Why male domination of the tech world may end sooner than you think
Why women are going to dominate the world of tech coming out of the next decade
I just started laughing to myself as I stared at the double helix model of DNA revolving in the sky. “This is it”, I said to myself. “The entire world of technology is about to dramatically change and the bratty sexist boy kings of Silicon Valley don’t have a clue what is about to hit them”.
Consistently, week after week the girls dominated the boys in completion of course levels and projects.
The girls that created the revolving model of DNA in Minecraft were 9 years old and they team coded the model without being prompted after destroying the 5 different sets of curriculum I had available in our summer coding camps in just a few weeks. They weren’t the only ones either. Consistently, week after week the girls dominated the boys in completion of course levels and projects in our 3 camps and very rarely did the boys ever outshine or move faster than the girls. This was consistently true across all ages from 7–13 for the entire summer.
the girls were able to not only focus, but were willing and able to ask the right questions, struggle through the most difficult topics, and do the research
There are any number of factors to attribute to this domination of females over males in our camps, but the most obvious factor seems to be their ability to focus and concentrate. Boys just can’t seem to stay on task for very long, while the girls were able to not only focus, but were willing and able to ask the right questions, struggle through the most difficult topics, and do the research for how to solve the problems they encountered. That is my theory, but none of this is in any way scientific.
This is not to say that the boys didn’t do great work nor that there weren’t many of them that excelled and moved rapidly through the coding curriculums, but on the whole, those that did well did not reach the same level of competency that on the whole the girls did.
Now, before you start picturing in your head a camp full of the stereotypical nerds that dominate what we think of in the coding world, this could not be further from the truth. The children in our camps had a variety of interests and many had never even considered coding, but came back and reenrolled week after week after week. From those you would call jocks to those that spend their spare time embedded in computer games, the results were consistent week after week after week. All of our kids learned coding and learned it well.
I do think that we did an excellent job of creating a learning model and environment for our camps that was self-paced and superior to how coding is taught to children. We adapted to the needs of our students and we experimented every single day with on and off computer tasks that helped them to enjoy and understand the concepts.
One of the concepts we didn’t expect to have to teach, but that became very apparent early on was that we had to explain what the Internet is and how it functions. Our children have known nothing else but the Internet in their lives. It is as common to them as electricity. They don’t even have to flip a switch, because the Internet has always been there for them and it is almost always on.
OK, back to the point of this post.
They will be levels of magnitude greater than any of the most experienced coders that exist in the world today. Coding will be part of their daily existence.
So, what does all this mean for the tech world. Well, if companies like ours (Code Kids, Inc.), the schools, and many great non-profits succeed in making coding a part of their every day lives, then those 9 year old girls that are continuing to learn on our platform and will be in our after school and weekend programs, will be graduating from high school in 9 years and they will be master programmers. They (boys and girls)will be levels of magnitude greater than any of the most experienced coders that exist in the world today. Coding will be part of their daily existence. They will destroy our current barriers in technology beyond anything we can imagine possible. College will be a social club for them and most will likely never consider attending, because they will already dominate the world of coding. Why waste time with our sadly antiquated college coding curriculums, when you can already run rings around the professors?
The pace of change is accelerating and it isn’t going to wait for your child to learn how to code in college. Those days are over.
For parents, I highly encourage you to get your girls and boys into any kind of coding curriculum you can, because the world is not going to wait for them and the automation of the world is already happening at a pace that means that a huge percentage of the jobs you think are viable for your children will disappear or won’t be viable unless you code too. Every single day I see another example of automation that wasn’t possible even 5 years ago. The pace of change is accelerating and it isn’t going to wait for your child to learn how to code in college. Those days are over.
For boys in general, just because girls seem to learn faster in our completely unscientific example, doesn’t mean that boys can’t excel or do well. They can and they will, but we are going to have to learn how to teach boys to focus better and to retain what they learn.
On another note, I want to be clear there are a significant number of brilliant women coders in the tech world today, but they are not given for the most part the respect and value they deserve. My point here is that that will change dramatically, because I believe that women will be more in charge of not only coding, but the business world in general when software dominates all business. I am not cheering for the domination of either sex in the business world, but rather trying to make an exaggerated point that the men of tech are not behaving properly and that they will be surprised when the changes occur. My 6 year old girl will be ready and so will my 10 year old boy.
What it means for the sexist boys of the valley that will likely be “older” executives by then is that you better get your manners and your ability to communicate with women together, because your butt is about to be kicked to the moon and back. Think about the next 10 years and girls able to focus and advance at a rate 2x (or more) better than boys in learning coding at a young age. Think about these girls being confident, driven, and focused on getting better every single day and having the learning resources to grow beyond the best coders in the world. When they graduate or even way before, these women are going to change the world and they aren’t going to wait on some old school lame male coder to tell them what to do or “put them in their place”. They are just going to take over and take back what they started in the first place.
Mind your Ps and Qs boys. The girls/women are coming and they won’t have patience for your pitiful little hacks and your inability to communicate with them as peers (or as your superior) for very long. Women will be creating the software that eats the world and I suspect they won’t put up with your inability to treat them with respect.
If you feel like this post hits the mark or is worth sharing, please click on the Heart icon below so that more people will get a chance to read it. — Thank you.