Austin, TX April 25, 2015
Toward Structure and Disambiguation: Supporting Diversity in Development Teams

It's not unheard of for a newly hired software engineer to find herself unable to get traction and to start meaningfully contribute. The manager may decide that the new hire can't be given any of the upcoming projects, because they require too much familiarity with the existing codebase and need to be done fast; thus, weeks or even months can go by and the new person still can't start contributing for real.

Often this is due to structurelessness and lack of planning of software development process, which causes the projects to be grabbed by developers on an ad-hoc basis, staking their claim over a particular programming project. This can isolate and hinder a person who has a realistic estimation rather than overconfidence in their skills, as is more typical of women. This could be a big factor in why women leave software development. We will look into how software development process could be structured to give new developers, especially women, a path to success in the team.