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The Ugly Underbelly of Coder Culture

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-so-old-boys-club dept.

Programming 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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Women are cunts (-1, Troll)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687279)

I win?

Re:Women are cunts (-1, Troll)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687461)

No, you lose. We've seen the ugly underbelly of the coder culture, and too often, it looks like this []

Re:Women are cunts (-1, Offtopic)

Zeromous (668365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687603)

In Australia, this is apparently a compliment, mate.

Re:Women are cunts (-1, Flamebait)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687653)

Everything is a compliment in Australia, you bloody fucking bastard.

1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687293)

first blood

Re:1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687401)

I'm so sorry you were second, buuuuut Johnny what do we have for him today?!

"A bag full of shit on his doorstep"

insert picture of exasperated 50's guy (5, Funny)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687295)

"Awwww... not this shit again..."

Have you ever been to a Ruby conference? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687659)

I'm a male, and I've been involved with programming and software development in one way or another for over 30 years now. My wife has been involved with software product management for over 25 years. Together, we've been to probably 80 to 90 programming language or software dev conferences together, in addition to working with thousands upon thousands of developers, programmers, designers, architects, IT staffers, managers, and executives of all types.

This isn't a problem with the majority of communities. It's actually quite isolated. We've been to Fortran and Java conferences, for example, where everybody is extremely professional, friendly, and tolerant. Those conferences, even 30 years ago when I first attended a Fortran one back in my college days, were quite diverse in terms of gender. There were and are many female scientists and mathematicians who are experts at Fortran, for example.

This is almost solely an issue with the communities related to web development. We're basically talking about the Ruby, JavaScript and NoSQL movements. These communities are among the worst there are. Ignorance, both of social norms and technology, are serious factors in why this is the case. When ignorance is embraced as a core value of a community, the results are never good. Ruby is basically Perl, but 20 years late and with a much inferior foundation. JavaScript is, well, horrible in every way. NoSQL is widely taken to be a joke by professionals, who can easily achieve the same scalability using relational databases, without giving up their many useful and even necessary features.

These failed communities do generate a lot of hype, and that's probably why people think this is a much bigger problem than it really is. As long as they steer away from these rotten communities that are centered around being oblivious to reality, then females involved with the software development field in some way can easily have successful and productive careers, and expected to be treated as equals by their fellow professional male and female colleagues.

Re:Have you ever been to a Ruby conference? (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687747)

Could someone with mod point mke the parent more visible please? It's definitely informative.

I've been doing this "coder" stuff for 20 years now, and I've never seen either "bro culture" or sexism against female coders - on the contrary there's a a subtle bias towards hiring female coders (doesn't Google have an overt quota?), and development managers are disproportionately female to a vast degree.

But I've always done kernel, systems, and general server-side work, not the modern web-stuff. Perhaps the parent post has a point about that culture? Any front-end veterans care to comment? Or is this just a case of "magaers need to grow up and not staff the dev team with all 20-somethings", regardless of the work?

Re:Have you ever been to a Ruby conference? (5, Informative)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687939)

Every place I've worked we *want* women and have had very few apply. Sure, they have to be competent but having a female name on the resume definitely got you at least a call back.

Re:insert picture of exasperated 50's guy (2, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:insert picture of exasperated 50's guy (1)

betelgeuse68 (230611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687705)

I concur.

Re:insert picture of exasperated 50's guy (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687837)

I propose a new mascot for this chauvinistic counter-culture.

Don Drupal.

Wait... (3, Funny)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687299)

Acting like fratfucks? How is that pushing women out? Wouldn't it be more that women are repulsed by them? Haven't programmers always done that?

Re:Wait... (2)

Bushie07 (1826296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687335)

I'd point out the balance in gender back when computers were first breaking out. However, I think how popular portrayals of male programmers is irrelevant, and they're almost exclusively -male programmers- portrayed. I can think of a few female examples, but they're usually comical.

Re:Wait... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687601)

I think Bistromath missed the memo. Women love so-called fratfucks. Women love their camaraderie and love for good times. Working with a fratfuck is never boring. They make womens' stinking pussies wet and juicy, smelling like tomato juice.

