There Are A Lot Of Dudes

Every so often, you have a moment when you briefly see something in an entirely new light, and last night I had such a moment.

While cramming into a room for a great panel discussion about some of the Apple announcements, I was just overwhelmed by profound homogeneity of the programming community (sloppily dressed, male, white and asian). This is something I already knew, have talked about, and thought about. But in the moment, I just realized how intimidating at a visceral level it must be at times to enter this profession for anyone that isn’t in the demographic.

And all things considered, this was a SUPER welcoming event, with a panel that was half women, half men, the moderator also introduced the event with fully articulated and affirmed code of conduct. Really friendly. No “bad” behavior present at all.

I don’t have a point, but wow, when you get a few thousand programmers together, it can be a little overwhelming to see the demographics on display.

It makes me just that much more impressed women/minority coders.

The near-absence of women in programming is a tough challenge and will defy any simple solutions, days like today remind me of how large that challenge is.

And although it’s ultimately just one small thing (of hopefully many), I did love the emphasis on new programmers from non-traditional backgrounds in the video at the end of the Apple Keynote. (1:16-1:20).


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