In recent years, the tech world hasn’t been able to overlook the surprising study that showed that codes brought forth by females tend to be accepted more than a code put together by a male, at a difference of 74% to 71%, respectively. That is until it’s disclosed that the coder is female- then the rate drops to 62.5%.
Despite what preconceived notions the world may have about women being drawn to the arts because of their sensitive nature, females are naturally-born coders. Here’s why.
To be a successful programmer, you need to have passion for the work. It isn’t a job that you can keep to pay the bills for a few years before moving onto something you love. To be successful, it must be the thing you love. Women are passionate and driven when they find something that they enjoy. That passion translates into dedication to learning, growing, and exceeding expectations.
As a programmer in an ever-changing technological world, one must be ready to take on new challenges and develop their skills. Whether it’s learning a new programming language or researching APM for their applications as seen in this resource: what is application performance management (APM). To find the motivation to do so, passion for programming is key.
Women are born communicators and often trump men in this life skill. Studies have indicated that this might be connected to the earlier development of listening skills in utero and translates into effective dialogue rather than monologue.
For coders, the ability to communicate is essential. Coders must be able to craft a dialogue with the operating system, thinking out their commands in a clear, concise manner. In coding, saying the wrong thing can result in bugs and system errors, requiring hours of scrolling through lines of code to understand what went wrong. When a problem arises, a coder must be able to break the conversation with the computer into manageable bites and do damage control.
At Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards, Reese Witherspoon’s speech resonated with women everywhere. She mentioned how frustrating it is to watch movies or read a script in which the female lead turns helplessly to the man and says, “what do we do now.” The fact of the matter is, women tend to be the problem solvers in situations, assessing a situation and coming up with a solution.
In coding, the same mentality is essential. Coding isn’t always simple, even for skilled programmers. Problems arise as you delve into new territories. When it comes to coding, there isn’t always a hero to turn to and ask, “what do we do now?” Challenging programs need to be assessed ,and a solution needs to be developed, something most women excel at.
Women are built to adapt to ever-changing situations and scenarios, which is a highly-valued skill in the tech world. They have the ability to work autonomously, as well as in a team setting. They are used to situations of high stress, and their resiliency is incredible in the face of a challenge.
In coding, you must always be ready to adapt to the resources you have available, the time and budget constraints of a project, the team with whom you’re working, your environment, and so on. Women tend to be more fluid and able to roll with the punches when it comes to change.
The Desire to Prove Oneself
Girls and women in STEM know that they have their work cut out for them. They’re entering a male-dominated industry that is rife with unconscious bias when it comes to their skills. In many cases, these females have less-developed skills simply because they haven’t been given the opportunity to develop them. While times are changing in a positive way and gender diversity is becoming a priority in tech, there’s still a long way to go.
What does this mean for the female coders trying to pursue a career? It means that they have a deep desire to prove themselves and show that they are equal to the male population in the tech industry. This desire becomes ambition, drive, determination, and dedication that will be apparent if you read between the lines of their code.
Women Were the First Coders
For those who aren’t aware, coding was a crucial part of World War II, using the world’s earliest computers to calculate missile ballistics trajectories. This arduous task was completed on the ENIAC, a computer invented by men who didn’t want to do the tedious work with the system, so it was handed off to women. The women in charge of this task during the war had no training; they had to figure out this primitive form of computer programming through trial and error.
While the inventors took the glory for this invention, the women fell into the shadows. Many of them would continue work in software development and training for computer programming, without recognition for their efforts in the war until decades later.
The first programming language, COBOL, was invented by Dr. Grace Hopper. During her time, programming was seen as comparable to sewing or “other female hobbies.” As the demand for tech workers grew and consumer goods started being advertised toward men, the mentality shifted, and women were eventually pushed out. If you’ve ever doubted a woman’s ability to hold her own in the tech industry, know that it was run by women in the first place.
Diversity in Tech
There’s still a long way to go before the scales are balanced in the tech industry. Fortunately, there are a lot of programs to help girls and women transition into STEM and society is going through a paradigm shift that prioritizes diversity in the workplace.
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