Digi Domi

Sharing my passion for technology and learning.

Trello!

Trello is a useful and powerful tool for many things including tracking and organisation of tasks.

Generally speaking in Trello you have boards, lists and cards. Boards will be associated with a particular project or concept, for example, ‘My Work’. Within the board, you will have many lists such as ‘Pending Work’, ‘Work in Progress’ and ‘Completed Work’. These lists are then comprised of individual cards; normally these are tasks. Below is an example of a ‘To Do’ style board – this is not a dictation of exactly how you should use Trello, but an illustration of one possible way:

trello2

 

You’ll notice in this example that each of the cards contain other annotations:

  • The coloured bars are labels – which can be used to easily denote a service or other association between cards.
  • The little bubble indicated the number of comments on the card – these are a nice way of adding notes to a task.
  • The tick box indicates there is a checklist and displayed how many items are checked – this can be helpful for breaking down a task into sub-parts

It is also possible to add members to a task, associating the task with a particular person, to add attachments and a due date; which can be a useful way of sticking to a deadline or just organising your time.

There is also much more that Trello can do and it would be advisable to visit their website, they even have a dedicated inspiration section.

Domi’s Tips

How you choose to use Trello is up to you and entirely personal choice. I like to use boards in Trello in different ways of varying purposes, but my predominant board setup is:

  •  1 list of tasks that need to be done.
  • 1 for tasks in progress.
  • 1 for tasks that have been completed (this will be periodically archived).

I have boards to keep track of my personal to-dos, work to-dos, DIY planning, keeping track of blog ideas and tattoo ideas.

If you’d like to try Trello then it’s free so please enjoy.

https://trello.com/domisinclair/recommend

 

 

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Women in Technology

A few years ago I went to the Future of Technology in Education (FOTE) conference, in London. It featured a morning filled with presentations, a panel and lots of discussions on the topic of women in technology; it prompted me to have lots of thoughts about the matter. So I diligently took to this blog, drafted a post….and then abandoned it. The thing is, I still have lots of thoughts about women in technology, and as yesterday was International Women’s Day I thought it the perfect time to dust off this old blog post and publish some thoughts.

First of all, I would like to note I think it is extremely important we avoid positive discrimination; that is employing more women in technology simply to make the numbers look better. Hiring should always be based on the best person for that job; it should be fair and competency based. Having said that, I do think we need to make changes,  mostly small ones, to ensure women have the same opportunities as men (and vice versa in other jobs). In this post, I will discuss some of the reason I think there aren’t more women in tech, despite there being talent out there.

Masculinity misconception

I’m not going to talk about sexism or chauvinistic men here, instead what I what to explore is the perception of technology-based jobs being more masculine than other jobs. This isn’t true for all roles but I do think there is a stereotype of the t-shirt and jeans clad tech geek. No one really wants to be crawling around in a cupboard or under a desk for network cables in a nice dress and heels. Indeed I have been faced with this exact dilemma and it has practicality issues (both in not wishing to ruin your outfit and not wanting to expose yourself). However, this isn’t all tech is about. When it comes to less physical technology jobs there is nothing to stop you coding in a wiggle dress, 5-inch heels, and pin curls if you really wanted to. I’m not trying to say that women can’t wear t-shirt and jeans, they absolutely can, I’m just saying that despite the stereotypes there is no reason someone in a tech job can’t rock whatever they want. In fact, that is one of the reasons I’ve always loved working in technology-related fields, the dress codes are so much laxer than say working in finance; you can have fun playing around with outfits from smart and feminine to more relaxed looks. So being in technology does not mean abandoning your feminity (I type this with painted nails whilst wearing a dress, lipstick, and sipping from my pink drinking cup!)

The language we use also has a significant role here. Just think, if your computers broke, and you’re at work, who you gunna call? The IT guy. Now maybe you know the specific person, or you’d just say call the IT department, but you see my point. Culturally we are used to thinking of and referring to ‘the IT guy’ rather than any female or non-gendered term.

Media misrepresentation

Linked to the above is how those in technology roles are portrayed in the media. As always there are exceptions to the rule, but it is likely in any fictional media representations you are going to see men being more technologically competent than women. If a woman is good with technology then there is a strong chance that a) she grew up in a male environment or with strong male role models (somehow her achievements are the product of men), b) she is shown as breaking the stereotype (maybe the protagonist that meets her is a little surprised that a woman is the IT person). So we can do better there, we can be more casual about showing women in technology roles.

Positive role models

Connected to the representation in the media is the presentation of female tech role models. Now there are a bunch of women who have done great things in technology, just look at Ada Lovelace – considered as some to be the first computer programmer. If that isn’t enough you can move forward in time to Grace Hopper who did revolutionary work with computer programming languages, even inventing the first compiler. Yet, when you think of great historical tech figures the names that most likely come to mind are; Alan Turning, Tim Berners-Lee, Bill Gates….a lot of men basically. But there have been so many women involved in technology, and there still is. I’m currently in the process of reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book (she’s the COO of Facebook) – and it’s great; both inspirational and accessible. So when I talk about role models it’s not a lack of them, there are plenty to chose from, it’s exposure to them, highlighting them in school and at home.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, I think that women can absolutely work well in tech – although I’m not saying that it is always easy and I’m not saying that there might not be some resistance – but if we show children at a young age that women have and can succeed then we are in the right place. Just to emphasise, I did say children. I don’t think we do ourselves much good if we just expose young girls to all these positive female role models, we need to show them off to boys as well. Everything becomes much easier if both boys and girls are taught and shown that gender doesn’t limit your ability – and shown a positive example of both men and women succeeding. At the end of the day, gender shouldn’t be an issue here, this is about talented people working in exciting and challenging technology jobs and helping the world move forward.

 

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