After a summer of determined trial and error, I'd managed to make some gorillas throw things other than exploding bananas. When I was 12, I got my hands on a Slackware disk and installed it on my computer—a Christmas gift from my parents in an especially good year for my dad's company—and I found a bug in a program. I found my way onto IRC and explained the predicament: what was happening, how to reproduce it and where I thought I'd found the problem. coder1: I think she's on a farm somewhere, actually.I was pretty clueless then—I hadn't even realized that the reason I couldn't read the code well was that there was more than one programming language in the world—but the channel denizens pointed me to the project's issue tracker, explained its purpose and helped me file my first bug report. When coder1 told me about the conversation, I was sold on open source.Still, I don't see the area producing a bunch of female hackers.The poverty, urbanization and rising crime aside, girls aren't being raised to hack any more in my hometown than they are anywhere else.Raymond, whose writings I'd devoured shortly after discovering Linux.
The first time he saw a home-built robot, it was shown to him by a local hackerspace member, a woman who happens to administer one of the country's biggest supercomputers. Thanks so much, modern-day "feminism", for putting very unfeminist ideas in my son's head.
There's another place in my life, besides my home, where the idea of technology being a "guy thing" is totally absent: my hometown.
I still visit Sandridge School from time to time, most recently when my old math teacher invited me in to talk to students about STEM careers.
Of course, the key word here is "old" (sorry guys).
Most of the programmers I like are closer to my father's age than mine.