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Re: Female Programmers-WOT

by Abigail (Deacon)
on Jul 13, 2001 at 17:07 UTC ( #96374=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Female Programmers-WOT

I am or have been an active member of several computer science/programming related communities. Academics, web, MUDs, ASR/BOFH, Perl to name a few. In all, there are more men than women. Relatively though there seem to be far less women in the Perl community than there are in any of the others, For any female Perl programmer I know, I know 3 or 4 female C programmers. But I know far more Perl programmers than C programmers. I don't know that many Java programmers, but even in the limited people I know that program Java, the men/women ratio isn't so lopsides as with Perl.

I know the arguments why there are less women in computer related fields than there are men, and I've no reason to not believe them. They however don't explain the very high men/women ratio in the Perl world. If I remember the number of attendees of this years YAPC::NA right, only 6% of the participants was female. The other day I came across a conference picture of a conference I went to a few years ago. (Workshop on Algorithms and Data Structures). Also in Montreal, also organized at McGill. Far less men per woman there.

It doesn't bother me there are more men than women in computer related fields. It does bother me what is showing in the Perl world. Either they are hiding, or just not here. And that must have a cause. We must be doing something wrong.

-- Abigail

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Re: Re: Female Programmers-WOT
by tomhukins (Curate) on Jul 13, 2001 at 17:26 UTC

    This in an interesting point, especially when synapse0's comments are taken into consideration.

    If women are less likely to become programmers because they prefer social, creative roles as opposed to technical, analytical roles, then I would expect that women (in general, of course) would prefer Perl to C. I find Perl much more of a natural, creative language than anything else I've used to program a computer. From what I've read on various Perl communities, I get the impression this is a common feeling. I recall Larry mentioning this is one of his State of the Onion speeches.

    So, are we all misguided in our belief that Perl is more of a natural language than other programming languages? Or are beliefs that women prefer creative roles over analytical roles wrong? Or is something else going on?

      No, I think you are misguided in thinking that programming in Perl is more creative and less analytical than programming in C. I'd estimate that 75% of the work of programming is language independent. For closely related languages like Perl and C, I'd say that over 90% of the work involved in programming a problem in either Perl or C is identical and the main differences are found in details.

      -- Abigail

        While I agree that there is some common ground no matter what your are coding in, Programming in Perl, C and ASM among other things, I find Perl to be much much more expressive than any other language I have ever used.

        Like any language, there are many ways to express any given thought, but some ways fit much better than others. That's how I feel about Perl. I can solve most problems dozens of ways but there's one that usually fits better than any other.

        Like making a fine piece of woodwork or tricking out your car, there's a certain craftmanship to it that most other coding enviroments seem to lack.


        JAPH Local 432

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