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Women write more expressive, sensitive code

Talk to me about your feelings
Mon Jun 09 2008, 16:16

IT’S A FAIRLY WELL accepted fact that women are able to express themselves and communicate easier than men. It seems that the same can be said when it comes to computer code.

The Wall Street Journal quotes a senior vice-president of database company Ingres, a woman by the name of Emma McGrattan, as saying that women are generally more considerate programmers.

McGrattan, purportedly one of the top ranking female programmers in the US, reckons that whereas men feel absolutely no compunction whatsoever to explain what they are doing, female programmers like to leave detailed and waffly accounts of precisely what they did, why they did it, and how they think things should proceed.

McGrattan berates men for trying, “to show how clever they are by writing very cryptic code,” whereas women just want to be understood.

The superwoman of code has even imposed new womanish coding standards at her company, Ingres, forcing men to write more detailed accounts of their coding issues, and expressing their programming problems before each new block of code is written. Lovingly written.

Of course, it would help if more women were actually interested in computer programming in the first place, but the fairer, and more articulate sex, are still a minority in the male dominated industry.

“It’s proving very challenging,” admits McGrattan, who will apparently have to put up with grunty, monosyllabic male code for a fair few more years to come. µ

Wall Street Journal


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