Women and Code

30 Apr 2009

So I’ve been kind of heads down trying to get metric_fu ready for Rails Conf, so I had only vaguely heard about the recent controversy over Matt Aimonetti’s recent presentation “CouchDB: Perform like a pr0n star.” When someone did mention it to me I thought of David Heinemeier Hansson’s famous “F— You” slide or Zed Shaw’s rants or any given bit of profanity/edginess at Rails conferences and shrugged it off as a bit of a bad idea.

Earlier today we were having our weekly team meeting when the topic of the controversy came up and my friend Leah was quite upset by it. And I realized that she has to deal with a lot of crap everyday being the only female coder in our office, at user groups, in conferences. We’ve had experiences where clients treated her in ways they would never have treated a man. And that sucks.

I’ve read Matt’s post about the experience and I believe he didn’t mean any harm, but I don’t think you can show pictures of mostly naked ladies in a presentation when the female developer community is such a visibly discriminated against minority.