×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Changing Face of Software Development

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the strength-through-diversity dept.

Programming 173

CowboyRobot sends this excerpt from Dr. Dobb's: "Ten years of surveys show an influx of younger developers, more women, and personality profiles at odds with traditional stereotypes. Software development is an art and a science that is not attainable for just anyone. It takes a special type of person to write code. Developers are detail-oriented, very literal, and intelligent. Logic is paramount, and they share a passion for their craft that rises above the desire to make more money. They are also typically married, middle-aged, have children, and most likely a mortgage. In one of a series of surveys that we've performed every six months since 2001 (interviewing each time more than 1400 developers worldwide), we find the typical developer is a married, middle-aged male, who has two to three children. Males have dominated the profession for as long we've been tracking this; and during that time, they have accounted for anywhere from 84% to 94% of the workforce. The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

173 comments

Might Indicate More Females (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012487)

"The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

Might indicate more females? Do we have a large number of non-gender or 3rd gender in the workforce taking up programming?

Re:Might Indicate More Females (4, Funny)

rvw (755107) | about 7 months ago | (#45012559)

"The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

Might indicate more females? Do we have a large number of non-gender or 3rd gender in the workforce taking up programming?

I think cats [wikia.com] are on the rise!

Re:Might Indicate More Females (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012795)

Check your privilege, CIS scum.

Re:Might Indicate More Females (1, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#45012677)

I guess Dr. Dobb's is not a developer, because "software development is an art and a science that is not attainable for just anyone. It takes a special type of person to write code. Developers are detail-oriented, very literal, and intelligent. Logic is paramount, and they share a passion for their craft that rises above the desire to make more money."

Re:Might Indicate More Females (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012703)

"The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

Might indicate more females? Do we have a large number of non-gender or 3rd gender in the workforce taking up programming?

It could possibly indicate that there a fewer programmers in total.
Example: a team of 10 persons, 8 guys, 2 girls. One of the guy leaves, no one replaces him. This lowers the men ratio of the team (from 80% to ~78%), yet there are no more women than before. So the higher women ratio does not necessarily mean there are more women than before.

Re:Might Indicate More Females (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#45013027)

"The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

Might indicate more females? Do we have a large number of non-gender or 3rd gender in the workforce taking up programming?

Might just indicate that women are staying in the profession. Places I worked, women dropped out, got married, had kids.

Erm... (1)

mutube (981006) | about 7 months ago | (#45012493)

The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming.

What else would it indicate?

Re:Erm... (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45012515)

More males than females leaving the profession. I don't think that is what happening, but you asked what else could account for the shift.

Re:Erm... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 7 months ago | (#45012541)

It could also mean that the 84% was very recent, but now less females are taking up programming, or more are leaving.

Re:Erm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012601)

They probably said "may" because of statistical error. There may be more females, or it could be a statistical error, sample error, etc. Polls always indicate rather than validate.

Re:Erm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012943)

More monkeys randomly typing?

Females? (5, Insightful)

Ragzouken (943900) | about 7 months ago | (#45012499)

Can we stop saying "females" when we mean "women". We're not Ferengi.

Re:Females? (4, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 7 months ago | (#45012555)

"females"

I think the point is that not all developers are human (male or female).

Re:Females? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 7 months ago | (#45012787)

Or not all programmers are adults. But I doubt more than 1-2% of professional programmers are under 18 because it takes time to reach a professional level.

Re:Females? (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 7 months ago | (#45013761)

Employers do not care about "professional level". What they want is cheap.

Re:Females? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 7 months ago | (#45013085)

"females"

I think the point is that not all developers are human (male or female).

You mean, "hew-mahn", if we're talking Ferengi.

The Natural Environment of the Software Developer (3, Funny)

tomxor (2379126) | about 7 months ago | (#45012583)

We need a BBC Wildlife style study of the Software Developer narrated by David Attenborough so that we can start legitimately referring to the gender of this species as "male" and "female" accordingly.

Re:Females? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012603)

Can we stop saying "females" when we mean "women". We're not Ferengi.

Shit! There goes my hope of stopping the disgusting custom of the females wearing cloths!

