External Speaker: Felienne Hermans on feminism in PL design

Published: 20 June 2024

Felienne Hermans is a professor of Computer Science Education at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She also works as a high-school CS teacher one day a week at Lyceum Kralingen in the Codasium program.

TITLE: A case for feminism in PL design
SPEAKER: Felienne Hermans
DATE: 20th June 2024
TIME: 13:00-14:00
There are two critical and interrelated questions regarding the design and study of programming languages: 1) What does it mean to design a programming language? and 2) Why does minimal demographic diversity persist in the programming language community?
In this talk, we introduce feminism as a philosophical lens for analyzing the programming languages field to help us understand and answer the motivating questions above. By using a feminist lens, we are able to explore how the dominant intellectual and cultural norms have shaped and constrained programming languages. A key contribution of this analysis is the explanation of how marginalization in the programming language community limits the intellectual and demographic makeup of the field. We see this paper as an invitation to everyone in the programming languages field to deepen our collective understanding of the cultural and intellectual forces shaping our field. Our goal is to illustrate opportunities for more inclusive intellectual and cultural practices that will introduce greater diversity to the design of programming languages and the demographic makeup of the programming language community.

First published: 20 June 2024