Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

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Image courtesy: tor.com

I don’t much adhere to the 1-day appreciation dogma. Everyday should be mothers/fathers… day.  Sadly, this is plain theory and one should be consistently reminded that some people and things are not to be taken for granted. So, on This Ada LoveLace Day, I cease the opportunity to remind the whole world of the tremendous contribution of women in tech and science.

Ada Lovelace Day is actually an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science.

I was planning on writing about some female scientist who inspired me along the way (and God knows the list is long). But instead, for my first ada lovelace contribution, I thought I’ll celebrate every girl and women out there who is trying her best in a male-dominated field. To all those extraordinary women who sadly never made it to the history books. Thank you for showing us the way, for giving us hope that nothing is impossible, that neither social ideologies nor received ideas can stop us from being anything we set our minds to. Thank you for proving us that tech and science are not gender specific, that we too can and have a lot to contribute.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day to all of you!

Saturday musings: Why is the blogosphere Male-Dominated?

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Image courtesy: flickr

I read this article the other day and I couldn't stop myself from sharing it with you. It's a subject that truly needs to be discussed. Why bloggers are mostly male? Why are they the most active Internet users? 

The female author of this post argues that It's a gender thing: 

[We] believe the urge to blog is closely related to the sex-linked compulsion known as male answer syndrome. MAS is the reason why guys shoot up their hands first in math class. MAS also explains why men are so quick to have opinions on subjects they know little or nothing about.

It's surprising how scientists have a name for almost everything these days! I've certainly witnessed this MAS phenomenon on blogs, facebook, twitter… It is astonishing how you can get more reactions from guys in a day, than you may ever get from a female community in a week! I'm not exaggerating and certainly not being a sexist against my own gender. I truly believe females don't think reacting online (to news or to other people's posts) is a priority and that's a petty since many of them are brilliant and have lots to contribute.  

…women tend to be more restrained and less concerned with public displays of prowess…. We also tend to lack the public confidence that comes so easily to many men.

I've had a blog project in mind since my second year of college, and it took me almost two years to make it real. Lack of public confidence? Heck yeah! It's probably Number 1 reason why females haven't taken over the blogosphere just yet. Maybe we tend to give other's opinions more weight than they deserve. Or maybe it's out of fear of failure… 

But What makes a female minority blog then?  I have just sailed in the blogosphere's seas But I can tell you what made me jump in the first place:

hugh macleod's  "The best way to get approval is not to need it." Think about it!

So what do you think? Do you agree? Hit me with a comment, I would love to discuss this a little further!

Lamia Ben

Ignite Casablanca : The event in review

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It was a tremendously enriching experience for me to assist to the first African Ignite show ever; I’ve been a fan of their motto: “enlighten us but make it quick!” since forever and had to fight the flu to make it (which is one of those moves I’m sure will never regret!)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of the Ignite show: Ignite is an O’Reilly event, which is basically an ongoing series of speedy presentations. They range from building multi person pogo stick to hacking chocolate, any topic that geeks hold dear. Each speaker gets 5 minutes, 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. The ignite show went Global this year and we were lucky to have the first African ignite organized in Casablanca.

Presentations ranged from “NoSQL” to “the Glorious strategy of failure” (one of my favorites by the way). I had a hard time understanding some (maybe they weren’t geeky enough for my brain to compile) but I can proudly say the event was a success.

Here are some of the presentations that I liked, disclaimer: these are very subjective choices:

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Anas B. El Filali, alias big brother, “the glorious strategy of failure”. A presentation the “Seth Godin way”. On how we should rather accept failure and try to learn the best we can from it. In other words, how to transform failure into success.

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The “Wardriving” presentation by Karim Jazouani was an amazing, cool and very casual presentation. Wardriving is actually “the act of searching for Wi-Fi networks by a person in a moving vehicle, using a portable computer or PDA”  [Wikipedia entry]. Loved the way he managed to turn the game into an awareness campaign for higher Wi-Fi security.

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And Finally the Moroccan dream, a presentation by Youness Quassimi. Very fun story behind the making of a 6 morrocan’s dream start-up : http://www.synergie-media.com/

But Ignite show isn’t just about presentations, it’s about the atmosphere. I surely had a lot of fun mingling with people I only knew by name or through an Avatar on Facebook or Twitter. I missed a bunch of them though, mainly because of the archaic phone I’m proud of possessing, but had the chance to connect with them later on Twitter.

Bottom line is: If you hear about an Ignite show near you, don’t even consider missing it!

And yes, how can I forget the icing on the cake?

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Yeah I know, it’s not that clear (I would love to blame it on drew’s cancer  but it was Casablanca’s rain and my short-sight’s fault. Note to self: always have a marker in arm’s reach!) and Yes I’m no super blogger (Jeeez a girl can dream, can’t she?). Yet, it was a great gesture from Mr Sefrioui. Thank you Sir, much appreciated! (Special thanks to my Geek friend Oussama who made this possible)

The upcoming Ignite Casablanca is to take place in few months. Until then I’ll leave you with some goodies, Cheers!

For More photos: Link

Finatech’s fan page on facebook has more details on the event: link

The event was organized by Salah‐Eddine Benzakour &  Jean‐George Perrin  And sponsored/hosted by Finatech

Lamia Ben.