Bistromath, on the other hand, spend his college years playing Pokemon and chronically masturbating to androgynous Asian women. His coworkers refer to him as that "nice but weird guy" they wouldn't ask to happy hour after work. His own wife is having sex with strange black men in his bed while he works.

Maybe. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687423)

Wouldn't it be more that women are repulsed by them? Haven't programmers always done that?

What? The stereotype of the unwashed nerd living on high caffeine drinks and noodle-food who spends all night hacking code?

Or are you talking about the bullshit from InfoWorld where the "nerds" spend all night drinking and disparaging women?

From TFA:

Cunningham says the subtle sexism she encountered as a programmer was so discouraging that she once considered leaving the field for good.

"subtle sexism"? I can see subtle sexism being a problem. And not just in programming. But that doesn't mesh with "brogrammers".

Re:Wait... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687765)

The thing is, why should it be relevant what women think about the other members of a selected profession? Ideas are what counts and if women want to "take ownership" of the field, they start their own favourite pet projects holding a significant control of the vision and still allowing contributions as they see fit, assuming OSS world. I think that the perception of risk is one of the core issues in the actualization of ideas into products, rather than the mentioned cultural hindrances.

The program that I put in on store computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687313)

10 PRINT "PENIS!!! ";
20 GOTO 10

this is just some extra text to get rid of the lameness filter because it thinks I'm yelling because I used all caps in a BASIC program.

Re:The program that I put in on store computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687569)

Unless you wrote it for an Apple ][ where you don't have a choice.

Flamebait (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687319)

Why do we even bother with the garbage from ___Word. The entire network is uninformed trolls, with sensationalist news devoid of technical merit. It's no wonder the world looks like a frat house to them. They are looking in the mirror.

Re:Flamebait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Flamebait (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687913)

Flamebait (Score:5, Informative)
by Anonymous Coward

You, sir or ma'am, win the Internets. Judging by the content of this article, I'm gonna guess it's sir.

What a load of drivel!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:What a load of drivel!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687557)

Of course you'll have young male stupidity in an industry dominated by young males. [...] Calling programmers brogrammers is about as sexist as insulting as it gets.

No worse than implying that young males are inherently stupid....

Re:What a load of drivel!!! (2, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687805)

Calling programmers brogrammers is about as sexist as insulting as it gets.

So the developers calling themselves "brogrammers," they're actually mocking themselves, and being sexist, towards themselves?

Or let me guess... you didn't read TFA?

Where? (4, Informative)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687325)

As a young male developer, I've never, ever seen or even heard of this behavior until this article. Obviously, there are men out there who dislike women and vice-versa. Where I work, we're all too busy working to worry about what race or gender the next dev is. I just want to be/hire the best person for the job.

Re:Where? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687363)

I like having women at work. Especially young/attractive ones.

There ^^^ (3, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687439)

Ah, there it is.

Re:Where? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687563)

Thank you for your post, part-of-the-problem.

Re:Where? (5, Interesting)

rwven (663186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687483)

Yeah the article is ignoring the real problem...

As the lead developer on a software team, I'm one of the ones interviewing potential candidates. Typically the vast majority of applicants are male, and the females who apply typically can't pass our coding questions and tests. Granted most males can't either, so the ratio is probably about the same (in regards to the pass vs fail). The fact isn't that women aren't pushed away, it's that there are just very vary few of them.

I'm completely unbiased on the male vs female front, but if a male OR a female can't answer the tech questions and complete the coding tests properly, there's no way I'm going to hire them. End of story. We only hire Sr level devs (or ALMOST Sr), and only about 1 in 15 or 1 in 20 applicants are actually capable of high-mid-level or sr-level coding. We typically see less than 1 in 20 candidates actually being women. In our current round of hiring over the past month, we've seen about 15 males, and only one female. We've only hired one person so far, and it happened to be one of the males.

It's not that we're biased against women, it's just that the numbers are against them. I honestly couldn't say if males are better programmers than women, because I haven't worked with, or interviewed enough women to know if there are decent female coders out there... I HAVE hired a very capable sysadmin who was female once, and she was absolutely wonderful at her job. There was nothing we asked of her that she couldn't do... She was lost in a round of layoffs a few years ago, and I've been sad about that ever since.

There will unfortunately be sexism, racism, and other forms of bias in ALL environments, but saying the coding industry has an ugly underbelly of sexism is just ignorant. The fact of the matter is that most young male programmers would jump at the chance to get a talented female among them.

