Discussion Overview

This discussion allows students to critically reflect on the media representations of computer scientists, their relationship to these representations, and their effect on the perception of computing.

Driving Questions:

  • What stereotypes of programmers do you see shown or challenged in the media? Do you feel like the representations you see of computer scientists are similar to yourself? Why or why not?
  • Do you feel like you want or need representation of people who look like you or are similar to you?
  • What are the hard skills and soft skills that you think of computer scientists, or programmers as having?
  • Do you see programmers as different from hackers or computer scientists or anything else?

Discussion Instructions

  1. Either assign students homework to watch the following videos prior to the workshop, or designate time prior to the discussions to collectively watch them together:
    • Lyndsey Scott: Model & Programmer
    • Silicon Valley trailer*
    • Please note that these are just example media and any related articles/videos may be identified to spark similar discussions on place of the above links.
  2. Use the driving questions to guide and focus the discussions, either as a large group or in facilitated smaller groups with a large-group recap.