225 episodes

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

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 41 Ratings

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)

    217: Robots As "Social Entities" with Laura Major

    217: Robots As "Social Entities" with Laura Major

    02:05 - Laura’s Superpower: Problem Solving


    04:07 - What to Expect When You’re Expecting Robots



    Check out our interview with Laura’s coauthor: Greater Than Code Episode 216: Robot and Human Collaboration with Julie Shah
    Where is human collaboration with robots heading?


    06:59 - The Human/Robot Partnership



    Robot Personification
    Positives and Negatives
    Robots Will Never Be Perfect
    Making Our World “Robot Compatible”


    14:34 - Human Behavior Towards Robots; Vice-Versa



    HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot, gets beheaded in Philadelphia
    Marty the grocery store robot is a glimpse into our hell-ish future
    The robot waiters in this Japanese cafe are controlled by people with paralysis


    20:38 - Robots as “Social Entities”



    Safety Transcending Competition
    Contextualization


    Observable
    Predictable
    Directable



    24:43 - How Media Affects The Way People View Robots



    Science-Fiction Expectations


    26:39 - How Humans Can “Update” Themselves: Experiencing Robotics



    Direct Exposure


    28:23 - Robots as “Social Entities” (Cont’d)



    Vigilance Decrement
    Communication Problems
    Change Agent by Daniel Suarez
    What Robots/Humans Will/Should? Expect From Eachother


    39:52 - Will and, if so, when will autonomous cars become the standard?



    Swiss Cheese Model


    Reflections:


    John: What is the right level of empathy for social entities?


    Jamey: Being in the process of consciously creating new social norms and thinking more thoroughly about who you could be hurting with your actions.


    Push, the talking trash can, makes his final appearance after 19 years at Walt Disney World


    Casey: Treating certain social entities in different ways; i.e. a Roomba and a dishwasher. And, the way you have to think about who is outside autonomous cars: not just the passengers. Also, we should be on the lookout for robotaxis!


    Laura: Not wanting robots in the future to look too much like people.


    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.
    Special Guest: Laura Major.
    Support Greater Than Code

    • 50 min
    216: Robot and Human Collaboration with Julie Shah

    216: Robot and Human Collaboration with Julie Shah

    02:21 - Julie’s Superpower: Working Really Hard and Maintaining Focused Attention on Things for a Long Period of Time


    04:25 - Robotics and Working in Artificial Intelligence (AI)



    What To Expect When You're Expecting Robots: The Future of Human-Robot Collaboration (Julie and Laura Major’s book)


    11:10 - Structuring and Optimizing the World for Machines, AI, and Robots



    The Turing Test
    Labeled Data
    Teslas vs Airplanes
    Mode Confusion
    Ten challenges for making automation a "team player" in joint human-agent activity


    26:10 - Understanding Output and Building Calibrated Trust



    Mental Models


    33:39 - Robots and Humans in Public Spaces



    Predictability
    Directability
    Standardization
    Infrastructure
    Safety Imperatives
    Future of Work Implications
    Joint Activity


    The Shannon Model



    51:41 - What To Expect When You're Expecting Robots: The Future of Human-Robot Collaboration (Book Discussion)


    54:40 - More on Human/Machine Collaboration:



    Girl Decoded: A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology
    Reinforcement learning with human teachers: Evidence of feedback and guidance with implications for learning performance
    Evaluating fluency in human–robot collaboration


    Reflections:


    Rein: There may be a sense in which AI or ML systems are categorically different from the sorts of systems we’ve tried to control in the past because you can’t characterize the variety of the system anymore just by observing its inputs and outputs.


    Damien: Artificial intelligence is not human intelligence, nor should it be. The goals are making systems and human lives better; not making the computer better.


    Julie: Aim for mediocrity!


    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.
    Special Guest: Julie Shah.
    Sponsored By:
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    Get started on Linode today with $100 in free credit for listeners of Greater Than Code. You can find all the details at linode.com/greaterthancode.

    Linode has 11 global data centers and provides 24/7/365 human support with no tiers or hand-offs regardless of your plan size. In addition to shared and dedicated compute instances, you can use your $100 in credit on S3-compatible object storage, Managed Kubernetes, and more.

    Visit linode.com/greaterthancode and click on the "Create Free Account" button to get started.Support Greater Than Code

    • 1 hr 4 min
    215: Gathering Data in Machine Learning with Abeba Birhane

    215: Gathering Data in Machine Learning with Abeba Birhane

    01:41 - Descartes was wrong: ‘a person is a person through other persons’



    Abeba Birhane on a person is a person through other persons
    Cartesian Thinking
    Individualism


    13:59 - Predicting How People Behave and Act via Machine Learning is Ethically Flawed



    “Measuring” People
    Simon’s Ant
    Abstraction


    Greater Than Code Episode 038: Category Theory for Normal Humans with Dr. Eugenia Cheng
    Order Out of Chaos by Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers

    Collecting Data
    Confirmation Bias


    34:21 - Examining Machine Learning Models and Data



    Means Testing
    Generalized Empathy


    “When you get rid of what you don’t want, you do not necessarily get what you do want and you may get something you want a lot less. It is that simple…..anyone that ever watches television knows that!” – Russell L. Ackoff



    “Scoring” People Perpetuates Stereotypes
    Acurracy Confirms Bias


    50:09 - Important Ideosyncracies and Contaminating Factors



    Seeing and appreciating the potential to be different in every person in every situation.
    The ability to tease apart existing cultural ideas around identity and humanity.
    Taking concepts from different but related fields and seeing their connectedness and bringing them together into a whole that is more than the sum of their parts.
    Seeing consequences that don’t belong to any one cause.


