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A Gianotto - 2006-10-24 03:39:04
.... I don't think we need to have our own group. There are several women in the PHP channel I frequent (and am an op in), and speaking as a woman in the PHP field, I don't think we need our own communities. Most women in programming (and yes, there are proportionally fewer of us) have no problem working with men in this field.
I have always considered the Internet the great equalizer - it doesn't matter what my gender is.
As a (very busy) female PHP programmer, I can't imagine finding the time to participate in yet another community, especially one that would have such a smaller scope.
We're all programmers, male and female - isn't that enough?
Manuel Lemos - 2006-10-24 04:10:26 - In reply to message 2 from A Gianotto
Good question, but I think that is not the purpose of the PHPWomen initiative.
This may not be the case where you live and work, but the fact is that in many places the proportion of women that give talks or attend PHP conferences is much smaller than those that actually develop in PHP to make a living.
Another fact presented by the PHPWomen founders is that some women feel discouraged to follow a software development career because traditionally that dominated by men.
From what I understood, the purpose of the initiative is to encourage more women to participate actively in the PHP community.
Once the initiative becomes successful setting the example demonstrating that women can be as relevant as men, and are very welcome at conferences, user groups, magazines, etc.., I am sure that we will all start see many female talents being revealed, sharing work and knowledge that the whole PHP community will benefit.
Kat Reeve - 2006-10-24 12:35:08 - In reply to message 2 from A Gianotto
To paraphrase their about us page
"aim is to provide a network of support and mentorship to women, help women become more involved with PHP, increase our numbers at conferences as speakers and attendees, and provide a “female friendly” atmosphere."
thus said i like to talk about more than just php and find that alot of guys cant relate to what i want to talk to so getting to know people that both understand the coding and other stuff is a bonus in my point of view.. though i dont think its about treating us women any differently just providing a new outlet for us and for those that dont feel comfortable surrounded in a chat room full of guys.. (not that its all that bad i might add)
anyways, I think its a good idea and thusly have joined their forums too :)
Ligaya Turmelle - 2006-10-24 12:35:33 - In reply to message 2 from A Gianotto
Yes we we are all programmers male and female. And yes the internet can be a great equalizer since a gender normally isn't exposed unless one chooses to let that information out.
But I must admit that to a newcomer - male or female - the IRC channels, mailing lists an various forums can be rather harsh (I'm on ##php on freenode and as much as I love those guys - they can be rather "short tempered") and at times intimidating (for the newness sake if nothing else).
We are here to help any woman that wants to learn but finds the "great wilds" a bit intimidating or would simply feel more comfortable asking other women especially at the beginning. We also hope to help the women find mentors no matter the stage of their career. I could never have come as far and as fast as I did without mine and I still talk and ask questions of them when I need it. I want to give someone else this same advantage as do many of the other women.
We don't require any woman to participate in any way more then they can or want to. Many women simply fail to realize how many others are out there and are simply looking for a connection. A place where they can be more then a programmer - they can be themselves and talk about anything they wish. I am hoping we turn into the kind of site where you can ask questions about implementing an Active Record pattern or how to juggle family and work or how to start your own business or how to connect to a database or where to find a good recipe for christmas cookies. But that is my hope. We will see where we actually go.
A Gianotto - 2006-10-24 15:22:57 - In reply to message 5 from Ligaya Turmelle
I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree. I am an op in ##php on freenode, and as you said, it is the newness - or rather the inability to ask intelligent questions - that sets more people off in there than gender. And if that's the case, women-only (or men-only or whatever-only) group wouldn't matter, only how you approach that group with your questions. So it sound to me like its being implied that women will be more tolerant of questions asked in an unhelpful, impatient manner, since thats where I see the conflicts in IRC, chat, forums, etc.
I don't know - my personal feeling is that if you're (the general you, not *you* you) so easily intimidated by talking to men about technology, you probably won't last long in this business anyway.
When I started in technology, there were no women's groups, and I managed just fine because I didn't see my gender as something that separated me from my fellow geeks.
I understand many of you may not agree with me - but it's how I feel.
Elizabeth Naramore - 2006-10-24 15:23:44 - In reply to message 2 from A Gianotto
Thanks for your comment, and I do appreciate what you're saying. The purpose of the group was certainly not meant to segregate ourselves, it’s main purpose was to just help us not feel so isolated in such a male-dominated industry, and really to gauge how many women are actually out there and programming PHP. That’s all – no feminist hard feelings or anything like that.
To quote another female-oriented group (Women in Technology International) - their tag line is "build. empower. inspire." - add to that "connect. learn. enjoy." and I think you've summed up what we're about.
Christopher Scaife - 2006-10-29 14:44:20 - In reply to message 3 from Manuel Lemos
What utter nonsense! People can participate without revealing their gender. It's only a sad sick mind that has to make everything into a sexist issue :-P
Kat Reeve - 2006-10-29 22:07:43 - In reply to message 8 from Christopher Scaife
its not about making it a "sexist issue"
its about offering something extra for those who want it
Elizabeth Naramore - 2006-10-29 23:32:00 - In reply to message 8 from Christopher Scaife
Christopher, which post are you referring to, or are you referring to the idea in general? As I stated, the point of the group is not to make it a sexist issue and we're not calling anybody sexists, or male chauvinists or anything of the sort. Of course people can produce code and participate on IRC without revealing their gender, but I'm not really sure what that has to do with anything. One goal (of many) of the group is that we can freely discuss issues like balancing work and family and things like that, that we might not be able to discuss in other outlets. For instance, if I posted a question to a typical board about changes in an employer's attitude after I had a baby, most of the guys would be like WTF are you talking about?
I'm confused why it matters anyway. Would I be offended if a group of African Americans started their own PHP group? Of course not. Would I be offended if people in Rhode Island started their own PHP group? Of course not. Would I be offended if people over 50 started their own PHP group? Of course not. Every group has issues that only they understand and have to deal with, why not celebrate the fact that it furthers the PHP cause instead of making a big deal about why it's a bad idea?