Monday, June 16, 2008

Women are better

.. or not?

It is apparently one of these days today. Two remarkable male - female controversies in the IT arena pop up. Totally unrelated.

First: Molly

Molly Holzschlag reports about an event that is to be held at Hooter's. A "Geek Meet". Clearly the organizers only expect men to attend. The women that will be around are only there to be gazed and looked at.

Seems a bit retarded to set up such a meeting there. Especially when someone comments that the food isn't particularly good.

Second: WSJ

And from the opposite corner on comes the Wall Street Journal with an article citing Emma McGrattan, the senior vice-president of engineering for computer-database company Ingres–and one of Silicon Valley’s highest-ranking female programmers. She states that men and women write code differently.

Sounds fair enough: we are different after all in many respects so why not in the area of writing code.

Wall Street Journal
Men Write Code from Mars, Women Write More Helpful Code from Venus

But ...

Women write more helpful code

Women, supposedly write more helpful code. Code that's clarified by many lines of comment showing someone who has to work with code later a road map of the principles behind the code. Men like to keep it cryptic to show off how good they are.

Emma McGrattan
Women are more touchy-feely and considerate of those who will use the code later. Men, on the other hand, have no such pretenses. Often, they try to show how clever they are by writing very cryptic code

Well, having worked on code from others I have learned that putting in comment is very helpful for the next developer. I have taughht myself to insert comments whenever the code becomes a bit fuzzy. And sometimes I put my thoughts, my design into comments first.

Intialize this, loop through all items, return result
things like that.

I have not much experience with female developers (there aren't that many around) and the one I have worked with was pretty solid. I do agree on that point. But to state that in general men try to write a scryptic as possible where women write touchy-feely code ... It's just a bit over the top.

The battle has just begun

What both these articles have in common is that there is still a lot of misunderstanding in battle of the sexes in teh IT arena. Some men hardly realizes that there are women in this line of field. Some women apparently need to make clear that they are oncemore the superior race, which is a pretty strange thing to claim when you are battling for emancipation.

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