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Education Programming The Almighty Buck

Code.org: More Money For CS Instructors Who Teach More Girls 381

Posted by timothy
from the achieving-a-particular-balance dept.
theodp writes "The same cast of billionaire characters — Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Eric Schmidt — is backing FWD.us, which is lobbying Congress for more visas to 'meet our workforce needs,' as well as Code.org, which aims to popularize Computer Science education in the U.S. to address a projected CS job shortfall. In laying out the two-pronged strategy for the Senate, Microsoft General Counsel and Code.org Board member Brad Smith argued that providing more kids with a STEM education — particularly CS — was 'an issue of critical importance to our country.' But with its K-8 learn-to-code program which calls for teachers to receive 25% less money if fewer than 40% of their CS students are girls, Smith's Code.org is sending the message that training too many boys isn't an acceptable solution to the nation's CS crisis. 'When 10 or more students complete the course,' explains Code.org, "you will receive a $750 DonorsChoose.org gift code. If 40% or more of your participating students are female, you'll receive an additional $250, for a total gift of $1,000 in DonorsChoose.org funding!" The $1+ million Code.org-DonorsChoose CS education partnership appears to draw inspiration from a $5 million Google-DoonorsChoose STEM education partnership which includes nebulous conditions that disqualify schools from AP STEM funding if projected participation by female students in AP STEM programs is deemed insufficient. So, are Zuckerberg, Gates, Ballmer, and Schmidt walking-the-gender-diversity-talk at their own companies? Not according to the NY Times, which just reported that women still account for only about 25% of all employees at Code.org supporters Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. By the way, while not mentioning these specific programs, CNET reports that Slashdot owner Dice supports the STEM efforts of Code.org and Donors Choose."
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Code.org: More Money For CS Instructors Who Teach More Girls

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  • Horse, meet water (Score:4, Insightful)

    by korbulon (2792438) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:06PM (#45508901)
    Now drink.
    • by immaterial (1520413) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:16PM (#45508973)
      Sorry, Billy. Can't have you in the class. It would jeapordize my bonus...
      • by Cryacin (657549) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:29PM (#45509491)
        Funny how companies scream about too much regulation and artificial legislation, until they do the regulation and artificial legislation.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is the sad reality playing out for minor sports in college. If a school cannot find enough women who are willing to play sports, they have to start cutting men's sports. Can we require students sign a contract that they will play sports for the first two years? Since women had made up the majority of students on college campuses for a generation, this would ensure plenty of women participating in sports.

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          Yes.. this is the feminist definition of 'equality' defined in title 9. If 30 guys want to play a sport that has a minimum of 15 players, and only 9 girls sign up for the girl's team, it doesn't happen. Of course, if this applied the other way around, the 'womyn' would be screaming in 'outrage.'

  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:08PM (#45508923) Homepage

    There is no "shortfall" of coders. There's just a glut of employers who want just-in-time employees cheap. Ones they can lay off at any time. Ones they don't have to send to training classes.

    Women went into IT in the late 1990s, when it looked like a good career choice. Now it isn't, so they don't.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I work for a company who would love to hire good coders. They pay well, hire permanently, and have no problem sending people to a few training courses.

      All employees have to work on a 4 month contract first though, as a sort of test. The vast majority are useless, as is evident during that trial phase. We have no trouble finding resumes, but have significant trouble finding good coders.

      The shortfall isn't in occupation, it's in talent. At least my own job security is good.

      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:42PM (#45509165)

        If the place is so great then name it.

        The vast majority are useless, as is evident during that trial phase.

        ... and ...

        The shortfall isn't in occupation, it's in talent.

        Talent usually falls along a bell curve. And half the programmers out there will be worse than the other half of the programmers out there.

        If you're having trouble finding the good programmers then you either aren't advertising the job openings enough or there is some problem with the pay/environment/project that causes the better programmers to choose other employment.

        • Talent usually falls along a bell curve. And half the programmers out there will be worse than the other half of the programmers out there.

          And that's why employers want more training: so that the skill level that's presently a standard deviation or two above the mean can become the future mean.

          • by gagol (583737)
            We also need more truck drivers, we should teach commercial diving in school as well! Seriously, school is about learning to live in society and with a bit of luck, seed a taste for knowledge that will drive the pupil to get knowledge bit itself, not create cheap labor to save training costs on corporations who prefers to NOT participate as much as possible in financing the education system.
      • by hawguy (1600213) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:09PM (#45509323)

        I work for a company who would love to hire good coders. They pay well, hire permanently, and have no problem sending people to a few training courses.

