Girls Find Technology Boring

from the studies-that-stereotype dept

Here’s a study that looks at why there are fewer women in the technology industry, and it finds that “girls find technology boring”. I think that’s a pretty broad generalization for them to make, but there are some interesting points within the article talking about ways to make women more interested in computers and technology.

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Comments on “Girls Find Technology Boring”

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Ed says:

Code is not art

This statement is blasphemy in the current climate, where programmers portray themselves as eccentric creative geniuses and the uninformed media plays along.

Code is problem-solving. Writing code is like working on a puzzle — it’s engrossing and interesting. There may be many solutions, and the challenge oftentimes is finding the most elegant approach.

But it’s not art.

I look at code from better programmers and I’m impressed. I learn things. I say, “Wow! What a clever way to do that!” (Ok, maybe not those exact words).

But it’s not the same as looking at a painting, or a sculpture, or listening to a beautiful piece of music. It offers nowhere near the variety of emotional response. The practice of programming will offer you only a few emotions — frustration, absorbtion, and sometimes elation.

Programming is an important discipline in modern society. Skilled programmers are worthy of respect. Trying to categorize their endeavors as art, however, is inappropriate.

Programming is what it is — no more, no less. If you find it boring, it may not be for you. Some of us enjoy it just fine without bolting-on some absurd aftermarket pretensions of artistry. If you want to be an artist, learn to paint, sculpt, or play an instrument. If you want to solve interesting problems and make people’s lives easier in very real and tangible ways, learn to code. It’s that simple.

Other Ryan says:

Why force them?

Who cares if only on fifth of tech workers are women? I bet the split is the same or worse in mining. So what’s the difference? Why is there this idea that we should do everything possible to force more women into tech jobs? If they don’t want to code, if they find it boring, fine. The only thing that needs to be addressed is to make sure the women who do want to work for tech companies aren’t being descriminated against.

I quite enjoyed the part where they said there needs to be a PR campaign to “smash the stereotype of the high-tech workplace as a sterile set of cubicles full of boring men who are better at relating to machines than to people.” Well, aside from taking offense to being called boring, that fits my workplace pretty darn well. It isn’t overly exciting, at least not to people who don’t like code. And we’re crammed in like chickens in an egg-farm. Given that, what they are proposing is a form of lying, just to meet some weird demographic quota.

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