Stephanie S.

Coding is For Everyone

One of the biggest problem that the technology industry faces today is its lack of female coders. While employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22% (Occupational Outlook Handbook) by 2020 , only 25% of women make up the technology industry today (down from 36% in 1991) (Ashcraft & Blithe, 2009). Thus, not only are women not benefiting from the increased employee opportunities, but technology companies will soon face a shortage of employees. While it may seem counterintuitive that females are not embracing this opportunity and learning to code, many women reject coding because of various misconnections which leads to them believing that coding “is not for them”. One of the more common misconceptions regarding coding is that “coding is for men”. Many women today are socialized to form a role schema about coding that only men can be coders (Ashcraft & Blithe, 2009). Furthermore, the women are unable to correct these schemas because of the lack of female recognition in the technology industry. Additionally, many women do not attempt to learn to code because of the common misconception that “coding is for computer scientists”. Computer science has yet to become a required course in K-12 education (Ashcraft & Blithe, 2009), so many people (including women) speculate that coding is only necessary if one want to pursue a computer science degree. Finally, many women choose not to pursue coding because they believe that “coding is for smart people”. Thus, when women do start coding for the first time, if they are unable to catch on to the concepts quickly they begin to experience imposter syndrome: feeling that compared to others, they lack the resources to necessarily complete a task (Ashcraft & Blithe, 2009).

Through my use of blogging, I hope to demonstrate first hand to women that coding is not just “for men” or “for computer scientists” or “for smart people”. As a female who has very little coding experience, I will use my background to combat these common misconceptions, and prove through my own experience that coding is indeed for everyone. In my blog, I will provide my own personal reflections on completing both the java and html basic training on codeacademy.com, and offer inspiring video and quotes to offer extra motivation to my audience. If my solution goes as planned, I hope to change societies perceptions about what it means to be a coder, and start a dialogue about the importance of coding. However, realistically I hope that my blog will at least inspire one girl/women that would have otherwise not coded, to try out coding for herself.

Link to my website: http://codingisforeveryone.blogspot.com

Works Cited:

Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2014). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Retrieved December 17, 2014, from

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm

Ashcraft, C., & Blithe, S. (2009). National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

Coding Day Camp: Java

When first told that I would have to try to attempt coding, I was a bit nervous. As someone who has not coded a day in her life, I was worried that I would fail epically in the assignment. I thought that coding with any programing language was something that required a certain type of intelligence, something that I did not posses. None the less, I knew I had to complete the assignment, so I created an account on Code Academy, and started the tutorial on Java.

To my surprise and delight, I was not only able to complete the entire tutorial, but also completed it without very little problems. Code Academy did an excellent job walking me through all the activities, while still ensuring that I was still learning the program. In fact, after I completed the first tutorial on Java, I felt tempted to start a new tutorial on another language. Code Academy was able to challenge my views on who is able to code, and what coding is about. No longer was coding a scary field that only a few gifted individuals were able to learn, but something that everyone (including a novice like myself) could potentially thrive in. I would highly recommend Code Academy to anyone who wants to learn to code, but does not believe that they can.

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1930s Gallery

OSU_Archives2_OM

Female students hard at work using IBM Type 31 alphabetic duplicating key punches (School of Commerce, Oregon State University). For more information about IBM Tabulating Machines, visit the Early Office Museum website.

Women punching social security “master cards” at Baltimore Social Security Office (Computer History Museum). For additional information about the photo, visit the  Computer History Museum website.

http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/timeline

Women workers in a calculation “factory” in the 1930s. (Computer History Museum). For more information about computing in the 1930’s, please visit the Computer History Museum website.

http://www.officemuseum.com/data_processing_machines.htm

Women in 1934 using Hollerith Milk Machines Marketing Board (Office Museum). For additional information on data processing machines of the 1930’s, please see the Early Office Museum website.

http://www.officemuseum.com/data_processing_machines.htm

A women in 1934 working a Sorting Machine used to conduct an Unemployment Census (Boston Traveler OM). For additional information on data processing machines of the 1930’s, see the Early Office Museum website.