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The Ugly Underbelly of Coder Culture 715

snydeq writes "Today's developers are overwhelmingly young and male, and they're barring the door from a more diverse workforce, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. 'Software development isn't just failing to attract women. It's actively pushing them away. ... Put all the pieces together, and you're left with an impression of developers that's markedly different from the geeks and nerds they're made out to be in popular culture. On the contrary, developers harbor the same attitudes and engage in the same behaviors you see whenever a subculture is overwhelmingly dominated by young males. They've even coined a clever name for programmers who think and behave like fraternity pledges: brogrammers,' McAllister writes. 'Developers like to think of their culture as a meritocracy, where the very best developers naturally rise to the top. But as long as the industry tends to exclude more than half of the potential workforce, that's nothing but pure arrogance.'"
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The Ugly Underbelly of Coder Culture

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:15PM (#39687323)

    Of course you'll have young male stupidity in an industry dominated by young males. But I've seen plenty of women code of varying ages and none of them get any less respect if they do it well. When they do it badly they don't get respect but neither do men. I've even worked in a company that comprised half coders male and half female and the women in this company were known as the superior coders. Granted that's not the norm. Calling programmers brogrammers is about as sexist as insulting as it gets. Imagine the outrage if we were to lean on stereotypes and call young female programmers prog-bunnies. More insulting drivel from slashdot. Perhaps you should stick to the asinine slashvertorial crap that's come to dominate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:20PM (#39687371)

    women didn't like them was that they were 'nice guys' - they would treat women with more respect than those fratboy/jock types. It turns out, they are more like those fratboy douches than they would like to admit, right down to believing that sexism doesn't exist and women are being too sensitive.

    All of which is perfectly fine. But don't pretend that you are somehow more enlightened than other men simply because you obsess over geeky stuff rather than sports.

  • diversity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:22PM (#39687387)

    diversity is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. hiring someone because they are female, or of a certain race doesn't improve anything.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:23PM (#39687403)

    Because contrary to what these articles might lead you to believe, we're very sensitive about these kinds of things. We do want our sector to be a meritocracy. We don't take kindly to being painted in a broad brush as though we're all frat boys, since we take great pains to overcome the types of biases these sensationalist articles paint us as being plagued with.

    It's quite disconcerting to many of us to hear us described this way. Especially for those of us who have actively nudged people into the workforce in an attempt to stem the tide of popular opinion that this article portrays. It means our hard work might be undone, because human instinct is to believe in the simple scapegoat, and not search for actual solutions.

  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:27PM (#39687425)
    ...therefore I am a scumbag and should be ashamed of myself?
  • by LodCrappo ( 705968 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:29PM (#39687449) Homepage

    I've read this article twice, and the only supporting facts for the author's conclusions seem to be some stats about declining female enrollment in CS and the personal tale of one woman who had a slightly shitty experience at one place she worked.

    WTF.. I could provide a lot more evidence to support a flat earth theory.

    I don't doubt that there are places where women have a tougher time than males in the IT dept, but the conclusions this author is making seem shaky at best (not to mention flying in the face of everything I've seen in my own somewhat lengthy career in the field.. admittedly myopic but just a valid and apparently more diverse than the evidence used by the author).

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:36PM (#39687495)

    Few women enter the field and a significant number of them leave. When I was a freshman in Engineering school it was unusual to see even one coed in a class, the most I ever remember was three. Fast forward a few years, women programmers are treated fairly in the workplace. But once they get married and have a couple of babies their career plans often change. When I worked in a classified environment the government wouldn't let a women keep her clearance when she went on maternity leave because most never came back; it was more cost effective to issue a new clearance for the outliers.

    McAllister must have quite a few shills here on Slashdot, we see a disproportionate number of his blog posts and most (like this one) are tripe. Brogrammers? Really? Are they having bromances with each other?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:42PM (#39687559)

    Yet, I've observed young male groups use language that is not polite in mixed company.

    Fixed that for you. I mean, why single out developers? It's not an industry problem; it's a gender problem.

