Lam Do - software engineer @Facebook
I started to learn code from grade 9. Wow, it has been eight years so far. It was just my hobby to discover Computer and Computer Science from day one, rather than pursuing a tech career. A significant milestone might be the high school entrance examination, in which I chose Computer as my major. Lots of memos since I joined the tech industry. Back in high school for the gifted, my family always supported me; but my teachers didn’t. They were like, “Girl should not pursue this career! There will be no time to take care of your family” or “ You should choose an easier field. Generally, female logic is not as good as male!”. At that time in Vietnam, people even thought that students would pass the Computer’s entrance exam effortlessly because there were not many students applying. I tried my best to pursue what I desire, so a little bit upset when hearing that.
Being the only girl in class had some advantages, I have to say that. I was pampered with others and not to get my hand dirty in manual works. I saw that IT men are cute, truthful, and enthusiastic. When I entered grade 10, the seniors gave me lots of valuable documents and invited me to the team. Another great thing about being a female in tech is that there’s no need to care about your appearance. I don’t have to wear pounds of makeup or choose what to wear in the morning. In tech companies, being beautiful or ugly is not affect your salary/ benefit package. People don’t care about your clothes until they actively seek a girlfriend in the company (maybe!).
However, a tech career is not easy for girls, seriously! I used to face several negative experiences. Their talk hurts me sincerely that somehow they didn’t notice.
- Seeing Lam’s code will know how bad abcxyz students are
- Oh, that’s woman logic!
- Girls usually code bug
- Your work (boy) is not good as a girl’s!
Maybe I need more time to learn and experience. However, aforesaid is so mean! The judgment assumed that all girls have these “genes”, which made me so injured. Of course, I left the company despite the internship duration. Even when I got the Facebook offer, people still asked, “Does Facebook have any strategy when hiring Lam?”. Nowadays, society seems to have lots of prejudice. For me, entering the tech industry for eight years is not long, but it’s enough time for me to realize gender discrimination. I gradually control my emotion and ignore these harmful kinds of stuff. However, I know some girls are too depressed that they give up or change their career path to BA/ QC that doesn’t require more coding. They’re not confident with code anymore.
Just a few disadvantages, but nothing is impossible. The more important thing is following your dream to the end. It always lies in your attempt. In conclusion, I hope society looks at science in general, and computer science, in particular, is for everyone and every gender.