November 3rd & 4th, 2023
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SeaGL speaker Q&A: Carol Smith

Carol gives her talk titled, “The Set of Programmers: How Math Restricts Us” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’m Carol Smith, I currently manage education partnerships at GitHub. I have been there 7 months and have also done a lot of of other, related education outreach in that time. Before GitHub I was at Google managing the Google Summer of Code program. For those who don’t know, Google Summer of Code is a program designed to get university students involved in open source software development all over the world. I worked at Google for 10.5 years. Before Google Summer of Code I worked in network operations at Google helping to deploy a lot of network infrastructure for North America.

I have a degree in photojournalism from California State University, Northridge. I am also an avid horseback rider and armchair movie critic.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: I’d like to show the audience that the way we are teaching programming and computer science to students and newbies is unintentionally creating a barrier to entry for some. We are introducing concepts and ideas that don’t need to be introduced when they are and are unnecessarily sending some people the message that they don’t belong, even though they may very well excel.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: It is my first visit to SeaGL! I’m excited. I expect that it will be a diverse group of attendees from industry and academia. I also think it’s going to be lots of fun to talk to some new folks and hopefully spur some interesting discussions.

Q: Do you have any questions for us?

A: Some great questions for the attendees to think about would be, “Do you think we’re currently doing a good job teaching programming and computer science to the next generation of developers? Are the students coming into open source and the workforce as well prepared for contributing and working in their jobs as they can be?”