Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Women Want

Trending on Quora is the question, "Which programming language is the most female friendly?"I do not know (I can provide primary sources who will verify this), but based on our survey of 802 men and 154 women, I can answer which languages females prefer over males. To learn how to think about these questions, see my recent Google Tech Talk or the links below.

Gayle presciently suggests that "Python is also a no-no because, I mean, you just named a language after a snake. Ick! And, I mean, do I need to call out the Freudian imagery there?" Go Gayle -- there is indeed a 3% drop! However, despite Gayle's insight that "All women love shiny objects," that does not help Ruby. Our numbers show a 7% drop for Ruby, so Ruby's bad press might be representative.

Overall, we saw little difference among the top 10 languages known by males and females. The ordering is fairly stable, and overall knowledge is similar (see the pink trendline). A few language jumps stand out: C, PHP, C#, and Ruby drop for female knowledge, while  Excel rises.

If you're curious, check out our methodology, more of our statistics and raw data, and what a language designed for women might look like. Long story short, for the above statistics, we had good respondents: mostly educated, mostly employed, and biases because we polled students taking a free UC Berkeley online Ruby course on software as a service.

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