Female Developer <> always equal designer.

cfgregory's picture

I am curious, and wanting to get feedback from other women drupal developers. I am a back-end developer. I have found when meeting with project managers, vendors, and other non-developers, that they assume I am the designer and the male is the back-end developer. Even when I am introduced as the Lead Developer.

CSS is Greek to me. I know enough to say "No" and "where is the bathroom" but I won't be reading the Odyssey in original Greek any time soon. But when it comes to speaking server, I am completely fluent. I rather spend my morning setting up a LAMP stack, then figure out why that box is floating under the text then next to it.

It is a small annoyance, and very, very minor in the list of problems in this world. But instead of assuming, I just wish these folks would simply ask "who is the front-end developer and who is the back-end developer?".

Strangely enough, I very rarely run into this when talking to other developers. They tend to ask what my specialty is over assuming that I am front-end.

Has anyone else run into this? Any good stories that you are willing to share?


You are not alone.

aimeerae's picture

I have done a lot of big infrastructure work and dev ops in the past. I was one of two of the only women out of an all-male hard core operations group (~30-45 people?). I had no gender problem from my tech peers, but it was a bit strange for other non-techie / biz folks.

Perhaps our geek neck beards aren't as prominent? ;)

My partner is an amazing back-end developer and many people cold-call our shop asking to work with "him". Kristen isn't THAT male sounding, is it? It is a HER! We are women! ;)

IMHO, it is getting WAY much better on the gender front than it was 20, 10, or even 5 years ago. But this gender assumption still happens. When it does happen to me, I giggle a bit and let them figure it out. They feel a bit awkward, but then that helps them remember women can be lead developers, too.

  • Aimee

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I'm a front-end developer but

ldavisrobeson's picture

I'm a front-end developer but at my previous job I did front and back-end work, so I can somewhat relate. I recently worked on one project where the main stakeholder (who I won't name but will say must come into contact with a LOT of developers in his line of work) was really excited to see a woman on the team who wasn't a project manager or graphic designer.

I agree with Aimee-- the gender-associated roles definitely still happen, but I do think it's getting better. We just have to keep on being the change we wish to see and forge new, less predetermined paths for women in the future.

To end on a good note, check this out: http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/21/women-outnumber-men-for-the-first-time-...

I did a pitch once to a small

Renee S's picture

I did a pitch once to a small non-profit organization and in the pitch meeting the in-house developer would talk only to my male business partner, despite him immediately and clearly deferring questions about the development specifics to me. It was pretty flabbergasting after the third or fourth question. I have no idea why they thought I was there, even though I was introduced as the lead and was the point of contact.

At conferences I notice things are really great, and I almost never get the "designer" thing. At local meetups and socials, yeah, it happens there.

I am glad to know that while

cfgregory's picture

I am glad to know that while I am not the only one who has experience this, it is getting better. And I agree that the more we get out there, the less of a stereotype it will become.

Until things get a lot better, I suppose we can enjoy no line for the restroom at dev/ops meetups. ;)

Hello everyone. New to this

goldlilys's picture

Hello everyone. New to this group. I am both a Front-end and Back-end Developer for Drupal as well as administering my own servers ... started my own Web Development business last year so basically I'm wearing multiple hats. Getting used to networking and marketing my business ... but my passion lies in developing websites and learning new techniques.

What I get annoyed is that when I network, some people assume that I'm only the marketer or designer. I'm like, I don't design but I do have to market myself because I'm an entrepreneur. Oh I partner up with other Graphic Designers to help me out with that part since I prefer coding more.

Anyways, hope to meet everyone in person someday.

Uniquely Creative & Simply Efficient Websites. Visit Goldlilys Media.

This makes me flash back to a

ptocheia's picture

This makes me flash back to a phone call I had with Salesforce tech support about 2 years ago, trying to solve some implementation issue.

This is after several minutes of my discussing the issue with him & asking technical questions:

Him: "Can I speak to the developer?"

Me: "I am the developer!"