Thoughts of a Female Programmer

I love programming. I love the feel of taking a couple of commands and making any computer do what I command it to do. I love the idea of how only a few pieces of code can create an entire environment that other people can use if they wish. I love the feel of knowing that if I work hard enough on my code, I will get to my goal eventually. The only wrong answers about programming are that the program doesn’t work and that’s what makes me want to figure out how to make it work. If I cannot figure out what is wrong with my code, I can rely on a very helpful community that are willing to help those who are learning and want to continue to learn about programming.  

At the moment, though, I only have one concern about the profession of Computer Science or any programming career. That being, I feel like I can’t be a woman in this field. Computer Science is a very male-dominated profession and it shows by how many men are in the courses or just in any working environment. I’m not mad at that, but being a woman in that kind of environment makes it more intimidating to be in that career field. For me personally, I started to try to look and feel nice about myself whether that be to wear nice clothes or just to wear makeup to my Computer Science classes. When I do wear makeup, I feel slightly judged by it. The few women in those courses usually don’t wear makeup or they wear some eyeliner and mascara. I feel them judging me more harshly because I’m going above and beyond just some eyeliner and mascara. As for the men in those classes, I feel like they slightly judge much less than the women do because they usually don’t care about their other classmate's appearances unless it's dramatic. However, I do feel like I don’t belong there because I try my best to look nice. 

This can be just the stigma of the American society that if you wear makeup or care about your appearance in any way, you can’t be that intelligent. Now, I have judged someone as well when I see women who wear makeup in a science class. I did mentally judge them for only caring for their looks and that’s not right. I shouldn’t think that since someone cares about one thing, they can’t be passionate about something else, like programming or mathematics. I believe that we, as a society, need to also show that women should be comfortable to look however they want and not have that be held against them when they are trying to achieve something great. Just like those women from Hidden Figures. All three of those women strut their stuff and showed that they weren’t just pretty girls in some lipstick and heels. They demonstrated that they can do more than look pretty, they make sure that everyone knew they were there to work and get the right result to get that man on the into space and back safely.  

So, to those who feel the same way in whatever field, whether in a science field or not, you go out there and you rock that Two-Faced eyeshadow palette. You put on that red lipstick with those nice jeans and with your hair done and you get that degree or you make that money. You show those people that wearing makeup isn’t the only thing that defines me. My brain is just as perfect as my makeup and they both will help create something as great.