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Sue Loh
Sue Loh

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A novel to break software developer stereotypes

I would like to share my side project with this community. I call it, "My Evil Plan to Save the World." I am very interested in increasing diversity in the software community. For the last couple of years, I've been telling myself that one great way to bring more people into computer science, and to fight stereotypes that encourage people to drop out, is to write a novel for young adults, showing a diverse group of people who rock at CS. Think of it like this: after Hunger Games came out, lots of girls started taking up archery. We need that for CS!

So I've been working on ideas for a while, and figured out a plot and characters that I think are really interesting and exciting. But ya know, I'm a software developer, not a professional writer. Not to mention, still working full-time and raising kids now too. So now I have a ghostwriter picking up the reins and making this thing really happen! She and I have been working together on it for a couple of weeks, and she is truly making it great.

I have a Kickstarter promoting the project, though to be honest, the point isn't really to raise money. I'm trying to get the word out and build a community of people who are going to want to read the book and share it with the young adults in their communities. So anyway, you can check my page to find out more. I would love it if you guys would help spread the word, track our progress, and check out the book someday! After it's published, the proceeds of the novel will be donated to related charities. (I also welcome suggestions for good causes!)

Check out the Kickstarter

Thanks for listening,


Top comments (2)

tamasrev profile image
Tamas Rev

Oh. A fascinating idea. I mean it.

I'm a bit concerned though if it will reach the non-programming girls. Hunger Games was a mass success. The movie helped to reach even more people.

Writing a good book takes lots of practice. Writing a book with mass success takes lots of practice and luck and good relationships with important ppl like editors at publishers.

suedeyloh profile image
Sue Loh

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, it is going to have to get big in order to make a big impact, but I can dream. :-) You're right, it is going to have to be good, and writing a good book does require experience. That's a big part of why I hired a ghostwriter. Not only does it vastly improve the speed (not to mention, the likelihood) of getting it finished, it will vastly improve the quality. I've been working with a writer for a couple of weeks now, and she has absolutely helped re-work both the characters and the plot into a better story. The ghostwriting agency also has some of those relationships. As for the luck, well, I am looking for some 4-leaf clovers!

One thing I think I have going for me, is money. Once I have a great novel in hand, if money helps create the luck / relationships / opportunities, I think I can hit up software companies like my own (Microsoft) for funding. The scale of funding needs can't be that big compared to corporate budgets, and the potential recruiting payoff is big.

My Plan B, to be truthful, is to set up a nonprofit to support artists/writers/etc who are creating works for a young-adult audience that break stereotype boundaries. If I can't do it, maybe I can help someone else do it (or lots of someones). But that is still just an idea for the future!