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Girls Take All In $50 Million Google Learn-to-Code Initiative

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the more-good-coders-more-good-software dept.

Education 548

theodp writes: On Thursday, Google announced a $50 million initiative to inspire girls to code called Made with Code. As part of the initiative, Google said it will also be "rewarding teachers who support girls who take CS courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy." The rewards are similar to earlier coding and STEM programs run by Code.org and Google that offered lower funding or no funding at all to teachers if participation by female students was deemed unacceptable to the sponsoring organizations. The announcement is all the more intriguing in light of a Google job posting seeking a K-12 Computer Science Education Outreach Program Manager to "work closely with external leaders and company executives to influence activities that drive toward collaborative efforts to achieve major 'moonshots' in education on a global scale." Perhaps towards that end, Google recently hired the Executive Director of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), who was coincidentally also a Code.org Advisory Board member. And Code.org — itself a Made With Code grantee — recently managed to lure away the ACM's Director of Public Policy to be its COO. So, are these kinds of private-public K-12 CS education initiatives (and associated NSF studies) a good idea? Some of the nation's leading CS educators sure seem to think so (video).

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Take all? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281127)

Off?

Re:Take all? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281295)

Pretty much the only thing they will be good for once they grow up, might as well teach them practical job skills while they are young.

Re:Take all? (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 5 months ago | (#47281477)

Because sexualization of women whenever the topic of women in IT comes up is a great way to interest more women in IT?

Re:Take all? (1)

Gerald Williams (3433353) | about 5 months ago | (#47281699)

And we wonder why we can't get girls interested in this field at a young age...

Before you start complaining... (1, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47281131)

... wait to see if this increases the number of women taking these courses and going into CS. If it does then that suggests that women are interested and just needed the right environment or some encouragement. If it doesn't we can conclude that they just are not interested because of genetics or whatever.

Re:Before you start complaining... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281191)

No, you can't come to a conclusion based on a failure to achieve a goal.

You just know that method didn't work. Not that you can't make a lightbulb.

Re:Before you start complaining... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281195)

Maybe the "whatever" is that we are importing a steady stream of H-1B workers to reduce salaries, and that you're about as likely to find a job in IT after 45 as you are to find one in the NBA.

Maybe the "right environment" is where we only allow H-1B visas when unemployment is below 4%, and make it a felony to fake job postings to give jobs to foreigners instead of Americans.

Re:Before you start complaining... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281265)

Seems to me that IT workers aren't worth that have been paid.

Re:Before you start complaining... (1)

malkavian (9512) | about 5 months ago | (#47281501)

If you're in the Western world, in the Global Economy, you're not worth what you're paid.

Re:Before you start complaining... (3, Informative)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#47281649)

If you're in the world, since the beginning of time, a lot of you are not worth what you're paid.

FTFY

Re:Before you start complaining... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281735)

The flip side of that is that NO western job is worth the prevailing wage, except in ultra competitive fields with international mobility like movie or basketball stars. For all other jobs, cooks, engineers, doctors, street vendors, architects and bankers etc., you will always find some equally qualified individual in some developing country ready to work for (significantly) less.

So what ? The wage is the way we chose to organize our society and reward the individual contribution, according to our social contract. Some people are better off and some are worse off, but the base prosperity level of the society is a shared and common result of our combined effort. You cannot just go around trading your citizens for members of other, less functional societies anymore that you can switch your baby for a more beautiful one you found in the park, reasoning that babies are babies and it's merely by chance that yours was so ugly.

O RLY? (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#47281597)

Seems to me that IT workers aren't worth that have been paid.

Some of them aren't. Some of them are worth more than what they are paid. Same in all careers and walks of life. Welcome to this thing that we call life.

Re:Before you start complaining... (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 months ago | (#47281273)

Another part of the "whatever" could be students visiting workplaces and finding out they've all switched to open-plan work environments with extremely high noise levels, constant interruptions, and zero privacy, and students are switching to other majors where they can have a career path that doesn't cap out by the time they're 35 and in which they have a work environment conducive to concentration.

Re:Before you start complaining... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281449)

> and that you're about as likely to find a job in IT after 45 as you are to find one in the NBA.

That's just not true. If you're a healthy well-adjusted person in your late 40's finding work is no problem. It's the physical wrecks that think they're entitled to large salaries that have made themselves bad candidates.

I call bs on this one. (4, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 5 months ago | (#47281571)

Maybe the "whatever" is that we are importing a steady stream of H-1B workers to reduce salaries, and that you're about as likely to find a job in IT after 45 as you are to find one in the NBA.

