Women Shouldn’t Code — Seriously???

Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutes
When in Rome  by lilsip

When in Rome by lilsip

Trying to justify the status quo? Written by a woman, but one who admits to basically being a bully. So, there’s that.

Why Women Shouldn’t Code — Medium.

First here are the arguments, quoted from the post.

First of all, coding itself is a narrow function in which you write instructions to tell a computer what to do. People are fond of saying code is the next language, and that’s all fine, but there’s a difference between language and syntax. Coding is syntax. It is finely detailed work in a binary world, and it requires both attention to detail. When you write a line of code, you have to close the parentheses and make sure you put in the semi-colon or the code won’t run. It requires enormous concentration, and it is exacting. It’s often done in a dark room with no interruptions. But the most important people in the company don’t write the code, they tell the coders what to write. Coders don’t make the big decisions.

The first statement indicates that, even though this woman claimed to be a good coder, she did not understand what she was doing at anything but the immediate level. I no longer ‘code’ very often, but what I learned about logic and systems while learning about programming is useful to me every day in a whole host of places – not just tech. I understand how the tools I use work – they are not magic. AND, I can not be bamboozled by tech types – most of whom are men – who try to tell me what I can’t do, or what’s not possible. If this were the only reason for women to learn programming, that it would be worth it.

Women don’t seem to want to code. They don’t choose it as a career, despite all the job openings and the high pay. In general, women are more intuitive and more perceptive. There’s mountains of research about that. They’re also more nurturing. That’s hard-coded into them for the preservation of the race. I’ve got grandchildren of both sexes and I have about sixteen data points from which I draw this conclusion. But PET scans of the brain have led scientists to similar conclusions. The girls are not drawn to the same pursuits the boys are, no matter how hard you try to bring them up with gender equality.

There are many reasons why women “don’t seem to want to code”, most of which have nothing to do with the code or learning about programming. The truth is though, that thinking that we ‘don’t want to’ is part of the problem, and makes it easy to dismiss the whole issue. Also, it’s not true.

  1. Women don’t like being treated like crap (big surprise), and that is what many of them face when learning to code, and then later when trying to work as programmers. That has NOTHING to do with programming and everything to do with the culture of the places where they have to learn and work.
  2. Girls are often discouraged from exploring their interests in many of the STEM fields, for a whole host of reasons. This discouragement is sometimes subtle (they get interrupted more than boys), and sometimes not so subtle (like being told that they should do something else).

There will be plenty of coders in the future. We happen to be in a period in which software rules, or as somebody once said, “software is eating the world.” But we’re fighting the last war here; we will eventually do the same thing with coders that we did with every other occupation where we identified a shortage: create a glut. We’ve done it with doctors, physical therapists, nail technicians, and lawyers. And then who will make the robots?

First, so what? Second, I disagree. Third, how is THAT a reason to discriminate against an entire gender?

The difference between good and bad code is like the difference between grammar and writing. Writing requires much more than just a knowledge of grammar and syntax. It also requires organization, imagination, creativity and experience. The analogue to writing in software development, IMHO, isn’t coding per se, it is system architecture and user interface.

Again, SO WHAT? She’s saying, in her FFHO* that coding is beneath women and that women should strive to do what SHE’s doing (which, by the way she wouldn’t be able to do if she hadn’t learned coding FIRST). So we can add narcissistic to the list of adjectives used to describe herself.

FFHO – Far From Humble Opinion…. she admits to being pushy, bossy, and polarizing, which really doesn’t fit with the H in IMHO.

On “The difference between good and bad code is like the difference between grammar and writing.

Um. No. Syntax is grammar. Programming is writing. The difference between good and bad code is like the difference between good and bad writing.

She’s completely missed the point of having people (see what I did there? I included men as well as women) learn to program.

Getting everyone to learn to code is about learning to think logically.

So much of our world is managed by programs now that learning to code is about learning how your world works so that you are not left at the mercy of those who can code.

It’s about becoming more than a mere “user”.

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Women Shouldn’t Code — Seriously??? — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Yes, Women Do Code — But @hardaway still misses the point. | The Becker Blog

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