In order to address the gender gap within software development, Google has decided to take a step towards building a bridge, by establishing new programs that hope to create more of a balance. In doing so, Google has inspired other companies to follow suit. Seeking to avoid being regarded as less progressive than Google, these companies have created their own programs to bolster the roster of female programmers around the globe:
Walmart : As one of the world’s premier retailer of consumer goods, the company has closely followed the emerging IoT (Internet of Things) movement. In order to fuse their conservative consumer base with some of the company’s more progressive goals, they’ve initiated the Homemaker Einstein education program. Here, cash awards and national recognition will be awarded to the winner of various challenges. Which lady will program their kitchen, so that the oven and toaster synchronize their work in perfect harmony? Or which wife will reprogram the house’s alarm system, so that it can alert her when she’s nagging her husband? Stay tuned to find out.
Hooters : Obviously, with over 75% of its staff being comprised of women, Hooters would naturally be the foremost company when it comes to female empowerment. As management explains, they deal with many technological issues, and they don’t see why their own employees can’t be educated in programming and then be the source of a solution. “For example,” explains CEO Terrance Marks, “We have tried to create the ultimate temperature control unit in our locations. How do we constantly adjust the temperature, so that the buffalo wings stay hot but our waitresses’ nipples stay pert? It’s a real problem, but I’m sure that our ladies can figure it out. Maybe a smartphone app, with a peripheral attached to pasties? I can’t wait to see what they come up with.” As a result of this announcement, Twin Peaks has also announced their own program, promising a vacation to Myrtle Beach for the first woman who can combine a mechanical bull with a Sybian.
Reddit : Refusing to let Google be the only online company with a strong dedication to issues regarding women, Reddit has stepped forward with their own version of a merits-based educational program. Noting the popularity of “/r/gonewild” and similar subreddits, Reddit has promoted the launch of a new subreddit called “/r/gonewildwithcode”. Here, women are encouraged to share pictures which feature themselves programming in naughty, revealing poses. As a reward, popular submissions will be rewarded with a new alternative to regular Reddit karma: karma cash. Upon logging onto their Reddit account, their acquired karma cash will rain down on them as an animation, and it will be redeemable at any store which sells thongs and/or cameras. “We just wanted to do what’s right,” said CEO Yishan Wong. “Hopefully, with our help, these women can advance their developer skills so that one day, they can build voyeur sites of their own and show other women that dreams can come true.”
Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.