tfw you remember that literally all programmers used to be women until men realized that it was actual intellectual work and ran them out of the field so that 17 year old shitheads could make posts on reddit about how man brains are genetically wired for programming

@aguyuno2 @thatcosmonaut the "17 year old shitheads" on reddit bit is ultra 🔥

Grace Hopper was in the navy and these kids are whining about being incels.

Not saying it's not.
But it is objectively 'doing more' than crying on reddit


Aside from when Ada Lovelace was literally the only programmer in the world, at least in theory as the machine she wrote a procedure for was never built in her lifetime, when exactly was it that "Literally all programmers used to be women," what years specifically?

@hhardy01 it is a well known historical fact that in the early days of electronic computing, men would build the machines, and women would develop the programs that ran on them, because the actual programming was viewed as an intellectually less-demanding task. the women were referred to as "operators" and their contributions to the art were minimized.

Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Meltzer, Fran Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman, were among the first programmers in history.


I see you are cherry picking factoids from wikipedia, such as:

"The ENIAC programming team, consisting of Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Fran Bilas and Ruth Lichterman were the first regularly working programmers."

But you ignored the previous sentence:

"The first person to run a program on a functioning modern electronically based computer was computer scientist Konrad Zuse, in 1941."

That's intellectually dishonest.


That's not much of an argument... given up and gone to troll tactics and deflection already?

@hhardy01 who said this was an argument? Zuse was a pioneer but his contributions to techniques to the field of programming were minor both in terms of lasting impact and actual real-world usage compared to the aforementioned women and that's not even considering that he was a scumbag Nazi collaborator. go take your pedantic antfucking elsewhere

@hhardy01 curious about what your motivation is here man. Is that important to you to establish that at no point have literally 100% of programmers (according to some definition or other) been female? Or are you against the spirit of the original toot explaining how women have been driven out of the field as it's grown in esteem?

@thatcosmonaut @hhardy01 There were slightly different programming paradigms back then, though ;-) Maybe the gender statistics look different for object-oriented, procedural, functional etc. programming?

@thatcosmonaut On when women dominated coding, I really loved that movie Hidden Figures, about the key work of black women at NASA in doing calculations for our early manned space mission, where they touched on this briefly with one of the plot points being about NASA getting their first mechanical computers (if I remember right they use to refer to the groups of women number crunchers as "computers" too)

@BigPopsicle @thatcosmonaut that was a fantastic movie. Watched it with my dad who is old enough to remember having women whose job title was "computer" at his workplace crunching numbers.

@thatcosmonaut For folks asking when 'literally all women used to be programmers' ... when I first started in 1980, over 2/3 of data center developers (working w/COBOL, OLTP, mainframes and such) were women, as were most all production control ops and supervisors. At one point in the mid-80's my boss was a woman, as was her boss, as was her boss, as was her boss. Very different representation now.

@landybham @thatcosmonaut My mother taught computer science at the local college in the early 80s.

@landybham @jaycie @thatcosmonaut the tipping point seems to have been the mid-80's, when personal computers debuted, and were marketed solely to men.

(Some parts of the world never experienced this.)

@nev @landybham @jaycie @thatcosmonaut
The main reason is that computers emerged as a dominant force, leading to high-paying jobs in the industry. So women were pushed out. See:

>"Slowly but surely, as the prospects of the computer industry looked up, and the hard work done by women continued to be downplayed, American companies began hiring more men, stopped promoting women, and just like that, the unprecedented edge had by women over men shrunk into nonexistence. "

@landybham @_cr0_tab @thatcosmonaut I was told all computers used to be women before machines took over the profession.

@thatcosmonaut I was at an IEEE conference on computer networks and met several female computer scientists from Iran. They told me that there is a high ratio of women studying IT in their country because men prefer "real engineering", like building bridges and machines and stuff. Typing stuff at computers is mostly seen as a woman's job, like being a secretary or so. That was really unexpected.

@megfault @thatcosmonaut Another explanation for the fact: The paradox is that countries with greater gender equality (Scandinavia, for instance) have a lower percentage of female STEM (Science, Technicques, Engineering, Mathematics) graduates, and also higher intraindividual differences in abilities (measured with #PISA).

@thatcosmonaut lol my mom had to have multiple meetings with deans to get permission to study programming in the 70s

@thatcosmonaut I don't even think anyone was opposed to it. It was just unheard of so everyone was like "is this ok? Are you sure???"

@thatcosmonaut Thanks for posting! I learned this week that it was decided at the NATO Software Engineering Conference in 1968 at Garmisch in Germany that programming was to be called "software engineering" from then on which alone played a huge part in pushing women out since engineering wasn't for women at that time and they we're facing more and more obstacles to get the necessary qualifications.

@Virelai if this is true it would be supremely ironic, because the term "software engineer" was invented by Margaret Hamilton who was a lead programmer on the Apollo 11 moon mission

@thatcosmonaut yes I just read that here in someone else's comment! I can imagine that she didn't see that consequence coming :( I'm listening to the audiobook of "Broad band : The untold story of the women who made the internet!" right now, it's pretty great!


Interesting. I thought it was when men realised there was money to be made.

But to be fair, 17 year old are shitheads about pretty much anything.

@thatcosmonaut serious feedback here: i see my 8y old daughter's coding lessons in school: it's 80% girls. In about 12 years, new developers will mostly be girls. (As a dad with daughters, this makes me happy.)

@thatcosmonaut Women were so much better at computing and enriching uranium in head to head matchups in the Manhattan Project that eventually men were banned from both tasks.

@thatcosmonaut there's always one guy who has to go "nuh uh" isn't there.

@thatcosmonaut Well, I remember that when I got into programming my colleagues were about 50-50 women and men. But we had a progressive kind of employer too. That was in the days of IBM big iron: 370s, 3080s, etc. We had sharp analysts too, most of them women.

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