For too long, the STEM fields have been a boys’ club into which only a select few women were allowed, but I didn’t let that stop me from taking a six-week coding class. I learned so much about coding in that six weeks that, now that you mention it, I don’t totally remember all that well. Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that more girls, like me, should learn how to code and also like me, eventually forget how to code.
Taking a coding class was truly eye-opening and gave me a skill that I can apply in so many useful situations, but if you hire me to build your website I will need to just like, really quick refresh my memory on how to do that. To close the wage gap, prepare our daughters for the future, and ultimately end the toxically sexist culture of Silicon Valley, it is imperative that young women learn how to write basic code and then, like me, completely forget it six months later. It’s not that the female brain is more prone to forgetting learned skills, necessarily, it’s just like, are we really gonna code now? If we don’t get jobs as coders immediately after taking the coding course or whatever, are we really gonna remember this skill for very long? No, because it’s literally so confusing and takes loads of practice and right now I’m about as good at it as I was at sixth-grade Spanish class.
It’s just, there’s kind of a lot going on? There’s a ton of TV to watch and if I don’t post on Facebook once a day my mom thinks I’m dead and calls me on the phone and I HATE talking on the phone, so that’s a no, and I just read about all these rapes in the park so now I’m taking self-defense (I mean, I’m going to sign up for self-defense once I figure out what kind I want to take, which I’m going to research when I get a sec), so while I have a post-it on my mirror that says “practice coding,” I also have a post-it that says “self care!” and you can only really follow one post-it at a time. I’m just one woman! Most women are better multitaskers than I am. But again, this is just for me. I guess for other women it’s that whole “companies still won’t hire female coders” thing. Ugh, that sucks!
And another thing: Just because you learn something doesn’t mean you remember it, but that doesn’t take away from the meaningful experience that comes with having learned something useful. I’m glad that schools teach Algebra and Shakespeare and Spanish even though I have completely forgotten almost any equations or Shakespeare or speaking Spanish in my everyday life. But I have those skills, should I need them. You could drop me off in Elizabethan times or in Spain or in, like, a math place and I could, you know, probably get by? Same with coding! I can kinda do it now, and I want the same for the rest of the women of this great nation. We should all have a basic handle on HTML. Enough HTML knowledge to order at a Mexican restaurant, if you get my metaphor here. Metaphors are another thing I learned and eventually forgot.