Women better code writers than men but have less acceptance


A new research says that women are better at writing computer codes than their male counterparts.

A study by Peerj.com website said that the codes written by women were likely to get more approval, but only if they did not disclose their gender.

After analysing nearly 1.4 million users of the open source program-sharing service Github, the research concluded that the suggested code changes by women had more approval ratings.

Github is a giant developer community which does not request gender information from its 12 million users.

The researchers, from the computer science departments at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and North Carolina State University, looked at around four million people who logged on to Github on a single day – 1 April 2015.

The team found that 78.6% of pull requests made by women were accepted compared with 74.6% of those by men.

The researchers considered various factors, such as whether women were more likely to be responding to known issues, whether their contributions were shorter in length and so easier to appraise, and which programming language they were using, but they could not find a correlation.

However the team was able to identify whether roughly 1.4m were male or female – either because it was clear from the users’ profiles or because their email addresses could be matched with the Google + social network.

This revelation at a time when the tech giants all over the world are being criticised for lack of adequate representation in their tech workforce.

According to figures released in 2015, just 16% of Facebook’s tech staff and 18% of Google’s were women.

Computer scientist Dr Sue Black told the BBC, “I think we are going to see a resurgence of interest from women in not only coding but all sorts of tech-related careers over the next few years. Knowing that women are great at coding gives strength to the case that it’s better for everyone to have more women working in tech.

“It was a woman – Ada Lovelace – who came up with the idea of software in the first place, we owe it to her to make sure that we encourage and support women into the software industry.”

(Source Peerj.com and BBC)


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