Code your imagination – why girls do not code?

Once I stumble upon this article and after reading it I also wondered: why girls do not code as much as boys?

What is the question? Is the question in sex-gender? Historically that happened? Or boys are smarter on this issue than girls? Historically those wifely duties were the arrangements of the family and home. And we automatically used to buy dolls, stuffed toys for girls, for boys machines with remote control, lego and so on.

But look what I found, interesting fact from history:

Back in the late 50’s early 60’s, believe it or not, most coders were women. In fact, the first modern programing language COBOL was created by Grace Murray Hooper in 1959. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, an early high-level programming language still in use today.Back then coding and software weren’t deemed to be as important as the hardware side of things and therefore was considered “women’s work.” Even back in the 1980’s up to 30% of women were doing computer science jobs, much more than the 12% today. Interesting? Right?

I’ll tell you my story. I grew up in the 90s in Russia, in post-Soviet Russia. I got my first computer when I went to the 9th grade, so it was the 2000s when in other countries people were already exchanging messages via the Internet. In the beginning, our computer was used only for listening to a music and writing a school essay. I knew nothing about coding, studying programming, moreover, among my classmate’s boys weren’t computer nerds, simply because at that time we did not have all these European coding hobbies. But time passed, and the Internet took over us. But girls also stayed away from these programming things. My generation began to be engaged in programming only on the university benches (2005 year). And only them who chose this specialization, and I think they were not mistaken. Hmm..where was my mind when I applied to the Faculty of History?:)

In Europe, in Finland the situation was better, the Internet came earlier and children began to get involved in all this internet adventure. The world of free education was moving forward.

Now the world is changing every day, our preferences are changing, a woman used to retrain and getting new high technology professions and succeed in this. Now we live in a phase where the computer is no longer something special, it’s our daily need. The Internet is all around the world and is actively used by girls and boys equivalently.

Yes, I think historically it was conditioned that technology is not a woman’s business, but it’s great that now we have come to the point that any person has the right to be who he wants, a hairdresser, a researcher or a mechanic, a cook or a programmer.

Therefore, programming now exists in our Finnish schools. Our kids should learn code just as they should learn mathematics or biology at school.

By the way, I highly recommend to all parents have a look to Linda Liukas’s wonderful book «Hello Ruby»

This book is the excellent way to learn about technology, computing and coding for kids.


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