Re:Where? (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687489)

Please excuse my typos in that first paragraph. *facepalm*

Re:Where? (2)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687555)

I HAVE hired a very capable sysadmin who was female once

transgender-friendly workplace?

Re:Where? (1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687583)

...and that's the problem, isn't it? You're not being actively inclusive. Seriously, how did you get through four years of college without learning about diversity and sexism? It was pounded into my head. This ridiculous meritocracy argument you advance is biased in favor of the patriarchy.

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687645)

There's no point lying to the machine. Being actively inclusive here would be throwing away a programmer's salary (or more) and would be patently obvious in short order. I've seen the same hiring problem. Most of the applicants can't cut it.

Re:Where? (1)

FsG (648587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687629)

I've done recruiting and interviewing for more junior developer positions, and it's exactly what you describe: virtually no female applicants.

I'm all for diversity, but what exactly was I supposed to do?

Re:Where? (5, Insightful)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Where? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Where? (3, Insightful)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (0, Troll)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687885)

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

You're making the (unprovable, and thus invalid) assumption that everyone has bias, whether they know it or not. That's ridiculous.

I don't agree with that. (-1, Troll)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687905)

First off, who thinks that having an Asian-sounding name would cause any problems in a programming interview? Isn't the OPPOSITE the case? Look at the computer science classes. There are a lot of Asians in them. And they're getting good grades.

Those "findings" are generalized and do not seem to apply to this discussion ("brogrammers" and sexism).

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.

You thought that a woman who spoke THREE languages was "less educated" because she spoke your language with a heavy accent?


Re:Where? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687915)

So where do you think those 'biased numbers' come from? Why don't more women spend the time and effort gaining the skills required to be a "Sr level dev?" Why, do you think, there are an order of magnitude less women than men applying for a position in your company?

The SUMMARY (probably the article, too) argues that this is because there is a culture of masculinism in programming which socially excludes women. It's a result of a positive feedback loop: mostly male-dominated culture turns women off, leading to an even more male-dominated culture. Your last sentence, unfortunately, illustrates that yes, your company IS part of the problem; that is, male programmers treating female programmers differently because of gender.

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687937)

This is pretty much the point I was going to make... The statement that "the industry tends to exclude more than half of the potential workforce" would only be true if there was remotely the same percentage of men and women learning to code at the proffesional level. There's a lot more women in the computer science department now than there used to be, but it's nowhere near parity.

Re:Where? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687945)

I'm completely unbiased on the male vs female front

Well that's a pretty strong claim. On what do you base that?

You probably don't discriminate on purpose, but according t studies our impression of a person varies based on factors that we are not consciously aware of.

If makeup [] can make a woman look more trustworthy, and tall people [] earn more that short people, I'd say that people can hold biases that they're themselves unaware of. Some may be biological rather than cultural. Men have been shown to take different economic choices after being shown a photograph of an attractive women [] .

Given all that I wonder if you can state confidently that you're unbiased on something as ingrained in both our culture and nature as the issue of gender without actually having performed a blind test.

As an older male sys admin (4, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687505)

I agree that there is little to no overt exclusion of any race or gender. Yet, I've observed young male groups of developers use language that is not polite in mixed company. Males and females are inherently different, and technology is a boys club. The women I've seen in the field are generally more tolerant of the normal behavior of a pack of young males. I think the solution is age and maturity, and if you want a diverse workforce, it has to be age diverse as well. Regardless of how silly the article is (probably written by academics that have never seen the real world), there is a lack of black, Hispanic and female representation in IT in general. The typical classroom/workplace where engineers and IT workers are groomed is male white/Asian. You have to question why black and Hispanic males and females of all genders avoid the technology field? Maybe they haven't embraced the Geek culture, because it isn't the companies. As a consultant, I've walked through hundreds of companies, large and small, and seen highly diverse workforces, until I get to the IT department.

Re:As an older male sys admin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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:As an older male sys admin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687585)

females of all genders


Re:As an older male sys admin (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687827)

Well in all the places I worked at (except UK) and this is almost whole of northern Europe the mix was colorful and included ladies. In fact some working with me now are from Spain, Mexico & Brasil - I guess that would be Hispanic except Brazilians then? Not sure if my experience is that much of an exception in Europe. I am surprised that that is so at your place. The fact is however that when I worked in UK the mix was much less balanced as on the continent esp. with regard to fe/male situation. Could this be UK/US situation you describe?