        All employees have to work on a 4 month contract first though, as a sort of test. The vast majority are useless, as is evident during that trial phase. We have no trouble finding resumes, but have significant trouble finding good coders.

        The shortfall isn't in occupation, it's in talent. At least my own job security is good.

        Maybe your 4 month contract requirement is weeding out the good coders that don't want to give up a full-time job for a 4 month test that may leave them without a job if they don't live up to some hard to quantify metric of "good enough". And apparently most people fail your test and end up out on the street after the 4 months.

        A full time job is no guarantee of future employment, of course, but I doubt I'd be willing to take a contract job that "might" turn into a full time job in 4 months.

        • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:30PM (#45509499)

          Maybe your 4 month contract requirement is weeding out the good coders that don't want to give up a full-time job for a 4 month test that may leave them without a job if they don't live up to some hard to quantify metric of "good enough".

          Too bad I don't have mod points. That's exactly the case.

          Think about EVERYTHING that a good programmer has with an average employer.
          Paycheck
          Medical
          Dental
          Vacation
          And so forth.

          Is the 4 month contract paying so much to offset the other disadvantages? Primarily VACATION. Because 4 months means that Christmas and such will happen if the contract starts from September through December. Which puts the ending from December through March. That's HALF the year right there.

          And if the programmer has kids then summer vacation is an issue as well.

          Hey, just give up on your family for 4 months while we "evaluate" you.

          And hope that you and your family are very healthy during those 4 months because health insurance is expensive.

          So what the "testing" is really doing is selecting for younger coders without experience who are willing to take on such contracts to build up their resumes.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2013 @05:40PM (#45510033)

          Maybe your 4 month contract requirement is weeding out the good coders that don't want to give up a full-time job for a 4 month test that may leave them without a job if they don't live up to some hard to quantify metric of "good enough". And apparently most people fail your test and end up out on the street after the 4 months.

          These types of "test periods" are often just a disguise for temporary work, they don't actually plan on ever keeping anyone on permanently. They disguise it like this so the people think that if they do a really good job they'll have a better chance... but they don't. It's a good way to get a lot of productivity out of a temp worker, and a lot of more naive coders will contribute some of their best work.
          Then you kick them down the road, you don't have to pay out expensive benefits, retirement, severance, etc. and can brag about how you only hire permanent, full-time positions.

          Most good coders avoid such shops like the plague- it's just screaming "take advantage of me".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        So... who do you work for? The shortfall is lack of cheap brilliant talent willing to work in substandard conditions. There are more STEM graduates than open jobs. Over 50% of IT leaves for other fields because of lack of pay and working conditions.
      • by ZeroPly (881915)
        Elucidate a tad on this "4 month contract" deal. Are you providing full benefits? When hired, does that time count towards your vacation days and so on? Is there a well-defined set of criteria for how someone on this 4 month criteria is evaluated, and how it will be determined if they get a permanent job?

        See, for someone like myself who's not at their first rodeo, this sounds like "bait and switch". The fact that you're not willing to even name your employer speaks volumes more.
    • There's just a glut of employers who want just-in-time employees cheap.

      I was going to make exactly the same point. I imagine what they're really after is to have such a enormous supply of suitable workers that they can get away with paying next to fuck all.

      It's in their financial interest to make coding or admin just another low paid job.

    • by alexhs (877055) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:01PM (#45509281) Homepage Journal

      I guess that they're trying to solve the mythical man-month conundrum by having women instead.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:17PM (#45509397)

      Exactly right, they've decided that they should be able to pay their software engineers slightly above what McDonald's workers make. So they looked at McDonald's workers and determined they could be paid so little because there are so many of them... viola, we needs lots and lots of coders so there is more competition in the workforce and we can therefore pay them less. I don't know any company that's having trouble finding programers, but I know LOTS of programers that can't find jobs. The idea that this is some sort of noble cause they're fighting to help anyone but them selves is a joke.

    • There is no "shortfall" of coders. There's just a glut of employers who want just-in-time employees cheap. Ones they can lay off at any time. Ones they don't have to send to training classes.

      Yes. Agree 100%.

      ALL OF US need to *call our congressman* and explain the above statement and demand they ignore FWD.US's policy suggestions.

      Just look at the people...Gates and Ballmer? These guys are awful...they are horrible examples for businesspeople & have destructive notions of how society works. Zuckerberg demonstrates some competence but still his business philosophy is just as horrible and abusive as M$'s...then of course there's Eric fucking Schmidt...he who said on Colbert that only people who do bad things worry about privacy.

