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Stats The Almighty Buck

Research Suggests 'CS For All' May Mean Lower Pay For All 310

theodp writes: The NY Times reports that new research suggests as women take over a male-dominated field, the pay drops. "A striking example," writes Claire Cain Miller, "is to be found in the field of recreation — working in parks or leading camps — which went from predominantly male to female from 1950 to 2000. Median hourly wages in this field declined 57 percentage points, accounting for the change in the value of the dollar, according to a complex formula used by Professor Levanon. The job of ticket agent also went from mainly male to female during this period, and wages dropped 43 percentage points. The same thing happened when women in large numbers became designers (wages fell 34 percentage points), housekeepers (wages fell 21 percentage points) and biologists (wages fell 18 percentage points). The reverse was true when a job attracted more men. Computer programming, for instance, used to be a relatively menial role done by women. But when male programmers began to outnumber female ones, the job began paying more and gained prestige." Addressing concerns raised about gender pay equity in tech, Amazon recently told the SEC to get off its case, explaining that it's working with organizations such as Code.org, the Anita Borg Institute and Girls Who Code to increase women's involvement in the technology industry. But even if such efforts achieve pay parity, will CS for All result in lower pay for all?
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Research Suggests 'CS For All' May Mean Lower Pay For All

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  • D'uh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Ya think!

    • Re: D'uh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WarJolt ( 990309 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @01:44PM (#51738181)

      To add to that an individual decrease for some. A net increase for all. What's not to get?

      We're going to automate 50% of the workforce right out of their jobs anyway, so I'd rather have lower pay then people on the streets.

      It's been my experience that when you get great software developers together it creates demand for more software developers. I don't think a simple supply and demand model works.

      Think about how many software jobs wouldn't exists without the Linux Kernel. Enabling technology creates more jobs than congress could ever hope to.

      • Re: D'uh! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:13PM (#51738373)

        > It's been my experience that when you get great software developers together it creates demand for more software developers. I don't think a simple supply and demand model works.

        Agreed. It seems we are currently in a place where there are so many projects to pursue that the demand might just accomodate to the supply. I don't buy that argument here.

        It always baffles me when people apply simple models to make their claim. Especially in economics, I keep hearing (even from economics graduates) things like, if we deregulate a market, prices will drop because the optimal point gets better. It is as if they never attend a game theory class and heard of Braess' paradox and of price of anarchy...

        • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @04:01PM (#51738973) Homepage Journal

          Computer programming, for instance, used to be a relatively menial role done by women. But when male programmers began to outnumber female ones, the job began paying more and gained prestige

          It actually goes like this:

          Extremely simplistic computer programming done in the earliest days of trivial computer architectures and largely trivial computing tasks, for instance, used to be a relatively menial role done by anyone possessed of a week's familiarization and two wet brain cells to rub together. But as computer architectures became more sophisticated, and the programs written under them were both more aggressively complex and able to utilize considerably broader and deeper resources in terms of both hardware and data, the job began paying more and gained prestige. A process that continues to this day.

          • by aberglas ( 991072 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @09:38PM (#51740737)

            Actually no.

            The early computer programs were to solve differential equations and required far more maths than most programmers today could muster. Several of those women were mathematicians. And programming the Eniac (say) was non-trivial. Highly parallel, lots of weird timing considerations, that all had to be literally wired together.

            Whereas any idiot can write a program on a modern IDE. Which is why most Slash dotters insist on using vi.

            Most of the women you see in the early photos were operators, not programmers.

      • Re: D'uh! (Score:4, Funny)

        by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @06:20PM (#51739707)

        Think about how many software jobs wouldn't exists without the Linux Kernel. .

        Probably, without Linux, there would be even more jobs because of all the extra people needed to support the additional Windows Servers that would be in use.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "lower pay then people on the streets"

        That's pretty much what happens. People get lower pay, then they end up on the streets. Perhaps you meant to use "than" there.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        As much as I like Linux, and I am using it right this very minute, I'm inclined to speculate that those jobs would exist even without Linux. Something else would be in its place. Many, many kernels and operating systems have come and gone and still exist. There was a need and software, like life, seems to find a way. I may be waxing philosophical but I really do believe the ecosystem would exist without Linux specifically.

