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  • Today was fun in a wanting to pull my hair out kind of way. Spent a couple hours debugging a problem that only happened in Firefox on Mac, but not every Mac. We ended up deciding it wasn't important enough to spend any more time fixing.

    Learned some stuff about online privacy though: see Mozilla's explanation of how HTTP referrers can leak sensitive data and their writeup of a study they did to see if they could improve privacy without breaking the web.

  • The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration 🔗

    Contrary to common belief, the volume of face-to-face interaction decreased significantly (approx. 70%) in both cases, with an associated increase in electronic interaction. In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM.

    This matches my own experience. I share an office with three other people and it's pretty quiet, but we do talk sometimes. When I had to move to an open space area for two weeks during some construction, I was shocked at how silent it was! They didn't even say "Good morning" to each other!

  • TIL the word “nagware”.

  • Vague Feedback Is Holding Women Back 🔗

    Further, when women received specific developmental feedback, it tended to be overly focused on their communication style. While ability to communicate can be an important skill for leaders, it is noteworthy that women received most of the negative feedback about communication styles.

  • Pair programming, inclusion, and teaching people how to pair well

    I’m going to PearConf! PearConf is a conference dedicated to pair programming and inclusiveness. It’s going to be held in San Francisco later this month.

    Read more
  • My predictive text bio:

    Fiona is a software engineer who is interested in doing a good job of working with a lot of people who are into that.


  • Just made a commit with the message "Add emoji" 🙌

  • Lara Hogan on the difference between sponsorship and mentorship 💬

    When privileged people begin to see the systems of bias and privilege, their first instinct typically is to mentor those who haven’t benefited from the same privilege. This is understandable—they want to help those who are marginalized grow, get promoted, or become better engineers, to help balance out the inequity that pervades our industry.

    But at its core, this instinct to mentor plays into the idea that those who are marginalized aren’t already skilled enough, smart enough, or ready for more responsibility or leadership.

    What members of underrepresented groups in tech often need most is opportunity and visibility, not advice. They have to work extremely hard and be extremely good at what they do to combat the systemic privilege and unconscious bias at play in our work environments. They are consistently under-promoted and under-compensated for this work, even though it’s excellent work.

  • What We Learn When Our Writing 'Fails' 🔗

    Rather than forcing students to flog an essay that’s doomed to crash, why not let them step back, reflect, and take ownership of what they have experienced and learned in the process?

  • I Will Not Check My Son's Grades Online Five Times a Day 🔗

    🙌 PowerSchool was such an autonomy killer for me when I was in high school.