I’ve been a dev for (yikes!) 14 years in September (oh god I feel old). Oddly enough, I think in many ways it’s got worse being a lady dev over the years. Initially, I met very few other women doing this job; then the numbers increased… and now they seem to be dropping off again.
I think it’s become harder to be a lady dev with the advent of social media and the mainstreaming of web stuff. These days, being a dev is far less niche, and that means you get more immature idiots in the industry; the sort of guys who think they’re special & amazing geniuses, and feel that the presence of women in their career somehow denigrates it.
To be honest, I’ve become less & less enthusiastic about dev over the years. I used to want to go all the way – write a Wrox imprint book, speak at conferences etc. Nowadays I rarely go to geek meets & conferences. I got put off meets by the sheer number of times some 24-year-old upstart asked me to “prove” I was really a dev by answering his questions (whatever).
These days I’m quite happy to work as a “safe pair of hands” while my younger colleagues do all the innovating & dynamism. I’m the oldest person on my team, but not the most senior, which does feel odd sometimes! But I’m quite happy to be cruising, keeping up with business as usual, if you see what I mean. Someone has to!
I’ve had a stonking career so far, though; worked with some amazing people at amazing places (e.g. the BBC, the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and the Mill production company). Right now I work for Nature Publishing Group, working on scientific papers.