        It might have been BSD, it might have been QNX, it might have been MINIX, it might hav

    • Re:D'uh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Njorthbiatr ( 3776975 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @03:01PM (#51738669)

      Nah, because all of this "everyone learns to code" thing is more or less crap.

      We also teach everyone how to do math, if you recall. And the vast majority of population /still/ can't do it, despite such a huge educational focus. And despite the efforts of Common Core and other initiatives to improve math literacy, the actual number of people who will end up doing math professionally probably won't change.

      The number of competent programmers may increase slightly, but comparing a career in programming to a career of "recreation", it's bullshit. This study is nothing more than some SJW spewed crap and Cornell should be ashamed to even ever put their name on it. It manipulates figures to make itself sound meaningful. Consider:

      TFA:
      "Consider the discrepancies in jobs requiring similar education and responsibility, or similar skills, but divided by gender. The median earnings of information technology managers (mostly men) are 27 percent higher than human resources managers (mostly women)"

      Wow so they compared two different fields with supposedly "similar" education and responsibility and then concluded that because one of female dominated, wages are higher for one than the other. I guess logic isn't something they did well with.

      TFA:
      "The same thing happened when women in large numbers became designers (wages fell 34 percentage points), housekeepers (wages fell 21 percentage points) and biologists (wages fell 18 percentage points). The reverse was true when a job attracted more men. Computer programming, for instance, used to be a relatively menial role done by women. But when male programmers began to outnumber female ones, the job began paying more and gained prestige."

      I'm sure this had nothing to do with the apparent increase and demand in computer programming, not to mention how the field has evolved over the past five or six decades at an incredible rate. The focus has shifted from menially making punch cards to writing OOP in a high level language. The actual job changed so dramatically and the skills required to do it increased quite dramatically.

      TFA:
      "While the pay gap has been closing, it remains wide. Over all, in fields where men are the majority, the median pay is $962 a week — 21 percent higher than in occupations with a majority of women, according to another new study, published Friday by Third Way, a research group that aims to advance centrist policy ideas."

      Another failure to do basic statistics. Maybe women simply choose lower-paying jobs due to social expectations of them to choose said jobs. Other factors also play into it, but this statistic is completely meaningless. They even mention this themselves: "Yes, women sometimes voluntarily choose lower-paying occupations because they are drawn to work that happens to pay less, like caregiving or nonprofit jobs, or because they want less demanding jobs because they have more family responsibilities outside of work."

      TFA:
      "But many social scientists say there are other factors that are often hard to quantify, like gender bias and social pressure, that bring down wages for women’s work."

      Then don't fucking try to quantify it until you can.

      ---

      And that's all I can handle of this supposedly "scientific" study. Cornell is shit for publishing it, and so is the author.

      • The focus has shifted from menially making punch cards to writing OOP in a high level language.

        I hope this is a joke. It was more difficult to create something simple because no tools existed to create it. That made the effort more challenging rather than less challenging. Having to balance real-world considerations and algorithmic considerations is, by definition, more complicated than only concerning oneself with real-world impact of the programs. Decoupling the algorithmic considerations and allowing majority of programmers to be application programmers, who are only concerned with real-world

      • Re:D'uh! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by careysub ( 976506 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:45AM (#51742461)

        ...The focus has shifted from menially making punch cards to writing OOP in a high level language. The actual job changed so dramatically and the skills required to do it increased quite dramatically....

        I have been around long enough to have seen this entire transition from punch card/main frame primitive time sharing systems (MVT fixed memory allocation), or alternatively having to program by entering machine code in registers with switches, to modern tools and languages on the super-fast computers of today. And this is complete nonsense.

        Believe it or not, programming the early 1970s involved problem solving on the same level as today, with much worse tools. Not exactly the same problems, of course, but it was in no way simpler. Since computers were several orders of magnitude slower with much less memory it was necessary to understand the internal architecture of the system quite well, how data was represented in memory and applications mapped to memory (necessary to interpret core dumps as your primary debugging tool), algorithmic efficiency (otherwise you couldn't get anything useful done), and archaic things like planning efficient use of tape movement.

        On the other hand, I have observed the rise of a new class of semi-skilled programmers (that I don't hire, BTW) who, with modern OOP languages and vast class libraries, can only be called "application assemblers", chaining together existing class components within a framework (Struts, Spring, etc.) that means that they don't really have to understand anything about algorithms, OS's, or computer science generally, to set up working systems.

