The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Where Are All The Women Coders?
It is astonishing that in this day and age, men still largely dominate certain areas of specialized work, specifically in science, math, engineering, and computers. Yet, interestingly enough, more women are actually earning their degrees from universities than men. While we could argue that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, our brains can work quite logically similar, especially when it comes to handling specific tasks. Two babies, a male and a female, will eventually figure out that a cube or circle will fit in the cube or circle space on a table. There are certainly people who think differently and have many different ideas of how things should and could be done, but for the most part, when it comes to being human and accomplishing tasks, men and women are the same, and can vastly do the same work and the same amount of work. One area that is still vastly dominated by men, but has greatly picked up as more women expose themselves and begin to learn, is programming, software, and web development.
In running Confessions of the Professions, I have come across many women who are successfully running websites and have turned them into their business. Whether they are utilizing social media, such as YouTube tutorials, or selling things on their website, women certainly understand the game, and may even know it better than men. This is not to bash any men out there, but if there is a gender that understands the mind of a shopper and what they want, specifically an online shopper, it is women who know how to appeal to that audience. They may know how to be descriptive and explain things in a language that other women can understand. This is not to say that it is not the English language, but when we begin to talk about fabrics, materials, colors, etc., women are better at describing these things. This can certainly give women a great advantage to starting online businesses and appealing to online customers.
Despite knowing what they are capable of doing, however, women are still largely underrepresented in software and web engineering and may not even know their capabilities, for they may fear that it is an area still largely dominated by men. Fortunately, the Internet is so vast that there is plenty of room for both men and women to do business and appeal to an audience of millions to billions of people. For those women who prefer not to run an e-commerce business, but are more interested in web app development, this is a huge area that is still largely untouched by many ideas. Men think a certain way, while women think another way. Men are more likely to write web applications directed at other men. Again, not to bash men, but men are not always thinking about the needs of women when it comes to designing and coding programs. This is an area that women are open to dominate. This is not to even mention that there is an even larger market that is completely untouched if you are an African-American woman, a Latina woman, an Indian woman, a Middle Eastern woman, or an Asian woman, let alone a Caucasian woman who can appeal to a vast majority of other women.
No matter your age, no matter your background, no matter how many children you have, no matter how much money you have (you can learn for free with the only cost being your time) or whether you have been a full-time stay-at-home mother or part-time worker, you have the potential to tap into an area so vast, I cannot really explain it to you, but the fact is, there are other women out there who already know this fact and have begun, pioneering into the understanding of the Internet, web applications, and appealing to an audience. With it comes the potential for an income so great, you could probably quit your day job.
Just to touch upon the vastness that I cannot explain, the women I am to feature in this confession are all over 30, which means that girls who are currently teenagers, and 20 years old females, still have amazing opportunities to get into software and web development, and the sad fact is, they probably have no idea that they could be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Kevin Systrom, Paul Sciarra, Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, Reid Hoffman, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Eric Ly, Konstantin Guericke, Allen Blue, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and David Karp, all the men who are responsible for developing code for what the world knows as Social Media, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Tumblr, respectively. These men are the ones who are largely responsible for changing the entire world, beyond the Apple and Windows software systems that allowed everyone to use a computer, also thought up and developed by two men, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively.
Fortunately, while it is highly unlikely that these social media systems will ever lose their audience and will always be the platforms of social media, there are still hundreds to thousands of ideas that have yet to be thought of, have not happened yet, where it does not just have to be men who are leading the way, but women have the opportunity to be the face of change in influencing a better world through development.
These are just several women who knew it was never too late to start.
Aimee Morgan, learned the Python programming language at 35 years old after enrolling in an online course. She has since started the Hackbright Academy, and is currently working as a Site Reliability Engineer for Google.
Wendy Zenone, 38, a student of Hackbright Academy, a mother and wife, and a former aesthetician, felt she was not living her dream, and always wanted to be a software developer. She is now currently working as a Associate Application Security Engineer at Lending Club, an online loan program.
Patricia Ehrhardt, 40, began her career which spanned across acupuncture, business administration, and nonprofits, came across coursera.org, an online platform that offers learning courses. She learned Python, backend and frontend coding, and just a few months after completing the course, established the Women Who Can Code Scholarship program, and soon landed herself a job as a software developer for ePublishing.
Sara Powell, who is slightly over 45, received her Bachelors of Arts degree and was mainly involved in the healthcare sector. Her curiosity led her to something more, where she joined Free Code Camp, and began her experience building projects for nonprofits. She is now employed as a software developer for Health Carousel.
Should these women, at their age, inspire you to take up coding, development, software engineering, application development, they have done their duty to encourage females to enter into areas that are highly in demand. When I tell you there are a few dozen companies out there looking to hire you, pay you $100,000 a year with bonuses and vacation, because of what you know and what you can do, why wouldn’t you, as a woman, take up that offer?
If I told you that all of these courses would take you just a few months to learn, and within a few years, you will be just as much of an expert as men in the field, and most of those courses are free, with many more offer learning packages in bundles at an extremely reduced rate, than what exactly are you waiting for? THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. Someone wants to pay YOU, a woman, $60,000 – $100,000+ a year for developing software, websites, web applications, databases, etc. Seriously, what are you waiting for?