S/he or cherchez la femme

Last Monday, I “ve been watching live Sys-Con coverage of the AJAX seminar in San Jose. The speakers were great, but beside enjoing the presentations, I was looking for women, or forgive my French, I “ve been cherchez-ing la femme .

When I write my technical articles, I always have this dilemma: often after the words “the user “, I put “he or she will do so and so ” to make sure that the readers won “t assume the most of the users are males. Then I found this nice way to put it: “s/he rdquo;. Some authors are afraid to be proclaimed male chauvinists so they just use “she rdquo; all the time referring to the user or a programmer. Males do no care and will never complain about such “discrimination “.

During the short breaks between the AJAX seminar presentations, the video camera was showing the attendees moving around. Sure, there where some women there. First, I was surprised: how come all the men were dressed down, while all the women were dressed up in a tuxedo-like suites. Then I realized that these women were hotel employees serving water to the attendees.

Finally, I “ve spotted a couple of AJAX-looking women. But the number of those was really small. My statistics is very subjective, but I “d say that men/women ratio at this event was about 25 to 1. Women are smarter than men. They have this special gut feeling that helps them in making the right decisions in life. I “ll join the AJAX camp as soon as I see more ladies there.

I “ll be going to the JavaOne conference next month with a major mission: I “ll be counting women. And if I won “t find enough female Java programmers there, I “ll be seriously considering switching to some other programming language.

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