Along with disciplines such as music and athletics, programming is commonly seen as the domain of the talented; there are those with a head for technology, the thinking goes, and there’s those who will always struggle. However, there is increasing scientific research to show that talent is not the domain of an elite few, but the result of deliberate practice, constructive feedback, and resilience in the face of setbacks. Those who see talent as a continual process tend to improve steadily, regardless of where their skill level started out.
This attitude, known as a “growth mindset”, is especially relevant to women in the tech industry and girls who are considering it as a future career. Despite a variety of efforts to counter the negative messaging, the idea that “girls just aren’t good at programming” still lurks in the culture at large, and women tend to arrive at programming slightly later in life than their male peers. Feeling behind the curve is a daunting place to be, but women can flourish in computing if we remember that our abilities can develop indefinitely, eventually matching or surpassing those who seem “naturally” talented.
Interested in learning more? Continue reading Gender and Technical Talent: What Women Need To Know on Code Like A Girl.