        This shows the real value of those OOP languages and libraries, that it is possible for such people to exist and for this to actually work; but to argue that they are doing dramatically more complex work is simply ignorant.

  • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @01:30PM (#51738105)

    You mean when there is a larger supply of something, and demand stays even, the price of that thing goes down? That's crazy talk, it's almost as if this were a field of study or something. It may even involve charts.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      I thought everybody knew that was the point. Why would Facebook et. al. be interested in education? To create more workers so they have to pay them less, of course.

  • and start submitting stories to /.? No kidding. That's the _point_. If you haven't figured that out by now you haven't been paying attention.

    The more interesting question is will people ever notice that the 1% does stuff like this? Every time the rich target an industry for lower wages I'm baffled that folks pretend like it's not happening. They tell me I'm a conspiracy loon because the idea that somebody might think 10 or 20 years down the line is nuts because well, they don't think that far down the l
    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @01:48PM (#51738219)

      The 1% are _always_ looking for ways to stop paying you.

      It occurs to me that this is more of a push by forced equality groups than anybody else. On a side note, one of the original purposes behind the first unions in the US was to keep Asians out of the workforce, up to and including through the use of violence [wikipedia.org].

      • and more to do with maintaining a decent standard of living for 99% of the population.

        Yes, any large organization can be abused. The Army Core of Engineers does great things. They prevent floods, bring water into disaster areas. Build bridges. They also gave smallpox blankets to Native Americans.

        The solution is not to throw up your hands and declare defeat. It's to keep an eye on them. If you think you and your little lonesome stand a snowballs chance in hell of maintaining a middle class lifestyle w
        • Mandatory voting? No.
        • What the US needs is a 20-30 hour work week, mandatory voting (ala Jury Duty), parliaments and the end of Electoral Colleges and in general we need to drag everybody into managing their long term well being. This is the sorta thing the Investor Class does with their time, and we need everybody to do it.

          That sounds like a dystopia to me.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      What do you have to demonstrate that "more coders" is about a long-term conspiracy to reduce demand by increasing supply other than it's coincidental logic?

      You could also say that "more coders" is about enabling more business growth because limits on the availability of coders limits growth of software businesses by making costs too high to support expansion.

      It might even be possible that both are true at the same time, that capitalists may want to work to drive down costs in the near term, knowing that it

  • SJW crap (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've never found a woman coworker to be even half as passionate about technology and computers as I am.

    I'm coding at home on the weekend, coded for hours last night, will code for a few more hours today. During my breaks I'll read more about crypto or learn about a new fad language to see how it's gone off course.

    When I am at work, I only go to lunch with other passionate types mainly so we can talk about our little "side" projects at home. I'm writing a few opengl games, a friend is writing a CMS, another

    • Re:SJW crap (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SQLGuru ( 980662 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @01:52PM (#51738247) Journal

      It's not just women. I find that developers who lack the passion to continuously learn and play with technology (not necessarily directly related to their day job....just technology in general) tend to be the ones that are middle of the pack in large companies. They aren't necessarily bad at their job, but they are never the ones that leap ahead of the pack. For them it's just a "job".

      The question becomes: how many "average" developers can you get away with and still be a successful company? The "rock stars" are expensive, so you want to have as few of them as you can and have them cover for the rest of the team......and they'll do it willingly because they love what they do. It's the reason that I left my last job......I was tired of covering for everyone else.

      It's even worse when the "average" developers are in a different country.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You cannot build a scalable (grow-able) organization by depending on a few 4 sigma outliers to do all the work (read up on "bus factor"). Successful large scale means developing processes that use the median skill employee that is readily available. Maybe you need one or two with the drive and passion to set the general direction, but all the *work* is done by folks at the 50th percentile (or more realistically, people within 1 sigma on any given day of the week, with the population varying around that ov

      • Everyone is different. Living the dream at work is not typical. A dream job for you may just be a paycheck for someone else. Most jobs are compromises that we accept because our dreams are either unrealistic or unlikely, and finding work is more important.

        If you can use your talents at work great. But I think the most an employer should expect from an employee is competency. Anything more is a gift.

