The first computer programmers were females. Why are computer programmers almost always males today?
Ada Lovelace is considered to be the first computer programmer, in 1842. She was also a woman.
According to the Wikipedia article on "Women in Computing", "In the United States, the number of women represented in undergraduate computer science education and the white-collar information technology workforce peaked in the mid-1980s, and has declined ever since. In 1984, 37.1% of Computer Science degrees were awarded to women; the percentage dropped to 29.9% in 1989-1990, and 26.7% in 1997-1998. Figures from the Computing Research Association Taulbee Survey indicate that less than 12% of Computer Science degrees were awarded to women in 2010-11."
Why is this? It was kind of sad that there was only one other girl in my computer science classes (but she was very masculine-looking, so I thought she was a guy at first).
@Jeff: That's neat! I want to work for Apple, but I'm 99.999999% sure that won't happen. Maybe if I start learning Objective-C….
@Vaughn: I find guys are more interesting to talk to than my own sex, usually. I think culturally, girls are less encouraged to read about fascinating subjects. Hair and makeup are not fascinating subjects.
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
There are NUMEROUS papers written on this subject. I remember there was actually a study done at a university by a doctoral degree holder; I for the life of me cannot find this again. I've linked an article I've found on the subject. I suggest if you want a non-biased answer, you google answers to this question.
Anyway, the real reason I am answering this is because it's not just computer science that lacks women. MOST math based sciences do. I've taken calculus 1-3, and there were a max of 3 women in each class. I've also taken numerous science classes, and the only classes that where the women were even close to the number of men in the class were in the really easy computer design classes. I've taken really stupid easy courses on word, excel, access, frontpage (yes I know, but this was a long time ago), and actual "design" work like XML.
I don't know what the reason is, but it's pretty widespread. I had to attend 5 different community colleges to get to the university on time; it was the same at each community college. I'm guessing women in general aren't interested in the hard sciences.
My own hypothesis is that it's marketing. Look at how video games are typically marketed to mostly to males. I've never seen a woman in any of the game programming degree program commercials. What is marketed to women (or actually to girls) is stuff like barbies, and dolls that wet and **** themselves. I just don't think the USA pushes women into science and mathematics like we do with young boys.
- JeffLv 79 years ago
It's mostly males in science and mathematics... I think it's a cultural thing right now that will hopefully change... The smartest programmers I personally know at the moment who could both code circles around me are both very talented women (they don't know each other). One wrote several logic textbooks used in many universities across the nation, the other does work for CERN.
- eklovLv 44 years ago
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- 9 years ago
I don't know, but I know it really sucks that there aren't many girls in my classes. Guys are boring (coming from a guy :P )