I (the JavaOne speaker) finally get the chance to write something more than 140 characters about that :-). I actually had already twitter conversation with another woman and thought it was you.
For some reason your post appeared today in my stream...
1. I really apologize - it never was meant negatively. IMHO: (Java) programming is the most creative job you can get - even more creative than (e.g. Photoshop) design. I had long discussions with my wife about that... Btw. I usually don't care about the "quality" of developers because of: http://www.adam-bien.com/roller/abien/entry/motivation_over_experience
So the questions who is better - doesn't really matter to me. Who is more passionate counts more...
Interesting: in all recent projects there was at least one woman I worked closely with. And they were exceptionally good (Java programmers, database experts, designers, project managers). My biased opinion - they were less biased and so more pragmatic than guys.
2. There are really bright women's at Sun / Oracle (Marina, Amy, Nandini, Linda, Eileen...) - they are extremely good. So it would be really stupid for me to do jokes about the quality of women's in the IT. We have even two female spec leads in Java EE 7 and EJB 3.1 - and it is a pleasure for me to work with them.
Now the story behind the alien. I hacked ~5 years ago my own heating control to save energy "Project GreenFire" (http://www.adam-bien.com/roller/abien/entry/greenfire_4th_prize_at_jax
) with Java EE 5. My wife (she is not a developer) was always skeptical about that and asked me some real good "why" questions: "Why you are doing that?".
Then I went in spring (=can be cold in Germany) to a contract and left her with my autonomous system alone. We got some minus degrees - what caused my system to overflow shut down and display 65k Celcius. Then I got some really interesting questions :-).
I explained that on a conference and got similar "problems", because I did not mentioned, that my wife has nothing to do with development...
I had to provide the context in my talk - but wanted to save the time. We had only one hour... It was clearly a mistake.
From then I got the idea with a neutral alien http://www.adam-bien.com/roller/abien/entry/validate_your_patterns_with_aliens
The alien really helps me to find strange things in the IT. I use the metaphor frequently in recent years to challenge architects.
I also said nice things about architects in my talk but look at the URI: http://www.java-architect.com/
You reaction really surprised me. I never intended to make a joke about women's, rather than make a joke about strange things we are implementing in the IT.
Now my complaints:
1. You didn't gave me any chance to explain my unfortunate sentence. You always repeated: never do it again.
2. I was misquoted from the beginning "How To Explain It To..." which I never said.
3. Instead of waisting energy with me:-) please join: http://jduchess.org/
I had already conversations with Duchess'es - with bright Java women during JUGs. This organization really rocks - and you will even get a nice t-shirt with duke.
Whatever sounds negatively in this comment. It is really
So spread your Java-love (other programming languages could also work) and encourage other women's to program, attend and join conferences.
If you need more context on aliens - I will find some older blog posts,
Have fun with Java - women rock and sorry for sounding negatively during my talk. ...and please make a bit more jokes about guys and programming. I start with one: Service s = new ServiceImpl() I could never explain it to my wife :-)
Btw. I guess I already apologized for my sentence approx. 15 times :-)
adam bien (the alien JavaOne speaker)