Thoughts: Being a woman software engineer

Dana
2 min readMar 5, 2023

I thought I write a post in reflection to this post “A Look at Gender Demographics in the Developer Community, Part 1”.

As a woman who’s been a software engineer (swe) for over 4 years, I got in as a career transition from academics. There could be a combination of reasons for why there’s less women in the swe industry, and I think one part of it is potentially that the field of swe did not seemed to be as inviting, like math wasn’t as inviting to me growing up. Most of the guys in my classes were the top performers in maths, and I always thought I’m like Amy Tan and my skill was writing. But later on I found programming and I really enjoyed it.

Most of the people I worked with early on were mostly males, and because I played a male dominant sport, I was used to being one of the very few females in a group. But I would say that in terms of mentorship I got a bit of it, but it did feel that during my time getting into the field, it was both a battle of filling in gaps of knowledge, adjusting to corporate culture, adopting a new identity of being a “technical” person, and also trying to push through even though there was little representation of my gender and/or race. But I still haven’t given up, and if it weren’t for those early years 5–6 years ago when online learning took off, and focus on teaching folks how to learn became a thing, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

And I hope that more people with empathetic mindsets and technical inclination do step up into the field because it opens the doors of software engineering industry from what I earlier on perceived as a simply cold calculated field to one where it’s about innovation and creativity.

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Dana

a person with wanderlust and medium-size dreams, sharing her suffering and joy with the world through words