      These people are the bad guys. Their ideas as always crafted strategically to maximize their personal profits...

      FWD.US is for corporate profit by hiring cheap overseas labor...its not about hiring US workers

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:15PM (#45508967)

    First of all, I too really want to see more females working in the tech industry. I think it's one of the more female friendly work environments around, especially since the experience can be so tailored to your interests.

    That said, I don't see how those incentives are healthy or really help anything. I don't think everyone would enjoy or be good at coding; so incentives that make instructors coerce people into entering a programming class mean fewer spots for people who would enjoy and benefit from the class.

    Instead we need to focus on efforts that get females to seek out classes like this (efforts like AppCampForGirls) , not get instructors to lure females into the class...

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Maybe if they could get more instructors to see the benefits of luring girls...

    • " I think it's one of the more female friendly work environments around, especially since the experience can be so tailored to your interests."

      Please explain how it is a female friendly work environment.

      In my experience, a female friendly work environment has these characteristics:

      1) Fixed schedule. (No)

      2) Few strings (No -- tech expects you to be consonantly available even during off hours)

      3) Stable (Tech is constantly changing = No)

      4) Long time with one employer (Again, no ... it can happen, bu
      • 1) Fixed schedule. (No)

        A fixed schedule is not friendly to anyone, especially families. I work now on a very flexible schedule and it is better in every way.

        Yes sometimes overtime may be called for but I enjoyed it when younger, if you like programming it's not that big a deal.

        2) Few strings (No -- tech expects you to be consonantly available even during off hours)

        Not true of all jobs, if that's a problem find something where it's not true. If you are a good developer you can make that happen.

        3) Stable/4)

        • Stable also means boring, who wants a boring job?

          Do people really think like that? Just about everyone I know hates the fact that they have little to no job security.

  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:20PM (#45509015) Journal

    I don't know a single competent programmer that started programming because someone taught them how. They started programming because they wanted to.

    Manipulating teachers isn't going change that outcome.

     

    • by Sneftel (15416) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:36PM (#45509129)

      You don't know a single competent programmer who just started programming just because they wanted to. They started programming because they had the opportunity to, and the support. And if manipulating teachers is effective in countering their (probably unconscious, but nevertheless well-researched and documented) bias towards offering opportunity and support towards mostly boys, then it's the right thing to do.

      • by fredprado (2569351) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:54PM (#45509245)

        You don't know a single competent programmer who just started programming just because they wanted to. They started programming because they had the opportunity to, and the support.

        Bullshit, I self taught myself. I had no teacher and my parents were computer illiterate, and many of the greatest programmers I know followed the exact same pattern.

        And keep in mind that there wasn't the internet then, I had to learn from the few books on the subject I could acquire or borrow in the public library. Today all you need is access to a computer and to an Internet connection.

        probably unconscious, but nevertheless well-researched and documented

        Sorry to pop your bubble, but the only documented bias that exist these days is against male students, and in every field of knowledge, not only in CS, and it is a bias reinforced by initiatives like this.

        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          I agree with this. I learned to program when they got some computers in the library in school, and by the next semester I was better than the teacher teaching the course. Most of the good developers I know are the same; they didn't get into it because it was a profitable career, they got into it because they were good at it and they enjoyed it.

      • I started programming when I was 15 1/2.
        I did because I wanted to.
        No one supported me in it ... who and why should one?
        In the end I made it my profession, but about to give it up :D

      • Do you even know any programmers? I don't know a single one (out of dozens and dozens) who thought "hey, I wonder what I should do with my life" and picked up the idea of coding from a career fair or something. Every single one started on their own, and it's easier than ever to do that nowadays.

      • by gagol (583737)
        There was a computer in the basement, after playing around I found basic.exe and started to have fun by reading other programs. You cannot coerce passion, passionate people push their limits.
      • BS. Opportunity is exactly what it says on the box. Schools have been offering opportunity for decades. There is and always has been a strong gender bias in the opportunities that children choose to take advantage of when given a free choice.

        What is wrong is denying opportunity, so that a motivated children don't get to pursue their muse. Trying to shovel less boys and more girls into a particular subject, that was available anyway is neither enhancing opportunity nor motivating more pupils in any particula

      • You don't know a single competent programmer who just started programming just because they wanted to. They started programming because they had the opportunity to, and the support.

