Bringing women into Computer Science
April 18, 2007
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The New York Times had a great article talking about the current shortage of women in Computer Science courses around the country and what different universities are doing to increase their numbers of incoming women. This should continue, as there are many examples of very successful women in software and I hope to only see more in the future.
However, it’s no secret that Computer Science enrollment in general has been down ever since the dot-com bust. Comp Sci is often perceived as a dead end major that only leads to programming jobs that will likely be outsourced some day.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. InformationWeek recently reported that more U.S. Workers have IT Jobs than ever before. So things are even better now than during the late 90’s boom.
While many in the industry are actually elated about the lack of new Comp Sci graduates to compete with, the long term outlook is actually far worse. Hiring a good developer has now become an exercise in frustration. As the number of qualified candidates goes down, the quality of the software produced must also go down. This means more buggy code, longer hours as a result, and poor quality software which will only continue to give our industry a bad reputation.
I think every developer out there should work to change this perspective that development work is easily outsourced, menial, and ultimately insignificant. Do your part to change the perception of our industry so that young people want to go into it and have rewarding careers.