Maybe the "right environment" is where we only allow H-1B visas when unemployment is below 4%, and make it a felony to fake job postings to give jobs to foreigners instead of Americans.

45-year old guy here says you are full of it. Unless we are confining the job search a very narrow area with a history of ageism (Silicon Valley), I call bs on that kind of statements (statements I've been seeing for the last 20 years). Some of my colleagues/ex-colleagues are approaching their late 50's and are still getting well-paid, 6-figure gigs (both perm and contract).

If you are worth your shit, you will get a job in IT regardless of your age.

Re:Before you start complaining... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47281269)

I think it's a little generous to provide "genetics or whatever" as a null hypothesis.

But your sentiment is in the right sciency place.

Re:Before you start complaining... (0)

Rei (128717) | about 5 months ago | (#47281615)

Indeed. Culture is most likely much more of a factor.

Most people credit there being far more differences between the sexes than there actually are. Here's what I wrote on XKCD the last time the topic came up:

Let's keep it simple.

In almost any sentence where people say "Women (verb)..." or "Men (verb)..." and it's about something psychological (as opposed to, say, something involving reproductive organs or a statistical difference in strength / height or the like), 99% of the time it's equally accurate to simply say "People (verb)..." The popular perception of differences between genders (including the effects of both brain structure and hormones) is often vastly different from the statistical reality. Screw Mars and Venus; men and women are from Earth. Psychologically, we're statistically virtually identical in most measures. And in many cases where there are differences that even manage to meet statistical significance, what differences there are may well be artifacts of culture.

https://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=5382 [rochester.edu]

Remember that your partner is an individual who has thoughts and feelings just like yours. They are not their gender. Remember that gay couples have the exact same sort of relationship problems as straight ones.

And if you still have trouble viewing the other gender as being of the same stock as you... men, look at your scrotum. See the line down the middle? That's where your labia fused before you were born. Women, look at your clitoris. That would have been your penis.

We're all made of the same stuff.

One closing graph:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nQ-nxqcuLsU/Tr_TimJmlBI/AAAAAAAAAo0/sp22VFq5wdo/s1600/sex-differences.gif [blogspot.com]

(The above graph, for people who don't want to follow a link: the left side shows two bell curves with little overlap, while the right shows two that are practically identical. "Figure 0.1. Distribution of performance for two traits that differ with d values of 2.6 and 0.35, respectively. Females are represented by the dashed curve, males by the solid curve. Mean score for each sex is shown by the vertical line at the middle of the curve. The graph on the left shows the sex difference in adult height, which is considered very large and for which there is little overlap between men and women. The graph on the right shows the distribution for a sex difference with a d score of 0.35, which is actually on the large side for many psychological differences. Note that the curves overlap extensively. Of the many psychological differences that have been repeatedly measured, 77 percent are smaller than the difference between the curves on the right.")

Re:Before you start complaining... (-1, Troll)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 months ago | (#47281279)

"Whatever" could be the news stories and knowledge that there are a higher-than-average amount of socially-stunted male muppets in IT who frequently don't know how to act professionally when in the same room as some females.

Re:Before you start complaining... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281313)

As a woman and ex-coder, I'd say I got out of software development because of immoral companies like Google with their boot-licking race to the bottom when it comes to respect for the individual. My aversion to the field is an aversion to macho culture only to the extent that "might makes right" (i.e. "we do it because we can") is macho culture. I don't think they're appropriate in the workplace, but I'm not put off by sexist jokes, assumptions that I will fail (if anything, I've been treated too "delicately") and what-have-you.

Re:Before you start complaining... (2)

stdarg (456557) | about 5 months ago | (#47281359)

It's never too early to start complaining. The criticism of "separate but equal" in education was that the "equal" part is a myth. Now we are experimenting with "separate and explicitly unequal" in education. Awesome.

And I think you're wrong about what a successful outcome of this experiment suggests. If you provide a different environment for women to study CS, and then they like it, they may just like the new environment, not the CS part. A credit is a credit. If you have to fulfill some science/math requirement (based on a recent article that said CS qualified as a science credit for high school graduation in Georgia from what I recall), you'll take the awesome course with extra funding that gets you field trips and free pizza whether you like the subject or not.

Re:Before you start complaining... (0)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#47281605)

I've wondered for awhile if I'm the only one that noticed that segregation in itself isn't wrong. The reason the Supreme Court banned it was that people are assholes and refuse to make the separate equal.

Right?

But Statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281627)

The stats show that women are under-represented in IT. It doesn't matter if women are over-represented in some other fields. What matters is guaranteed outcomes, not equal opportunity.

The clear answer is that some male IT workers are going to have to get gender reassigned. We can't wait generations for this obviously discriminatory field to fix itself. Also, we need to balance the number of males and females born every year. It should be 50/50. That would be fair.

Re:But Statistics (2)

Rei (128717) | about 5 months ago | (#47281711)

Some of the leading computer pioneers already have [wikipedia.org] . ;) Willingly or not [dailymail.co.uk] .

I know a couple trans women from Canada who use the phrase "tall woman with a laptop" as code for other trans women. Because apparently if you see a tall woman using a laptop in a public place, odds are abnormally high that she's trans. ;)

Re:Before you start complaining... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47281361)

The right environment would imply replacing parents, so this feels very half-hearted (and unfairly discriminatory against boys who can't be blamed for many girls having idiotic parents, but will be affected by it anyway).

Re:Before you start complaining... (3, Insightful)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 5 months ago | (#47281375)

Who knows if there's something genetic but there's obviously something cultural. Most women don't strive to immerse themselves in a culture that is predominated by socially awkward beta males. I don't understand why nobody accepts this obvious explanation for the lack of women.

Re:Before you start complaining... (3, Interesting)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47281475)

Maybe because the socially awkward arrested-development cases so common in IT don't want to face the fact their they're the problem.

Re:Before you start complaining... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281637)

So I'm the problem because I finally found a job where I fit in?

Re:Before you start complaining... (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 5 months ago | (#47281705)

It's obvious even in that little social microcosm of society we call high school. The beta males cliques gather in the library or the computer lab or wherever to do their nerdy things...maybe play Magic, or D&D, or whatever. At best there's what? Maybe there's one or two equally beta females hanging out with that group (if any). And it's certainly not because they're conspiring to exclude girls. In fact, they'd be happy if there were more among them. I know this because I was one of those kids and so were a lot of us here.

I have a better idea (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 5 months ago | (#47281545)

Why doesn't someone put fifty million into figuring our why fewer young men are graduating from universities than ever before, instead of trying to "lean in" on what feminists perceive as "soft skill white collar" industries.

Sounds good?

Re:Before you start complaining... (2)

jc42 (318812) | about 5 months ago | (#47281601)

... wait to see if this increases the number of women taking these courses and going into CS. If it does then that suggests that women are interested and just needed the right environment or some encouragement. If it doesn't we can conclude that they just are not interested because of genetics or whatever.

Sorry, but women aren't interested or not interested in CS, or any other topic. A woman might be interested, and another woman might not be interested. But implying that women as a class are or aren't interested is sexist in the extreme.

No matter what we do, many women will never be interested in such geeky stuff, just as many men aren't. To be successful, we should introduce any subject to young people in general, and encourage those who find it interesting, regardless of their sexual organs (which really have little to do with their mental abilities ;-). And for the others, find subjects that they find interesting and encourage them to follow those.

(Of course, to function well in modern society, we should try to instill a bit of understanding of a lot of topics in any young people able to understand them. But that's a different topic than finding those who can go deeply into a specific topic.)

Blocky? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281151)

They seem to be backing googles blocky instead of MIT's Scratch

Is there a downside to this?

Thanks!

Re:Blocky? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47281457)

Yes, that these people probably won't discover Smalltalk afterwards.

Not this again.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281159)

Why is it that guys are being singled out again in this age of equality?

This initiative is just more proof that girls are more equal than guys.

Re: Not this again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281193)

Age of equality? You must be joking!

Re:Not this again.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281255)

Because we need more vaginas in CS I guess. I think these nerds believe the only way they will get laid is if they teach chicks to code and force them to sit in the same cubicle farm with them. Its the only explanation because ones genitalia has nothing to do with actually coding.

Re:Not this again.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281281)

Your sexual organs are on the wrong side of your pelvis. You are lucky we allow you to live. Better be quiet or we will euthanize you on preemptive charges of rape, assault and battery.

Re:Not this again.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281463)

You know the Democrats have hit rock bottom when they are pandering literally to the queers and pansy...

Re:Not this again.... (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#47281655)

What does that prove? And "pander" is an emotionally loaded word...but you're using "queers and pansy [sic]" so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

You're assuming a base morality that a lot of Slashdotters don't share.

Sexist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281181)

The program makes all sorts of sexist assumptions like 'how to make bracelets', Dance games, etc. It automatically assumes that girls will only be interested in fluff projects not real world problems or the day to day grind of coding.

