Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

May 29, 2022

No, Coding is not a 24×7 brutal job

Filed under: My Thoughts,Tech Related — Suramya @ 2:59 AM

Some guys think that girls can’t do the things they do because only ‘real men’ ™ can do those things. Obviously they are wrong but enough of them exist that it is causing problems for women when trying to be part of the world where they have to work/interact with these folks. These idiots exist in Tech, gaming, Cybersec and pretty much every field out there and folks have to keep proving their worth to these idiots with their artificial view points.
The latest iteration of this stupidity is by @TechLeadHD over at Twitter who recently posted the following gem:

Women shouldn’t code… perhaps be influences/creators instead. It’s their natural strength.

Coding is a brutal 24/7 job, mutually exclusive with motherhood – after 9-months maternity leave, they come back obsolete & outdated. Elon Musk even says birth rate is falling too much

Apparently this guy is not aware that the first programmer in the world was a woman – Ada Lovelace. Other women were crucial in the first few years to get the computers to a state where we could use them in day to day work. Read though this partial list of women who have been influenced the evolution of the computer over the years.

Another thing, coding is not a brutal 24×7 job. If you have to code 24×7 on a daily basis to complete your work then there is something wrong since it looks like you don’t know what you are doing and need to spend all day writing code that others could have completed in a few hours. I have been coding since 1996 (26 years and counting), and while there are times where we have worked round the clock for days or even weeks because we were on a deadline or had a critical issue to resolve that is not the norm. You usually work normal hours and put in crunch time in case of problems or last minute changes.

I do come back home and continue coding or working on personal projects because I enjoy doing that, not because it is mandatory. This guy is making it sound like you are working in a mine somewhere and have a quota of code to be written everyday, where if you don’t achieve the quota then you don’t get food. Sorry most companies don’t work that way. If they try they will not be in business for long.

Coders do take vacations and spend time with people outside the computer. This myth of the lone geek solving all problems is just that – ‘a myth’. In my company I rather have a decent programmer who works well with others than an excellent one who can’t work in a team. In the long term the former is more productive and useful than the latter because people can and do leave a company because of bad teammates.

The part about maternity leave is slightly true but any good programmer will ramp back up quickly after a break. Just because they had a kid doesn’t mean they loose all skills and can’t ramp up. If that was the case then people taking sabbaticals would have the same problem as well. I have had team mates who went on maternity leave and once back they ramped back up quickly. We had to make a few adjustments to ensure things worked out but that is what a good manager/team lead does, you work around the restrictions your team has to ensure that they are able to perform optimally. The more diverse the viewpoint the more potential solutions you can get. Just because you have a way of working or came up a certain way doesn’t mean that others couldn’t have achieved a similar result with a different method. As Perl puts it: There’s more than one way to do it.

We as men need to ensure we object when this sort of comments are made and try our best to ensure that these self appointed gatekeepers are overridden. Imagine if Ada Lovelace had a manager with a similar mindset then we wouldn’t have had a programming language for years maybe decades. Now think of all the other potential Ada’s who are being locked out due to people like this. I mean the guy literally admits to trashing women’s resume’s while at Google: Women still shouldn’t code and I trashed their resumes at Google so they could raise families instead.

It seriously annoys me that we have idiots like this in the tech world in leadership roles. Imagine where we would be if we utilized 100% of our workforce instead of just half?

– Suramya

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