Women in Coding

Women in Coding

– Welcome to the latest news from TalkIT. This issue explores the theme of women in coding. It is fascinating that in the male dominated industry of programming, more and more women have become involved. So what do we know so far about this trend? Also see our past newsletter on what makes a good coder. What do you think? Add comments below.

 Contents

Women in coding-What’s happening?

What makes women good coders?

Case Study of a Female Programmer

Can You Solve This Coding Problem?

Other Bits

 Women in coding – What’s happening?

Traditionally, IT careers were perceived as a male stronghold. However, with the emergence of equal opportunities, more and more women are now taking jobs in the industry. Programming as a profession is now welcoming more women and general speaking; there is a movement towards closing the gender gap in IT.85

There seems to be encouragement, especially by universities, for women to get into technology, abolishing the stereotypes. There are many websites that are specifically designed to support women in coding. A popular one, “Women who Code”, is a global non-profit organization that is devoted in inspiring women to excel in computing careers. Some of their initiatives are in education. These include providing free trainings, bringing these women together and creating meaningful interactions. Also consulting companies are now creating inclusive workplaces for women.

On the other hand, statistics don’t really reflect this movement. For example taking two of the biggest technological companies, FaceBook and Google, only about 20% of their tech staff are women. About 70% of visitors to the TalkIT website are male. Moreover, even though women make up half the US workforce, women hold only 25% of the jobs in technical or computing fields. So what does this show? There is still space for progress in closing the gender gap.

What makes women good coders?

What can women offer this industry that gives them a competitive advantage? It is argued that women can use their unique feminine qualities to create better code. Women tend to have curious minds and passionate hearts and have a unique perspective on problem solving. This can help in a programming career.

It is also argued that creativity and good communication, common traits amongst women, help in creating better code. Women being brilliant communicators can help better coding. This often involves talking to people, understanding their needs and trying to find solutions to their problems.

Case Study of a Female Programmer

To get a real life insight on women in coding, I spoke to a female friend who has just graduated from University of Bristol with a Mathematics degree, and is now working as a programmer for the government. I asked her three key questions.Good Coder

Q : What made you interested in programming?

A: “I am a very practical and logical person; I have always been interested in computing. In school I earned many computing awards and also did an A ‘level in computer science, which triggered my interest more. I consider programming to be common sense and easy to understand”.

Q: How did your mathematics background help in your programming career?

A: “Many mathematics skills are easily transferable to programming. Mathematics has a lot of things in common with programming for example, the way of thinking and the way of solving things. Moreover, in Maths you have to do everything from scratch, understand the thinking behind what you are doing, which is very similar to programming. Lastly I feel that Mathematics is a very strong background for IT so I believe I have a competitive edge”.

Q: Have you felt any sort of discrimination as a result of being a female working in IT?

A: “It is true that the IT industry is male dominant, but companies are now starting to understand this issue of discrimination and try to include more women in IT. I haven’t felt discrimination, I feel included and valued”.

 Here are some useful links:

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/02/closing-the-gender-gap-in-computer-science/

https://www.womenwhocode.com/about

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35559439

http://blog.learningadvisor.com/why-computer-programming-is-for-women-too/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11643191/Why-women-make-gifted-coders.html

Can You Solve This Coding Problem?

2016  is a leap year. But is 2000 a leap year?  Write code to manipulate to determine if any year is a leap year. Use a language of your choice. The operators are available in C# and Java. Put the solution at the bottom of this blog.puzzles

  • To start off with, declare input values for the day, month, and year.
  • Determine if it’s a leap year. A leap year is:
    (evenly divisible by 4 AND NOT evenly divisible by 100) OR
    (evenly divisible by 400)
    Use the remainder operator (%) to help you out here.
    Use a conditional operator (?:) to set a Boolean value.
  • Test whether your “is-leap-year” algorithm works for various years.
  • Add code to validate the date values.

 Other Bits

TalkIT will publish game tutorials for our Python and C++ courses this Spring. The Python tutorial will build the Mastermind game. To win at Mastermind requires a logical mind. The C++ tutorial will create an app that displays a 3D bunny. This app works with sophisticated graphics.bits

Why make a game?

  • To learn and consolidate your coding skills.
  • Create a program that is fast and fun to do.
  • Learn how all your skills come together in a single project.

TalkIT has been very active on social media recently. We have been posting on coding, new gadgets and IT humour. Why don’t you connect with us on Twitter or FaceBook? You can follow all the latest news and let us know what you think. Here are some recent tweets.

Create a simple java game with our free introductory tutorial! http://ow.ly/YnCIG 

Spring offer: 20% on UK classroom courses, till April, quote code SO123. Book a course. http://ow.ly/XWesw 

Should you comment your code? http://ow.ly/XWF5u 

Coding frustration! Does this happen to you?

Get started with creating a simple Java game with our free introductory tutorial! http://ow.ly/XAPtv 

Our January blog is out! Learn how to code by creating a game http://ow.ly/Xt59N 

Can meditation improve your coding? Let’s find out! http://ow.ly/XmLI6 

What to learn something new this week? Try our C# courses for beginners! http://ow.ly/X6uf4 

Check out our improved website! Learn in a fast, fun & enjoyable way http://ow.ly/WYiLj 

Need a new year’s resolution? Learn Programming! ow.ly/Ws7TY 

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Thanks to Eleni Andronicou for writing this blog

Thanks to Andy Olsen for Java puzzle

Photos www.freedigitalphotos.net/

 David Ringsell MCPD 2016 ©

 

 

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