Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thinking About a Career in Computer Science?

Tessa Taylor, Founder of Co, a former software engineer at Affinity Labs (acquired by, and a 2007 graduate of Smith College is referenced in a recent article,  “5 women busting through the tech industry's glass ceiling.”

From the article:

Tessa Taylor, who is 28 and lives in New York City, had a different educational experience than many other female coders. She attended Smith College, a women's liberal arts college with a small, supportive computer science program. Coming into the tech industry, she found that her gender was "called to my attention on a pretty regular basis." Being a woman programmer (she knows languages like PHP and Node.js) is like "walking into a dog park and having all the dogs sniff you to make sure you fit in." But she says she's had a plenty of great male mentors, and she has no problem being called a brogrammer. "Sure, I'll drink a beer with you," she says.

Prior to graduating from Smith College, Tessa attended an all girls' high school for two years (Annie Wright School in Tacoma, WA).  It was here that Tessa really learned the value of empowering girls and women in the classroom by having them be the only ones in the classroom; seeing first-hand the type of women that Annie Wright produced lead Tessa to continue her single-sex education at Smith College.

Tessa writes, “Naysayers of single sex education argue that a women-only classroom does not represent the real world, and that women will be disadvantaged upon graduating because they will have no experience with "real life". I wholeheartedly disagree. Spending time in a women-only environment produces a woman who has a different standard for how she should be treated and how she will take her place in the world. Rather than being disadvantaged by a lack of men, women in single-sex schools are empowered to pursue their interests, step into leadership roles, and to support and encourage each other. With this expectation, graduates go on to break through barriers in every industry and corner of society, because they have learned that they can.

This is of course not to say that co-ed schools don't produce some phenomenal people as well, but that's not what we're here to discuss at the moment.

Smith College is located in Northampton, MA.
Follow Tessa on her blog or via Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I love Tessa's quote and it totally jibes with the experiences I had on graduating from Wilson College. Choosing to attend a women's college is a mature decision and sometimes a brave one - but it is also a smart one for many women. I was one of those.