Every year GUWeCode organizes a campus coding week, but we wanted to connect everyone with the national Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). CSEdWeek happens every year in December in honor of Grace Hopper’s birthday. This year it takes place December 6-12.

Hour of Code takes place every year during CSEdWeek and includes tons of one-hour tutorials friendly for all levels, languages, and ages. From games to cyber security, Hour of Code provides synthesized exposure to a variety of computer science concepts in a compact way. Click here to check out their tutorials.

In honor of CSEdWeek, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the history of women in computing. Although women currently account for 18% of computer science bachelor’s degrees in the US, in the 60s when computers emerged from World War II women actually made up the majority of the computing workforce. Through the 70s and 80s however, the percentage of women in the computer science field decreased.

Some historians speculate that personal computers were primarily marketed towards men. In the above graph showing changes in women’s majors over time, the percent of women majoring in computer science begins to decline around 1982, which is when personal computers began to hit the market. These computers were marketed as gaming tools whose audience was almost entirely men.

Furthermore, before computing became valued as a skill in the mainstream workplace, computations were seen as tedious and therefore given to women throughout the 40s. Programming was described as a skill that required attention to detail and patience, both qualities assigned to women during this time in history. During the second World War, women performed the majority of calculations for the implementation of ballistics, but their contributions are often minimized in hindsight.

During this week, definitely check out resources from Hour of Code and CSEdWeek! We are excited to celebrate the evolution of modern technology and the role women played in making it what it is today.

Categories: Blog