    Reflections:


    Mando: Cartesian thinking and worldview is embedded in us.


    Avdi: “Contaminating factors.”



    “Dive into yourself to find yourself.”



    Rein: Jainism has gotten this right for centuries.



    The Elephant and the Blindfolded Men Parable
    The Theory of Conditioned Predication or Contigency
    The Theory of Partial Standpoints


    Jessica: Giving the Cartesian program credit for what it’s good for: using science as a way to break things down into parts and studying them deeply; we’ve learned a lot.


    Abeba: It’s not all bad. BUT, we forget to put the pieces back together and acknowledge reality.


    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.)
    Special Guest: Abeba Birhane.
    Sponsored By:
    Twilio: Businesses all over the world right now are trying to reinvent how they connect with the world. Whether a business is delivering packages, treating patients, or running a global customer support center, their customers need them to invent new ways to stay connected. Twilio is the platform that Fortune 500 companies and startups alike trust to build seamless communications experiences with phone calls, text messages, video calls, and more. Really, the only limit becomes your developer’s imaginations. It’s time to build. Visit twilio.com to learn more.Support Greater Than Code

    • 1 hr 1 min
    214: The Righteous Mind with Rylan Bowers

    214: The Righteous Mind with Rylan Bowers

    01:26 - Rylan’s Superpower: Helping People & Giving Back to Community



    “The rising tide lifts all boats.”


    03:01 - The Righteous Mind / Making and Rationalizing Choices



    Jonathan Haidt
    Moral Psychology
    The Happiness Hypothesis (The Elephant Metaphor)
    Social Intuitionism


    09:11 - An Example of a Moral Reaction (CW Beastiality)


    10:26 - Humans as Individuals vs Humans as Species / Increasing Group-Level Cohesion



    Homo Duplex
    Transactional Leadership vs Transformational Leadership
    T-Groups: Resources for Interpersonal Skill Development


    19:43 - Bridging the Gap Politically



    Thinking Empathatically
    “Addressing the Elephant”
    CivilPolitics.org: Educating the Public on Evidence-based methods for improving inter-group civility
    How One Man Convinced 200 Ku Klux Klan Members To Give Up Their Robes


    27:59 - Looking at Morality



    The WEIRD Culture (western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic)
    5 Main Foundations


    Care vs Harm
    Fairness vs Reciprocity
    Loyalty vs Betrayal
    Authority vs Subversion
    Purity/Sanctity vs Degradation


    The Omnivore’s Dilemma

    Liberty vs Oppression


    YourMorals.Org




    38:55 - Morality Binds and Blinds / Group Cohesion



    Haidt: humans are 90 percent chimp and 10 percent bee
    Sanctitity


    Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain De Botton



    48:37 - Moving Forward / Fixing Divisiveness / Welcoming People w/ Different Viewpoints



    Yin and Yang
    APA Convention Keynote 2016 ft. Jonathan Haidt
    Mani (prophet) / (Manichaeism)
    Anti-Intellectualism


    Reflections:


    Damien: The Happiness Hypothesis (The Elephant Metaphor): Reflecting on the elephant.


    Rylan: Finding a middle ground.



    “The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose; Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between 'for' and 'against' is the mind's worst disease.” ― Jianzhi Sengcan



    John: The value of conservative viewpoints vs liberal viewpoints.


    Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath


    More Resources:



    The Ezra Klein Show
    inter-group civility (Large potential list of remedies)
    Jonathan Haidt: The Coddling of the American Mind
    The Political Compass
    Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives (TED Talk)


    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.
    Special Guest: Rylan Bowers.
    Sponsored By:
    Twilio: Businesses all over the world right now are trying to reinvent how they connect with the world. Whether a business is delivering packages, treating patients, or running a global customer support center, their customers need them to invent new ways to stay connected. Twilio is the platform that Fortune 500 companies and startups alike trust to build seamless communications experiences with phone calls, text messages, video calls, and more. Really, the only limit becomes your developer’s imaginations. It’s time to build. Visit twilio.com to learn more.Support Greater Than Code

    • 1 hr 5 min
    213: This Is Me with Cher

    213: This Is Me with Cher

    CONTENT WARNING: Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse & Addiction


