05/20/2013 10:27 am ET Updated Jul 20, 2013

How To Be A 'Woman Programmer'

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I WAS an ordinary computer programmer. I wrote code that ran at the levels between flashy human interfaces and the deep cores of operating systems, like the role of altos in a chorus, who provide the structure without your taking much notice of their melodic lines. I made realistic schedules and met my deadlines. Those were decent accomplishments.

But none of it qualified me as extraordinary in the great programmer scheme of things. What seems to have distinguished me is the fact that I was a "woman programmer." The questions I am often asked about my career tend to concentrate not on how one learns to code but how a woman does.

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