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Ada Lovelace and Brazil's Female It Pros


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Credit: IT Decisions

When I was studying computer science at college in the UK, one of the things I had to learn was how to write software in the programming language Ada. It's quite hard compared to BASIC or C. Ada is far more rigorous and doesn't allow for the fast and loose coding I liked.

Ada was originally designed by the U.S. Defense Department and named in honour of Ada Lovelace — the first recorded computer programmer, ever. This might be a shock to the predominantly male computer programmers of Brazil. A woman beat you and started cutting code first.

I suspect the computer science higher education classes in Brazil today are still heavily skewed towards men. I suggest you check out the research of Jamie Swim, whose Master's thesis at the University of Texas was entirely focused on female IT professionals in São Paulo. Her research explores a few unusual truths about women working in IT in Brazil:

  • How come women are welcomed into the IT workforce, but most technical training courses are full of men?
  • How come women are still expected to look after the home even when both partners work equal hours?
  • How come almost all senior IT positions are held by men, even though women are recognized as better communicators?

From IT Decisions
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