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687547)

Same thing where I work. Sure a majority of our devs and sysadmins are male, but I don't think that will surprise anyone. We also have females and they are treated equally and with respect. I really wonder where the author has been studying to reach such conclusions.

Re:Where? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687549)

I have worked at different places from conservative shops to free wheeling start ups. If a woman can do a good job she gets as much respect as a guy who did just as good of a job.

Re:Where? (1)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687553)

Ditto. I might not count as young anymore, but I have never in my life seen any behavior like they describe.

Re:Where? (5, Insightful)

finity (535067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687633)

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? (4, Insightful)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687641)

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? (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Where? (4, Interesting)

Javagator (679604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687903)

We have a fair number of women where I work. The interesting thing is that they are all Asian. Whatever we stupid males are doing to drive away women apparently doesn't work on Asian women. Or it could be that there is something in Western Culture that discourages women from pursuing careers in programming.

Not what I've seen (3, Informative)

Mean Variance (913229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687347)

I've been a Silicon Valley software engineer for 15 years. I see no disparity of gender that's a concern.

I work in a team of 6. We just hired a senior engineer, a woman. Of the 9 people I interviewed, I only recall 2 men in the interview. In our team, there are 2 men, me and another guy in another so called discriminated class - age. He's 53. Our entire dev team is about 50/50 and might even be tipped to the female side.

When we went to universities to screen for interns, no identifiable difference at one I went to at San Jose State.

Now, there is a disparity in American v. Indian (and some Chinese and Russian), but I don't think it's anyone's fault. Those are the people looking for the jobs.

Granted I have seen some companies that put their white male faces from a Portland company right up front [] , but my personal observations in Silicon Valley are quite different.

Not that I've noticed (1)

cmdrbuzz (681767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687349)

Whilst I guess I fit the Young and Male (29 so young ish!), my team of 5 has two great female developers. And my previous manager was a female developer promoted (best boss ever to be fair)

So its not all sexist around here...

Re:Not that I've noticed (-1, Troll)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687397)

Except you really meant to say 'developed females'.

Be honest.

It starts before the workforce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687353)

There's been a lot over the past couple of months about the ratio of male to female in programming environments, and how a few of the women who are programmers are frustrated and leaving because of sexism in the workplace. I don't disagree that this is an issue that needs to be resolved.

But, the low ration itself isn't so much of the Brogrammer mentality as it is that we're failing to get more women interested and/or actively involved in development, programming, computer science, whatever, at the high school and or college levels (or earlier) in the first place. Solve this problem first, and there's more women entering the workforce as developers. Once that happens, the ratios will balance out, and attitudes and behaviors will change.

Re:It starts before the workforce (5, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Nerds have always loved to say that the reason (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

The problem with this is... (5, Interesting)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687417)

The problem is that whether you're going to be a good coder is generally decided by the time you're like 18. For those of you keeping score this is _before_ you typically enter the workforce.

I think this is pablum is just a bunch of silly navel gazing. Most of us are too busy doing work to run around acting like 15 year olds.

More common in my personal experience as a developer in a large corporation is that there's a rush to hire women developers of any ability. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find good candidates when _half_ the applicants are pre-screened out due to having a Y chromosome?

To be honest, I have only seen or heard about _great_ female developers online working other places, I've never met one in my job and I've been there a looong time. I've worked with decent and even good ones, but a great one that is the "go to gal"? Never.

I attribute this largely to upbringing. I think we'll see more in the future, but my generation and the next few generations tended not to immerse girls in technology from a young age like they did boys. I think in the current generations this is more common.

Re:The problem with this is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687791)

As a constant failure in the workforce, whose lack of a degree seemed to get in his way all too often and decided to save up and return... let me tell you, the women in the CS courses (CSU East Bay)... OK with Theory... unskilled at implementation. I'd post some sample code as I, not looking for any such endeavor with these YOUNG WOMEN, but I'd fear being identified since I know at least one of these broads reads /.(Have you any idea how hard it is to write in different prose?)

