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Women in Tech: “Aptitude has Nothing to Do with Gender or Inborn Capabilities”


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Jessica Yu, Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE.

"It is small social and cultural hints like that that can chip away at girls sense of confidence and belonging in the field," says Jessica Yu, Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE.

Credit: JAXenter.com

Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we'd like you to meet Jessica Yu, Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE.

research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that "gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings," which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?

Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we'd like you to meet Jessica Yu, Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE.

Jessica is a Linux Kernel Developer at SUSE who maintains the kernel module loader and helps debug core kernel issues.

In a previous life, she worked on kernel live patching.

When did you become interested in technology?

As a child I was casually interested in technology. I remember picking up some HTML and CSS in order to customize my Neopets store and make some video game fanpages on Geocities, but that was pretty much the extent of it.

I didn't get seriously interested in programming until university, when I installed Linux on my laptop for the first time. I had only used Windows up until then and was drawn by how much control and flexibility Linux grants its users. It doesn't box them in a specific setup. You could tweak and control nearly every detail of your system, from the bootloader to the desktop environment and everything else in between. Not only that, you're encouraged to tinker with these components, understand how they work, and even contribute to their source code! It was the enormity of choice and freedom that drew me into open source and ultimately, a career in technology.

 

From JAXenter

MIT News (09/13/13) Larry Hardesty


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