  • Re:Where? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:43PM (#39687563)
    Thank you for your post, part-of-the-problem.
  • by caywen ( 942955 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:44PM (#39687573)

    I've never seen this in any of the teams I worked in. Hell, we welcome women. If I told the team we were hiring a woman, they'd be like "f*ck yea! is she hot?? bring it
    !" And I'd be all like, "dudes, you can't bang a coworker, man!" But then I'd be like thinking, "actually she's hot braah I'm all over that yo." But other programmers might make the move first, so I be like, "yo why you be playin?".

    And then we'd drag race to settle it. In my mind.

    Actually, we all sit in our respective corners and rarely talk.

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by finity ( 535067 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:51PM (#39687633) Homepage Journal
    The problem is generally not that men dislike women, sexism takes much more subtle forms than that. I'm in the military, another male dominated career field, and I've seen that it can be hard for women to try to just fit in and work if they're being singled out even in small ways. This post discusses it a bit:

    There are times that I've thought one of my female coworker friends needs to "lighten up", and I've thought that about male coworkers too. But there are many times when I've seen that the women are correct, and that they've been singled out in an unfortunate way. It really turns them off to a field that needs a more equal gender balance, and that's too bad.

    I think XZVF kinda hit it on the head, too.

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by devleopard ( 317515 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @03:54PM (#39687641) Homepage

    I'm the manager of a local programmer user group. In our monthly meeting, not five minutes goes by without some sort of perverted joke or comment. It doesn't really cease when we have any women show up our meeting (typically only one). Nice and inviting, yeah.

    Though there always exceptions, programmers tend to be relatively socially awkward lot. It comes out in our jokes, in our dress, in our environment. (Ask your co-worker chuckling, "That's what she said...", wearing a video game t-shirt, with Star Wars figure strewn about his cube, as he hums the "Ocarina of Time" while coding ....) There isn't a "No gurls alloud!" sign, but there doesn't have to be. There are plenty of brilliant women who would make great programmers, but who are totally turned off by the culture. It's all about feeling welcome. (Yes, I know there's the rare girl who embraces the subculture, but that's not the point.)

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jessified ( 1150003 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:00PM (#39687677)

    I'm completely unbiased on the male vs female front

    I think if you don't realize your bias then you are unwittingly probably part of the problem.

    There was some excellent research showing that when researchers submitted resumes with identical credentials to firms, but one with a white sounding name and one with an Asian sounding name, the white sounding names had a significantly hire success rate in getting calls. I doubt this discrepancy is from a conscious policy. [] [] []

    On a personal and anecdotal note, unrelated to hiring, there is a family that frequents my business. They are Muslim, and the mother has a thick Arabic accent. I just discovered the other day that she also speaks French (I am fluent). Being from Morocco, her French is flawless and better than mine. After talking with her for some time in French, I just realized that I had been implicitly thinking of her as less educated, due to her Arabic accent when speaking English. Upon hearing her flawless French, I saw my implicit attitude change entirely.

    I work really hard to be aware of bias and to not let it get in the way of my interactions with people. But it's there for all of us, despite the effort we put in. It does no good to pretend otherwise.

  • by Squiddie ( 1942230 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:01PM (#39687683)
    I'm tired of this. Why must they always bitch and complain? Do women not have the same opportunity to do the same work? Since when do they exclude women from such programs in universities? Last I heard they give them women-only scholarships to encourage them. Now they are bashing the very people that work in the industry, all while ignoring that there are plenty of women there who did not have these imaginary problems. If you have a problem with the people you're going to work with before you even start, then it's your problem, not ours.
  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:09PM (#39687751)

    I think if you don't realize your bias then you are unwittingly probably part of the problem.

    What, precisely, is "the problem", in your view?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:12PM (#39687775)

    I've never seen this in any of the teams I worked in. Hell, we welcome women. If I told the team we were hiring a woman, they'd be like "f*ck yea! is she hot??

    Yeah, see, this type of attitude actually happens, and it's one of the reasons why they're driven off.

