You Can Love Programming Without Loving Star Trek

The IT sector has far more male workers then females. One possible factor in that disparity? The assumption that people who are into programming and other “geeky” topics will also share the same enthusiasms for TV shows and movies.

Picture: Getty Images

In a thought-provoking blog post, programmer Jessica Kerr notes that there is clearly an overlap between programmers and geek culture: “So many geeks code that there’s a stereotype in our culture: programmers like Star Trek and Star Wars.”

However, the fact that the audience for those sci-fi franchises is also predominantly male can make it even harder for women to feel comfortable and productive in programming environments. Not doing that could be helpful, Kerr suggests:

If the geek-culture references reinforce a stereotype that drives potential programmers away before they even get started, maybe I should put away my Picard slide and stop referencing the Prime Directive like everybody knows what that means.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enthuse over those shows; it just means that we need to be more careful about assuming one enthusiasm requires the other. The whole piece is definitely worth a read.

Star Trek and Computer Science [Abstractivate]

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