Tiffany B. Brown

On code-cowboys and developers

I believe CS and Web Development currently select for certain masculine qualities that are largely unrelated to someone’s prowess as a coder. I believe it is these tangential code-cowboy qualities women are unable or unwilling to emulate, and not their skill or capacity for abstraction, problem solving, creative thinking, or communication — All of which actually make them better developers.

Right on Nicole Sullivan. (Though I hesitate to call these qualities masculine because it feels essentialist and not culturally-specific.)

3 Responses to “On code-cowboys and developers”

  1. Ms. Jen says:

    I love the link for “Essentialism”, it helped define why I get so unhappy when I go to Deep Geek gatherings, I am not an essentialist.

  2. L.P. says:

    Excellent article. As a woman in CS, I really, really am weary of the “code cowboys” and they are a-plenty. I started my career working in consulting as a (Microsoft technologies-focused) developer… And the sink or swim tactics were all we had. The few girls on my team will always complain and demand documentation be done, but of course that was seen as “lesser work”… The more convoluted the function or method, the better it “seemed”… *smh*… Thank God for an excellent (male) mentor who emphasized CLEAR and CONCISE code and constant referencing of said code in proper documents…

    Good stuff.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “CLEAR and CONCISE code and constant referencing of said code in proper documents…”

    absolutely. somebody has to maintain that mess. clear, concise and *DOCUMENTED* is greater than obfuscation. always. … unless, of course, the goal is to prove your own cleverness, not write maintainable code.