They need to show all sides of the industry instead of trying to candy coat it.

spoiler (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281215)

most of the guys currently dominating c.s. learned to code in their parents' basement when they were 12, because they wanted to. they didn't (and perhaps still don't) care about money. sure, if you give people enough money they'll do what you want them to do, but it will never be the same.

Re:spoiler (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 5 months ago | (#47281285)

That sounds like the older generation. The modern-day "brogrammers" don't fit that profile at all.

Re:spoiler (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281397)

Those fucking douche monkeys should all be sterilized so they can't reproduce another generation of fucking shitty ass javascript and ruby programmers.

I can say for certain, that in the world of Enterprise-level IT and application development, these people do not stand a chance.

Want to code? (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 5 months ago | (#47281221)

Are you a girl? Great! Here's all kinds of grant money to help people make that happen.

Are you a boy? Get out of my classroom, if we have too many of you it will threaten our grant money.

That's "progress" for you.

Re:Want to code? (0)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 5 months ago | (#47281267)

Yeah, pretty disgusting.

Re:Want to code? (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 months ago | (#47281309)

No, it's more like "why is ~50% of the country not pursuing IT?" Seeing as IT is fantastically important to today's economy, and half of the population just isn't interested in taking part in it, it seems like an issue that should be researched. This is one way to do that. You can act all put upon and oppressed, but as you're not, you just sound like one of the people who causes people to think IT is full of socially-awkward neckbeards who think they're special.

Re:Want to code? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281435)

Really? Men are not put upon?

So, here we have a situation where it is explicitly stated that no resources will be used for males, yet all kinds will be spent on females. How is this not blatant discrimination? It sounds very similar to "Blacks need not apply" signs.

But, yes, you're right. Men have had it so good for so long (this is very debatable), that clearly they can never have any grievances about the state of society. Ever.

Re: Want to code? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281499)

You sound so put upon. I don't see many male politicians talk about vasectomies or the fact that women have held any rights in America for less than 100 years. But when someone invests in a minority cause you're all up in arms about it. Get over yourself and your mysoginist attitudes and start doing something more positive than complaining.

Re: Want to code? (3, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 5 months ago | (#47281647)

You sound so put upon. I don't see many male politicians talk about vasectomies or the fact that women have held any rights in America for less than 100 years.

"Catharine Esther Beecher, daughter of Lyman Beecher, the preacher and revivalist, feared that woman suffrage heralded an imminent national crisis challenging the “most sacred interests of woman and of the family state.”
She pointed out that under New York State law women had more advantages than men had.

A woman had unlimited and independent control of her property but regardless of how rich a wife was, the husband had to support her and the children. It had also become easier for a woman than for a man to obtain a divorce."

"Almost immediately after the April committee meetings, Helena Gilder detailed the reasons she opposed woman suffrage in a long letter to her dearest friend , Mary Hallock Foote...

She , like many other anti-suffragists, believed in an inextricable link between military service and voting; only a person able to sacrifice himself on the battlefield earned the right to vote."

"In view of the privileges they already had women did not need political rights. Mariana Van Rensselaer articulated her particular views about women in articles for the New York World in May and June 1894;...She considered the enfranchisement of millions of women a risk not worth taking. Women already held more privileges than men under the law.

Specifically, Van Rensselaer wrote, a woman had control of her earnings, her personal property, and any real estate she owned. She could carry on a business or profession, she had no responsibility for her husband’s debts, and she was not required to support him.

She could sue and be sued, and she could make contracts. She had no obligation to serve on juries. With her husband she had equal rights to their children and, yet, he was obligated to support her and her children. Women were entitled to alimony in the event of a divorce, while a man could not ask for alimony.

She was entitled to one third of her husband’s real estate upon his death, but he was not entitled to her property after death if there were no children. Van Rensselaer concluded that the distribution of labor and privileges between women and men seemed fair, that the different roles of women and men were critically important, and that it was “slander” to claim that men did not already take good care of women."

But when someone invests in a minority cause

Except women are literally in the majority in the US. Men are the minority.

Re: Want to code? (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 5 months ago | (#47281703)

They don't talk about tubectomies either and there are plenty of female pro-lifers (I guess you want to take away their vote because they're electing people you don't like to represent them?). I'm not sure why any politician would be talking about something that happened to women 100 years ago nor why you are bringing it up. I am assuming that you mean about the time men got conscripted to go die and shortly thereafter women were given the vote.

51% of the population can hardly be considered a minority. Get over yourself and your simplistic worldviews and start doing something more positive than calling people names.

