When I was just a youngster back in the 60’s, my Uncle died leaving my Aunt to carry the load that his business required. When I say load, I mean just that, because my Uncle was in the Sand and Gravel business.
It was the late 60’s as I recall, and my Uncle had scored some contracts related to laying the ground work for the Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. After his untimely death, my Aunt had to struggle with whether or not to keep the family business running, or to just throw in the towel, give it all up, and move on.
My Aunt decided to stay and and fulfill the obligations that my Uncle had signed on to. She would hit this head on — She wouldn’t give up no matter what.
The next day, she jumped up into one of the off-the-road dump trucks and drove it the few hundred yards to the gate. The watchman wouldn’t let her through, reason being, because she was a woman. Here my Aunt was, all of her 113 pounds soaking wet, arguing with the watchman over whether or not she could drive that 2 story dump truck through the gate in order to fulfill her late husbands contractual obligations.
Long story short – My Aunt drove that truck through the gate and never looked back.
I told you that story so that I could tell you this one.
In all of my years, I’ve never believed that industries were, or even had to be gender specific. Society, however, has never really held that view, and it’s exciting to see the women of today taking the stand that my Aunt did all of those many many years ago.
In the tech industry especially, I’m proud to witness women driving the hypothetical 2 story dump truck through that gate. I wasn’t raised to be on either side of any issue – I was raised to understand that people, regardless of gender, have the potential to do anything they set their minds to doing.
When ever the time comes that we need a sub contractor, the only question we ask is, “Can they code?” — If they can, well then they’re in, if not, then they are passed up for someone who can. Young, old, male, female – It doesn’t make a difference, because that’s how the ‘real’ world works.
I think that many of my male colleagues in this industry need to come to terms with the fact that ‘qualification’ isn’t something that’s reserved for only a gender specific select few – Qualification is for everyone that would dare to pursue that end with regard to IT, or other web/software types of development.
At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter who exactly wrote the code. What matters is if the code works and does what it was intended to do.