Re:Females? (1)

h3st (945000) | about 7 months ago | (#45012645)

As long as it's paired up either {fe,}males or {wo,}men, does it matter? They're calling dudes "males". And for most people, the terms are interchangeable.

Re:Females? (1)

claar (126368) | about 7 months ago | (#45012653)

The summary is talking about survey results, and uses both "male" and "female" equally, which are common language in surveys.

Please women -- we'd love to have more of you in our industry, but claiming gender insensitivity where there is none truly just makes men afraid to even interact with you, lest they be labelled misogynist and slammed all over social media.

Of course, we have miles to go when it comes to better respecting women in technology; but the article summary isn't one of them.

Re:Females? (4, Insightful)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#45012729)

Can we stop saying "females" when we mean "women". We're not Ferengi.

Do you find it offensive? I remember being in a college class back in the 80s where our feminist professor informed us that the word "lady" was offensive. Personally, I follow George Carlin's view...words are not offensive. I swear people as so thin skinned these days.

Re:Females? (2)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 7 months ago | (#45012789)

It's not offensive, but it sounds strange in normal conversation. Unless of course you regularly refer to men and women as male and female.

Re:Females? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#45013447)

I think are morons because once some unspecified person who I think represents them told me something stupid.

I can't believe people get modded up for using this argument on Slashdot.

Re:Females? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013641)

I am offended by your use of the m-word. You must apologize publicly or I will attempt to cut off your means of earning a living and shame you on the twitternets.

Re:Females? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012955)

Yah, but not all women are female, you trans-exclusionary feminist.

Re:Females? (2)

Chemisor (97276) | about 7 months ago | (#45012967)

In traditional use, "man", "men", and "mankind" were gender-neutral. We would do well to shrug off the insanity of feminist demands and to return to that simpler tradition in our language.

Re:Females? (0)

plover (150551) | about 7 months ago | (#45013523)

But those words already have meaning. We need new words to go completely gender neutral. We could use the word "person", but that has a root of "son", meaning a male child. So use the new word, "perchild". Thus,

"The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

becomes

"The number of one class of gendered perchildren is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more opposite classed gendered perchildren are taking up programming."

That cleared it right up. You're welcome.

Re:Females? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45012973)

Once you have their code, you never credit it back.
She can touch your gui, but never your code.
Beware of female social engineering for your admin privileges.

Re:Females? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013185)

Stop using that sexist language! The correct term is "vagino-american".

Re:Females? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013199)

You don't hear anyone complaining that they used the term "males" instead of "men" why do you care?

Re:Females? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45014095)

You seem upset - care a little too much?

Re:Females? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#45013471)

Basically I agree with you, but "female" is better here. Many Slashdotters are familiar with the biological concept of "female", but are unfamiliar with the concept of "women".

Re:Females? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013931)

Why aren't you also complaining that they used 'male'? Why do you single out females for special vernacular treatment?

Go and white-knight somewhere else, nobody cares.

What's the difference? (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 7 months ago | (#45012505)

Men and women simply bring different biases to programming just make sure it's being tested by a thirds party that's all!

85% are male (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012511)

And the others put "Yes, please" in the box marked "Sex".

except my wife (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012593)

And the others put "Yes, please" in the box marked "Sex".

except my wife, who puts "no thank you I've got a headache".

Dr Dobbs? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012513)

Total garbage magazine now. I equate it to something like "People" magazine and "US" magazine. Poor writing and fluff. Last I looked they loved kissing Microsoft's a$$ as well. Back in the day when grownups used to run it, it was the shizzle.

Re:Dr Dobbs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013971)

DDJ now makes People magazine look like The Economist.

In my Experience (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012539)

In my experience, 70% of female programmers sucks. Contrast this with the 30% of good male programmers.

Re:In my Experience (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012565)

The % that suck is observer-driven. I think that 90% suck because I'm in the 95th percentile. There are better developers that think 99% suck because they're observing from the 99.5 percentile. Since you think that only 30% of male programmers suck ...well there you go.

Re:In my Experience (1)

somersault (912633) | about 7 months ago | (#45012767)

You'd think someone in the "95th percentile" of programmers would notice that he implied that 70% of male programmers suck.

Do you always take jokes so seriously? If you're actually trolling though, I agree that you're in the 95th percentile of that fine art at least.