-Using the variable y, or any other one-letter variable, outside of a simple counter, meaning you're passing it to multiple functions, is insane, and very hard to debug.
-Not commenting when you're expecting someone else to help you... Yeah.
-Asking me to write the correct code for you.... Uh huh.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.

This doesn't even touch on the failure of most of the CS courses to properly teach a language or theory for those who started looking to CS for reasons other than math or previous skill. Just dem' perky-titted youngins who can't write a recursive function.

I am a developer.... (3, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687425)

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

Re:I am a developer.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687799)

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

Only if you're a male developer. You should be especially ashamed if you're a white male developer.

There's a pecking order around here...did you not get the memo?

Not sure what your demographic sample size is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687437)

The demographic for coders are skewed male, for sure, but for almost as long as I've been a coder, I've been one of the youngest in my company. (Most of my colleagues are beyond 40 and have kids, including the women...) I've also recommended we hire both women I've interviewed over the years, and one of those we lost in a bidding war. There are a few women coders and software architects in our production team, and I've got a great amount of respect for them. For what it's worth, the CEO of my company is a woman, too.

Boo hoo... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687443)

"As the woman, I've been the only person in the group asked to put together a potluck,"

Oh, the humanity!

Who says we NEED fewer white males - sorry - a 'more diverse' workforce?

Oh, of course! Our unseen masters, the Jews... We can't have those damn white people having their own countries! We've been expelled 109 times from them in the past two thousand years! How will we manage to leech off our white 'cattle' if they continue to have their own countries! Let's open their borders and terrorise them into accepting millions of non-white replacements, pissing on them while telling them it's raining.

Most women don't understand computers and aren't interested in them. Nobody is stopping anybody, least of all when it comes to programming. More bullshit from the Jews, to try to prevent white men from getting work, and thus preventing them from being as likely to reproduce, which is GENOCIDE...

No mention of BLACK programmers either... hilarious.

No evidence to back up theories (5, Insightful)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687449)

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).

Re:No evidence to back up theories (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687893)

Yes high end Womens mags have a horrible rep for firing pregnant women and Charitys have horrendous problems with a bullying culture

uninformative and misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687453)

not really any statistics in this article to back the authors point. the one statistic about university enrollment for comp science being up 10% while enrollment of women in CS is "down" (with no figure given) says more that women are less interested in the field than males, than it does imply that the industry is dominated by males who are "actively pushing females away". university is not exactly the same as industry - its a much more level playing field in terms of entry, so if less women are going into computer science in school, it's because less women are making the choice to, not that they are being shoved out.
in my personal experience, most male coders gladly welcome the presence of females. perhaps some of the sterotypical socially awkward, insecure nerd types are intimidated by females, but i think most guys are thrilled when there is a woman to counter all the testosterone. i've worked in industry and in research with female programmers and i've never seen them really treated differently than their male counterparts.
i know gender bias exists in the workforce in general, but i've not experienced it being noticibly greater in the comp sci field. i think this article lacks any foundation to skew it with such a slant.
the fact is, women and men in general aren't the same. blame it on hormones, society, whatever.. women just typically don't seem interested in being coders.
as for sexist jokes, whether subtle or overt, that happens in every field. women do it too. coders in general are commonly witty and sarcastic, and in my experience men programmers make as many or more vulgar and offensive jabs at each other as they do toward women.

Re:uninformative and misleading (0)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687707)

in my experience men programmers make as many or more vulgar and offensive jabs at each other as they do toward women.

So, because guys treat each other like they're in some locker room, it's okay for them to treat women just as rudely? Not all of us want to hear every second sentence punctuated with obscenities, whether they're directed at a male co-worker OR a female co-worker.

Women *seem* less likely to be interested ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687475)

I do not know why, but the truth of the matter is that women *seem* to be less likely to have an interest in software development. Woman are just as smart, just as able, but software development is not something that you can do very well unless you have some sort of inherent interest. Perhaps the tendency to have such an inherent interest is simply one of the things that is different between men and women.

When I started college maybe 10% of the class in the first introductory computer science class was female. That is long before any "brogrammer" effect can get started. As a matter of fact I don't remember the women in the computer science program being treated poorly. The "brogrammer" frat-house-like environment suggested was not evident at the two somewhat well known state universities that I attended for undergraduate and graduate computer science.

