One thing is sure and what was clear from every one I came across was that they had a reoccurring theme: they are a girly geek and proud! I know in my late teens and early twenties I tried to hide my girliness, as I thought that was right. I would always try and show all the kinds of things I like that aren't girly, such as football and computer games. Let's face it though these days most girly girls, whether geeky or not, like football. So there is nothing new there.
So what changed? Why did I stop trying to hide the girliness within? Yes I still like football, computer games, poker, etc. I guess it's with age, you just decide to be yourself. Although to be fair I have found out that I hid my girliness badly.... and was fooling no one.
Has this ever caused me any problems in my career? No. Have I ever been perceived that I can't do my job? Perhaps sometimes when flustering and not using technical terms, or waffling. Or indeed during the lazy days when I used to flutter my eye lashes and get someone to do my work for me. I don't advise you do that by the way (and I haven't for many years!).... work gets very boring when you're not doing your job and after all I enjoy coding, so why get someone else to do something that I actually do enjoy!!
So now I'm confident in what I know to be right, and confident to say when I just don't know the answer, or sometimes add the phrase "I'm guessing", I think intelligent people respect me. I say intelligent people, as they quickly see through the bubbliness, and the perfect nails, and see that I too know what I'm on about.
I'm going to have to add, that sometimes it's how you deal with people, and that goes for whether you are male or female. Us programmers have egos. In this industry you have to know how to talk to people, how to suggest things, how to fight for what you think is the right way to do something and sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes "Miss Bossy-Boots" comes out, and then it might as well be game over, as no-one likes her when she shows her face.
I've tried different approaches at every company I've worked at, and while the stern no nonsense side of me gets the job done and gains respect from the managers, it becomes a lonely and unrewarding place to be. It's only recently that I've learnt that bubbly friendly, working hard girl still gets the recognition, and not only that, it makes for a much more enjoyable day at the office!
It is interesting that during my early days as a programmer, I look back and don't think that I worked to the best of my ability. However interesting enough I've been chatting to work colleagues from that time and they remember a different picture to me. They remember me as being good at my job, or bringing something new to the team. Someone recently even told me I was a breath of fresh air.
I can only conclude, that I'm girlie, geeky and proud, and how nice it is that I'm not alone in feeling like that! xx