        Negative. I came from a poor family. No money. In elementary school I put an Apple IIe disk in upside down by accident. A BASIC prompt appeared and I started typing stuff into it. I discovered the LIST command and all the instructions went flying up the screen, for pages and pages. Eventually I learned how to edit those lines of code and by changing values here and there I learned how the functions were called. This was in the computer lab -- We were supposed to be playing some shitty games. My teac

    • I know this is a repeated meme, and I, myself, taught myself C when I was 14. However, I've never seen any statistics about this, I wonder if this really is the usual case.

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        Similar for me. I was that below average student with no strengths. I did well in discussions and understood stuff, but I had a hard time doing arithmetic in my head or memorizing stuff. Around 8, I got to see a computer. It instantly clicked with me. I didn't have to do the math, I only had to understand it, the computer did all the work for me. After that, I started doing lots of reading on ASM, C, the kind of math video games have to work with, how CPUs work, how memory works, how HDs work, no chipsets w
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now that most medical students are female, will the same measures be taken to punish "sexist" women doctors ?

  • by flaming error (1041742) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:23PM (#45509035) Journal

    "women still account for only about 25% of all employees at Code.org supporters "

    And how many unemployed female software engineers do we have who can't find work?

    Businesses can't hire people who don't exist.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Did you miss the part about training more? It's pretty much the whole summary.
      • "It's pretty much the whole summary."
        Then it's pretty unlikely I'd miss it, wouldn't you say?

        Did you miss the implication of big software gender inequality hypocrisy? What the author leaves dangling as an indictment actually supports big software's effort to train more.

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @06:39PM (#45510427)

        Did you miss the part about training more? It's pretty much the whole summary.

        There is a very odd misconception in the world today. That is the idea, that all you have to do is plug in someone, anyone, into a job slot, and the results are the same.

        It certainly isn't. The question that needs asked, is do an equal amount of young women even want to become programmers?

        I have participated in many "Take your sons and daughters to work" days, and have been in on the efforts to get young women interested in tech fields and engineering.

        These are the daughters of tech people and engineers, so you would expect there to be some interest.

        Haven't found much at all. The young ladies prefer fields like lawyers, MBA's, and medical fields. This is a sampling of hundreds.

        So we are left with perhaps forcing young ladies into tech fields?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Better question: what benefit do you get from having a 50% female work force? Does your code magically become better if an equal share of it is written by a woman? No. Good coders write good code. Gender has nothing to do with it, and I'm sick of seeing these efforts to artificially shift the demographics of a work force purely to meet some political agenda.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bengie (1121981)
        They tend to solve problems slightly differently, so it creates for a wider range of ideas. Quite often I find myself getting a few programmers together, discussing the problem domain, then throwing ideas. Getting a good list of ideas and their pros and cons is important.
  • Great idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:26PM (#45509053)

    Penalize teachers for things they can't control. How do you as a teacher ensure that at least 40% of your students are girls? Throw out some boys that are interested in programming?

    • >How do you as a teacher ensure that at least 40% of your students are girls? Throw out some boys that are interested in programming?

      Yes. That's exactly how it works in NCLB. Identify the failing ones and pull them from the class or school before they start affecting your averages. This situation is no different.

  • Other Fields? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:28PM (#45509075)
    So will the same apply to nursing teachers if not enough male students enroll?
    • Re:Other Fields? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arker (91948) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:37PM (#45509133) Homepage

      Yes, and let's not forget to fine mechanics schools that fail to recruit "enough" females and cosmetology schools that fail to recruit 'enough' males as well.

      For that matter why not just make it law that whenever people gather, for any reason, at any place, at any time, there must be exact parity between the genders.

    • Re:Other Fields? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:40PM (#45509149)

      Some years ago (1990s I think - it was quite a while ago anyway), the University of Washington proposed what amounted to reverse affirmative action in their teaching school with the goal of increasing the number of men going into that female-dominated area. They got slapped down pretty hard by the various women's groups, and quickly back pedaled.

      What's sauce for the gander is obviously not sauce for the goose.

    • Male Nurses are highly prized and paid well. manipulating a 350 lb. patient requires immense upper body strength.
      • by Bigbutt (65939)

        Sure, but how many male nurses are permitted in rooms with females unless they're attended by a another female? None of them? So why send a male nurse in if a female nurse has to be there anyway? And how many female nurses are permitted unattended in rooms with males? All of them? Can male nurses work on (don't know the right terminology) females in all stages of being helped? Can female nurses work on males in all stages of being helped?

        [John]

    • Re:Other Fields? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Sunday November 24, 2013 @05:31PM (#45509959)

      So will the same apply to nursing teachers if not enough male students enroll?