Re:Want to code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281439)

More special than the people who have to be convinced to do the work that others already want to do.

Re:Want to code? (1, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47281479)

No, it's more like "why is ~50% of the country not pursuing IT?"

Because when people find out that anything useful in CS that nobody has ever done before requires actual math knowledge, most of them will are stumped.

Re:Want to code? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47281493)

s/will//

Re:Want to code? (-1, Flamebait)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47281489)

You're right of course, and Tridus gets uprated to 5, insightful illustrating the problem with IT people perfectly. In many ways IT people are just as bad as your typical right-wing asshole. They do not want to see anything done to help marginalized people.

Thanks Stoner Dave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281495)

Wow, you are so empathic. I bet sunsets make you cry.

The question 'Why is ~50% of the country not pursuing IT?' is just plain stupid:
- It suggests that ~50% is pursuing IT, which is provably false. IT makes up a very small percentage of the population, the economy, business expenses, etc.
- It suggests that there is something systemic preventing those ~50% from pursuing IT. There isn't. I've worked with females, everywhere I've ever worked.

Pointing out hypocrisy as Tridus did is not acting all put upon and oppressed. It is merely pointing out hypocrisy and futility.

The term 'American woman' is quickly becoming an oxymoron as they race to the bottom to become more like men.

Re:Want to code? (1)

ilparatzo (3627897) | about 5 months ago | (#47281509)

Sure, the writer isn't put upon, it's the teenage boy who doesn't get into his CS class even though he's passionate about it so that a girl that may or may not even want to go down that path can. But we don't care about him so much, as he's part of that big bad demographic that has had so many benefits for so long. Poor him, he can pay for the transgressions of his gender.

Instead of trying to see why girls aren't going into IT and to find ways to get them interested in it, this instead is just spending money to cram girls into the field. How about we say that any woman in an IT job automatically makes 20% more then the men in the same position? Just give them enough money that whether they enjoy the work or not, they'll do it. Then we'll have all of these women in IT and everything will be great!

Re:Want to code? (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#47281525)

Seeing as IT is fantastically important to today's economy, and half of the population just isn't interested in taking part in it, it seems like an issue that should be researched. This is one way to do that.

They aren't "researching", they are recruiting and trying to change the statistics.

You can act all put upon and oppressed

I don't feel oppressed. I just think it's profoundly stupid to try to mess with people's free career choices.

Re:Want to code? (3, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | about 5 months ago | (#47281749)

No, it's more like "why is ~50% of the country not pursuing IT?"

Nah; it's more like 99%. The majority of young men are also not very interested in becoming computer geeks.

The problem is that young women are being systematically discouraged from even trying to be part of the 1%. This is, of course, not restricted to just CS/IT topics.

Re:Want to code? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#47281751)

"why is ~50% of the country not pursuing IT?"

and half of the population just isn't interested in taking part in it,

Answered your own question there, buddy.

Re:Want to code? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47281319)

Right, because that stupid hypothetical "evil affirmative action" scenario has ever happened to any of us.

I get and even endorse the principal you're espousing. Equality is a high value, and doing it wrong can hurt it's own objective. But ridiculous hyperbole just makes you come across as completely disinterested in the actual idea, and only concerned with a the argument as a matter of convenience to your own interests.

Re:Want to code? (2)

neoform (551705) | about 5 months ago | (#47281611)

How is it hyperbole? The very existence of this program guaranties this is happening.

The only reason people aren't turned away is because they weren't allowed to apply in the first place, so they didn't.

Re:Want to code? (1)

akume325 (1397865) | about 5 months ago | (#47281377)

You obviously have no problem with this being a sausage party.

Re:Want to code? (0)

netsavior (627338) | about 5 months ago | (#47281483)

More like "Are you a boy? Great, enjoy the 900,000 year head-start.

Re:Want to code? (2, Interesting)

JeffSh (71237) | about 5 months ago | (#47281503)

That's what women would have you believe, but they are experts in manipulating men to feel we're in charge. It's not the case, women have been running the show for the entire time. They are just smart enough to understand the value of subtle action, and humble enough to not demand credit.

Re:Want to code? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#47281607)

They want you to believe that...

Re:Want to code? (1)

BergZ (1680594) | about 5 months ago | (#47281513)

I read the headline and knew right then that somebody would find a way to turn this good news into something to complain about.

Re:Want to code? (1)

cornicefire (610241) | about 5 months ago | (#47281549)

It's all about hating on the boys. Do they have any programs to get men interested in other topics? Nope. Do they do anything to help boys? Nope. But somehow they want to drive the boys out of the classroom.

