Chick Geeks rule, so why are Managers afraid to hire them?

As a candidate: what should I think about a SW firm (25 people) that has zero female employees?As a Manager I can tell you there are some things are generally different about leading female engineers or developers.Though I’ll be careful. Stacy Joh…

As a candidate: what should I think about a SW firm (25 people) that has zero female employees?

As a Manager I can tell you there are some things are generally different about leading female engineers or developers.
Though I’ll be careful. Stacy Johnson, one of the best engineers I’ve ever worked with typified what I call The skeptical girl model.

Whenever I came back from a Sales Engagement with a list of new features and gave a pep talk about how it’s going to be hard but that we can do it, her response was always: You’ve oversold this. We can try, but we won’t complete in time – you should go back to the customer and reset expectations. She wasn’t afraid to buck the enthusiasm, and she was right.

I’ve also had female programmers end up crying and needing a hug after being given an open ended assignment with no clear guidance for how she would be measured or what the consequences for failure were. That was my failure. Most of the young male hackers would’ve just started hacking, but this woman was right to be anxious. I hadn’t done my job. It took me off guard when she cried over what I thought was an opportunity to “own” the project, but We talked it through and she did a better job than the previous project owner.

Years ago, when I was young and single, I also once had an elderly female co-worker throw a cup of water on me when she overheard me and a mate joking in the cafeteria about a party we’d been too (he was sarcastically telling me that “chicks dig you man” while I was laughing that the girl in question was actually just chatting me up in order to get to him). I’ll never know what set the older co-worker off about our conversation. But that wouldn’t have happened with a male co-worker.

It’s a silly discussion though when all is said and done. In my opinion if you haven’t found quality women to round out your tech organisation you are probably not really looking.

UPDATE:I do realize there is a supply and demand problem. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/programming-and-development/it-gender-gap-wh… clearly indicates some problems on the supply side. For instance, it’s weird that only 1.5% of the open source community contributors are women. To be clear, I’m not advocating preferential treatment, my only point is that hiring can tend to be a “Are they like us?” process and if you start with 5 guys, the danger is that you’ll end up with no women, and personally I think you’d be missing out on some ways of thinking that women have more access to.

Complexity and Simplicity, Difficulty, Ease

Our problem at Everbread is difficult. I mean the problem our product Haystack solves. It’s also complex. To imagine how complex just look at this presentation from ITA one of our competitors. I was describing our Rotate into the Product Training …

Now if he was talking about an IPhone Application, I’d agree with him.  But in this case, we’re are talking about a virtual rocket ship, or a Ferrari Steering Wheel, and make complex stuff like this is both complicated and difficult.  Our Code is designed to work, it’s not designed for developers to develop.  I try to force the team to keep the architecture as simple as possible but even still, it’s not easy, and it’s not simple.  
A newsgroup  posting from Douglas Gorney  “How not to design for ux” refers to the idea that some think a 9 minute video on how to use a steering wheel suggests that the wheel is too complex.   He quite correctly observes that this steering wheel is for RACECAR Drivers and a 9 minute video on how it’s used and how it was designed is not too much to ask for guys who drive at 200 MPH (360 KPH).  I guess I’d say the same about software that crawls thru 100s of Millions of possible combinations of fares and flights.  In order to do it correctly, in order to do it well, I guess it’s worth waiting 6 months before I let you hack around on it.Here is the original video on YouTube.