It’s Time To Make Way For More CodHers!

2 min read

She wasn’t like the others. In programming, she found her true friend. There was no ambiguity. No sad moments. She asked questions through lines of code, and it would answer promptly, every single time. There was so much to know about it too. Every day, she learnt more about its functions, the libraries it read from, the indentation that looked best on it, and the objects without which it wouldn’t run. Literally. And the best part? It knew an astonishing number of languages! Just as she googled about the languages and who created them, she was surprised to find out that nearly all of them were written by boys. Her heart sank a little. That night, as she slid into bed, one question kept her awake –
Can’t I go on to teach it a language of my own?

Women's Day 2018

Coding is for the intelligent, creative, hard working individuals — male or female, yet it is an established fact that there are very less women who take it up professionally or who are interested in competitive programming. Young women across the globe are still facing a tough, rough road in the tech industry.

Women have faced difficulty in fitting in the ‘brogramming’ culture, as it is popularly called. There are multiple instances wherein women feel the lack of role models/mentors and peer to peer engagement in this field. They are attributed as major reasons for the lack of women in programming. Yet, in spite of roadblocks, the programming community is witness to many diligent girls who, with sheer determination, independently give life to their successful coding journey. Team CodeChef has immense respect for such talent and appreciate their zeal and enthusiasm. Here is a list of few top female programmers on our platform who have it in them to become role models as a source of inspiration to other female aspirants:

CodeChef User Country Global Rank Country Rank
Kirika Yuumura (6★kirika_comp) Japan 187 17
Alexandra (6★demon1999) Russia 207 19
Ania Piekarska (6★ania7) Poland 207 4
Andrey Nekrashevich (6★xolm) Belarus 254 11
Z. Shi (6★shizhouxing) China 309 48
Olesya Golub (6★taube) Russia 309 28
Aidyn Aluadin (6★aidyn12) Kazakhstan 316 5
Vladimir Chalyshev (6★cmd) Russia 352 32
Malvika Raj Joshi (6★meteora) India 359 86

The programming world has, hidden beneath its fabric, several gender disparities at play. It’s unrealistic to think these perceptions will change over night but I think we ought to embrace the reality and use it to our own advantage. Here are some statistics that highlight this issue quite transparently:

  • Of the total participation at the ACM-ICPC World Finals and at the IOI, both of them known to be the Olympics of Programming, only 3% participants are female coders.
  • On our own platform, the percentage of registered users who are women is 17%. And this number goes down further to 8.5% when we look at the rated users.

Although these numbers are registering an improving trend worldwide, there is a lot that needs to be done by the community to push it further.

In college, when I was considering being a CS major, the male programming students I talked to shook their heads and said “Don’t do it. You’ll be the only girl there.
– Grace Ng, Co-Founder, Javelin.com (Source: Quora)

Unfortunately, Grace is not the only one who is facing this issue. Thousands of girls worldwide have taken to the internet as a platform to share their similar experiences. Imposter syndrome is a common psychological effect that affects the top coders too. It is the feeling of not being good enough which is stereotypically imbibed in a person belonging to a group. Girls surrounded by males in a professional environment or in any competing environment crumble due to lack of confidence owing to a culture bias plastered deep in their minds.

Many organizations are sprouting all over the world to find solutions and plans for engaging more females in the field of Computer Science. This Women’s Day, CodeChef would also like to celebrate the coding achievements of women on our platform and encourage more women to come and try their hands on competitive programming. We have special prizes for women participants in the ongoing March long challenge.

Also, on this day of woman, we urge you to take a responsible step in empowering your fellow female coders and the entire community at large, to promise an open, inviting approach to all who would love to code. Every single one of us is part of this beautiful community, including you. Thus, we’d be delighted if you could spare a few minutes and fill out this survey about your views: goo.gl/forms/KkCTa2IjXf1YCx6B2.

Happy Coding! 🙂

Ruchika,
Team CodeChef

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4 Replies to “It’s Time To Make Way For More CodHers!”

  1. I don’t understand why there is such a big trend now for big companies and corporations to try to force women into programming. I mean, the gender disparity is worse with a lot of other professions, Janitors, Plumbers, etc. I am not even necessarily against trying to prevent sexism, but we should strive for equivalent of opportunity not equivalency of outcome. Whatever, hackerrank and topcoder are better anyway.

    1. they are not forcing , its called encouraging .
      and gender disparity may be worse with a lot of other professions , but this is something we girls actually love to do and its not like anything that they’ll be biased towards girls they are just supporting for a better cause

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