So you want more women at your tech event? Put a woman in charge

This is Part 1 of an ongoing series called So you want more women at your tech event?

One of the first things you should do if you want more women at your tech event, is put a woman in charge. Tech events usually have an organizing committee and there should be at least one woman on that committee. You could even try two or more!

But what does “in charge” mean? It means having a woman organizer who will have some authority, who will have the power to say no and to implement positive measures that appeal to women. Yes, I’m telling male event organizers that they have to actually cede some power to women. Continue reading “So you want more women at your tech event? Put a woman in charge”

The price of admission

After I wrote my last blog post on women in tech (or more accurately the invisibility of women in tech), both organizers of Startup Fest emailed me. They weren’t happy with the article. And (surprise!) they wanted me to MC the Granny Den.

They offered to let me help organize the Granny Den, make it more respectful and I’d also get to go to StartupFest for free.

For those arriving late to the party, Startup Fest had planned an event where startups would pitch their ideas to grandmothers. Their reasoning: that if even a grandmother could understand it, anyone could and it would made good business sense.

I called the premise sexist. Continue reading “The price of admission”

The future is mobile – Part I

Last weekend I gave a presentation at WordCamp Montreal 2011 on developing for the mobile Web. The talk covered some easy online tools, and WordPress-specific themes and plugins that require no coding. Then I offered my own solution.

Designing for mobile can be tough because you are designing for so many different devices, screen sizes, screen resolutions, operating devices, and functionality sets. Your design needs to be really flexible in order to work on the majority of mobile devices.

And it needs to be attractive. Most of the mobile web is not especially functional, and what is functional is a bit plain vanilla. It’s quite easy at this point to build a standout site, if you put in the effort. Continue reading “The future is mobile – Part I”