  • Re:Where? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArundelCastle ( 1581543 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:24PM (#39687879)

    I work really hard to be aware of bias and to not let it get in the way of my interactions with people. But it's there for all of us, despite the effort we put in. It does no good to pretend otherwise.

    Indeed. []

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:29PM (#39687929)
    In all of these discussions, the assumption is implicit that a group (whatever group is under discussion, programmers in this case) should change their behavior because others don't like it and are pushed away from the activity by it. But why? Presumably those who are there now are there because they enjoy that environment. If you change it so that someone else is more comfortable with it, then that destroys the enjoyment of those who were there to begin with. So why, exactly, is it imperative that things be as bland and unoffensive as possible? What makes the outsiders' wishes more important than those of the insiders?
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:32PM (#39687953) Journal

    I've been a software developer, I've been a hiring manager, I've been a co-founder of a startup, and worked in this industry for decades. Every time I've had an open job req, I see maybe one female applicant out of 200 resumes. 90% of success is showing up.


  • Re:Where? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:36PM (#39688011)

    The "That's what she said" and other sexist jokes are definitely a problem, but I don't see anything wrong with the rest of your stereotype. If girls don't like the geek culture, fuck 'em. The same goes for all the guys who think they're too cool for it. I like that an argument in the break room is as likely to be Star Wars vs Star Trek as it is to be emacs vs vi. I want to be able to say "The cake is a lie" without explaining myself.

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:37PM (#39688017) Homepage

    Why isn't there a big media-driven push to get more women driving trucks for the cleansing department? Isn't this sexism too?

  • by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:42PM (#39688063) Homepage

    ...therefore I am a scumbag and should be ashamed of myself?

    No, of course not. You're a scumbag and should be ashamed of yourself because you're male.

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rwven ( 663186 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:45PM (#39688083) your logic, women falsely perceive men as being bad company in the workplace (sexism), so they choose career paths that they "think" is friendlier to women (more sexism), and then they complain that the career path they chose NOT to pursue is biased against women (even more sexism).

    By your logic, women are the entire reason this bias exists...and the bias is completely artificial. The so-called feedback loop was started, and is continued by women themselves.

  • by Alex Zepeda ( 10955 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @04:50PM (#39688135)

    Two things stand out to me:

    - In *any* group there will be jerkwads. I've seen hardware companies run like frat houses and diverse rails shops that were unbelievably professional. And then there's slashdot.

    - Younger kids will act less mature and less professional. Get a bunch of kids in their mid-twenties together and they'll do stupid shit. Give them ten years and they'll (typically) grow out of that phase. My guess is that the median age at the Ruby conferences you've attended is much lower than at the Fortran conferences.

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @05:04PM (#39688251)

    yes I saw the same problem in my research at MIT. My lab was offered to present projects at the Harvard Business School. On the day of the presentation, I brashly chastised the organizer for not accepting any projects by female researchers, to which he replied "no females applied."

    You can't win if you don't play. Male coders are not handed jobs, it's competitive. And yes, most male coders welcome ladies in their environments because in addition to being good team members, they have natural radiance and the gender balance soothes certain kinds of altercations. But it seems like there's a lot of complaining going on and no applying.

    And I don't comprehend this argument that coders have to "make their environment more inviting to women." How? Just _apply_, subscribe to hiring bulletins, call and ask for interviews, send resumes, network. There is no conspiracy against women. As someone above said, we're too busy working to organize a conspiracy and don't want one anyway.

  • Feminist ideology (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @05:06PM (#39688269)

    There is an inherent assumption in the article and in most of the posts here in response: a disparity in the number of male and female coders is bad. To which I reply, "Why?" The answer, as I see it, is to accommodate radical feminist ideology.

