Without giving the game away as to what we’re doing, there’s a major (maybe even major squared) new product release on the way from the House of Jiva. We’re all very excited at what will be a big step forward for us. The only trouble is, we’ve had to go through agonising levels of detail in the marketing plans to back up the new release. I know, as Al Pacino famously reminded his team in “On Any Given Sunday”, it’s all about inches – the small gains, but I have to say that the product plan is vastly more interesting than the marketing plan. Perhaps that’s why so many technology companies spend much more time on their product than on marketing, despite all the evidence to suggest that marketing is as important as product. Note to self: grin and bear it.
One of the most surprising aspects of the technology industry is the relative gender bias within the software development community. Software engineers are overwhelmingly male and it seems to be accepted as a pretty natural thing. Why? It seems crazy when companies like Google and Facebook make threatening noises about the need for immigration to cover the skills gap whilst almost no one points out that software developers are recruited from only one half of the community. I’ve heard many excuses as to why this is the case, but for every argument, there is almost always a counter argument. Boys like computers more than girls? Do they? They haven’t met my daughter then. How about the fact that girls like languages more than boys. How does that fit in the picture? The sad fact is that I’ve heard too many stories of female coders being given a hard time by overwhelmingly male development teams. This has to stop. You can’t have an industry that draws talent from only half of the population; it’s wrong and it’s bad for business. We don’t have a sign hanging outside the office, but if it did, we would add “female coders welcome here”.