Deconstructing Privilege - Patricia Aas [C++ on Sea 2019]





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Published on Feb 16, 2019

Can you describe a situation that caused you to realize you were privileged?

I have asked many people that question now, and what I have learned is that privilege is an Unconscious Incompetence. Being privileged is a non-event. When we become conscious of it we realize that our privileged experience is not applicable to less privileged people. What happens to them does not happen to us. Only when we become Consciously Incompetent do we realize the need to listen. We need to learn.

In this talk I hope to make you realize that we all have privilege and to start a journey through self reflection to becoming Consciously Incompetent. I hope also to give some indicators and patterns that you can look for in your daily lives to recognize and maybe even to correct imbalances you see.
Patricia is a programmer who has worked mostly in C++ and Java. She has spent her career continuously delivering from the same code-base to a large user base, from working on two browsers (Opera and Vivaldi), to working on embedded telepresence endpoints for Cisco. She is focused on the maintainability and flexibility of software architecture, and how to extend it to provide cutting edge user experiences. Her focus on the end users has led her work more and more toward privacy and security, and she has recently started her own company, TurtleSec, hoping to contribute positively to the infosec and C++ communities. She is also involved in the #include organization hoping to improve diversity and inclusion in the C++ community.


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