Re:Want to code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281599)

Insofar as too many boys indicates that you're not using the money properly, that's correct.

Thin end of the wedge (0, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47281237)

They'll be letting them drive and vote next, just you watch.

Re:Thin end of the wedge (2)

stdarg (456557) | about 5 months ago | (#47281387)

Ah, the good old days, when civil rights activists fought for equality. Much better than today where the fight is typically for special rights and inequality.

Re:Thin end of the wedge (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47281521)

>Much better than today where the fight is typically for special rights and inequality.

No it's not. That's just something the ignorant conservatives claim as they see their white christianist privilege fading. Have you immersed yourself in the wingnut hate-radio/loon-blog/Fox News subculture?

Sexism (5, Informative)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47281249)

End of story.

Re:Sexism (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47281399)

Sexism was also the beginning of the story. And this argument rings hollow, because if you break it down, it leads to supporting theses that suggest you don't actually care about sexism.

The apparent rational(without being a mind reader, and knowing what lead you to assert "end of story) looks like this:
"Why are you trying to encourage more [massively underrepresented group X] into [profession Y]? That's discriminatory to [group !X]"
"Isn't it fair to expect people to get a proportional piece of the [Y pie]?"
"No, that's [!X]ist! Can't you just accept that there are fundamental and genetic/congenital differences between [X] and [!X] that affect their ability to [Y]???"

It's self defeating to claim sexism, since the argument apparently is predicated on sexism. And the "end of story" part just makes it seem you don't want attention drawn to that fact. If you believe that sexism is actually wrong as a basis to your argument, and are not just using that as an argument of convenience, we need to understand what non-sexist assertion you replace the third line with.

Re:Sexism (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 5 months ago | (#47281551)

I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Re:Sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281737)

me neither, but -as other posters on previous stories have pointed out- WHY no big recruitment drive to get men into what have been seen as woman's career paths ? ? ?
nursing, teaching, etc ? ? ?
IF NOT having 'equal' percentage of genders in ANY career is a 'bad' thing (and it isn't, but let's pretend it is), WHY no bitching and moaning about how society is worse off because of THAT ? ? ?
evidently, sauce for the goose, is NOT sauce for the gander...

Re:Sexism (1)

neoform (551705) | about 5 months ago | (#47281653)

>"Why are you trying to encourage more [massively underrepresented group X] into [profession Y]? That's discriminatory to [group !X]"

Underrepresented? Why not ask *why* it's underrepresented, maybe then you'll see that there's a simple lack of interest.

Where's the big push to get men working as nurses, librarians, grade-school teachers, secretaries, and any number of other female dominated professions? Oh, because talking about that is *sexist*.

Re:Sexism (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47281747)

We do ask why, a lot of what we've seen implies early childhood cultural factors. But it would be a lot easier on the relatively simple-minded to assume girls are just different.

"Simple lack of interest" is such bullshit, because it absolves you of the actual question of what drives interest.

Re:Sexism (1)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | about 5 months ago | (#47281695)

ability to [Y] != desire to [Y]. Assuming that every [group X] should have equal representation in [profession Y] is to assume that every [group X] has roughly the same number of members who want to do [profession Y]. Also, examples of countries where [group X] has equal representation in [profession Y] do not prove this assumption, either. For all we know, it may be that [profession Y] is merely seen as lucrative, and therefore members of [group X] are willing to do [profession Y] to make ends meet. They only way to truly know what members of [group X] want is to see what they would do if they had enough money to pursue whatever interest they want. And if different groups pursue different interests, it is not sexist to say that the differences in interests may have a genetic basis.

Re:Sexism (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 5 months ago | (#47281567)

Or they are trying to push down the programmer wages from $70-120K to $50-100K?

Re:Sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281651)

They've already been doing that with visas and exporting.

4 words... +5 informative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281719)

Slashdot is just a waste of time.

What the fuck happened to you, man? Shit, your ass used to be beautiful!

Only the ugly (-1, Flamebait)

Pro923 (1447307) | about 5 months ago | (#47281251)

A girl would have to be pretty ugly to want to learn how to code. I can't think of another reason why a girl would want to do something that is hard, and uses logic - which goes against her nature. If I were a girl, I'm pretty sure that I'd go the "latch on to a rich guy" route instead of doing something that is difficult and not fun.

When all else fails... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281253)

...throw money at the problem. Except they aren't giving money to the students, but to the teachers. Hmmm.