Re:In my Experience (2)

Chatsubo (807023) | about 7 months ago | (#45012865)

Hah! And Dr. Dobb's thinks developers are "detail oriented" and "logical" and "very literal". I think this thread is a convincing counter-point.

Re:In my Experience (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 7 months ago | (#45012833)

The % that suck is observer-driven. I think that 90% suck because I'm in the 95th percentile. There are better developers that think 99% suck because they're observing from the 99.5 percentile. Since you think that only 30% of male programmers suck ...well there you go.

Keep telling yourself that, buddy.

Re:In my Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013767)

The % that suck is observer-driven. I think that 90% suck because I'm in the 95th percentile. There are better developers that think 99% suck because they're observing from the 99.5 percentile. Since you think that only 30% of male programmers suck ...well there you go.

That's not what he said. Pay attention, I'll break it down for you:
70% of female programmers suck.
30% of male programmers don't suck.

If you're still trying to figure out the joke, I'd recommend you go find a 1st grade teacher and review basic math.

Re:In my Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013915)

If you really think youre in the 95th percentile (of what exactly?), youre an idiot and so you suck.

Re:In my Experience (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012613)

In my experience, 70% of female programmers sucks..

Lucky you, that's quite an experience

Contrast this with the 30% of good male programmers.

... so you like it both ways

Very literal? (5, Interesting)

ErnoWindt (301103) | about 7 months ago | (#45012561)

I really have to take issue with the "very literal" comment. In my experience (stretching over 20 years), it's the non-literal types who are the best software engineers. They not only have an imagination, but understand nuance as well. I'd say a literal-minded person might succeed at programming at a very low or entry level, but beyond that, it's imagination and creativity that win the day.

Re:Very literal? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012695)

I really have to take issue with the "very literal" comment.

I think you're taking the statement too literally.

Re:Very literal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012851)

I too was literally about to post the same thing.

Re:Very literal? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#45013643)

Perhaps you're taking the GP too literally. Is it necessary to be literal about a statement about how literal some group is? Your turn - I want to get at least a 3rd "literal" into that statement.

Re:Very literal? (2)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 7 months ago | (#45013737)

Well I know an exceedingly smart excellent programmer I would not call him imaginative, more like batcrap crazy. Never ask him what he did over the weekend, unless you are really ready for it. {These are some of the cool ones that didn't involve something breaking, catching fire, or exploding}

Gutted a RC truck and a weed eater to make a RC mower with nylon blades. {it actually works well, I want him to make me one}
Gutted a Ms. Pacman arcade game and put it in a glass table...
Repainted the arcade game chasis and put a nintendo in it.
Gutted a golf cart and put the electric motor on a bicycle.
Gutted a chainsaw to replace the golf cart motor on his bike {apparently the golf cart motor and batteries where to bulky}
Hooked a random 50cc motor up to a series of alternators and marine batteries in case the power goes out.

Introverts (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45012575)

Toward the end, TFA says:

They think of themselves, quite rightly, as being more logical than intuitive, but they also think of themselves as being moderately extroverted

I wonder how much of that is simply due to the stigma associated with the word "introvert."

I'm an introvert. Far to the introvert side on the Meyers-Briggs test: 18/20 if memory serves. When I tell acquaintances this, they're shocked. "Oh no!" they exclaim, "You're not like that at all!"

What that suggests to me is that mainstream society has a very poor understanding [carlkingdom.com] of what an introvert is. Extraverts don't understand introverts -- and they don't have to, since about 70% of the general population is extraverted -- so there's part of the problem. Because of the stereotype (or, as I say, "stigma"), asking people to self-identify as introverts is a fool's errand. No one wants to be *that.*

So "moderate extravert" could very well mean "introvert who does not know the technical definition and does not accept the stereotype."

Re:Introverts (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#45012845)

Just so you know the Meyers-Briggs test is nothing more than modern phrenology. When you mention that to folks they either don't know what it is or think you are a crackpot.

Myers-Briggs (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45013187)

I should have expected that mentioning Myers-Briggs would have opened the can of worms about its validity and the whole subject of psychometry. Since I'm not a psychologist, I cannot participate too deeply in that discussion. If you want to classify the Myers-Briggs (sorry, I misspelled it originally) as cargo cult science [lhup.edu] , I will not argue against you.

