I had the privilege of having my talk accepted at Web Weekend Kathmandu this past weekend, and visited Nepal for the first time. I've mentioned this numerous times before but there aren't that many conferences in Asia, even less so in countries that are not economic powerhouses like Japan or China.
But developers exist in almost every corner of the globe. The issue I have is the perception of developers differs based on which country they are from. This is related to certain long-standing biases that still persist due to the myriad of ways history played out. Depending on where you are from, you will have different feelings just reading the previous sentence. That's just how it is.
I don't think it is hyperbole to say that, on average, women are not as valued as men across the world. Regardless of culture, regardless of industry. Tech is one of those industries where the divide is more significant, probably because of how much money is involved, and also how visible it is these days.
While I was in Kathmandu, there were numerous opportunities to chat with developers and students who were part of the conference, either as attendees or volunteers and I remember very clearly chatting with a girl who was still in college and she mentioned, with a knowing look on her face, how hard it is being one of the few women in her computer science course.
But she was not discouraged or downtrodden. She had bright eyes and a wonderful twinkle in her eye, and wasn't shy about asking all sorts of questions, from career advice, to keeping up with new technologies, to life in general. And this was just one of many memorable conversations I've had while I was in Kathmandu. Almost everybody was curious about the industry outside of Kathmandu, largely because many of them hadn't had the opportunity to see for themselves yet.
In this case, can't we see developer relations as building relationships between developers? Building these relationships across cultures and countries, talking about what we have in common and what is unique to our communities. Sharing ideas and experiences that would ultimately enrich our knowledge and understanding of the greater world outside what we commonly experience.
Just some random thoughts after one of the most amazing conference experiences I've ever had.