2/24/2015

How to Find Fulfilling Work

The key to finding fulfilling work is to think a lot, analyse one's fears, understand the market, reflect on capitalism - and to watch this film.

 

Why are women leaving the tech industry in droves?

Ana Redmond launched into a technology career for an exciting challenge and a chance to change the world. She was well-equipped to succeed too: An ambitious math and science wiz, she could code faster, with fewer errors, than anyone she knew.

In 2011, after 15 years, she left before achieving a management position.

Garann Means became a programmer for similar reasons. After 13 years, she quit too, citing a hostile and unwelcoming environment for women.

Neither expects to ever go back.

"There are a lot of things that piled up over the years," Means said. "I didn't know how to move forward. There was a lot I had to put up with in the culture of tech. It just didn't seem worth it."

That's a huge problem for the tech economy. According to the industry group Code.org, computing jobs will more than double by 2020, to 1.4 million. If women continue to leave the field, an already dire shortage of qualified tech workers will grow worse. Last summer, Google, Facebook, Apple and other big tech companies released figures showing that men outnumbered women 4 to 1 or more in their technical sectors.

It's why the industry is so eager to hire women and minorities. For decades tech companies have relied on a workforce of whites and Asians, most of them men.

Plenty of programs now encourage girls and minorities to embrace technology at a young age. But amid all the publicity for those efforts, one truth is little discussed: Qualified women are leaving the tech industry in droves.

Women in tech say filling the pipeline of talent won't do much good if women keep quitting — it's like trying to fill a leaking bucket.

"It's a really frustrating thing," said Laura Sherbin, director of research at the Center for Talent Innovation. "The pipeline may not improve much unless women can look ahead and see it's a valuable investment."...more 

Travolta vs. Cumberbatch


ART: Cesar Biojo



MUSIC: Little Daylight - My Life (Halogen Remix)

MUSIC: Pearls - Big Shot

MUSIC: Dude Skywalker - I'm The Dude

2/09/2015

AI Websites that Design Themselves #welcometothefuture


Making the process of building websites less complicated is a growth industry. Just look at the success of WordPress and Squarespace. Yet with all the templates and customization available from these platforms, it still leaves humans to do most of the decision-making—should you put that checkout button in the middle or top right? You'll need another app if you want to A/B test it and find the answer.

What if instead your website used machine learning to build itself, and then rebuilt as necessary, based on data it was gathering about how it was being used? That's what The Grid is aiming to do. After you add content such as pictures, text, and videos—the stuff everyone enjoys interacting with—your obligation to design anything ends.

"We want to make the experience more fun," says The Grid founder and CEO Dan Tocchini. "I think the key to that is focusing on the content. It's what all the people [users] do, just focus on the content."

The Grid advertises itself as "AI websites that design themselves." But what that really means is that through a lot of complicated technical work, Tocchini is trying to completely alleviate fundamental issues with web design for someone like your mom or dad.

When you create a website with The Grid it asks you to define a purpose for the content, whether that's gaining followers, getting clicks, video views, crowdfunding, or a handful of other options. The layout will adapt and change based on those goals. You can go from something personal to commercial by adding something to sell—the commerce elements will appear and disappear as needed.

Colors are picked out of the images that you upload, algorithmically ordered, and matched together. Shapes are added around certain types of content and images are cropped perfectly. You'll notice nobody's face goes missing on the pages. That's one of the hallmark features that Tocchini is visibly excited about, The Grid's ability to detect faces and, no matter how the image is resized, keep them visible...more