Even poor science can include accurate measurements, though. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

In 1991, the National Academy of Sciences committee reviewed data from MBTI research studies and concluded that only the I-E scale has high correlations with comparable scales of other instruments and low correlations with instruments designed to assess different concepts, showing strong validity. In contrast, the S-N and T-F scales show relatively weak validity.

Since my remarks are restricted to the I-E scale, and that's the part of the Myers-Briggs that critics say holds up to a bit of scrutiny, I maintain that my Myers-Briggs results are the best available evidence that I am an introvert. If you're aware of a better diagnostic test, I'll take it.

Re:Myers-Briggs (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#45013387)

Just because we do not have a better test does not make this tests results anymore valid.

If you want evidence you are an introvert, you don't need a test you are already convinced. THAT IS NOT HOW SCIENCE WORKS.

Re:Myers-Briggs (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45013511)

No, how science works is that first you rigorously define what an introvert is, then you carefully design a test to determine if a person fits that definition, where "carefully" includes statistical analysis and peer review. Then you have someone take the test, and when the results come in, you classify the person accordingly.

How do you imagine I found out I'm an introvert?

Re:Myers-Briggs (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#45013555)

By taking a pseudo-scientific survey. Now you want another test that confirms this. What if we had a test that was better in all measurable ways but classified you as an extrovert?

These classifications are about as realistic as breaking people up by age group or any other random thing. It cannot cope with people who are more fluid or do not fit its artificial categories.

Re:Myers-Briggs (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 7 months ago | (#45013993)

I worry about your use of the word artificial here. That could lead some to think that they are never valuable for reasoning and cannot be reasoned with, when in fact some of these things must be reasoned with.

Re:Myers-Briggs (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#45014069)

Can you elaborate?

I don't believe these groups are that useful for psychology purposes. I don't think you can say all men are big hunters and the introverts hunt smaller game.

You surely can say people over the age of 80 are more likely to be old than the general population. Attempting to speculate about these groups is generally pointless.

Re:Introverts (4, Informative)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 7 months ago | (#45012855)

It's true. Until a couple of years ago when I attended an Insights class provided by work, I thought Introvert == Loner. Since I'm somewhat social, I couldn't understand how I could be an 18/20 Introvert and be social. When it was explained that it just meant I gain energy by being away from people, it made a lot more sense. I don't mind going around and chatting, but I get tired and even a headache when I associate with folks more than a few hours or if I'm in a crowded room (like a game store during a Magic tournament :) ).

[John]

Re:Introverts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013161)

I'm the same. I enjoy the company of people sometimes and I can go to parties and events, but after a few hours I have to be alone to recharge. I also happen to be a reasonably successful software engineer.

Re:Introverts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013853)

When it was explained that it just meant I gain energy by being away from people, it made a lot more sense

An introvert is someone who is less likely to seek out or initiate social contact. It has nothing to do with disliking social interactions, or "getting energy", or any of that other nonsense the Insights class preached to you.

Re:Introverts (2)

neminem (561346) | about 7 months ago | (#45014145)

Um, yes it does? It totally has to do with how you recharge. It's completely obvious to me that extroverts, like my mom, feel more relaxed around other people, and less relaxed by themselves, where for me it's the opposite. I don't *mind* being social, but I also feel the need to have some time where I'm not, to recharge, where to a person like my mom that would drive her crazy. That is *exactly* what introversion means.

Re:Introverts (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 7 months ago | (#45012931)

They think of themselves, quite rightly, as being more logical than intuitive, but they also think of themselves as being moderately extroverted

I wonder how much of that is simply due to the stigma associated with the word "introvert."

... since about 70% of the general population is extraverted...

... it's highly credible that they're right and that the stereotype of the introverted programmer is largely inaccurate.

Re:Introverts (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45013065)

Absolutely. My point is that a survey asking people to self-identify as introverts should not be considered conclusive because of the possibility the respondents are biased. That is, I think the survey would give the same result whether the stereotype of introverted programmers were true or not.

