How to Get Girls Into Coding –

WHEN I was 7 years old, I knew the capitals of most major countries and their currencies. I had to, if I wanted to track down a devious criminal mastermind in the computer game “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” On screen, the ACME Detective Agency would spit out clues like notable landmarks to help players identify the city where Carmen’s globe-trotting henchmen were hiding out. I wouldn’t learn how to pronounce Reykjavik for more than a decade, but I could tell you that its currency was called the krona.

I was the child of Indian immigrants, and like any begrudging Bengal tiger cub, I penciled in fill-in-the-blank maps and memorized multiplication tables after dinner. I was much more motivated to learn about geography by chasing Carmen Sandiego on the family Macintosh Plus. I couldn’t confidently point to Iceland on a map. But I did become a technology reporter.

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Rima NYT Comment SmallYour assessment is spot-on, Nitasha!

The problems we’re up against are the strong resurgent sexist and anti-intellectual sentiments in our lives today. It is unsurprising to read about the discouragement of those girls who gave after-school programs a try. Where is the nurturing and support from the rest of us? Where would they get the sense that society is encouraging them? Where is that wind of change that tells a girl that it’s ok, she can be whoever she wants to be and she’ll have the same chance at a technical career as her male peers? If even Google can’t manage to hire more women… Right?

My daugher is a second year fine arts major with a strong interest in gaming design. Here’s what she has to say:

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