The dark side of GitHub that you don't often hear about


Love that first-time-contributor badge on GitHub? Its author has shared her experience with harassment while working at GitHub. Have a read:


To be fair, GitHub is definitely not alone in this. I think this blog post highlights a much greater issue in the tech industry in general—lack of empathy.

As engineers, we often focus too much on the technical side of things (myself included). Anil Dash is an advocate for tech morality. Follow him on Twitter (@anildash) for insights.


Wow…dang. Incredible write up… sure does strike fear in my heart though I try not to let it discourage me… A couple weeks ago I read another article of a lady who worked at Google who had a very similar experience as one of the few female devs at the company which was around 10%. Actually overall, women make up less than 12% of developers at most of the major companies… Then there are some companies like Treehouse and 37Signals who dont hire women at all.

For years now, Ive seen the movement of marketing non typical developers into the field, but with the percentages still so low, and the company culture and hostility towards them if they are hired, it really does make me furrow my brow a bit with the wonder of…do I really have a future here??

Anyway, like I said, its not something I like to think about…just putting my nose to the grind to learn what I can and keep the faith that I will find the right fit.


There was an interesting discussion on Hacker News about this.
Also in the issue she opened about the survey questions, it looks like her comments have been redacted.


I believe programmers of both sexes experience the same kind of treatment. Women are just more willing to talk about it when men prefer to keep silent about such things. I don’t really think there is a disadvantage of being a woman at tech.


I dont know… I guess I cant wrap my mind around the idea that a guy would feel apprehensive about it that men make up the majority of the tech field and just keeping quiet about it.

Like, from my perspective, it is discouraging, not just the difficulty in getting a job, which every one of us face, but to know that Im vying to be a part of the 12%, whereas men are vying to be a part of the 88% of people who make up the tech industry. Because women make up such a small percentage and they are hired just for the sake of diversification to look good on paper it does seem to open up an aspect of disrespect. Kind of reminds me of the old “funny” of when if a man got a promotion he worked hard and deserved it, but if a woman got a promotion, she must have slept her way to the top. The point being… seeing a man in a certain role, and seeing a woman in the same role tend to get different reactions.

I dont understand how men are experiencing the same things and just as disadvantaged but would definitely be open to seeing anything about men who felt being a man puts them at a disadvantage in the tech industry. Even if men would prefer to keep silent about it, really would be interesting to see something from that viewpoint.


You’re wrong. There are countless articles, statistical studies, and firsthand accounts that support the claim that there’s gender bias in the tech industry. Tons and tons of evidence over a span of many years now.

At first, I tried to think of a more diplomatic way of saying this, but I respect this community enough to be direct with the people here. Read about other people’s experiences and try to learn from them. Yes, people can be rude to all programmers, but it often hits a way more intense level when directed at women. Sexism can also be less blatant, taking the form of, for instance, salary disparity, limited career mobility, or not being considered for leadership positions.

There are plenty of women and men that will confirm that there is gender bias in the tech industry.


I’m speaking from my experience as a woman who’s been working in tech for several years including both freelance and a relatively big software company. So I don’t know why I need to go and read about other people’s experience. If you don’t agree it’s ok but you don’t need to be a dick about it.


Yeah, I agree. I have never heard of being a man as a disadvantage to entering or being in the tech industry. As a matter of fact, Ive heard only the direct opposite.


"I had been talking to a diversity consultant (who was contracting there at the time) about working with GitHub on diversity and inclusivity"
GIVE ME A BREAK! Another Special Snowflake ™ is triggered by racist repo names (!!!)

"non-binary developers"
IQ of the author of this article is indeed binary. It’s 0.


The author of the blog post is a sexist that judges people by their gender. “the manager was ok, probably because she was not a male”, or something like that. Bunch of bs in that article.


Have you ever seen or heard a man being demoted, fired, ignored, talked over, or in any way disrespected simply for being a man? Every woman I know who has been in tech has had this experience. I don’t personally know any men who have, so I’m genuinely curious if you have.


