Women do have a place in the world of coding

Numbers around the world show a wide gap between women and men dedicated to programming and related careers.

According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, only 26% of the programmers in the US, are women.

During the 2010-2015 period, in Argentina, there were 102,800 new enrollments in careers related to Programming. Only 16.02% of these correspond to women’s income and 83.98% to men.

In Spanish universities, there are more girls than boys, but there is a deficit in mathematics, engineering, and computing. In some cases, they do not exceed 15%.

But, if women have insisted and demonstrated over the years that they are as strong and capable as men in anything they want, why is there such a huge difference in the world of coding?

The fight against gender stereotypes must begin in the childhood when interest in different professional careers appears. Even today, the lack of representation of computer science in general culture is a key factor for girls not choosing these careers: they can’t see themselves working on it because they hardly have any lead to follow.

Television series, movies, advertisements, even the toys we give to our kids … That all set the ground for the hobbies and aspirations they will have when growing older. It is difficult to find in all this the idea that programming can also be a women’s occupation.

The truth is that females do play an important role in this sector as in any other. In fact, many of them have set historical precedents with their gifts and discoveries such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and The ENIAC Girls to name a few.

Countries and its female developers proportion

Data from HackerRank 2017 survey.

Why to insist on attracting women?

  • It is proven that workgroups with diversity tend to achieve better results compared to those where there are only men. Different perspectives when analyzing enrich the entire work process.
  • Women’s lack of interest in careers related to coding concerns the technology community, especially because in the US it is expected to have 1.4 million jobs in this area within 6 years. Considering the American labor force is represented in a 50% by women, they must do something to motivate females of all ages to continue on this path.
  • According to estimations, in 2020 the applications market will be valued at 188 billion dollars, another great reason to encourage female participation in a field dominated by men.

Growing communities

Due to social and cultural issues, women have been left out of this work environment, which is why there are several campaigns by universities, companies and other institutions that want to reverse this. The idea is to inspire, and at the same time be a vehicle for more women to join this field.

Almost all of them are organized with a gender pro-diversity vision, and many have codes of conduct and rates of female speakers from the beginning. Girls in Tech, Women Techmakers, Geek & Tech Girls, PyLadies, Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, are some of them. They organize events about technology where, in addition to learning, parity is taken care of in speakers and work teams.

Inspiring Girls is a campaign to connect professional women from all sectors with schools so they can see there also is a variety of jobs for girls. T3chfest is an annual technological event organized by former and current students at the Charles III University of Madrid that also seeks to promote female speakers.

Made with Code, Google’s educational project was launched by this company in 2014 to inspire more girls in high school to choose a career in computing and thus increase the number of females in this industry.

Another attractive campaign was CodeGirl, a documentary about some of the stories of the plus 5,000 young people from more than 60 countries who participated in the Global Technovation Challenge 2015, a three-month competition where the goal is to create a mobile application to solve a problem in their countries.

Time to act!

A female hand is always needed.
Managers, Directors, Recruiters, we all have the opportunity to help create a more equal field. It is time to change stereotypes and bring your best to this labor force. This will be better with your help.

Agility to deliver high-value solutions

One of the great challenges of any company is to understand whom they offer their service to and why they do it. So, why do we say we design for agile development teams?

The best way to explain this will be splitting the question into two parts.

Why developers?

A few years ago, when we started to work on interface design, we had different types of clients; some were programmers and others were design studios and advertising agencies. I remember that we had the opportunity to design a website for a graphic design agency in England.

When we finished the first round of designs, their feedback was: “I think it needs to be more pop kitsch”. Pop kitsch? That was not a profitable return at all! It clearly came from a less pragmatic designer/artist, and this was not the kind of feedback we used to receive when working with development teams. But, on the other hand, it helped a lot to clarify and define a little more with whom we wanted to make work teams and with whom we didn’t.

Design aims to ensure the effectiveness of communications. It is centered in the user; It is ethical because it is based on the knowledge of the “other” as different and respectable. – Jorge Frascara

Although the concept of “designer” is often deviated and is only thought to be someone who embellishes things, the reality is that designers and developers share very similar goals. Both seek the best solution to a problem.

We design for developers because we feel comfortable with their practical approach when developing a digital product, their passion for solving problems; they trust our work, they do not think about fonts or colors, just as we don’t think if it is more convenient to use Angular or Xamarin.

Why agile?

We believe that the best way to deliver value to the users is by taking small steps towards the final product. Observing, learning, correcting our mistakes and repeating the process again. We work together with agile teams because we consider ourselves agile, as designers, as a team, and as a company.

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. – Principles behind the Agile Manifesto

We are not talking about teams that use Kanban, SCRUM or XP, nor about teams that only want to launch a product as soon as possible, but teams that have the courage to take responsibility for their actions, recognize their mistakes and learn from them quickly to correct them.

Agile was not originally conceived as a series of rules and ceremonies, it was invented as a set of principles that guided teams to achieve agility, or the ability to respond gracefully to the change around them. – Page Laubheimer

That’s the agility we seek in our work process and the agility we seek to promote to deliver products of great value to the users. We believe that this is the best way to do it. If not, we will stop, look back, reflect and correct our course, always agile.