with jaunts into biochemistry and women's studies degreeing, full-time pool playing, high school chemistry and physics teaching, higher ed senior administrating, and more. She went to code school in 2014 (at 37 years old) to gain the technical skills needed to build the tools she wished she'd had in all the years prior.


    So glad to have you, Mae.


    MAE: Thanks, Casey. Thanks, Jamey. Same for me.


    JAMEY: So you may be ready for the first question that we're going to ask you, which is, what is your superpower and how did you acquire it?


    MAE: Yeah, thank you. I think that my superpower is being able to relate to other people and find ways to support them. How did I get good at that? Well, I've dealt with a lot of pretty complicated people in my life that you have to do extra thinking to figure out. So I think I got my start with that and I've done lots of different things in life and met lots of different people and felt lots of different feelings and thought lots of different thoughts. So I think that's mostly it: living.


    JAMEY: I was going to say that I know from knowing you that you've done lots of things, but even our listeners who don't know you probably already know that just after listening to your bio, so.


    [laughter]


    MAE: Yeah, and there's plenty more that didn't make it in there. That's something that is fun and a joke is no matter how long people know me, there's always still something that they didn't know and so, that's fun for me. I like to surprise other people and I love being surprised by people. So it's like a little game I have with all my fun facts.


    JAMEY: I love that.


    CASEY: I've got a question: what's on your mind lately.


    MAE: What is on my mind lately? So many things, I don't even know where to start. One is where and how can I contribute to the future of humanity [chuckles] and American culture in particular and in the circles that I'm in, drawing

    • 56 min

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