AM I A SEXIST?

some weak guy from google search

Recently many say and write words about “men in tech,” which led to some negative reaction on Twitter. I believe I owe my readers an explanation. Some of them already got confused and came to me with the question: “If you’re so much against slavery, where is this female sexism coming from?” Let me explain what’s going on. Indeed I am a big fan of freedom, but recent hysteria around gender equality is not helping us to become more free. Instead it is causing quite the opposite effect.When I was a kid my parents and my teachers told me that I had to be a lady. That literally meant that I had to treat men with respect and always remember that they were weaker than us women—physically and emotionally.I had to let them copy my math homework, I was not allowed to debate with them as I did with my female friends, I was punished for being smarter in front of them, and many other things. I did all this not only because of what I was taught, but also because I saw that they indeed were weaker. They were physically and emotionally different from us girls. They played wars, we played families. They wore grey and brown shorts and t-shirts, we wore whatever we wanted. They cried behind closed doors when someone was offending them and we showed emotions and got stronger. It was always obvious that we were the troublemakers, but also the protectors of common peace, who those weak creatures eventually one day would marry.

Now back to the main problem: men in tech. I’m a software tester myself. I wrote and debugged test automation code every day. I also managed testers, programmers and projects. My 20+ years of experience in software development tells me that this job is not fun most of the time. It’s hard, it requires a lot of logical thinking. It’s exhausting and constant war against men, who are too afraid to acknowledge that they failed, who are afraid to change and against  programmers who produce unmaintainable and unreadable code.

I don’t feel good about sending man, who cannot accept that he is not so smart, into this war. I also personally don’t like the idea of men being doctors, managers, teachers, master chefs, caregivers or male-nurse, even though it’s not up to me to decide what they do for a living. Those jobs are stressful and dangerous, both physically and emotionally. Not that I believe that men can’t take this stress, I just don’t want them to suffer. There are plenty of ladies who can do that instead.

Do I respect men who write code on a daily basis? Yes, a lot. Because I understand how much stress they have to go through. Would I recommend my husband to do the same. Defiantly not.

Am I a sexist? Maybe. But the real question is: what will you do about it?

post scriptum

If you wonder why did I wrote this article, that now it is time to say – I did not write it. I took an old blog post from somebody, switched “men” to “women” and “women” to “men” and did few adaptions to make the story smoother, with an aim to hold a mirror for you.

Why?

Because recently I got an offer to give a talk about me as a woman in IT and I cannot decide to accept it or not. Here some thoughts why:

  1. I am sick and tired to speak or listen about it. 20 years in business and nothing has been changed.
  2. I do not want to be labelled as women who has problems with men.
  3. I want to give talks about testing software or requirements, about digital transformation, software development, agile practices and my life as a trainer.
  4. If nobody will talk, nothing will change.

This blog post is another experiment. We will see where it goes. May be it will help me to decide to give or to refuse a girl-in-IT talk.

add on

After I published my post, I got to know that there is a tool for swapping genders on the websites: GenderSwapper!

Belgium Testing Days 2016

Kristine at BTDconf
I am back in paradise from Belgium Testing days 2016, time to write down my impressions.

I was for a first time in Brussels, so I was very happy that part of speaker dinner event was guided tour in the city. We had the very best guide and I learned a lot of interesting facts about Belgium, Brussels and people who live there. Big surprise was people – young couples, mother with children, tourists – everywhere in the old town sitting on the ground and having their desserts. Other thing – police – it is everywhere and guns are very present. I witnessed arrest of two guys. It is very stupid to make jokes with police these days. If at the beginning it was alarming to see so many armed people in the streets, than afterwards I felt guarded.

If I would need to express my impressions about BTD2016 in one word it would be DIVERSITY. And by that I do not mean only gender diversity, but age as well. During open sessions and lean coffees at the conference we talked a lot about testers career – patterns and anti-patterns. Many of us have noticed that oft promising testers leave the field. One thing that testing as profession is not an easy one and in the same time testing is missing challenging path. At the conference was several “seniors” with 5 and “lead” with 3 years of experience. To take myself as an example – since 8 years I work as software tester and last few month I keep asking myself – what’s next? I have at least 30 working years waiting for me to fulfil, the question is – with what? So for me Isabel Evans lightning talk “I was so much older then…” was like a balsam and wake up call in the same time.

My talk “quality mini sessions for stakeholders” went well. I got valuable feedback from attendees and have several ideas how to improve my talk. I got a lot of questions to answer and inspired Debbie to make her lightning talk. To those who currently work on their first presentations – I was prepared to many things, but not for broken air conditioning… but we all survived :) and I will buy my own clicker! Thanks Mark for suggestions.

It was real pleasure to meet known faces and learn new ones. Thank you for sharing and till next time!