I submit the hypothesis that certain careers are attractive to introverts (and others are attractive to extraverts) so the distribution of introverts/extraverts in certain careers is likely to be different than that in the general population. To test that hypothesis, we need a better experiment than just asking people "are you an introvert." (Which, as h4rr4r pointed out, is basically all that the Meyers-Briggs does.)

Surprise (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 7 months ago | (#45012665)

Surprise! A significant number of the young hotshot kids that started in the field when it was booming are still at it and now they are approaching middle age and having children. I know we have a reputation, but we do actually form committed relationships and even have sex every once in a while.

This is telling management what they want to hear (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45012741)

and they share a passion for their craft that rises above the desire to make more money

Yes, I like quality work and good coworkers, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to happily accept pay below what I have good reason to believe I'm worth. But thanks to rhetoric and belief that I will, that changes what the markets will bear, even while companies are complaining about a shortage of developers.

Re:This is telling management what they want to he (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 7 months ago | (#45012951)

Umm, no. It means if you treat them like shit or underpay them, they'll keep right on programming, but it won't be for you.

It takes a special kind of people... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012745)

To sit around a cubicle with a hunched back, programming all day every day for years while listening to a stuck-up, self-centered boss that demands that you hand over a TPS report on his desk by 5 even though you're busy doing real work. Yeah, it takes a special kind of person to deal with that without either committing suicide or burning the whole place down.

website (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012769)

Vajiko durglishvili
New Yourk, 8 AVE
Animal Doctor
Website - running fred [runningfred.in] & http://runningfred.in

                                                &

Stick War [stickwar.info]

Umm, duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012905)

" The number of male developers is currently close to the low, at 86%, which might indicate more females are taking up programming."

There may also be a growing group of dickless programmers, a.k.a. brogrammers.

Married with children and a mortgage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45012917)

Oh boy do businesses love that. Sorry, no raises this year, but we know you're not going anywhere. Gotta pay those bills and feed your family with what we're willing to give you.

Re:Married with children and a mortgage (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 7 months ago | (#45013963)

And the best revenge for that is to live within your means. Programming pays well. Stash away a few months salary so that if your boss is a dick you can quit and work somewhere that appreciates your talents and treats you like a human being.

My takeaway (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 7 months ago | (#45012965)

"Male dominance near historic lows" isn't the most interesting takeaway. What's more interesting is that the 2008 global financial crisis shook loose GenX'ers in the U.S., but nowhere else in the world. Sure, we can say the GFC rid the industry of the dot-com charlatans, but the housing bubble was global due to the network and interdependency of central banks -- why wasn't the same effect observed across the world? I suspect that perhaps the low interest rates and housing bubbles in other countries did not translate into inflated software development salaries at the time, but I don't have enough data and information.

The changing face of journalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013073)

Replace all occurrences of 'programmer' with 'journalist.' There are obvious reasons for the still changing face of programming, like that younger = cheaper, female = cheaper, foreign national = cheaper, desperate for work = cheaper.

Age Discrimination? (1)

The_Other_Kelly (44440) | about 7 months ago | (#45013125)

Hmm.

So, since 2010 the percentage of developers 40+ is shrinking?
And worldwide converging on 35?

Which means, unless there is a "Carrousel" scenario, that
developers are both being fired, then not rehired, after 35 years old.

Which agrees with what I have been seeing for the past 2 years.

Is it clear to software people that they have a 10 to 15 year "shelf-life",
with the associated limited earning potential?

What's wrong with a gender dominated profession? (3, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 7 months ago | (#45013137)

I don't think we should be fighting the battle of sexist stereotypes by constantly complaining we don't have enough women in IT, or we don't have enough men in day care centers. If someone wants to get into a profession, by all means they should be allowed to pursue that the same as anyone else. Same goes for race. Until people as a culture are truly able to absolve their 'isms all of these "OMG Think of teh ________" campaigns are just a bunch of intellectual masturbation because the root problem still exists. And worrying about it is just another form of sexism, only in reverse. Oftentimes, these campaigns end up tipping the scale in the other direction, marginalizing the prior majority which is *also* wrong (How many places care about health care costs for single males?) I don't see anything wrong with having professions largely dominated by the stereotypical stereotypes. Sometimes they are that way because men are men, and women are women. People should be allowed to choose without the fear of some cultural 'ism pushing them down and that's the core problem as I see it.

