The boy's club prevails because of the terminology?

Geo Geektress's picture

"I am facing an extremely hard time coming up with a business model in order to sell myself as a viable Drupal developer. One thing that I am finding is that after getting to the final line of the interview process it is inevitably the person in charge of the hiring picks the coder. So what are your thoughts on that? My strengths are building sites that people can use, that content mangers can actually build, and the visuals are the enticing factor that lead to the content of the site. It is not in the code but the entire experience of visiting my site. Your are in the site and your out of the site.

In all those aspects, the code is secondary. So how do you go about merchandizing your strengths in a world that is still stuck on the f****** code? Perhaps, the terminology is changing. Should I be looking for designer job? If that is the case, why are designer jobs less money than developer jobs. Aren't designers knowledgeable about things that developers are not? Sisters, the terminology in Drupal really needs to be redefined? Written for men by men, is it still extremely sexist? Tell me otherwise!

If you can not achieve that split secondary in a site's development, you missed the concept all together. A site is build so that visitors can find what they are looking for immediately, and then they get the hell out of there? It is not frigging rocket-science!
Regards, g. chalker

PS: I am really getting frustrated. So maybe this group can help with my frustration?

So is there a Google Hangout for this group? If so, when do you meet?"

Comments

I hear you!

cdykstra's picture

I've found that searching out site-building, site architecture, UI and/or UX, or even front-end developer (if you have html, css and javascript chops), along with designer helps to weed out some of those looking to 'check all the boxes' that includes coder (and silly things like Java, .asp, LAMP stack, etc).

Something I've heard front end folks do is to partner with a developer and be able to sell the 'whole package', if you're looking to freelance.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

don't give up

shaostudio's picture

I just want to give you a high five for sticking it out in a competitive and mostly male dominated industry. Those jobs that want "coders only" probably isn't the right fit for you. Be more picky and research before interviewing at a company so you don't waste your time.

You want to develop solutions so look for a niche in a design firm, small business, non-profit, newspaper, etc. Like cdykstra said you may want to consider going solo. That can be tough but you have more freedom when picking projects. Companies often outsource so you may want to apply at temp companies too.

Look for companies that already use or plan to use Drupal so you don't have to sell the idea. From what I noticed most large companies tend to follow the trend of expensive, high maintenance, proprietary, and sometimes outdated software.

Job titles don't always reflect what is expected. From what I noticed the Designer is usually expected to work on the front end design, and the Developer/Programmer is expected to make the design function. Then there are Designer and Developer titles that expect you to know how to do everything in the life cycle of the project.

Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.

I will! The question is, do I

Geo Geektress's picture

I will! The question is, do I really want to go solo at an age over 50?

Sorry, but this is not my dilemma, it is an issue that modern society faces. Really glad that there are people out there to talk about this though.

Is it that our industries change so rapidly today that every 6 months to a year you have to retrain yourself? Why even Facebook is starting to fade.

It started with HTML, then Flash, then Javascript, now Drupal.
What's next? Telepathy? :>0 always a smart ass, what can I say?

Ha, my two cents. Ain't complaining. "Everyone grows old someday."

Thanks for the rapid comments. I appreciate it! DrupalChix!

g

Going solo at age 50+

lesleyb's picture

Hi g

I am 50+ too - the only way I can see myself going forward in coding/web-site development is to go it alone. The whole developer side of things is sexist and ageist and it can afford to be. I'm not entirely convinced I actually want to go back into that kind of a workplace - although the worst places I have been in have been in engineering and research not dev work - except the last place I worked as a pure dev - which was almost as hell as some other places I've been in.

I suggest you try looking for telecommuting work you can do from home. Elance comes to mind as an example of the kind of site you should be looking for.

Think about your USP - how to market yourself. I even turn over a little money via another popular CMS from time to time.

Good luck

Lesley

Going solo at age 50+

lesleyb's picture

Hi g

I am 50+ too - the only way I can see myself going forward in coding/web-site development is to go it alone. The whole developer side of things is sexist and ageist and it can afford to be. I'm not entirely convinced I actually want to go back into that kind of a workplace - although the worst places I have been in have been in engineering and research not dev work - except the last place I worked as a pure dev - which was almost as hell as some other places I've been in.

