Are you my Rails Wonder Woman?

I have been doing Ruby on Rails on and off for about a year and a half or so and it is wonderful. I have attended ruby meetings where there are very few women in the audience. I attended railsconf last year where I was one of about the 30- females there vs. the 1000+ men running around.

I may be an exception but I enjoy working in a mostly male environment. I crave the competition and want to be awesome . Not just awesome as a girl but awesome on a world wide ‘you just got beat’ scale.

As for women in the workplace, I want companies to always hire the best people. For rails, that tends to be men. I support this. I have not read or heard of many women whupping ass in the rails world so why do I expect us to get hired if our level of technicality and productivity is lesser than the other dev that is applying? And it just happens that the other dev will probably be a male programmer.

In addition, if we are concerned with not having enough female rails devs, then why are we segregating ourselves and having women rails groups? You do not see men having ‘male only rails groups.’ That would be silly. But then when we do it, is it not supposed to look just as silly?

I was originally skeptical about the DevChix group. I was worried that they would try to brain wash me and make me believe that males are the sign of the devil but a friend of mine convince me otherwise and I have been meaning to attend one of their meetings ever since. I am sorry I haven’t yet. Truthfully, I have been extremely lazy.

On the other hand, there is a female rails group that does not want to have male instructors. In my opinion, if you want to educate the female population and make them into budding programmers, then you need to have the best instructors. I don’t have care if my instructor is female, male or a wallaby that sings about how I should write code
but I want to make sure that I get the best teaching I can get and not having male instructors limits what the future female rails dev community can do.


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6 thoughts on “Are you my Rails Wonder Woman?

  1. Completely agree with everything you said, and am happy you said it. Specifically this; “In addition, if we are concerned with not having enough female rails devs, then why are we segregating ourselves and having women rails groups?”

    All this focus on getting more women into ruby/rails is silly in my opinion. We should be focused on skill and passion, no matter the sex, race, etc of the person at hand.

  2. I disagree with you on one thing: I do think there should be more women in ruby/rails. It is always good to push/support people so that they can be their best. On that note, I don’t think we should be treated differently or be given different set of rules. We aren’t playing in the special Olympics.

    My mom used to carry me everywhere so when I was three or four and still couldn’t walk, she was worried. She took me to the doctor and he told her that because she always retrieved the play things that were always out of reach, I never bothered to learn. She stopped carrying me around and now I walk like every other human being.

    Moral of the story: It’s always good to give a little push but you need to let them find their own way.

  3. Snap, I guess I didn’t explain myself very well. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be more women in ruby/rails, I just think that focusing on a persons sex (as well as race, or anything else) above all else is silly.

    It should be “We need more talented, passionate people in the ruby community” not “We need more women/men/blacks/gays/etc.”

    An example being that you wouldn’t want a job because they need “a lady around the office,” you’d want the job because you were the most qualified of the applicants.

    Hope that clears things up. 🙂

    • I thought that is what you meant but I just wanted to clarify things. 🙂

      I do think we need more talking unicorns in the ruby community though. I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen too many of those around.

      Yes, I agree. You always want the most competent people in the office, especially *your* office.

  4. The whole reason I care about diversity in Ruby is because I want to get the awesome ones in. Right now, we tell ourselves it’s a meritocracy of code and ideas, but there are barriers that keep women and other minorities out, *including the brilliant ones.* I want those brilliant ones in here, which means I’m trying to make it easier for ALL of them to get in.

    And FWIW I haven’t met anyone in DevChix who really wants to increase the number of women just…to increase it. That seems pretty silly, I agree with you there.

    It’s about reducing those barriers so we (computing in general) can attract the awesome people we need to keep that innovative edge, no matter who those people are. And yeah, those efforts will probably bring in some folks on the wrong side of average, but it’s not a zero-sum game. The more brilliant ones we have, the more cool shit gets written, the faster we move forward.

    • It is good to have awesome people around. I try to surround myself by awesome people on a daily basis but it takes a lot of effort.

      When I was a kid, I wanted to joined the computer club but I thought you had to be a math genius to understand it. Looking back, if someone had just shown me that it wasn’t all that complicated and not exclusively math centeric, I would have joined in a heartbeat. As for learning Ruby on Rails, I still have a relatively hard time figuring it stuff out. There are plenty of forums where people post questions and no one responds back to them and you never figure out a good solution or they figure it out but don’t explain the solution to the rest of the group. And in tutorials like how to create a weblog in fifteen minutes, the narrator pastes in his code and doesn’t explain, for example, that he is currently in a terminal or how to get to an atom feed. I understand this tutorial is more for people who are already programmers but it doesn’t help much for people who do not have a computer programming background. If there were more step by step basic/intermediate/advanced ruby on rails tutorials and free workshops, more women would probably join and the ones that are currently hiding would come out due to the increase of interest in rails by the overall female population.

      And there are always people from the wrong side of average but that happens in any field.

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