Stereotypes in IT (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 7 months ago | (#45013279)

Want to have at least some idea of parity in IT? It could be done, but you have to tackle the negative social stigma that women face when dating someone that is in IT.

There is a backlash in the US against women that date someone that can be perceived as a geek / nerd. Since women are typically more socially oriented then men this is a really big deal for them. I have known and been friends with a number of women in IT over the years and invariably almost all of them were geeks / nerds or immigrants to begin with. If you want more women in IT you have to expand the pool of candidates beyond the current pool.

Can you imagine the social stigma that a woman would face if she actually went into IT herself? While certain types of IT jobs may not appeal as much to women they can do quite well with other types of IT jobs. The social stigma of IT being geek / nerd work is the elephant in the room.

I think this is largely a US cultural problem as I have talked with a number of people in Asia and Europe about this over the years and they have very different attitudes.

Married, with children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013317)

No no no. These types sell shoes, not write code.

The view from a Middle Aged White Male IT Worker (4, Insightful)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 7 months ago | (#45013547)

Or, perhaps we middle-aged men are leaving the profession as a guaranteed living in the field is no longer a given.

Yesterday, I received an email from an offshore "provider" who offers services at $10/hr. Most of us can't raise a family, pay a mortgage, let alone survive at that rate. The rate I have been billed out was $120-$160/hr. If people are just looking at the bottom per/hour line vs what a local agency or provider can give them for the added cost, it's pretty hard to compete.

The new IT "normal" is that IT departments are manned by "disposable or transit" workers. This is not how we "grew up" in the industry - we were valued for what we brought not only to a "project" but to the company as a whole. Companies felt their employees were assets - there was a sense of "belonging" that made people proud to for their employer. Now, it's just a paycheck.

While not exactly relics - those of us who have been around for a while are:

1) Migrating into management roles.
2) Becoming consultants (either independent or with an agency that pays benefits)
3) Running our own companies.

Younger individuals, with not as many responsibilities are moving into the developer ranks and cutting their teeth there. And, women, well many are finding that this field needn't be male dominated. Many see having this knowledge as a stepping stone to moving into project management or pre-sales. Rather smart, if you ask me.

Re:The view from a Middle Aged White Male IT Worke (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 7 months ago | (#45014165)

That's a very astute observation Ronin. What I see as the bottom rung, career wise, in IT is IT support. Next up is what I call "commodity programming". Programming in HTML, JavaScript or the like. These skills are widely available and often by cheap offshore resources. You can make a good living at programming but it's got to be in a niche area and it's got to be something creative that is not easily outsourced. Otherwise, the three options you mention above are probably your best bet.

I have managed groups of programmers from India and I have to say that over the years the quality of work has improved. What has not improved is communication. I still find it very challenging. I would prefer to work with programmers from the USA but, as you say, $10/hr is a pretty compelling argument. It gives you a lot of room for slippage.

One profession I would add to your list is Technical Architect. It means different things at different companies but generally this person is a liaison between the business people and the programmers. Someone that has a good technical background but also has excellent communication skills. Someone that has good writing skills and can manage other programmers. I find myself doing this more and more these days and less pure programming.

It might not be for everyone but it puts you in a position where offshore people simply cannot compete with you.

Offense ahoy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45013729)

From doing software development and system design for 15 years heres what I have seen:

Women who do development are few and far between. I think I've worked with 4 women developers over the past 15 years or so, at best they were average but I haven't really seen a rockstar coder among them. And out of all of them I would have never wanted to sleep with any of them...

Same with black coders or IT people. Some are average but never seen any rise to rock star level. Sorry might be racist but just my own observation.

Almost all coders think code that isn't written by them is crap.

90% of .NET programmers have no freak clue how a web application really works behind the scenes. I think the .NET framework somehow stunts thier growth and understanding of what is really going on behind the scenes. Of the 10% that do, they are usually coming to .NET from something else.

Tech Savvy Generation (1)

Nanchan (3203435) | about 7 months ago | (#45013905)

I think it's as simple as shifts in societal perceptions of women and technology and how we perceive and interact with all sorts of gadgets now. 2001 was a long time ago and "traditional" then is not "traditional" now.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...