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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Women in eng: recalling my former coworkers

Recently, I read someone on Hacker News claim that a certain company (one I know rather well) had something like 40% women in engineering. They thought they had read that number online somewhere. I know better. That number is actually quite low, and it's so low, it's embarrassing and they refuse to talk about it or share it, even internally.

But instead of settling for that, I decided to do some mental gymnastics to remember all of the people who were on my teams, and the teams I worked for, when applicable. After all, you can't arrive at a ratio without a denominator, right?

One team was D, S, (another I forget... J something?), A, B, a different J, and F and later H. Across the pond we had R and R and S and a fourth person I'm forgetting who left to go to regular dev stuff (like I would eventually do). I count 12 people. That team had also included K and E in the past, but they had gone elsewhere and had been replaced, so 14.

Before it split, there was also E, M, and a different E on the combined team. That's three more people. After they split off, their team got bigger but I never kept track of the new people.

That combined team itself had split from a bigger team who had at least S as the boss, with B and R and C and one other person I've forgotten as ordinary engineers. That's five more people, and I know I'm forgetting a bunch, since they had a huge service to support. I know I'm definitely leaving out everyone in a remote ("distributed", my foot) office.

A later team of mine had M as the boss, with G and D and another D and J as developers on our side. It had another side of the team where J was the boss, and the devs were J, S and another S, and I think a third J on their side was the fourth developer. That's ten more people.

In my pager monkey days, one of the dev teams I supported had J as the boss dev with A and T as two of the regular devs, with a third person I can't remember. So there's four more.

The other dev team I supported had M as boss, then later R, with T and M as devs. Four more people. There was a fifth "emeritus" person, A, who showed up at a few meetings in my early days on the job before I really knew what was going on.

My last dev team was B, another B, and a third person for whom I forget the initial. Three more people.

Project managers I encountered in all that time were J and B and later H, so three.

So let's add this all up. Looking at my lists, I see 14, then 3, 5, 10, 4, 5, 3 and 3. I count 47 total.

I'm not including the two interns that showed up one summer.

Guess how many of those 47 are male and how many are female. I'll give the answer in a future post.

To be continued...

February 17, 2013: This post has an update.