When is AI appropriate?

mathbabe

I was invited last week to an event co-sponsored by the White House,Microsoft, and NYU called AI Now: The social and economic implications of artificial intelligence technologies in the near term. Many of the discussions were under “Chatham House Rule,” which means I get to talk about the ideas without attributing any given idea to any person.

Before I talk about some of the ideas that came up, I want to mention that the definition of “AI” was never discussed. After a while I took it to mean anything that was technological that had an embedded flow chart inside it. So, anything vaguely computerized that made decisions. Even a microwave that automatically detected whether your food was sufficiently hot – and kept heating if it wasn’t – would qualify as AI  under these rules.

In particular, all of the algorithms I studied for my book certainly qualified…

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When is AI appropriate?

Best Resources for Learning PHP

I’m often asked how I taught myself to code (the hard way ;-))

My top 2 favorite resources for learning PHP (and where I developed most of my own PHP coding skills) are:

TuxRadar – Practical PHP Programming
Especially helpful for understanding everything you need to know about working with arrays

Online PHP Guide – A Complete PHP Reference
Simple step-by-step tutorials, starting with how to actually install PHP on your computer.

I’ve also found John Post’s site helpful, especially for it’s repository of PHP functions and it’s PHP Sandbox, which allows you to test your PHP code.

 

Best Resources for Learning PHP

Resources for Recruiting & Retaining Women in Tech

You’ve decided to hire more Women in Tech… Now what?

Tools for Removing Unconscious Bias & Diversity Sourcing

Tactics for Recruiting & Retaining Diverse Candidates:

Specialized Recruitment & Consulting Firms:

  • Awesome CoSurfaces diverse talent for tech companies [New York City]
  • Blendoor – Mobile job matching app that hides candidate name and photo to circumvent unconscious bias and facilitate diversity recruiting in tech companies
  • Paradigm – Has helped companies like Slack and Airbnb identify strategies to more effectively attract, hire, develop, and retain a diverse workforce.
  • Power To Fly – Recruitment firm specializing in remote jobs for women in tech [Global]
  • recruitHER – Full-service recruiting firm committed to connecting tech companies with diverse talent

Women’s Tech Communities

  • Chicago Women Developers – Community of women who love to code or want to learn [Chicago]
  • Ladies Who Code – Brings the brightest female minds together to code, talk tech, share ideas and innovate via global meetups & conferences [Global]
  • Latinas in Computing – Community created by and for the Latinas in computing
  • Lesbians Who Tech – Community of queer women in & around tech (and the people who love them)
  • Linuxchix – Network of women working in Linux around the world. Includes Chicas Linux, a chapter devoted to supporting Spanish-speaking women in Linux. [Global]
  • NY Tech Women – Organizes educational and social events for female technologists [New York City]
  • Systers – One of the world’s largest email communities of technical women in computing [Global]
  • Women’s Coding Collective – Community of women who create for the web [Boston, Global]
  • Women in Tech – Membership organization for women in tech [Global]
  • Women Who Tech – Brings together talented and renowned women breaking new ground in technology who use their tech savvy skills to transform the world and inspire change [Global]

Lists of Top Women in Tech

Additional Resources:

Thank you to Allyson Kapin and the wonderful community of Women Who Tech for introducing me to several of these resources.

Resources for Recruiting & Retaining Women in Tech

Coding Noobie? Tips for making Stack Overflow your Best Friend while Learning to Code

  1. If you’re learning to code, start building your #StackOverflow‬ reputation now by upvoting every post that you find helpful. Once I hit the 400+ mark I started getting a lot more help on SO, and I’d estimate that at least half of those points came from upvoting Q & A’s. It’s also worth remembering that everyone who starts out has many of the same questions as you do – so try and take the time to share answers that you’ve figured out on your own. (One of my most popular answers is a simple jQuery solution I found when I was first starting out)
  2. Remember that it takes time to familiarize yourself with someone else’s specific situation and code, so it’s really important to respond to answers/comments while it’s still fresh in their mind or people are likely to just move on. But I learned that if I kept the momentum going, people would often become invested in helping me solve the problem (often spending hours explaining relevant concepts or crafting code snippets that I’d been struggling).
  3. Learn to appreciate where a lot of the “harshness” is coming from.  If you’ve ever tried answering questions posed on Quora and gotten frustrated by the author’s vagueness and lack of detail or focus, it’ll probably help you understand why people will give you a really hard time on SO for posting unclear or overly broad questions. As unpleasant as it feels, it’s a big part of why SO is such a powerful resource for developers.  Critiques on my phraseology also became a lot less frustrating to deal with when I realized that respondents weren’t necessarily native English speakers and/or have the best communication skills themselves.
  4. Breaking questions up into several smaller questions will often make it far simpler and faster to solve the problem at hand.
Coding Noobie? Tips for making Stack Overflow your Best Friend while Learning to Code