This entire article is bullshit. (0, Flamebait)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687477)

I could write a few sentences to refute it, but that would just add to the bullshittyness of it. I'm not sure if i spelled bullshittyness right.

TROLL! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687491)


Well if they don't apply how can we hire them? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687499)

In the 10 years I've been with my company I've never heard of a female developer applying for a programming job. It's hardly fair to say they are being pushed away if they're not applying in the first place.

Computers used to be marketed to "Boys" (5, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687513)

Back in the day of home-computers (8bit/16bit, 1980s&'90s), computers were very much marketed to a boy/male demographic. Almost all games made for these computers were pretty "guy oriented". So while the boys were learning some BASIC programming and blasting away at jump-and-run & action games all day, the girls were playing with dolls, reading romantic YA books and teen magazines, and swooning over rock singers, or doing whatever it is that girls aged 5 - 16 do growing up. It is only in the last 10 - 15 years or so, with everyone, regardless of gender, starting to use things like email & IM & FaceBook & the internet, that women have started to become regular computer users. Is it really so surprising, given that a lot of women discovered the joys of computing only in the 2000s, while guys were using/playing computers massively back in the 80s and 90s, that there are more male coders and IT specialists than women coders and IT specialists today? The computers and software apps of the 1980s & 1990s were very much "guy oriented". Anyone who's over '30 and comes from that home-computing background is more likely to be male than female.

That's it (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687521)

I've had enough of your sensationalist BS stories /.

Bookmark deleted, and goodbye.

Re:That's it (2)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687617)

I've had enough of your sensationalist BS stories /. Bookmark deleted, and goodbye.

Good point, AC. People certainly do not want to see any kind of sensationalistic, grandstanding behavior when they visit SlashDot. Yeah, that would be really undesirable.

Re:That's it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687631)

Obviously that time of the month!

Payback ? (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687545)

You expect bro's who can't get dates to be nice to women??? Which came first is another question.

Yeah seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687561)

As someone who has worked in the field for over 20 years I have never noticed this either. Now maybe it is always because I have been "just a developer". As a matter of fact I would much rather work with female programmers since us nerds kind of live somewhat solitary lives at times. Who exactly is supposedly pushing women out? We have a ton of women working here also. We have more men but I think that is more a factor of who is available for jobs than any discrimination.

We welcome female programmers (5, Insightful)

caywen (942955) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:We welcome female programmers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

New trend or dying one? (1)

Ghostrunner966 (2618063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687615)

Stats? Apparently those are not available to the folks at "Infoworld", just selected anecdotal stories from activist and the like-minded.

It seems Neil McAllister and his editors missed the all the news stories from the past few years where women outnumber men in US colleges and recently in earning degrees. Since that's where the majority of programmers come from, or at least get their degrees to qualify for the best jobs. We may soon be talking about how all these young male programmers work for better paid and educated women.

Instead of creating a faux crisis to support the stereo type of a sexist workplace, maybe InfoWorld writers should look elsewhere in their quest for relevance. Okay Bro?

WHAT? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687635)

Brogrammers. . . are you serious? who the hell calls themselves or anyone a brogrammer? I have never herd this and have been a professional programmer for over 10 years. I don't see any of the behavior talked about in the article.

Re:WHAT? (4, Informative)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687675)

If you've been a programmer for over ten years, odds are that you don't work in an environment where you'd hear the phrase. There's some funny presentations mocking this group on YouTube. Basically, think the coder who got past his awkwardness and is basically now a douche. Works out, has some tats, wears Ed Hardy, has a feaux-hawk or a similarly trendy haircut, drinks 7 Red Bulls a day, listens to dubstep, and only codes in whatever's considered the new hotness (Node.js or Rails). In other words, a little start-up monkey (working at a company with a cool name like "") who'll evaporate from the industry when the current startup bubble pops.

Re:WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687865)

I've never heard this in person, among professionals or otherwise, but kids online talk like that. I've also found these same kids are willing to label women "bros". I've even been called a "brosephine". "Being a bro" is valued among these people.

Note that I have no idea what that means, and I have no particular desire to find out.