    The desire to see absolute parity between men and women in every field is a bedrock tenet of feminist ideology and is born of the assertion by professional feminists that there is no inherent difference between men and women. In the feminist worldview, every difference which is observed is a result of differences in the way men and women are raised or a result of differences in the way that society treats men and women. Since professional feminists will never admit that there might be inherent differences between the sexes, they insist that society is unfair and unjust and must be radically changed in order to accommodate feminist beliefs. And since society won't willingly change itself, feminists demand that the cudgel of government be used to make society change. Generally this means that companies must be legally vulnerable to lawsuits claiming "discrimination" and men must be made to feel guilty and walk on eggshells for fear of damaging the sensibilities of their female co-workers.

    Seriously, if some women don't like the subculture in a particular field, instead of complaining and demanding legal remedies, why don't those women start their own software companies, use their powers of personal persuasion to change the subculture from within or simply work in another field? Why must everything be turned into a political issue? All that does is generate resentment and move the industry away from being a meritocracy. Why must society be changed to accommodate a small number of malcontents or, in the case of professional feminists, to accommodate a small number of political freaks with very little support from the general population?

    I would prefer to just let people pursue their own interests with their own talents and ambitions. All the efforts to try to force a particular vision of how society "ought to be" just creates problems. If the natural ratio of male/female coders happens to be 3/1, 10/1, or 1000/1, then who cares? Why does it matter? Living in a free society means accepting the choices of others even if you may not approve.

  • Hogwash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by luis_a_espinal ( 1810296 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @05:18PM (#39688351) Homepage
    The article is describing a problem very specific to our culture. Indian and Chinese STEM fields do not seem to have a problem attracting females. So if we are having a problem, then that is an indictment on our culture in general, not on the field.... Besides, in my team, I'm the only guy (I work with three ladies, one CS major and two EE majors.) Not that I've not worked in places that are completely man-poplated, but c'mon to infer the whole field is a bros-in-arms, that's just speculation for speculation's sake. YMMV
  • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @05:34PM (#39688487) Homepage

    Thank You. At my university, over 99% of the CS majors were male by senior year (97% freshman year). Females aren't applying to the programs, so they cannot be considered for the jobs.

    And it's not like the CS department of any university, let alone workplace, does not want women in there. But no amount of bribery will convince them to enter a highly stressful, demanding, and often-times not very rewarding career when there are better ones available.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @05:35PM (#39688497)

    I have to admit, as a long-time FreeBSD user I'm disappointed, and somewhat surprised, to see that you hold this opinion of JavaScript. The OP is correct; there truly is nothing good about JavaScript. One cannot defend JavaScript.

    JavaScript is not a "mature technology" in any reasonable sense. FreeBSD is a mature technology. It was built upon a solid set of principles to begin with, by very competent developers, and this is evident in its high degree of quality and its high degree of reliability. None of this applies to JavaScript.

    JavaScript is not a "functional programming language" in any sense. Merely having anonymous functions does not make a language "functional". By that token, C++11 and even VB.NET can be considered to be functional programming languages, when that clearly isn't the case. Tail recursion, immutability and continuations are examples of core concepts from functional programming that JavaScript has limited to no support for. We can't consider JavaScript to be "functional" when so many critical elements of functional programming languages are missing.

    JavaScript's performance still leaves much to be desired, even when using the most capable and modern engines available today. Anyone who has seriously used it knows its performance limitations very well. It's much easier to get much better performance when using Python, Ruby, Lua, Erlang, the .NET CLR, or the JVM.

    Many of the most popular JavaScript libraries, with jQuery being a good example, are merely there to make JavaScript slightly less painful to use. They merely bandage up a very broken language, rather than making a solid language even more powerful. Node.js is completely unremarkable. I worked with very similar LISP code in an academic setting 25 years ago. Other JavaScript-centric technologies, like the HTML5 canvas tag, are inferior compared to graphics libraries like BGI that we had back in the 1980s.

    It's very telling that "JavaScript: The Good Parts" is treated as the community's most widely respected book. It's a book that goes out of its way to highlight the small portions of the language that are semi-usable, while encouraging large parts of it not to be used! No other major programming language's most important book is like this. They all say how to use the features of the language, and not how to intentionally avoid large portions of the language in question!