Prejudical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281311)

If you don't have the self starting initiative and willing to take the lumps to do something, get out of the way. A forked version of affirmative action corporately sponsored and cheer leaded by wonks.

Make the playing field even or not at all.

Where is the WASP / European-lineaged male initiative?

So women are less than men... again? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281339)

So now Google thinks they need to pay women to learn to code? What an absolutely sexist campaign. Women are plenty capable of learning to code, they don't need cash payouts by patriarchal companies; this is akin to prostitution and Google should be ashamed.

Re:So women are less than men... again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281531)

They need more programmers to further water down the wages and the H-1B visa program doesn't have enough open spots to properly serve that purpose. It's like when they brought in female teachers to water down the salary of male teachers. Nobody really benefited except for the people paying for the teachers.

achieve moneyshots with schoolgirls - what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281345)

>> ...girls...drive mumble collamumble efforts to achieve major 'moonshots' in education

Sorry, did you say that you wanted to achieve moneyshots with schoolgirls?

Doomed to fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281373)

Unless people have changed, good programmers - and I'd count myself in those ranks in my past - don't need to be encouraged. I'd have cut off my arm in my younger days to get access to what people have for free now.

Based on my interactions with students through robotics programs, etc, the kids that are going to do this are going to do it anyway.

This is good money after bad. Girls that are going to code will do so anyway; nobody is crying about the lack of men in primary education or nursing. Coding is a solitary endeavor and very little is going to change about that. I recall the millions spent on "women in engineering" programs - and by and large, those percentages haven't moved either.

Would love to be wrong.. but I doubt it.

It will never work (5, Insightful)

Raseri (812266) | about 5 months ago | (#47281391)

There's been an ever-increasing push over the last 10 or 12 years to get more girls and women into tech, with almost no visible results; in fact, the number of women in tech has been declining for decades. This seems odd at first, but the reason this push is constantly being attempted at all is that it's part of a larger effort to increase the pool of applicants and decrease salaries. It's the same reason that Facebook, Google, et al. want to increase the number of H1-B visa workers.

There is nothing stopping a girl or woman from learning programming/networking/etc. if she wants to, and these increasingly bizarre, desperate, and creepy attempts to lure in women will end up pushing away the ones who might have pursued tech careers otherwise.

Really? (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 5 months ago | (#47281579)

My salary has been steadily increasing and I certainly haven't found that there are skilled developers sitting idle at home. I can collect a small fortune in placement fees, if only I know some out-of-work developers I wouldn't be ashamed to recommend.

The simple fact from where I am standing is: There is a lot of work and there are not enough skilled people to do it yet we are only using 50% of the population.

But the sector has a massive negative image. Not even so much anti-women as anti-human. If you don't fight for yourself you won't get raises by just doing a good job and managers will happily have you do 80 hours with no compensation if they can get away with it. So a LOT of good developers I know have started their own businesses to get out of the rat race. You really got to love coding to stay with it when you can make money in consulting.

But part of the problem is the gigantic hatred you see on this site and sites like tweakers any time a story of this kind comes up. "The girls are getting some money, UNFAIR!". Crybabies. There are tons of initiatives to promote coding in general, plenty of competitions if you so wish, plenty of events to visit often with booth babes. No booth boys.

Let it go! Or at least accept that if this news story makes your blood boil, you got issues. And your issues are poisoning your work place or are even the reason you can't find a job despite your leet skills.

Nobody with real skills fears competition. If you see a new employee as anything but "FINALLY, some HELP, here is ticket 1000-9999, I take the remaining 1 million until you are up to speed", you are not a developer, real developers don't have enough spare time to worry about their jobs.

Why I don't buy the misogyny argument (5, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 5 months ago | (#47281411)

I don't blame misogyny for girls not getting into programming, because I don't think computer programming is necessarily characterized by social interaction. The lone "cowboy[/cowgirl] coder" is much more of the norm than our zealous gender imbalance adjusters think.

When I was getting into programming in the 90's I certainly didn't rely on anybody else's affirmation -- I learned how to program sitting by myself at my computer(s) with very little in the way of two way communication with the outside world. I realize it's not the 90's anymore, but the argument that says you have to have a vibrant Twitter presence and go to local programmer meetups to be a coder today is, quite frankly, hogwash. It's about the code, friend.

