Women in Technology

Hear us Roar



Article:
  So What?
Subject:   So this
Date:   2007-09-06 09:44:54
From:   MarkWood
"Who can say why women don't enter or stay in IT?" The person who has gone out and measured it, of course. Has anyone interviewed several thousand women who have the necessary aptitudes why they did or did not choose to work in computing? What did the stat.s look like?


May I also say that computing is not one field. "Computing science" is a branch of mathematics, and properly so. "IT" is running wires and installing and fixing stuff -- it's construction and maintenance, like plumbing. Programming is like commercial art except the artists have their brains installed backward. :-) User Interface design (including website design) is graphic art, and the artists are normal (for artists :-) . Maybe some of these should be spread over other disciplines, and some should not.


I left out "software engineering" because I'd like to hear opinions from current Professional Engineer holders as to whether software engineering is engineering. Whatever it is, it's a management discipline, about as far from science, design, or plumbing as you can get.


All of these disciplines interact and inform each other, so if we part some of them out it's still important to have a common identity overlay for them all so that all the practitioners still talk to each other now and then.

Main Topics Oldest First

Showing messages 1 through 2 of 2.

  • So this
    2007-09-06 15:04:51  lauras [View]

    "Computing science" is a branch of mathematics, and properly so. "IT" is running wires and installing and fixing stuff -- it's construction and maintenance, like plumbing. Programming is like commercial art except the artists have their brains installed backward. :-) User Interface design (including website design) is graphic art, and the artists are normal (for artists :-) ."

    Yet is computer science properly relegated to a branch of mathematics only? Does not that inherently limit the potential horizons of CS itself? In other words, while the existing academic hierarchies may be convenient for academia, is it really useful in the real world?

    Recently one of our developers spoke at a meeting of a CS club at a major university in the area. Out of 15 people, only 3 knew anything about open source. That shocked me when I heard it -- and this was a club, where the students were not just CS majors but hobbyists. That leads me to wonder whether CS as a field of study is well served in its ivory tower.

    (More OT: I'd also say that user interface design is a lot more than graphic art. That misconception seems to be why so many things may look good but don't function well. Doesn't proper user interface design involve architecture and human behavior understanding, too?)
  • So this
    2007-09-06 10:10:13  dmarsh26 [View]

    Can you really measure it? How should the survey be conducted, what should you ask, who should you ask, how big should the sample be, how many countries ? Will the stats tell the truth ?

    I would say the overlap between computer science, software engineering and programming is significant. All these aspects and more were taught on my degree and you could choose modules.

    Many people draw many different analogies, people say programming is part art part engineering/science. I've heard it labeled a cottage industry and liked to carpentry. These analogies are just that, analogies sometimes they add value and shed light on the argument, sometimes they do not.

    So again, I say 'So What?' how does any of this help ?

    There are probably more ways into IT than many other professions, you can become a lawyer without taking the bar exam, anyone can become a programmer/IT support/DBA etc.

    Its probably more of a meritocracy than many other professions, yet women still chose not to enter the profession.

    If I had I would guess its probably because yes it has an engineering bias, and engineering is tools based and maybe something in the hunter gatherer makeup influences this ?

    Maybe the traditional nest builder nurtuer types see it as irrelevant ?

    Of course I'm not a physc expert and I've seen no research so this may just be pish just like the article !

    One book does not a representative sample make !