Women in Computer Science

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Women in Computer Science

Post by vapid » Wed Jan 27, 19:56 2016

I studied computer science in college and am currently a software engineer at a medium sized company. During my experiences in the world of high tech I have met and worked with a plenty of women in my field. Before delving into any particulars I just need to say this:

You all kick ass. I have no idea how you remain as strong as you do, and you are a role model not only for younger generations of girls wanting to work with computers but for every single person in the high tech industry.

The tech industry is pretty obviously male dominated at the moment. Especially in college, a significant amount of these men are self identified "nerds" and have low levels of confidence, and deep seated insecurities about where they stand in society, especially against other men. This combination brings out a whole different beast when it comes to misogyny. One of the most common and infuriating examples I encountered is a conversation along these lines (paraphrased).
Hey you must be here for that easy job/major/class, not the one I am here for
Actually I am qualified
Well do you know about this obscure thing that has no relation to that?
Well you aren't going to do well anyway lol

This conversation always happened when one woman is isolated and surrounded. The accusations always backed up with low grunts and chuckles from a gang of bullies, who all leave in unison once they are done. The logical thing you must be wondering right now is "if you saw all that why the hell didn't you do anything?" which goes to my main point. You all kick ass. I have one friend who routinely embarrasses guys who talk down to her like the cute little girl who snuck in the big boys club. She is an incredibly talented developer, all I have to do is sit back and enjoy the reactions to her proving it. Another friend takes a more passive approach with her smile, nod, say bye mid sentence, and walk away routine. Those are two examples I always thought were the most entertaining but the strength and personal confidence in ability of women in computer science has been impressive to the point of being inspiring in most all of my encounters.

I guess I just want to share my perspective to any women discouraged by what they have to deal with, and beg them to not give up. I know from what my friends have told me that being a woman in computer science is a challenge, and I can't pretend to understand how it feels, but I really do believe the pioneers who are bringing balance to the tech boy's club are already out there kicking ass, and if it means anything, I am one guy who can't wait to see it continue.

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Re: Women in Computer Science

Post by spacefem » Thu Jan 28, 20:33 2016

Thanks for this awesome post :)

I wrote a blog post once about how for every jerk I met, I also had an opportunity to spot a cool ally: http://spacefem.livejournal.com/824815.html

It does happen a lot, the bullshit, but it's nice that guys are recognizing it.
bork can eat steak with a spoon.