Are you trying to say that it’s not normal to be bothered by racism? Even if you feel you can ignore it, potential employers who are looking at your Github repos probably won’t. For well-adjusted, working adults, this is a big deal.

“Something like that”? Could you point out the example that you’re paraphrasing?


I want to remind everyone here to read the FreeCodeCamp Code of Conduct. This is an important topic to discuss, yet there is a large contingent of internet denizens who are not emotionally mature enough to handle it. Even if you don’t respect the author or the community enough to not act like petulant child, try to respect yourself enough to keep it civil. If you can’t do that, I’ll be happy to remove you from this community.


I’ve seen men being mistreated by their superiors multiple times. I’ve also had mine share of not so pleasant interactions with coworkers but it didn’t have anything to do with my gender. I haven’t encountered anyone that has been fired based on gender though. I don’t believe an employer would fire a valuable worker just because she’s a woman.


It wasn’t clear in your post that you were speaking from personal experience as a woman in the tech industry. Regardless, bias against women in the tech industry is well documented.


Thank you! :pray: :sparkles:


@prohorova I hope you dont feel defensive and do explain what you mean that guys face the same thing because I really am curious. As a woman who wants to enter a career in tech… well, let me back that up lol as a 40yo black woman who wants to enter a career in tech, I feel like I have the bases covered when it comes to being under represented in the industry.

That part doesnt bother me…I could care less if Im the only old black woman in a room :joy: What does concern me though is the work environment and if I will be accepted and respected by my peers regardless of how different I am from the typical person on the job. I will say, from a lot of things Ive read, it does make me apprehensive. Not enough to scare me away, but enough for me to brace myself for the possibility I will have to prove myself far more than anyone who fits the mold, so to speak, would have to.

Like, everything I read and see around me is about how there are so few women in tech and an effort to diversify the industry so that its more inclusive. For years now, theres been so much marketing towards encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM, and organizations to give women the confidence to compete with what is perceived as a mans world. And after all this time and all that effort, to still see statistics that say women only make up 12% of professional development jobs is pretty disheartening. But from what you’re saying, thats not an issue at all and theres no disadvantage at all…which would mean women are getting hired at least as much as men… so wondering why people would make it to seem thats not true. 12% is a pretty rough number, and I hope for my sake that you’re right, and thats not true.

The “answer” to hire more women to make a company appear more diverse has its drawback… I have been in situations like that, where it was assumed I was only there because of affirmative action, not because I had just as much a right to be there due to my skills and experience, and the hostility was brutal, Im just seen as the person who got the job instead of the person who deserved. So when I read about those cases like in this article, I can relate. Like I said, considering men already make up the overwhelming majority, I really do not understand what you mean when you say they face that same treatment and would like to know more about that side of things, cause being a men in tech as an issue is something no one talks about. And I really am hoping you’re right that women make up far more of tech and dont face any of the issues I keep hearing about.


Did you witness male oppression in tech yourself or you base your opinion on this “well documented” stuff? Just curious


There are so few women in industry because not a lot of women actually want to be programmers. It’s not like nobody hires women engineers, there are just really not a lot of them. If more ladies would pursue a degree in cs instead of majoring in women’s studies the statistics would be better.

Also I think the practice of hiring women to make company appear more diverse is part of the problem. It basically implies “you may not be as good as our male engineers but we are going to hire you anyway cause you’re a woman”. This is wrong. Men and women job seekers should be in the same position.

Overall If you’re a good specialist there should be no problem with finding a job and being respected among your coworkers. I can’t imagine a situation when a woman perfectly fits a job description and being rejected just based on her gender. Finding a good programmer is hard enough already.


Anyone who has a Netflix subscription in the US should watch the documentary called CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap that covers this subject fairly well. Very eye-opening on this subject of women in tech, especially as some women at high-profile companies are interviewed.

I received my BS in Computer Science two years ago (2015) and can actually tell you that approximately 40% (could have been almost 50%, actually) of my graduating class was female. So they’re definitely pursuing STEM degrees in my experience, and not only that but also succeeding—in fact, the summa and magna cum laude graduates were both female.