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Old 02-19-2019, 08:23 PM   #1
frankbell
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NYT: Women and Coding


The New York Times Sunday Magazien has a long article exploring this: When computers first came about, a significant--at times a majority--of persons writing code were women. As we know, that changed.

The article pins that change to the advent of the personal, that is, home, computer, and examines the reasons for the change, and finds that it has nothing to do with aptitude and everything to do with sociology. To make a gross over-simplification, when computer came into the homes, parents tended to encourage boys to use them more than they encourage girls. The boys then went off to college familiar with computers, the girls did not, so colleges assumed that boys had aptitude and girls did not. (Follow the link below to see how gross that over-simplification is!)

It's long read and you may find yourself skimming parts of it, but I think it's a worthwhile read, especially in view of GamerGate and similar paroxysms.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/m...ogramming.html
 
Old 02-19-2019, 09:06 PM   #2
michaelk
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It is a good read. I had the opportunity to listen to Grace Hopper give a lecture many years ago (kind of gives an idea of my age...)
 
Old 02-20-2019, 07:26 AM   #3
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This is another example of women proving they can do the job as well as men then, when men want to do the job, they take it away from women. If women stopped putting up with it it'd stop happening.
 
Old 02-20-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
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I agree that it is a good article, and fully concur that women have the abilities to perform any of the same feats as men.

Fact is, they can do one thing men can never do, bear children.
 
Old 02-20-2019, 08:36 PM   #5
frankbell
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I received this link to an NPR earlier story on the same topic via PM; I must confess I haven't read it through yet.

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2...stopped-coding
 
Old 02-20-2019, 09:54 PM   #6
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The sex bias re:coding is largely as illusion. From the beginning there were as many brilliant female coders as male coders in the industry as a percentage of that sex in the workforce. In other words, there was parity. That appeared to change when coding AS A HOBBY gained popularity and "hacker" went from a term denoting knowledge and skill to a reference related to cyber criminals (and I still hate that stupid movie). Computers as a hobby arose with a huge male sex bias: there are social, economic, and psychological reasons why this might be true based upon social factors unrelated to skill or ability.

The hobby based bias resulted in a pre-workforce leaning toward one sex, and the appearance of a leaning in the workforce. The actual number of truly exceptional coders was still reasonably balanced for a few years. The "preparation bias" did result in some level of bias in the workforce, see discussions of "self fulfilling prophecy" and negative reinforcement results in the industry elsewhere.

There are certain gender based differences in creative coding that do not lend themselves to easy analysis, and that do not suggest superiority of one gender over the other. There is no absolute difference in brilliant coding between the genders.

An excellent brain is an excellent brain, and an excellent coder is and excellent coder, not matter in what package it resides.
 
Old 02-20-2019, 10:36 PM   #7
frankbell
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Quote:
The sex bias re:coding is largely as illusion.
wpeckham, I'm confused. Are you saying that the idea that men are inherently better coders than women is an illusion, or that the notion of bias involving coders and coding is an illusion?

I think you are saying the former, but, if so, the message does not come through clearly.

This is not related to coding, but it is related to stereotypes. The best boss I ever had was a woman; working for her did not even seem like work. The close second and third were both men. The worst two bosses I ever had were men; working for them made me miserable. In my experience, the bossing ability was certainly independent of the chromosome count.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 04:31 AM   #8
ondoho
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i'm not very interested in these articles; there's no job in the world that has an exact 50/50 percentage of men/women, and where would that leave hermaphrodites and all those "other" genders anyhow.

nobody is bothered where construction workers or nurses are concerned, but somehow it seems to matter a lot more in IT... :shrugs:

i personally don't believe that any one sex is more suited to perform a certain type of work; i think it's all in the socialisation, like the article seems to prove. gender stuff. and yes, there's work to be done. consider how hard it still is for a young man to be interested in work with small children.

nevertheless, i need to ask:
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
The New York Times Sunday Magazien has a long article exploring this: When computers first came about, a significant--at times a majority--of persons writing code were women. As we know, that changed.
writing code or writing programs?

i skimmed, and didn't see that distinction made anywhere.
this still matters a lot to people working in that area (regardless of gender), and i guess the distinction and separation was almost absolute in earlier days.

Last edited by ondoho; 02-22-2019 at 07:53 AM. Reason: typos, clarification
 
Old 02-21-2019, 06:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post

i personally don't believe that any one sex is more suited to perform a certain type of work; i think it's all in the socialisation, like the article seems to prove. geneder stuff. and yes, there's work to be done. consider how hard it still is for a young man to be interested in work with small children.
The different sexes have equal value but different strengths - that's what makes them so fascinating, so compatible and so incompatible. Anything else is just politically correct claptrap. Men are generally better at construction work because they're physically stronger and women are generally better at childcare because of the psychological and biological understanding that comes from being female and being able to bear children. That's not to say that a group of women couldn't be decent roofers [or a group of men run a creche], but if I were presented with a group of women roofers versus a group of male roofers I would choose the men. I would also choose a group of women for childcare rather than a group of men because I want the group most likely capable of doing the job well. If people want to call it sexist then yes, it's sexist. I care about the job.

There is something innate and inherent to our biology which governs how we think [see Simon Sinek's talk on Why, How, What on TED] and this affects how we perform and the choices we make. I don't know if it's possible to say that men code better than women or vice versa, but I'm not ruling either out given extensive research. The danger comes when companies start employing women for no other reason than because they are women in order to fulfill some ambiguous and arbitrary diversity policy. If a woman can code well, then of course there's no reason for her not to be a programmer.

Last edited by Lysander666; 02-21-2019 at 08:12 AM.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
I had the opportunity to listen to Grace Hopper give a lecture many years ago (kind of gives an idea of my age...)
Did you happen to get a nanosecond of wire ?.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 08:10 AM   #11
BW-userx
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go and watch the movie "Hidden Figures" that is a real eye opener. Women and the space program...
 
Old 02-21-2019, 09:53 AM   #12
rokytnji
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I've always considered the life game is rigged against girls world wide.

So I take studies and articles about female limitations with a grain of salt.

Edit: Where is hazel?

Last edited by rokytnji; 02-21-2019 at 09:54 AM.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 10:22 AM   #13
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
I've always considered the life game is rigged against girls world wide.
The tables are turning and it's men who are getting more oppressed these days because the media [and the courts] have the back of the fairer sex. Just look at male suicide rates: there is a lot of pressure to "man up" and not talk about problems which in reality is more damaging.

Look, for instance, at this absolutely rubbish article from the BBC:

Suicide rate among UK men at lowest since 1981

Sounds great until you read it:

Quote:
Although the male rate is falling, men still account for three-quarters of suicides in the UK.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #14
rokytnji
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All I can say. For the UK suicides. Move out to the sun.

You will have a grin on your face in no time.

Edit: Tables turning? Ya don't say. My problem. Being a huge dude. I am quite comfy in my manhood. I see no over turned tables yet. Worldwide.

Last edited by rokytnji; 02-21-2019 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
I've always considered the life game is rigged against girls world wide.
Women need to stop playing the game.
 
  


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