    01:12 - Cher’s Superpower: Making and Collecting Hot Sauce



    Gastroparesis
    Hobby vs Coping Mechanism


    04:33 - Good Ideas Can Come From Anywhere



    Drive to Execute
    Becoming a Mentor/Leader
    Curiosity and Understanding the Big Picture
    Seeking Feedback From Others While Introspecting Feedback From Yourself


    12:50 - Bravery, Enduring, and Overcoming; Eradicating Stigmas and Breaking Stereotypes



    Impostor Syndrome
    Blowing the Top Off Gatekeep-y Assumptions in Tech
    Rawness and Integrity
    Nader Dabit & Kurt Kemple
    “You’re not alone,” “I’m not special,” and “You can get here too.”
    Using Your Journey to Empower Yourself and Others
    MARLON CRAFT | FUNK FLEX | #Freestyle140


    30:12 - Struggle, Opportunity, and Recognizing White Privilege



    Activating Empathy
    Manifesting Goodness


    Reflections:


    John: The incredible power we can have as people when we claim our story rather than deny it.


    Rein: There is a huge potential for empathy between people with a lot in common, and it’s just about unlocking the potential that already exists.


    Cher: Empathy is the glue that holds everything together.


    Jerome: The skills transfer of experience.


    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.
    Special Guest: Cher.
    Sponsored By:
    Twilio: Businesses all over the world right now are trying to reinvent how they connect with the world. Whether a business is delivering packages, treating patients, or running a global customer support center, their customers need them to invent new ways to stay connected. Twilio is the platform that Fortune 500 companies and startups alike trust to build seamless communications experiences with phone calls, text messages, video calls, and more. Really, the only limit becomes your developer’s imaginations. It’s time to build. Visit twilio.com to learn more.Support Greater Than Code

    • 50 min
    212: Diversify Tech with Veni Kunche

    212: Diversify Tech with Veni Kunche

    01:17 - Veni’s Superpower: Being Adaptable and Not Giving Up


    02:25 - Going From Coder to Entrepreneur



    Diversify Tech
    Women Who Code
    Code With Veni Newsletter


    07:00 - Being Protective and Selective of Company Partnerships



    Vetting Companies
    Glassdoor
    Talking to Underrepresented Folx at Companies to Ask for Feedback


    14:05 - Changes Veni Has Seen Over Time re: Hiring Around Diversity and Inclusion


    15:38 - Things Hiring Managers Should and Should NOT Do When Hiring for Diversity



    Look at Metrics
    Rethink Job Description Requirements
    Revisit Your Interview Process


    19:13 - Entry-Level Support


    21:50 - Upholding Integrity > Capitalism


    25:48 - Revenue Transparency


    32:13 - Finding Your Place in Tech and Serving Underrepresented People



    Filtering Out Companies
    Guidelines
    Next Steps
    Giving Company Feedback and Direction
    Company Culture


    51:29 - Being Vocal About Work Conditions; i.e.: “Whistleblowing” / Employee Dissent


    Reflections:


    John: The critical role that organizations like Diversify Tech have created by placing themselves in a trusted position between job seekers and companies to protect underrepresented minorities.


    Rein: All Veni’s work developing rubrics and intuitions about companies that are worth working for/with is extremely important and her sharing this expertise is very valuable.


    Veni: To learn more about how comfortable candidates/employees feel about talking about dissent within their organizations.


    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.
    Special Guest: Veni Kunche.
    Sponsored By:
    Twilio: Businesses all over the world right now are trying to reinvent how they connect with the world. Whether a business is delivering packages, treating patients, or running a global customer support center, their customers need them to invent new ways to stay connected. Twilio is the platform that Fortune 500 companies and startups alike trust to build seamless communications experiences with phone calls, text messages, video calls, and more. Really, the only limit becomes your developer’s imaginations. It’s time to build. Visit twilio.com to learn more.Support Greater Than Code

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

J. Barshop ,

Deeply inspiring, thought provoking, and meaningful

The Greater Than Code team and their guests provide some incredibly compelling content on the issues we all face and have the opportunity to fix in the tech community.

Highly recommend listening and subscribing to Greater Than Code if you want a great balance of quality topics and informative discussions!

jstoebel ,

Voices you won’t hear elsewhere

I've been noticing recently that many other tech podcasts seem to draw from the same pool of people over and over. These are the same people who I see over and over on my Twitter feed (if I follow them or not) and while they are bright and have a lot to offer, I can't help but feel if the industry is limiting itself in who we lift up. Some of those folks have been on this podcast too, but there's a lot of other folks I wouldn’t know about otherwise. Its why when I scroll through my podcast feed to decide what to listen to in the morning, GTC is usually top of my list.

JenAD345 ,

Authentic and open

Even with the increased attention and conversation about diversity and all the other 'human' aspects of tech; there is still a lack of truly authentic conversation with people in the trenches. Greater Than Code is goinf a long way to fill that void. The level on honesty and vulnerability by the panelists makes the show.

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