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Study Shows Women Are Better Coders – But Only If Their Gender Isn’t Known

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It is unfortunate to note that sexism is still at its peak in this day and age. There is evidence to back up that claim which comes from a rather unusual place: coding. Women have been found to be much better coders compared to their fellow but only if the gender is not known, according to PeerJ. Male coders have significantly outnumbered their female counterparts. Merely 11.2 percent of the coders were known to be female back in 2013. Though, more women used to study computer science compared to men for many years. As a result of computers being primarily marketed for men, these numbers have fallen.

A study was conducted to investigate if such behaviour encouraged sexism in the field of computer science. The assumption was that coders might be extremely critical of the code that women wrote. For the purpose of this study, the researchers focused on GitHub which is among the best open software communities all over the world. Home to code written by millions of coders, this hub continually updates the code library. Once code is written, a pull request is generated. The researchers aimed to learn whether male or female coders had more chances of acceptance.

Upon going through almost 3 million pull requests that were submitted on GitHub, researchers discovered that the code that women wrote received slightly higher acceptance compared to that by male coders. To be precise, this was 78.6 percent against 74.6 percent which roughly translates to a parity of almost 120,000 code pieces. There may be a lot of causes for this outcome. Researchers also considered the possibility of women using particular types of coding language which offers itself more suitable for acceptance. The telling fact is that the acceptance rate of women tops the acceptance rate of male coders ranked in top 10 programming languages such as Java and C.

women are better coders

Moving on to a rather depressing statistic, the study also found that when the female coder’s gender was known the overall pull request acceptance rate dropped from 78.6 percent to 62.5 percent. This suggests that women probably are better coders than men, but only when their gender is not known to people.

This result only confirms the unfortunate fact that people are still gender biased even in such specialist fields. It also clarifies that talented female coders run the risk of being marginalized merely based on their gender. The study has not yet been peer reviewed but it will surely be found contradictory to the origin of computer programming. Just so that you know, among those who introduced computer programming to the world one was a woman named Ada Lovelace.

Also Read: 140 Questions to Ask Siri for a Hilarious Response.

Hassan Aftab

You can find Hassan on , and .

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