I suggest you try looking for telecommuting work you can do from home. Elance comes to mind as an example of the kind of site you should be looking for.

Think about your USP - how to market yourself. I even turn over a little money via another popular CMS from time to time.

Good luck

Lesley

Until a group knows you, it's all they have to go on

nodiac's picture

Hi There -

One tiny detail that might help you is that, at least at our company and with people I've worked with, Developer = Coder. If you're advertising yourself as a developer, you might be experiencing fallout from that little twinge of cognitive dissonance that happens when something doesn't seem to be labeled right. Having that taxonomy mismatch might appear as inexperience.

When we're looking to round out a team, until we get to know people personally, and understand what their capabilities are and what they want to do or become, we think of it in terms of the skillsets that we need for that project and look for people with those skills. For a lot of individuals, there's overlap. Front End people very often, but not always, are involved in the requirements gathering and wireframes, UX etc. Sometimes they're more involved with Front End Development, where there's a lot of coding. Once we get to know people and they're part of the team, there is more flexibility and the divisions blur. Sitebuilders tend to gravitate in one direction or another - toward front end, or back end. We don't count on people remaining sitebuilders. Sitebuilding's a gateway drug.

If you were going to set up a hierarchical taxonomy for the Drupal skillsets that we tend to look for, the top three would be front-end, back-end and sitebuilding. We also look for agile project managers. Devops is also an important, well-paid and not talked about nearly enough in Drupal forums.

Everyone's path is different. I came from design and tried theming, but really found my spot of joy when I started back end coding - designing and executing functionality by building modules. Throughout all of this I was doing sitebuilding because everyone was doing sitebuilding.

We tend to value freelance experience because then we know that someone has a handle on the aspects of what we do that makes us a business. People who have been stuck in one role in a large organization has had their inputs artificially throttled, and often have no understanding of the basics of why they're doing what they're doing within the big picture. With that in mind, we also rely on our people to be proactive, go for what they want, and let us know when they're unhappy or want to change things.

BTW, while there's kind of a glut of sitebuilders, there's a shortage of Agile PMs. You might find that there's a shorter distance to where you want to go if you take the experience you have and get agile certified, which I believe you can do pretty quickly. Once you're in an organization, especially one that's smaller and growing, you'll find that you have flexibility. We have people who are PMs who also do development. Agile PMs with Drupal experience are highly valued, and very often do the requirements gathering and a lot of user experience work that you described above. You might consider it.

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Most helpful nodiac!

Geo Geektress's picture

Thanks!

Sisters, the terminology in

linclark's picture

Sisters, the terminology in Drupal really needs to be redefined? Written for men by men, is it still extremely sexist? Tell me otherwise!

I'm not sure that framing this as a boys club is quite accurate. Yes, there are social barriers to learning coder skills and access issues which women face and men don't. However, coder is not synonymous with boy and designer is not synonymous with girl. While I consider that obvious, there are still many in our community that have that implicit bias and we shouldn't reinforce it by saying things like that Drupal is written by men and discounting the coding work that women have contributed.

Well, the image seems to be there.

Geo Geektress's picture

Then what is it? I was asked whether or not I play video games on a job interview last week. What would you surmise? Is it an ageist thing?

I think that people have their minds what they are looking for and if you do not fit the bill they dismiss you. It has been tested over and over again in those "try to get a cab if you are black" tests.

So help me look like a coder? Or help me understand the definition of coder, so that I can do the job search that I am looking for. If anything, start the discussion about. It is an issue as far as I can see it.

So what is one to do to re-brand oneself?
And what would one look like?

See what I am saying. For a society that is surrounded with images, it sure is difficult to break those barriers. I could really call it a girl's club could I? Hahaha, well maybe around here I could?

So that sounds less like they

linclark's picture

So that sounds less like they were asking for a "coder", which is a way of describing a particular skill set, and more like they were asking culture questions, and were looking for someone from a culture that is pretty exclusionary.

You're right that a lot of people have the misconception that people who participate in a certain culture (gaming, etc) are probably also good coders. And that is just flat out wrong and biased against a whole host of groups, including women who can face very active harassment in those spaces.