      • Re:SJW crap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:40PM (#51738547)

        You don't need a pack of alpha sleigh dogs. That only ensures that you have everyone pulling into a different direction and everyone's wasting everyone else's energy. You need one, maybe two, to give the whole thing a direction and a bunch of others who're going to do the pulling.

        Just like our society needs the movers and shakers to break open barriers, but we need far more conformists and followers to keep the structure together. Have you ever seen those "passionate" types try to meet project deadlines and stay in budget without someone reigning them in? In this time and age of IT, driven by cost sheets and milestones rather than the will and ability to innovate the next big thing, the question is rather how many of those special snowflakes you can get away with and still be successful.

        • Re:SJW crap (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @04:55PM (#51739287)
          You don't need a pack of alpha sleigh dogs. That only ensures that you have everyone pulling into a different direction and everyone's wasting everyone else's energy.

          Yeah, it's always fun when you have a handful of "rock stars" that are convinced that their way is the only way and that everyone else is an idiot, failing to note that no two of them can agree on the "right" way to do something.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The whole alpha/beta thing is bullshit. Leadership skills can be learnt and you want someone intelligent, experienced and diplomatic to run your team for maximum effect. Otherwise people just get pissed off and leave, or the alpha doesn't even try to use their ideas and expertise and just does what they think is right.

          Leaders are not born, they are made, and the best ones don't need to crack the whip.

          • *sigh*

            Ok, alpha/beta stuff in the presence of SJW discussions is tainted beyond belief. Accepted. Could we try to return to their meaning in the sociological sense before the bullshit tossers got in?

            "Leadership", "running a team", "diplomatic effort" ... BULL SHIT! You know what the fallacy here is? That you get a bunch of people together and make a team out of them. That is the fallacy. You don't just assemble some random people and then look how you get these people to perform as a team. You ASSEMBLE A TE

      • Not buying it. The ones I've seen "leap ahead of the pack" have pretty balanced lives. They do their job, they don't spend half the day on FB, they don't stand around the water cooler yammering. They go to work, work, go home.

        At home they have wives, girlfriends (sometimes both), kids. They've got other hobbies. One of the best engineers I've ever worked with had something like 9 kids (not exaggerating here, if his wife wasn't preggers he was trying to get her that way). He was also a huge conspira
        • by tsotha ( 720379 )

          The guys who live and breath this stuff tend to be boring know it alls who, when push comes to shove, know everything but how to do their job.

          So true. There are a lot of technical people out there with average intelligence who know all the ins and outs of the latest language or framework because they don't do anything else. But you don't get a lot of actually productivity out of people like that - what you get is complaints because the language you're using doesn't have closures, or the the type system is

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:34PM (#51738503)

      I woke up one day in my late thirties, alone, burned out and grossly overweight. I spent thousands of dollars on dating services and many dates with obese head cases.

      My employer then fired us all and sent the work to India.

      I realized I spent the best years of my life in front of a fucking computer allowing myself to be exploited by employers who took advantage of my "passion". And when you get into your 40s, employers don't give a rat's ass about your 'passion' because they want cheap 20 somethings who are stupid enough to spend all their time in front of the computer and training themselves on their own dime and time.

      To make a long story short, all of your "passion" will amount to nothing in the end.

      And the 6' 3" ballplayer with the square jaw who got his degree in Marketing that we laughed at when we all started? Well, while we were getting kicked out after our jobs were off-shored to India, he was getting kicked up to the executive suite.

      Just to put things into perspective for you guys.

      • Perspective .... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @04:51PM (#51739261) Journal

        Honestly, the trick is to funnel your passion for your work into something that pays you back in the long-haul. If you're giving 110% all the time but all your effort is just going back into a salaried job where your hard work is more taken for granted than respected? Then yeah, you're going to wind up in your 40's, burnt-out and with nothing to show for it but prematurely grey hair and a lacking social life.

        The Anonymous guy who posted would have had a much different story if he had the guts to take a chance on going it alone, working for himself. If you're such a good software coder, you need to write your own killer app (or even game!) and start marketing it yourself. That, or at least work as a freelancer, getting paid per project on terms you negotiate each time.

        When you look at who actually owns the companies that employ you, you'll usually find those folks had a real passion for something having to do with the business. That's how they built the whole thing up into something successful enough, they could afford to hire you. Not everyone is in a position where they can be or want to be that person .... But if you're young and full of motivation/drive and passion for a subject, you shortchange yourself not to try to be one of those people.

