Skip to main content

Programming isn't just for Nerds!

I don't know much about programming except that it seems to be key skill if you want to be competitive in the job market. Software Engineer continues to be a top profession both from the perspective of being lucrative and for promoting a nice quality of life, and yet the image of a nerdy, anti-social programmer persists among my students perhaps preventing them from even considering a future in computer science. My students are  not typical middle school kids. The independent school that I work at attracts the best and brightest in Los Angeles. Yet, not many of our graduates go into STEM professions.

This report from NPR discusses what it is like to be among the only women in the field of programming. Beyond trying to recruit girls into the field from the practical perspective of being able to get a job, I like how the woman in the story mentioned that programming can also offer a nice solution for the age old issue facing women in the work place: how to balance work and family life.

SYDELL: Actually, Allen says being a programmer has been a great career for her as a mom. Allen is married and has a 15-year-old son.
ALLEN: The women that I went to college with who are lawyers or doctors had a much harder time raising a family. They have to be there at certain times. I had an incredible amount of freedom, especially because I worked as a coder when I was a new mom, and then I can work whenever I want, wherever I want.

Perhaps by relating this point, we can attract creative (female) minds to the field who perhaps can't quite see themselves as computer scientists, but can see themselves as moms.