Unfortunately, I have to run so can't respond more, but I'll hopefully be able to offer some suggestions tomorrow.

Thanks Lin

Geo Geektress's picture

I thought it sounds like a strange question to ask in an interview. I mean what do you like to do in your spare time, worded anyway your like, would be more appropriate. But to be out there looking for competition for a video game? That is sort of infantile? And this was at a major American university! I appreciate your help.

Perhaps, but on the other

CatherineOmega's picture

Perhaps, but on the other hand, most adults in North America do play video games of one kind or another. Certainly far more than read for entertainment or go to the movies regularly.

It could also have just been an inept attempt at reaching out. If you don't mind me stereotyping too badly, was this from someone who regularly interviews applicants?

Video games question can be ageism

webczarina's picture

Catherine, I disagree. I think most adults under age 45 play video games more than they engage in other forms of entertainment. For that reason, I believe the question could have been used as a subtle (or not so subtle) means of age discrimination.

Whether we want to admit it or not, members of Gen X are now approaching their 50s, and the stereotype of the tech-clueless 50-year-old is no longer valid, at least not for X'ers who code.

Yeah, that's a good point;

CatherineOmega's picture

Yeah, that's a good point; the falloff is pretty sharp still, I suspect. Still, it's in part because of that saturation that women over 50 are now such a significant casual gaming demographic. http://www.saga.co.uk/saga-magazine/2013/may/silver-gamers.aspx

But still, not-so-subtle means of age discrimination indeed. I guess that was part of it for me, this idea that someone would be that blatant, if it was, in fact, intended as a "filter".

Fresh meat

Geo Geektress's picture

They were looking for fresh meat to add to their mix of gamers. That is what they said when I asked about the question. BTW, it was an IT team at Rutgers University, so yes, they should be experienced in interviewing?

Stating that most people in North America play video games is such a generalization. Buck up woman and show your worldliness. I never play video games, watch TV, or go to the movies much. I am a cinematographer, a theatrical archivist, and a political activist in my spare time. Most of my web developer friends never play video games. They surf, they work on their houses, and play with their kids, etc. etc. etc. I know you are trying to help but I really do think that Webczarina is right, it was not so much a sexist statement but an ageist statement.

Beside, how are video games pertinent to web development? Sounds like a bunch of wannebe game developers. What they should have asked was "what do I like to do in my spare time"?

Obviously, I do not want to work with someone who judges people on their video playing skills, so Rutger's U has been k-nixed! off my list as a viable employer. Their loss!

This group has already helped me with the terminology. A web developer I am not, for my skills encompass more. Therefore, I will look for a position using project or communication manager, web designer, visual artist, then maybe web developer.

Thanks everyone!

Just out of curiousity - what

lesleyb's picture

Just out of curiousity - what did you say in response to the gaming question?

You have to consider the employer is looking for a good team fit - if it's all gamers in the Dept. and you don't game then they may feel there's a potential problem with that. Maybe they all go round gaming at each other's places or have a huge game-fest celebration when they've shipped a milestone out the way and they wouldn't want you to be left out of that or the conversation at work about games?

And gaming isn't strictly for the boys tbh - plenty of women play too - it's just that - because of the lack of women in these fields of work - there aren't enough of them. That and we actually grow up and get a life, sometimes. ;-)

Kind regards

Lesley

Well, the image seems to be there.

Geo Geektress's picture

Then what is it? I was asked "whether or not I play video games" on a job interview last week. What would you surmise? Is it an ageist thing?

I think that people have in their minds what they are looking for and if you do not fit the bill they dismiss you. It has been tested over and over again in those "try to get a cab if you are black" tests.

So help me look like a coder? Or help me understand the definition of coder, either way I need help to try and understand this dilemma. If anything, start the discussion about. It is an issue as far as I can see it.

So what is one to do to re-brand oneself? And what would one look like?

For a society that is surrounded with images, it sure is difficult to break those barriers.
I couldn't really call it a girl's club could I? Hahaha, well maybe around here I could?

It is what it is

maidanet's picture

Of course a potential employer has it in mind what they are looking for - they are looking to fill their need.