    • by robi5 ( 1261542 )

      > I've never found a woman coworker to be even half as passionate about technology and computers as I am.
      [..]
      > I've worked with a few that are that passionate, and they end up being published and respected like other men.

      So which one is it? Maybe the passionate ones weren't coworkers, but clients, consultants etc.?

  • by kenwd0elq ( 985465 ) <kenwd0elq@gmail.com> on Sunday March 20, 2016 @01:58PM (#51738293)

    "But even if such efforts achieve pay parity, will CS for All result in lower pay for all?"

    Yes. Not because women depress pay scales, but because when more and more people get into a field, competition inevitably causes lower prices. Lowe prices for the things we buy - like groceries or electronics - is good. Competition in the stuff we sell - like our labor - is bad.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Or rather it will result in 90% earning far less and 10% (the ones that clean up the messes) earning far more. Of course, the 10% would have been the 90% if it was just "CS for those that can actually do it well".

    • Most of the big tech companies who are funding these efforts have no interest in hiring more US based coders, when they can get foreign developers for 1/5th the price.

      This "teach your kids to code!" initiatives are just a smoke screen. They are meant to keep the various media outlets busy posting feel good stories about tech companies like Microsoft and IBM while they are busy outsourcing as many workers as possible.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This is true of all new fields though. When it's new demand is high, and after a while it attracts more people and demand is satisfied. The great thing about tech is there is always something new, and always something old. You can keep learning or you can find a niche.

  • by abloylas ( 857408 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:09PM (#51738353)

    As pay drops, women take over male-dominated fields.

    Heck, what do I know. I'm just a middle aged heterosexual white guy.

  • "Take over"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:14PM (#51738379)

    Since when does "become less dominantly male" become "taken over by women"? Or is it the submitter's contention that men will start fleeing the field as more women enter it?

    The group I'm in is all guys, and all of the people who were here when I got hired were guys. Any time we have an opening, the applicant pool is 95% male (and for Unix positions I think it's been 100% male). I like my coworkers, but sometimes it'd be nice if the place were a little less of a nerd sausage-fest.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      ... to push women into IT.

      Why? IT has a lot of down-sides: instability, stress, low office status, repetitive-motion injuries, offshore-risk, long-hours, and constant re-training, often on your own dime. No career is perfect, but don't over-sell one.

  • by zkiwi34 ( 974563 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:31PM (#51738491)

    You really won't get any work as a coder unless you've done college. College however requires Calculus/Physics, and places little or no value on high school CS experiences. So... What was the point of CS for all again? There's also the observation that, particularly in year one, college CS seems to be a desperate attempt to get butts on seats as opposed to having any end goal.

    • College however requires Calculus/Physics

      That's good to know; I was really beginning to lose respect for all these passive/aggressive, self-intelligent "millenials" and it's reassuring to hear that they're not actually that stupid after all (geez, appearances sure can be deceptive!).

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      You really won't get any work as a coder unless you've done college. College however requires Calculus/Physics [...]

      When I went to back to community college to learn computer programming and get my technical certifications after the dot com bust, neither calculus nor physics was ever part of a programming course. The community colleges graduates coders. The universities graduates computer scientists, who may or may not need to know more about calculus and physics.

      There's also the observation that, particularly in year one, college CS seems to be a desperate attempt to get butts on seats as opposed to having any end goal.

      Introduction to Computers is often a general education requirement for ALL students and the first class for students interested in a computer-related major. Sta

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        Computer Scientists rarely need to know much physics, but they frequently need Numerical Analysis, which means a lot of Calculus, and, guess what, college physics tests and reinforces the Calculus that you learn in college math classes. So taking physics is a good idea.

        N.B.: As a programmer I've never needed to know much of either physics or numerical analysis. But I've never regretted learning them.

        • Linear algebra is probably the single most useful math subject to CS majors. But then again, I am biased because I think it's the single most useful subject to mathematicians as well (because representation theory is).
  • I'm not really sure why we're assuming more people are going to go into CS because they took it earlier in school. Computers have been in school for a long time. I am not young, and I remember programming logo in school. There was enough exposure for the kids to find out that it was what they wanted to do. A MUCH bigger motivator is the QUALITY OF LIFE you have when you go in the field. It is up to hiring companies collectively to make it a good and solid career with good earning and a good quality of
  • college for all = a big loan mess.

