Are most programmers male?

bitsniffer bitsniffer at
Tue Aug 13 02:47:16 CEST 2002

As far as I can tell YES. Most programmers are male. And it is a problem.

I beleieve any community should be as mixed as possible, not just in terms
of sex, but culture, ethical origins, educational background, age, etc. So
having a sex imbalance is bad.

Most computer science and engineering courses in universities also have
this same problem.

I was recently talking with a CMU professor and he told me that they have
significantly reduced the sex imbalance among students by actively
targeting female candidates and explaining to them what computer science
is really about.

About one year ago I read an article on Communication of the ACM (Volume
44 ,  Issue 6, June 2001) where the author discusses this issue. He argues
that mathematics is very polular with women, that computer science and
programming is much like mathematics, so computer science can be equally
attractive to women.

I agree. The lack of wemen in CS is totally unjustified. Most of computer
science is about abstract logical thinking, which women like it. IMHO the
problem is that the people's perception of this field is distorted.

I believe Lance's wife has (or had when she chose her educational path)
these stereotypes in her mind. Such as that Programmers spend all their
time with machines.

Not really: Programmers spend their time solving problems. They solve the
problems interacting with other programmers, with who will use the
programs, with who will pay for the programs, etc.

I also add that, in many software companies (I whould say the good ones),
the work environment is much more friendly and informal than in other
professional environments generally associated the idea of being
constantly in contact people such as a law firm or a hospital.

Just my $0.02 at almost 2.00am


                when software gets you high

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