    In the future, JavaScript's popularity today will be looked back on as an oddity. It'll be seen as a "triumph" of ignorance and stupidity, and it'll be understood that it was merely a mistake that snowballed. It's unfortunate that intelligent developers such as yourself will have gotten caught up in this avalanche of idiocy.

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:10PM (#39688817)
    If there is no sexism in software development, then where are the women on Slashdot? According to all the men posting here, there are plenty of qualified women working in the field. It would be rational to assume that they would respond to this thread with their personal experiences. Sound of crickets...

    There are posts by men saying that they don't have a problem in their work place, or the women that they know don't have a problem. I expect that this is accurate, for the most part. However, there is self censorship in play. If there is a problem, there would be a tendency for it to be under-reported. If there is a hostile culture, one way to fit in is to deny that the problem exists. Pushing back is a sure fire way to be labeled a "bitch" or worse.

    I know women who left the field because they got fed up with the macho culture. They could do it and be successful, but they didn't want to. They were always having to prove themselves, and they just got tired of the bullshit.

    If you go back and read the denials that make up most of the comments, you will see a direct example of the problem that does exist. The comments exhibit lots of hostile language. The default position is that there is no problem, and anyone who says otherwise is a whiner and/or a self serving idiot.

    Slashdot itself is an example of current software culture, and it exhibits a lot of hostility. When this post gets modded down to -11 and/or I get a lot of comments that attack me, it will prove my point.

  • Re:Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:27PM (#39688981) Homepage Journal

    2. Whiteboard coding is taboo, no programmer I know writes code on paper or a whiteboard. Why on earth would I ask someone to do that.

    Because some developers actually think about what they're coding, and design first? And it's a hell of a lot easier to diagram on a whiteboard than on a PC?

    3. Algorithmic programming? Don't care most of these are well known patterns and a 30 sec google search can come up with a answer. I do not need a cowboy that is going to try to refactor well known patterns or existing libraries just for the sake of doing it.

    This makes zero sense. Who said that using algorithms will cause you to do this? This is a non-sequiter.

  • by nstach ( 1395835 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:27PM (#39688985)
    I seriously hope this is just a troll
  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:28PM (#39688991) Homepage

    Parent is a truly astonishing mix of plain truth, half-truths, and utter BS. Yes, the problem is real, no it's not universal--far from it. So far, parent and I agree 100%. But then parent claims:

    This is almost solely an issue with the communities related to web development.

    Technically not true at all, but may be based on a limited sampling, so I'll give parent a half point for this one.

    Then, however, parent goes completely astray by identifing some technologies that he, personally, doesn't like, pointing out that the problem does occur in the communities associated with those particular three technologies (which may or may not be true, I haven't checked), and then leaps to the preposterous conclusion that bad technologies attract bad people! From three data points, and dubious categorization skills (I don't like it == bad.) There are plenty of communities associated with crappy software where it doesn't arise at all. (I'd argue the reverse, that it sometimes arises in communities associated with good software, but that assumes there is such a thing as good software--a hypothesis I'm not ready to accept.) This is all simply false, bordering on troll territory.

    In my experience--and I'm also male and also have been involved in programming and software development for over 30 years--the problem seems to arise in small and/or insular communities. I've heard reports that it's widespread in software communities associated with banking and large financial institutions, which tend to be fairly insular, but are in no way small or (at least as far as technology goes) failed. Note that banking is not a subset of web development.

    It doesn't arise in all small communities, but when it does, it can feed back on itself, and become remarkably hard to evict, even as the community grows. People who deny that it happens are either deliberately ignoring it, or have simply never had enough exposure to the communities where it does occur. I managed to get by for nearly ten years as a software developer before I encountered it, which may be in part because I'm male, but once I saw it, it was impossible to deny. It's not as universal as some suggest, but neither is it a non-problem, as others suggest. It's a minor problem except in the communities where it occurs, where it's a major one. None of which has anything to do with whether or not Ruby, JavaScript and NoSQL do or do not suck.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:29PM (#39689001)

    Sure, there are more men than woman in IT. But this article make it seem like men are actively working together to keep woman out. I have never seen anything like that.

