Import Soul
 
It is rather publicly acknowledged that there is gender imbalance in the male-dominated IT industry. As a girl who is very much into programming and is reading HN daily, I often come across articles regarding girls coming together to announce things like 'Yes girls can program' and 'We feel out of place because there are so many men around.'

And here is another link I found this morning: Geek Chicks: A Gang of Female Computer Programmers.

I have personally been a computer science student, and later in the IT industry for a few years, growing from a web developer into a current Java/Clojure async/grid systems builder. To be honest, I have never felt THAT out of place in the office. Yes, there are always more men around. But just as Mr. Robert Obreczarek rightfully pointed out in the article linked above: It makes no difference to me [if you're a man or woman] if you know your shit, in a job, it really doesn't matter whether you are a man or a woman, as long as you do good work, that is enough to get you blended in.

I frequently go out for drinks with (ex)-colleagues who are mostly blokes in nice pubs and discuss programming languages, paradigms and methods. To me, talking about Python generators/Clojure macros etc. makes me feel comfortable and at home. It does not matter whether I'm holding the conversation and discussion with a fellow woman or not. As long as my programming companion is passionate about this industry, he/she and I would naturally get along very well.

To not feel like an outsider in a place, is to precisely NOT do what these articles seem to be suggesting - singling yourselves out. Fellow women programmers, if you really do want to feel comfortable and get along with guys and get invited into the men's circles, stop screaming 'I am a woman and please let me in', and simply go along and talk to the guys. They are mostly very nice guys, as far as I've observed.

So PyLadies, or the earlier html/css/javascript ladies, or any other strange female programmer groups, please talk to the guys. It really doesn't matter they are not of the same gender. Geeky men talk about geeky things, and if you are truly geeky, I am sure you would get along with them just as well.

Rant over.