Female programmers kick ass! (3, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687681)

I'm an old Commodore 64 guy, a coder that has been around since the ZX80 jupiter ace days, yes...I've been around and been into every computer and every language you can think of - never mind's besides the point I am about to make... ...Nowadays I work as a 3D artist at a smaller ad-company, we live in a rather huge building containing various companies, some working with programming...that of course work with us...since we're like a big family in this house we rent...if you like.

The company next door has a woman employed, she is rather new into the business, but she really kicks ass. When it came to programming, I could literally ask her anything, she was modest, not implying that she actually knows anything, but she kicked ass every time...every time she found the answer to any of the programming issues that we had at hand, any problems we had...she solved. In other words...Women can KICK ASS when it comes to coding, and trust me...I am as old SKOOL as it comes, I've been coding everything from C64s to microcontrollers at any bit..but she?...She understood everything...and fixed it know what that means? This is a woman! She kicks ass at coding...she is a natural...and I don't believe for a second that women can't kick it at this stuff, it's just a matter of attention, women can do this stuff as well as we can. Seriously...

Probably not in the workplace, but in college (4, Interesting)

ndogg (158021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687697)

At work, we're all probably too busy with work to bother with this shit, but I remember in college, whenever there were a bunch of us in the computer lab working together on something (more specifically the Linux lab that was separated off from the regular computers), guys would be looking out into the window to the regular computer lab, and make some of the most misogynistic comments I've ever heard, and talk about how "nasty that bitch is" or what a slut this other one is, or how they'd tap that one, and they even did this when there were women in there with us (who didn't say anything). I didn't really know what to say, but just sat there in shock.

online ? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687711)

While I'm not exactly surprised, as the article states much of the obvious, I wonder.

Is this true for FOSS projects? Where you jump on Github and contribute a patch? Where nobody will even know that you're a woman or elderly, or whatever, for at least the first few years?

Getting women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687733)

Failing to attract women, are we, eh?

Nobody cares about the gender of their apps coder (2)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687753)

If women want to program, they can and do. Many excellent programmers work solo and have very little contact with other programmers.. For many, there is no coder brotherhood... If a woman wants a job as a programmer, all she needs to do is have a demonstrable talent for coding and the ability to stand with her peers. If they want to go solo, they can, as nobody knows or cares about the gender of the coder when buying software. If they want to work in a group of other programmers, they can do that too.. If a candidate has the skills, they get the job.. but what I do see is women with much less desire to spend the huge number hours required to be an excellent programmer. Which is not a slight against women, since by definition it means becoming a hermit in front of a keyboard for countless hours..

Profit opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687769)

If there are lots of female programmers that aren't getting any jobs, isn't that a great profit opportunity to anyone who are willing to hire them? You get programmers of supposedly equal skill as others for a lower price.

BS (3, Interesting)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39687807)

Complete and unadulterated BS. Of course some of this exists but not in significantly different amounts than any other group. In a typical class of 30 comp sci students, there were typically 3 women. I never once witnessed them be patronized, degraded, or excluded for any reason. I've never worked with a female programmer so I can't speak from experience but I can't see why it would be any different working with one for a job versus working with one on a school project. I have never witnessed these "brogrammers" in the stereotypical male chauvinist fraternity sense either at school or in the work force.

I really wish everyone would get off of the whole equal outcome bandwagon and care about equal opportunity. If a woman applies to a job and gets denied because she is a woman, I care about that. If a woman applies to a comp sci school and should get in based on merits but doesn't because she is a woman, I care. If there are less women than men (or vise versa) in any field I don't care. I don't care about ratios of men, women, blacks, whites, gays, lesbians, liberals, conservatives, or any other group. I care about competent people getting jobs they deserve.

Arrogance, my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687907)

But as long as the industry tends to exclude more than half of the potential workforce, that's nothing but pure arrogance.

Sorry, potential developer workforce is not split 50-50 between the sexes. I haven't seen anything that would point to that, not in the CS/SE departments, not in the engineering departments, not in the figures available from various departments of labor in N.A. and Europe, etc. Who the heck came up with the myth of half of developer job entrants are women I don't know, but they must be out of their fucking mind.

And then sometimes it's overt (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39687923)

I work for a very small business. The boss once told me, more or less, that he avoids female employees because his wife doesn't want him to be around them.

Posting as AC for obvious reasons.

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