      Know what? Most Janitors are men. Hey, Coal miners too. We should mandate 50% men and women in all fields of employ. You wanted to be a councelor? Sorry, we need more women coal miners. You wanted to be a programmer? Sorry, we need more male hair dressers.

      TFA is bullshit. Equality isn't 50% men vs 50% women. Equality is equal opportunity, and proportional representation. If 30% of applicants are female, and 50% of accepted applicants are female, then that's not equality it's sexism. If you have the opportunity to do something -- Be a coal miner or hair dresser or romance novelist or computer programmer, etc -- and you decide NOT to do it, then we shouldn't force you to do it. It's a fact that humans are sexually dimorphic: Men have penises, women have vaginae and breasts and bear children. It's moronic to think that human brains are somehow immune to being affected by those same genes that make our bodies so different. In fact, we've observed differences in male and female brains. Neither one is better than the other. We should offer them the same set of choices -- The same opportunities; However, we shouldn't be surprised when the genders have preferences for or against different jobs. Men and women are different. Anyone who thinks otherwise can, and should, go fuck themselves.

      IT and CS are kind of shitty jobs right now -- Those same fucks who are pushing for more female applicants regardless of if they want to enroll? Yeah, they're also the ones putting ads in the newspaper and turning down any qualified applicant for any reason they can only to say they meet the requirements so they can fill the jobs with the lower paid H1B visa employees they're lobbying for having more of. Penalize teachers because girls are being smart enough not to sign up for that shite? Fuck you Zuck and the elites you rode in on.

  • What does this do? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XB-70 (812342) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:41PM (#45509163)
    This is sexism at its very worst. Funding one gender over another only serves to create animosity between them and suppress the gender that is not given preferential treatment. Why don't we put the funding towards researching how each gender takes up information and teach to those pedagogic methodologies? Education is one of the few areas where we have made minimal progress in the last 100 years. Students are NOT getting noticeably smarter. If we achieve the ability to learn more, faster, we all will win.
    • More than that, why don't we accept that genders may have different interests and live with that? As long as any person of each gender has the freedom to do whatever he or she pleases with their professional lives, which is already guaranteed by law, I don't see a problem in having 90% males in Engineering and 90% females in Nursing.
      • You don't see a problem? Well part of the problem was this:

        Dad brings home a gift for each kid, and automatically brings home the following:

        Boy gets electronic toy

        Girl gets nurse a doll kit

        There was no asking about interests, because the societal expectations of the time. So kids with interests that weren't the norm for their gender had such interests discouraged.

    • Education is one of the few areas where we have made minimal progress in the last 100 years. Students are NOT getting noticeably smarter.

      Well actually, they have been getting measurably smarter. [wikipedia.org] Perhaps some of them still don't do research before forming an opinion, as exemplified by your post.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I thought the intelligence increase was diet based, although I may be remembering incorrectly. Teaching doesn't increase intelligence, only understanding an problem solving abilities. Based on what I'm seeing, the school system in North America is not improving, it's getting worse.

        • As the article linked to indicates, that is one hypothesis [wikipedia.org], and a possible explanation. Assuming you helped to contribute to the Flynn effect (with your increased intelligence), it wasn't by an increase based in research capability, as it seems you avoid even the most basic and obvious research before opining publicly.
  • because it matters? (Score:5, Informative)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @03:57PM (#45509263) Journal

    Really?

    The politically-correct bullshit has to stop - do people REALLY believe there's a concerted effort to keep women out of coding? It must be so, because that's the only situation in which this sort of thing would matter.

    What you've just told CS instructors is to MAKE SURE every last woman in their course passes, and there's a financial reward for it.

    Why does it matter what chromosomes your coder bears?

    • Why does it matter what chromosomes your coder bears?

      Maybe the women are more likely to tolerate being underpaid. If training more coders is an effort to keep wages down, it might make sense to train a class of people who have historically worked for lower wages.

      • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Sunday November 24, 2013 @05:49PM (#45510105)

        Why does it matter what chromosomes your coder bears?

        Maybe the women are more likely to tolerate being underpaid. If training more coders is an effort to keep wages down, it might make sense to train a class of people who have historically worked for lower wages.

        Except that your revisionist historical bullshit is wrong. Women who work the same jobs for the same time as men are paid more than men, this has been true since at least the 70's. [youtube.com] Never married women make more money than never married men. What happens when folks get married? KIDS. So, The husband may work a bit harder while the wife takes maternity leave to have a baby. Women are more likely to spend time off work with their kids. Then some deluded feminists with an agenda come along and tally up the pay of all women and all men, ignoring the choices that women and men have made were different. Then they go on about some wage gap myth that never existed in the first place.

