Declarative Amsterdam

Declarative is a Feminist Issue

Betsy HaibelDirector of Software Engineering, LTSE
Front-end web development is rooted in two declarative languages (HTML and CSS) and one imperative language (JavaScript) that can be written in a functional style. Front-end web development is also noted for contentious and ever-shifting gender dynamics – one year HTML and CSS are “for girls” and “not real programming,” another year it's JavaScript that's looked down upon. In this talk, we'll look at the history of front-end development through the twin lenses of gender and declarativity. Along the way, we'll see how gendered programming trends boosted the adoption of popular frameworks – and led to the quiet death of others. We'll get real about the social forces that have affected the credibility and “approachability” of declarative methods in front-end, and talk about how these same forces might play out in other declarative projects.
Presentation, 5 November 2021

Betsy Haibel is a San Francisco-based engineering leader with over a decade of experience. She writes fiction and non-fiction in English and a variety of programming languages, and prior to the pandemic co-organized the Learn Ruby in DC meetup.