Goruco Videos

Alex Qin

Shaving My Head Made Me a Better Programmer


How do perceptions and stereotypes affect those in software and on engineering teams? This talk tells the true story of how I hacked my appearance, by shaving my head, to change the way I was perceived as a programmer. This talk also serves as a primer on unconscious bias and stereotype threat, and their effects on individuals and teams. I will provide actionable advice on how to make engineering teams more inclusive, more diverse, and thusly more productive, successful, and attractive to potential hires.


Alex Qin is a Brooklyn based software engineer and educator. She cares deeply about access to computer science education, and about leveraging technology to create positive social change. She works at Skillshare, where she leads the Web Engineering Team and co-organizes Codeshare, an inclusive and intimate gathering for those interested in the intersection of code, creativity, and art. She is also the founder and lead teacher of the Code Cooperative, an open source educational program in which former inmates learn to code as a means to creating social change.