Women in Tech Want Your Opinion on Feminism and Other Falsehoods Programmers Believe

July 14, 2017

The collection of articles on Github titled Awesome Falsehood dives into some of the strange myths and errors believed by tech gnomes and the issues that they can create. For starters, falsehoods about names. Perhaps you have encountered the tragic story of Mr. Null, who encounters a dilemma whenever inputting his last name in a web form because it often will be rejected or even crash the system.

The article explains,

This has all gotten to the point where I’ve developed a number of workarounds for times when this happens. Turning my last name into a combination of my middle name and last name, or middle initial and last name, sometimes works, but only if the website doesn’t choke on multi-word last names. My usual trick is to simply add a period to my name: “Null.” This not only gets around many “null” error blocks, it also adds a sense of finality to my birthright.

Another list expands on the falsehoods about names that programmers seem to buy into. These include cultural cluelessness about people having first names and last names that never change and are all different. Along those lines, one awesome female programmer wrote a list of falsehoods about women in tech, such as their existence revolving around a desire for a boyfriend or to complete web design tasks. (Also, mansplaining is their absolute favorite, did you know?) Another article explores falsehoods about geography, such as the mistaken notion that all places only have one official name, or even one official name per language, or one official address. While the lists may reinforce some negative stereotypes we have about programmers, they also expose the core issues that programmers must resolve to be successful and effective in their jobs.

Chelsea Kerwin, July 14, 2017


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