The Invasion of the Female Programmers (You Might Have to Work with One): Page 2

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Also, we think it’s sweet when you guys are on your best behavior for us. However, we would rather everyone feel comfortable. It’s an awkward balance in the beginning. My tip: wait for the cue from her. If she touches on some more controversial topics she’s inviting you to do so as well, just make sure your new lady feels that she can tell you guys when to stop. Once you reach this balance you won’t remember what it was like without her – introducing a lady to the team creates an awesome dynamic.

The only downside I have experienced – and something you should watch out for – is the pissing contest that seems to go on in these places. I used to roll my eyes when women said they were forced to act like men in the workplace, but now I realize how true it can be.

It’s frustrating, at times I feel like I need to seriously throw my weight around and let guys know they can’t verbally push me around. It sucks because I’m just not like that, and I think any effective development team tries to hunt that out and destroy that behavior.

But there are some men who feel that if you’re in the tech workplace you should be able to stand up to them. So, it turns into a corporate bulldog faceoff and nobody wins. This is sad and unproductive. A team needs to have trust, and you can’t trust someone who’s always just trying to get you riled. Be sensitive to this, there is no need to initiate a woman by making her feel like an opponent, it’s unnecessary and detrimental.

Lastly, be sensitive to your wives. I’m sure if some young single guy was going to be working closely with her every day you might get that twinge of jealousy. Make introductions right off the bat – that way everyone can get along. It’s always been great for me to get to know the spouses of the guys I work with. They’re usually very nice and it’s nice that someone else knows what I go through during the day with the burping and the mom jokes (okay, it’s usually me making the mom jokes).

Women will really balance out your existing team of testosterone extremely well. The IT ladies I’ve met are all talented and motivated. I think this new move for ladies – being keyboard jockeys – is inspiring, and I hope this generation of software engineers inspires yet another great one.

I reiterate, it’s a great field! We appreciate you guys welcoming us, and we look forward to contributing great solutions and beautiful code along with you. If you still need some convincing, don’t forget: we make the place smell better too.

Also read:

An Open Letter to Girls Considering a Career in IT

Natural Programmers (Code Monkeys) vs. Career Programmers (Geeks in Suits)

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Tags: developer, programming, software, software developer, female software

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