Re-branding or making yourself look like something you're not isn't going to serve you or a potential employer. If you're not stuck on the code, then you are currently not a coder, usually known as back-end development. In that case, you might want to look at: site builder, technical project manager, front-end dev.

If you can give an honest and legitimate definition of your skills and experience, and give a genuine representation of your personality, the job title is irrelevant.

In my experience, it comes down to:

Will you be a good fit for the team?
Can you do the tasks that need to get done? aka Can you contribute something valuable to the team?

If you're a good fit, and you clearly have skills/experience, they'll find a place for you, even if it isn't the job they originally advertised for.

Skills as a coder

Geo Geektress's picture

Guess I will just have to continue to build websites that look the part?

Keying in project manager pulled lots:

https://groups.drupal.org/jobs?group_nid=All&keys=Project+Manager&field_...

Thanks for the tip!

All about image.

Geo Geektress's picture

Well I definitely have skills as a coder. Do I look like a coder no, therefore, I don't get the job. What then? Nor do I play video games. Should that be a criteria?

gchalker, at this point I'm

brenda003's picture

gchalker, at this point I'm just confused as to what it is you do. And perhaps that's the problem. You said code is secondary in your first post, which to me assumed your coding skills weren't very strong. Now you say you definitely have skills as a coder. Which is it? I think defining your skills clearly and what you bring to a team is very important.

That's not to say sexism and ageism and whatever other *isms don't exist, but companies also do look for a culture fit. If they spend their free time bonding as a team playing video games, but you don't, then that means you wouldn't be part of the bonding of the team.

I'm sorry you're having a tough time. I've worked in a lot of startup environments throughout my career but have found I fit a lot better at my current job with a nonprofit. There's lots of places to look for jobs that do Drupal, perhaps you just need to find the environment that suits you!

I am...

Geo Geektress's picture

...a communications manager and a web developer. So is the issue the capability of doing too many things? Or redefining. That is why I joined the group to start a discussion about my experience and start to listen for terminology that is perplexing to me.

I seem to be in the right place for discussion.

g.

Communications Manager and Web Developer

lesleyb's picture

.. sounds rather good actually

so you have communication skills, social media skills as well as some coding ...

I still think nodiac has hit it right on the nail for you. Would you be happy with the statement that communication skills implies people skills? Certainly User Interface Design needs people understanding.

Project management may well be the way to go - learn Agile and become a scrum master; with Drupal, some awareness of coding and the technical challenges that devs meet - you could be a very good project manager.

What's with the need to be a coder? With the amount of free software out there, including Drupal, there's loads of code to get your hands dirty on so learning how to code/bug fix and be part of a dev team isn't a problem.

But people skills - that's something different and I think you might want to look at how you can exploit that part of your skill set in a technical environment.

regards

Lesley

double post

brenda003's picture

double post

Can you define this better?

cfgregory's picture

Sisters, the terminology in Drupal really needs to be redefined? Written for men by men, is it still extremely sexist? Tell me otherwise!

It may not be apparent by my name or avatar but I am an female Drupal developer. I don't really see the terminology as sexist. I am curious, was there an particular term that you find so?

I also been to drupal community meetings in my area, and I have not experience any sexism within those groups from either sex. Usually there is more interest in talking about problems with, or changes that coming up in Drupal 8.

that's good to know

lesleyb's picture

re the Drupal meets

I've been to a few Perl meets and they've been good too.

I agree about the terminology - an object's an object, compiler a compiler - nothing sexist there imo.

Where I get concerned - because I have done it too - is that not just g here, but other women too, seem sometimes to build a scenario where they aren't going to get on because of this and that and that and that too.

Perceiving barriers, which may be there because of the culture of a place or because of social influences. Which starts to feel like being corralled in, fenced in, boxed in, no place to go. Effectively our mindset begins to support the barriers that are actually there instead of taking them down.

Turn it on it's head, - a coke-drinking, pizza-eating, gaming male dev interviewed for a female team that run marathons as an extra-curricular team activity. Is that dev likely to want to work with such a team? Are the team likely to want him to work with them? What's his view of that team and that place of work?

I think it's important we build our own environments where we can be and do whatever it is we need without adding to the barriers that already exist.

regards

Lesley