ENIAC? Apart from some of the women at Bletchley Park and in the US equivalent at Pearl, there was Ciceley Popplewell at Manchester. My first contact with programming in around 1966 was with a woman programmer from ICL. It’s almost a good idea not to focus on the rear-admiral because it tends to perpetuate the idea that women in computing have to be truly exceptional, rather than just as good as the men. Gordon Welchman at Bletchley Park had no such illusions; I suspect that the present divisiveness started when men perceived that computing was a new and growing field with well paid jobs and started to colonise it, which was some time after the days when it was so leading edge that only strange people like Turing or Feynman would want to get involved.
Once it became public, the firing was inevitable. Google is too big of a target: they’re already dealing with an investigation into discriminatory salary practices, if they didn’t fire this guy, the lawsuits for creating a hostile workplace would be astronomical.
Google is thinking about the bottom line, here… He could have been the absolute best in his job, but once something like this gets leaked (and published), it’s admissible in court, no matter how many NDA’s were signed. If they kept him on, it’s hello, class action. At Will still has to pretend to obey employment equity laws. And as I said, Google is in enough trouble for that already.
Not if he had the time to write 10 page rants about tendentious rubbish, he wasn’t.
Oh, we know he wasn’t, but the point is that it doesn’t matter how good you are when keeping you opens the company up to massive lawsuits. As Fox News and Uber are proving, nobody is that valuable to a company.
Probably none. But that’s not the point.
I think, by recognizing that it’s inevitable. The trade-off to having progressed is recognition of the ways in which others have not. Either you’re behind the curve, or you’re frustrated at those who are. The only world in which there are no crazy alt-right conservatives is the one in which you’re the craziest alt-right conservative, in which case you’re wasting your life getting upset about fluoride and the gay agenda. Sad!
The problem with the 'net is that it’s constantly calling attention to the dumbest stuff that the dumbest people are up to, at which point we dissect the ways in which said behavior is dumb, analyse its causes, and propose solutions which we lack the influence to actually advance. For the most part, there’s not a lot of catharsis in that, so it leaves you feeling jaded and angry.
The catharsis, I find, consists in the awareness of how you’re already making that which you value accessible to those who are mature enough to receive it. If you’re a woman in a profession, for instance, then each day of your life you are gradually teaching those around you not to think or behave like this Google guy (think Peggy on Mad Men)—it’s just not obvious because nobody is having a conversion experience right there in front of you. But, those daily interactions do add up, and they do make a huge difference.
After 19 years in the tech industry I would say (as a generalization) the women developers I have worked with tend toward the top of my list of the best of the best that I have worked with. What I have seen is male developers span the full full range from really bad to rock start amazing. While the female developers, maybe 95% are top notch or better with a very small number being mediocre and I can’t think off the top of my head of a truly bad female developer that I have worked with.
My theory is that all of the misogyny acts as a filter and only really incredible women can get past all of the hurdles that men get to skip (gender bias in school, misogynistic hiring practices, less pay, sexual harassment in the work place, and on and on). Meanwhile shitty bro-grammer talks with another bro at big company x and breezes into a job and up the ladder in no time.
I think much of the bro-grammer rage you see and hear about is that the sea of shitty bro’s are very threatened by the very good females developers they encounter. They can’t beat them in code quality so they take to shit talking about them and writing brain dead manifestos like the OP linked to. It’s a desperate and fearful hope that stronger men will sweep the scary women away before someone realizes what a fraud they (the bros) are.
And just to be super clear. Anyone can be a great developer (even bro’s) with time and effort to learn and grow the skills required. It’s sad that so many choose to spend that time and effort attacking their very skilled female co-workers rather than improve their own skills.
I should add a note that while bros these days get all the attention. The older generations of developers have just as many offenders. They just don’t feel the need to tell the world so loudly so it can be harder to see from a societal view point. Not unlike old school racist republicans versus the new Trump racist that films and post video of themselves being racists.
Well, see, because coding is about logic and reason and women are all about feelings and emotions and people… so they can’t code! /s
Or the early space program? Or Ada Lovelace? Or Admiral Grace Hopper? Etc?
I think you’re theory is spot on here. You really have to love doing something to put up with a high level of day in, day out antagonism, bigotry, and harassment.
There is like zero math in code. There are data structures and discrete math, but I’d be surprised if commercial software development involved math beyond linear algebra/single variable calculus. These brogrammers just have an overly inflated opinion of what they do and how hard it is, so they make up bullshit as to why they’re intrinsically better.
Well, the other option is self-awareness… and that’s hard!
This is so true. Granted sometimes math knowledge is helpful in the same way that it is if you are building or remodeling something in the physical world. But much of the time with business applications it really boils down to moving strings and numbers between a database and the UI and maybe enforcing some business rules on those values.
Yeah, but coding is something you do with a keyboard, and in the '60s typing was women’s work.
this should be a joke but I don’t think it is
I got it.
And in the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and '50s…
And to be completely sexist, I find men typing to be cute.
And yet so, so many coding school assignments and tests are heavily math based.
Last computer science course I took, the prof had to give me a quick math lesson in the middle of the final exam. He’d provided the formula for doing a sort, and I knew the algorithm, but couldn’t read the formula/do the math. (Somehow I took math all the way through high school and never learned modulus.) I showed him my roughed out code, he saw I wasn’t pumping him for the answer, and he sat down beside me and explained what modulus was. It’s not like it was difficult to understand; I just hadn’t seen it before. It’s come in handy a few times since .
At that university, computer science majors took 2-3 computer science courses, one math course, and one elective every year. At the same time, they were giving undergrads aptitude tests because they admitted they didn’t know what made people good at code.
(Pssst. I’ve used the software techbros write with all the cees and plusses and sharps. They can’t code so well either. I blame their tools, mainly, and their persistence in using that shit.)
Coding is hard, but it’s a lot of nonsensical drudgery, implementing bad methods to meh ends. That usually equals shit wages. For coding, it will one day… and become marginalized work again.
programming doesn’t require math – but that doesn’t make it exactly easy. i find it requires a lot of patience and thought.
at the same time, i find some programmers are mystified at how computers actually work.
one thing to throw into this pot is that it’s really difficult to evaluate programmers.
[ edit: actually, gadgetgirl said as much already … ]
math tests? not a great indicator.
knowledge of the language? not a great indicator.
actual code? locked down by the companies which own the code. ( and code is rarely written by one person anyway. )
so… many companies seem to rely on networks of trusted people. need a programmer? oh, i know a guy. ( emphasis mine. )
This would mostly be me, if anyone is curious. I write code to do a specific set of mathematical operations, and mostly leave the screwing with compilation and stuff to someone else.