Announcing the Android Alliance

Goals

  • Create an Android ecosystem of developers, designers, testers, and other creatives in Philadelphia.
  • Provide a supportive setting that encourages diverse perspectives and participants.
  • Meetings will be open and community driven.

Details

I’d like to begin meetings in May and hold monthly meetings thereafter. I plan to host it at a Center City location, probably the Comcast Center on a work evening. Ideally we’d follow each meeting with a social activity to encourage informal networking.

Community

Any and all volunteers are welcome to help us get this off the ground and become self-sustaining! Please use our shiny new Google group to interact with other members.

Marketing

Our working title is Android Alliance and we have logo designs in the works (to be posted on the Google group shortly). Your input is welcome!

Challenges

Achieving gender balance is a challenge for any technical group, however it will be a priority of this group to be a welcoming place for all individuals to participate. The benefits of attracting different perspectives, genders, and minorities has a clear benefit to our entire membership.

Now I open the floor to you!

  • What would you like to see in this group?
  • What sorts of topics would you like to hear about? What topics would like you present?
  • What do you feel is missing in the local Android ecosystem?
  • What meeting times would work best?

Join us!

Subscribe to Android Alliance Philadelphia mailing list to keep up to date with our discussions.

14 thoughts on “Announcing the Android Alliance

  1. This is great! Thanks for putting in the effort to get this off the ground Corey. I am definitely there. Just hoping meetings are NOT on Mondays to avoid conflicts with other commitments.

  2. Why is gender balance an objective for an Android group? I don’t doubt that diversity is a Good Thing (TM), but why add on an orthogonal concern? Isn’t encouraging diversity in the tech community’s mobile development space enough of a complex task?

    1. Short answer – It’s a topic I care about deeply.

      It’s not an orthogonal concern at all. I think everyone in this country (especially technical people) should be concerned that so few women choose science-y and technical careers. Half of the eligible work force is choosing something completely different at a time we are losing our technical edge on the global stage.

      One of the main reasons I wanted to start this group is to put a female face on it. I believe ensuring the group is a welcoming place from the start is one way to encourage women to participate and stay in computing careers (attrition is a big problem). I have attended many tech group meetups and hadn’t yet encountered a group that openly address the gender elephant in the room. If it’s mentioned (usually by myself) the general response is a shrug of the shoulders, “not my problem,” or “yeah, that’s weird but I have no idea why women choose something else.” The main reason that I hear from women of why they don’t these meetings is that they feel like an outsider and they are tired of being the only woman in the room. I want to change that. … And it looks like it’s working – we already have 7 women who have joined the Google group!

      1. It’s great progress. You certainly deserve kudos and have made me think through additional strategies for showcasing the talents of some of the women developers/leaders in my organization. I’d certainly started thinking more about my little girl who’s very much a science geek.

        BTW, do you know about techgirlz.org?

        I still think that Android/women in tech both deserve their own forums, and I do laud your efforts in both 🙂

        1. Thanks!

          Actually I’m in talks (I’m leading the Women in Cable Telecommunications’ Tech It Out Initiative) about doing a program with TechGirz in the fall. Have you heard of alice.org or scratch.mit.edu? It’s a great way to hook them while they’re young. 🙂

          I both agree and disagree that separate forums are best for each topic. I have been in several groups that specifically focus on women and tech and I think these programs have enormous value. But their greatest strength – creating a strong network of women in tech – is also their greatest weakness. Men rarely get involved or attend meetings of these types of organizations (though, granted, not all are open to men). This self-segregation doesn’t do anything to break down barriers to male networks. I would argue that more technology focused groups should tackle the issue. It doesn’t have to be a main goal of the organization, but I don’t think we’re going to progress very far unless more men take an active role in involving and encouraging more women.

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