    What happens when you have masses defaulting and filling for a undue hardship

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      IIUC they've got special terms on the college loans that mean you can't recover by going bankrupt. While this makes some sense (if they didn't have such terms, who would loan?) it allows financial pressures that are inhumane.

  • by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @02:49PM (#51738615) Journal

    As always with this kind of studies you have to wonder about cause and effect. Perhaps men tend to flee from the work fields where wages are dropping, and flock to fields where wages are going up? Perhaps women not so intensely?

  • Fuck you.

    CS needs to form a union to push back at these assholes hard. Electricians all across the country get really good pay and their job is 80X simpler than CS. Yes. it is, I was an electrical journeyman I got my card but I prefer working at a desk writing code and programming lighting systems for whole buildings than pulling wire in unfinished building and wiring panels.

    It is time CS and IT formed a Trade union and started fucking business owners hard with the biggest stick we can find.

    • CS needs to form a union to push back at these assholes hard.

      LOL. They'll just fire you all at the same time.

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @03:22PM (#51738761) Homepage

    ...is that all the jobs they compare to are not professions.
    I keep coming back to this point on slashdot, across multiple topics - H1B competition? Wouldn't be as easy to displace you if you were a profession.
    Women also jumped big into accounting in the 70s, medicine and law in the 80's and now engineering in the 21st century; wages in exactly none of those professions went down.
    Professional organizations like the AMA act a little bit like unions, if not exactly like them - they don't negotiate money or conditions, but they do negotiate required education and skill levels, which prevents employers from constantly undercutting wages by threatening to switch to employees that are a little cheaper, then a little cheaper again.

    Women entering a mere "job category" lower salary expectations because they've been discriminated against, and are hungrier, the way H1B immigrants are hungrier. But in a profession, there's a basement put on how much effect that has.

    IT badly needs to be a profession like accounting, medicine, law, engineering. On a societal basis, I don't think it would even cost anything. Sure, programming would get more expensive - but how much money is wasted right now by bad programming?

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      The jobs they compare aren't even comparable. Women never dominated computer programming, they dominated key punching. That disappeared when the programmers started using terminals and data was captured electronically. I'll bet if he looked more closely at the other jobs he would see something similar. When the high paying part of a job appears or disappears the men follow the money.
  • ...pay in industries in decline goes down as the industries decline, and pay goes up in growth industries as they grow. Who possibly could have imagined this happening?

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @05:44PM (#51739523)

    "Computer programming, for instance, used to be a relatively menial role done by women. But when male programmers began to outnumber female ones, the job began paying more and gained prestige".

    As soon as you read those two sentences you are done. Nothing this person writes can be taken seriously, because she is hopelessly ignorant about the subject she is supposed to be explaining. And one can guess that she is also hopelessly ignorant of her hopeless ignorance.

    Computer programming started as an extremely difficult and challenging job mostly done by people with advanced qualifications in mathematics, science or engineering. Early programmers wrote their own operating systems, device drivers, and primitive libraries. Most of their programs were algorithmic, so they had to be experts on algorithms too. And pay was (on the whole) very low indeed.

    Gradually, as first assemblers and then compilers were introduced, more and more people began to be able to write adequate programs. Then languages like Cobol appeared, which were supposed to allow ordinary business people and accountants to program (they didn't really though). Followed by 4GLs, which promised the same (and still didn't deliver). And then Visual Basic and its horde of imitations, which lowered the bar a good deal by delegating all the difficult stuff to libraries and reducing many decisions to menu-driven choices. And now we have the Web, which once again makes programming dramatically easier by dint of vastly reducing its scope. Today, a few programmers (and designers and analysts and architects) command very high salaries; but mostly because of their ability to combine programming dexterity with excellent understanding of the problem domain (such as trading).

    None of which has anything to do with men or women, as Admiral Grace Hopper could tell you if she were still alive.

  • Supply and Demand (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @05:51PM (#51739567)

    So what you're saying is in the private sector there is something called supply and demand?

    Tell me more of this new age concept!

    Not everyone can mandate their wages via government fiat no matter how many people are qualified to enter the field.

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