        Furthermore, your argument makes no sense. If women naturally worked harder for less pay, then it would be foolish for any business to hire a majority men. Contrary to what you're implying: WOMEN ARE NOT DUMB. Get it through your fool head: You are wrong about the wages. STOP listening to the "women are always victims" bullshit. It's wrong. Read a history book or ANY unbiased sampling of wage data for fuck's sake: Running a home and raising a kid used to be a full time job before all our modern conveniences came into existence. Men and women are different. They have different bodies and behaviors thanks to millions of years of evolution as a sexually dimorphic race. They make different life choices at different rates. We give them equal opportunity and they express their differences in the choices they make.

    • by russotto (537200) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @05:15PM (#45509863) Journal

      The politically-correct bullshit has to stop - do people REALLY believe there's a concerted effort to keep women out of coding? It must be so, because that's the only situation in which this sort of thing would matter.

      As far as I can tell, they do. Not in the sense of a conspiracy, but in the sense that they think male programmers are by and large misogynistic bastards who drive women out through our poor hygiene, sartorial failure, creepy stares, inappropriate jokes, and the like. This idea fails on any number of levels, chief of which IMO is that in professions where the men are far, far, worse (such as sales and advertising), there are more women.

      Anyway, given that idea, the obvious "solution" is to simultaneously encourage more women (and fewer men) to enter the profession, while coming down hard on any sort of expression or action by men which might tend to alienate women. This, of course, fails on every possible level.

  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by korbulon (2792438) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:00PM (#45509279)

    It's easy for these assholes to talk, they were the extremely lucky ones in a winner-take-all industry which often metes out its rewards in absurd and haphazard ways.

    You really want to make this world a fairer place: how about paying all your employees a decent wage, and maybe even take a cut from your ridiculously high comps? Then you might be providing an actual reason for more people to get into coding, including the ones with vaginas.

  • I'm not sure that facebook boy deserves to be called a billionaire. He holds more than a billion dollars worth of (horrendously overvalued) stock, but as best I have heard he does not have a billion dollars in actual currency. He won't likely be willing - or able - to sell off his stock quickly enough to reach a net worth of $1B when the stock finally tanks for the last time when the market acknowledges that facebook has no actual business plan that can produce at that level.
    • "I'm not sure that facebook boy deserves to be called a billionaire ... but as best I have heard he does not have a billion dollars in actual currency."

      What is an example of someone who has a $1 billion dollars in actual currency?

      Furthermore, you do realize the awesome way to leverage wealth on paper is to borrow against that value --- therefore avoiding the income tax of actually selling the stock while --- simultaneously --- expensing the interest payments of loan again taxes!

      Such is the way of the wea
  • Maybe those billionaires didn't go to college, or even school, because anyone who did knows teachers aren't in charge of enrollment, the school is.

    So this is to punish teachers for something they can't control?

  • By the way, while not mentioning these specific programs, CNET reports that Slashdot owner Dice supports the STEM efforts of Code.org and Donors Choose.

    In that case, I guess I've no choice but to strongly oppose the STEM efforts of Code.org and Donors Choose...

  • by cfalcon (779563) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:25PM (#45509447)

    Sexist assholes hard at work. Ignore the skilled and dedicated boys, we're trying to something something who the fuck knows.

    Useless morons. I guess we can write off code.org as being anything but shitsacks.

  • by theodp (442580) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @04:53PM (#45509687)

    Kind of odd that just a few paragraphs after saying it will cap teachers' grants for classes with too many boys, Code.org instructs teachers [code.org] to: 'Inspire your students: introduce computer science and make it exciting, creative and for everyone. Show your students the Code.org film, "What Most Schools Don't Teach": it features Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Black Eyed Peas founder will.i.am and NBA star Chris Bosh talking about the importance of programming."

    • by Georules (655379)
      In my opinion so far, Code.org is constantly more concerned with 'creating excitement' and 'promotion' over a consistent message or actual content.
  • I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and I think whether someone learns programming is intrinsically tied to wanting to figure out "the rules". For as long as I've been alive, I've noticed that whenever I've looked at some system it was clear that it operated according to some rules that were understandable. And understanding those rules was its own reward, but it also enables more effective or efficient usage. Programming (and mathematics and physics and chemistry and...) is just learning the rule

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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