The girl thing

I could respond to each and every one of you on twitter after today’s article in the Observer. And yes I know it is not just a girl thing, I was just writing in that instance about girls and coding, next week I would be happy to write about boys and coding. Several tweet responses were along the lines of: the girls I know just don’t give a sh*t, and some dubious responses about how this is/was/always will be the boy domain – but that is beside the point. All of it. And actually everyone has to stop banging on about the gender divide, the crisis is bigger than that.

The world is evolving, it is becoming more digital. Industry, every industry, is affected by this – and the economy is failing. The only jobs that have four job vacancies (av) to every skilled worker, are developer/programming jobs. The 2011 IDC Microsoft Economic Impact study found over 110,000 IT vacancies in the UK, and expects the IT workforce to grow by a further 113,000 by 2015.

Not only that but the market is changing with (amongst other things) Research and Development funds being slashed – hence the sudden boom in hack days – yet everyone needs to know the next big thing: low production cost, high return.

The world lies at the feet of those who know how to program it. Stop the rhetoric and the hectoring  just get on with it, it’s really not hard.

And before you lay in to me for hectoring, I have been trying to do something about this for years now and if you would like to support the latest effort, that would also be ace.

3 responses

  1. Education needs to be responsive to the times we live in but there is a generation divide between those who make policy and the I-generation. People who make policy are slow moving conservative beasts in general. However the squeaky wheel and advocacy skills will go a long way. I wish I knew how to code. At least I did typing (gender sterotype of the 1970’s) in school which gives me keyboard skills, useful as a Doctor now!!

  2. Yesterday was a very good day, I enjoyed the tweets from the hackday you were running in Cannes, and I enjoyed The Observer and the response to it on Twitter.

    You are winning. People who agree with you are winning. WE are winning. The door is open and government is listening at the highest level. The challenge now is to get the message across to headmasters and teachers and parents. And, of course, to young people.

    I was really impressed by John Naughton’s ;manifesto’ in the Observer, and I urge you to read it. Because the transformation we have embarked upon is not about skill shortages, or the needs of ‘UK plc’. It’s not just for boffins who are good at maths, either. It’s about literacy and participation. In a world shaped and dependent on networking technology, an understanding of computing is essential for informed citizenship.

  3. Pingback: How to put girls off from all forms of programming/tech by Emma der Mulqueeny | Emma Mulqueeny

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