    I figure that woman stay out of IT because woman are smarter than men, at least in terms of common sense.

    Maybe it has something to do with woman doing more to take care of the children, so the long, unpaid, hours of many IT jobs don't appeal to woman?

    Maybe woman tend to be more social, and don't care for work that often lacks social interaction?

    Maybe it's a self perpetuating problem where woman don't want to be a field where there are hardly any woman?

    Maybe it's because IT is being taken over by visa workers who are mostly men?

    Maybe it's because other fields, like health care, are far more stable, and professional?

    No reason to jump to the conclusion that men are actively conspiring against women.

  • by adamdoyle ( 1665063 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @06:36PM (#39689051)

    This is typical male arrogance. Females are shut out of tech carees by this structural patriarcy and you blame us women? This is bull. It's the fault of the males.

    Well then enlighten us. What do you want CS students and CS departments to do in order to attract more female students? What exactly is being done to shut them out?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2012 @07:34PM (#39689421)

    I just talked to my niece on the phone(5 years old) and tried to tell here about my cool RC plane, she said she would go get my nephew to talk to. She didn't want to hear about it at all. It's not's wanting to learn about it. It just isn't wired into females to want to learn about engineering, computers, etc. It has nothing to do with how they are brought up, people just can't understand that. Men and women are wired different. Period. (Meta: not always but for the most part).

  • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @07:39PM (#39689457)

    Men are repulsed by it too. Environments uncomfortable for women are also uncomfortable to a lot of men.

  • Re:Where? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @07:47PM (#39689513)
    No, this isn't about equal opportunity. It's about people feeling uncomfortable with things other people are saying/doing. And they have that right; what they do not have is a right to force others to change because they are uncomfortable.
  • by anonymov ( 1768712 ) on Saturday April 14, 2012 @08:41PM (#39689847)

    Because there's difference between coding style and significant whitespace.

    // Somebody pasted a few lines, but didn't reindent last line.
    // Still correct syntax, still does the same, Reindent All fixes the formatting and everybody's happy.
      if (x) {
    # Somebody pasted a few lines, but didn't reindent last line.
    # Still correct syntax, statement3 errorneously executes every time, IDE doesn't help (it could reindent _when pasting_, not after the fact). Have fun debugging!
      if x:

  • by tqk ( 413719 ) <> on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:25AM (#39690813)

    It just isn't wired into females to want to learn about engineering, computers, etc. It has nothing to do with how they are brought up, people just can't understand that. Men and women are wired different.

    Bollocks. My nephews see nothing in it too. It's not a male, female thing. It's a "some people are, some aren't" thing. How many people do you know, male or female, who are passionate about STEM? I can count the number I know on the fingers of one hand without using all of them.

    It has a lot to do with upbringing. STEM is not "sexy" or idolized by the average prole today so it's not recommended seriously to their precious snowflakes.

    FWIW, my favorite geeks (in my experience) have been women.

  • Re:NoSQL a joke? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @04:18AM (#39691539) Homepage Journal

    companies like Google and Facebook must lack "professionalism"

    If leaking private data all over the place counts as professionalism then I'll take blundering amateurs any day.

    Also, mindlessly aping a successful company's technical decisions without considering that they're in a different niche to you is going to end in tears; a search engine isn't the same thing as an inventory control system.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @04:54AM (#39691615) Homepage Journal

    Troll? Really? It's true.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:36AM (#39691913)

    which is perhaps better said as "systemic bias".

    There is ZERO systematic basis against females in engineering degrees.

    There is in fact a nonzero bias towards supporting females in engineering roles.

    So what happens when after decades you do not get many female engineers, in any discipline?

    You have to realize it's not the system that is the problem, or at least changing the system will not create the balance you seek.

    The desire to be an engineer has to come from the female population at large, you can't lure them as though engineering were a kind of trap for them.

    How that happens, I'm not sure. But it's far more broadly cultural than any system or set of systems in place.

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