Back when dirt was fresh I learned the rudiments of cryptography via the good graces of Uncle Sam’s Studies and Observation Group. As one might expect (given the times) there was not a single female attendee.
After I had DEROS’d and been ‘acclimated’ back to The World, I parlayed that miniscule knowledge into a entry level coding slot with IBM 1, which eventually led to more entertaining work writing video arcade games, and then computer animation for both film and the small screen.
All this took us into the mid 80s — a foreign land of disco, platform shoes and more cocaine than we’re ever likely to see again — and still there were no women in IT. At least, I had yet to see a single one outside of places like JPL or UCSD: serious scientists or mathematicians had an easier time of it, but for the most part the up and coming World Wide Web was primarily a boy’s sandbox.
And that’s pretty much still true today.
From the excellent Women in Science tumblr come the below self-study links (which we updated) for girls/women who might want to pursue said education, but sans the testosterone:
Girl Develop It A growing program in several cities that focuses on women!
Hacker School: Expects you to have some programming experience, but not necessarily all that much. They strive for each batch to be 50% female and to have an encouraging atmosphere.
- This was, sadly, back in the day when everyone at that org wore a suit and tie, even the most junior of us. I have of course tracked down and eliminated all photographic evidence of those times: the suits were hideous. ↩
- Which we have mentioned in the past and still highly recommend. ↩
- Both the Astas have mastered Scratch and have moved on to both PowToon and Muvizu. We’ve even been talking to the Asta’s girl scout troop about creating a meaningful merit badge course for this stuff. So far no one’s laughed off the idea. ↩