Here's another theory that I will probably be flamed for -- maybe girls don't get into programming as often for the same reason that female deer don't bash heads against each other as often as the males do. Maybe it boils down to testosterone. Males of many species have an impulsive drive to accomplish certain things, and in humans' case this is largely independent of intellectual aptitude. Yes, girls are smart. Many could be good programmers. But do they want to? Are they driven to? Am I (at least partially) driven to my peculiar lifestyle of being glued to a screen and eschewing much social interaction because of testosterone? ("Yeah, you'd like to _think_ so" I can hear my naysayer naysaying.) But these are questions I honestly ask.

Re:Why I don't buy the misogyny argument (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#47281583)

I don't blame misogyny for girls not getting into programming, because I don't think computer programming is necessarily characterized by social interaction.

I do. Look at the first post on this article for an example. For that matter, look at the first response to that post as well. Immediately, Slashdot readers (who we *used to* expect more from) objectified all of these women. Twice. Before anyone else could make a remotely educated comment.

Re:Why I don't buy the misogyny argument (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 5 months ago | (#47281671)

I agree that misogyny exists, as our fine Slashdot trolls demonstrated above; but I disagree that it is the cause of girls not getting into programming, for the reasons I described in my post. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion.

Re:Why I don't buy the misogyny argument (2)

sribe (304414) | about 5 months ago | (#47281673)

Before anyone else could make a remotely educated comment.

Educated comments take more time to compose ;-)

Re:Why I don't buy the misogyny argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281691)

Flame you? Heck no! Yes, it IS about the code. Anybody who doesn't realize you have to produce, and produce well (not just a lot of it), just does not get it.
This idea of "encouraging" females to program reads like affirmative action 2.0. Version 1.0 was, by the way, racist.

You either have a level playing field or you don't.

WAY too many times, I see "getting even" being disguised as "getting equal". Why do I, who has never made crude jokes to a woman in the workplace, have to pay for the idiocy of other males who were being jerks? Why do I have to get smeared with the same paintbrush? Why do I have to pay for past sins that neither I, nor any member of my family for generations past, ever committed? (E.G. slavery - all of my relatives farmed their own land, thank you).

Grace Hoppper would be PISSED (3, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 5 months ago | (#47281527)

She would most likely start cutting down one of her microseconds to strangle some folks. We don't need to do stuff like this we need to get kids to learn from the beginning that

1 Girls are not SEX OBJECTS
2 Smart and Pretty are not exclusive of each other
3 Some girls can do Math and some boys can't do Math (and science and tech and...)

Article -1 Troll (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#47281575)

offered lower funding or no funding at all to teachers if participation by female students was deemed unacceptable

So basically the headline is completely debunked by the third sentence of the summary. It is NOT "all."

Re:Article -1 Troll (1)

sribe (304414) | about 5 months ago | (#47281697)

So basically the headline is completely debunked by the third sentence of the summary.

The third sentence refers to prior programs, not this one. So how "similar" is this one? We can't tell from the summary.

Fur it (1)

Almost-Retired (637760) | about 5 months ago | (#47281581)

I am for it, as long as it isn't also construed to discourage the boys. That's the last thing we need to do to our "educational" indoctrination system.

In fact, anything that undoes the dumbing down to match the lowest achievers that has been done in the last 80 years or more needs to be undone itself.
Reading comprehension for instance, went down when they dropped phonics back in the 40's. That was a monumental mistake IMO. So now, in 2014, we have 3+ generations of people who cannot read the daily fish wrap in 15 minutes, even if it doesn't have anything in it but Ford advertisements. Not only that, but the writers (I hesitate to call them Journalists) of 75% of that drivel have no real command of the English language, both in terms of sentence structure, and spelling.

Our present system sits heavily on those blessed with a high IQ, teaching them how to scam for welfare rather than how to use those smarts to move us ahead.
I don't personally care if the child with a lower IQ ever "graduates" from high school. But the child with an IQ in the 150 range looks at the subjects being required today, is bored out of his skull, and gets a poorer grade because he just doesn't care, there are many more important things to think about than a geography lesson based on a book whose copyright is 40 years old & 20% of the countries discussed don't even exist today.

I know something about that since I was one of "those kids". I quit school as soon as I could, and went to work fixing the then new tv's in the late '40's. Since, I've had fingerprints in some very unusual places, and eventually retired from a nearly 20 year stint as the very well paid, 30% above what the market size usually pays, Chief Engineer at a TV station.

Its a very short push to my 80th and having just survived a Pulmonary Embolism that about punched my ticket, I'm less inclined to STFU when something isn't right.

Opportunity / Outcome (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 5 months ago | (#47281603)

I am all for intervention to ensure equal opportunity.

But I am opposed to interventions to manipulate equal outcomes.

Re:Opportunity / Outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281733)

Well said!!

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