Women Write Better Code Than Men, Study Suggests

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Silicon Valley, take note: When it comes to coding, women may actually be superior to men.

That conclusion comes from a study published by Cal Poly and North Carolina State University researchers after reviewing more than 1 million users of sharing site Github.

Related: Why I Learned to Code and How You Can in 3 Months

As the largest study to date on gender bias, researchers compared the acceptance rate of individual work contributions by gender by looking at previous activity, projects and contributions made on the website. Contributions mainly include raw code, pull and forking requests. In other words, an ongoing collaboration, alteration and sharing of files or assignments and code between co-workers.

It was found changes made by unidentified women were more commonly accepted than changes made by unidentified men. However, when genders were identified, the acceptance rate for changes made by women dropped 10 percent.

According to the study, this could mean women are simply more competent coders overall. But bias against women in the software industry still exists.

Based on the many anecdotal examples provided within the study and prior research on bias against women in the industry, the results come as no surprise for the researchers, who predicted such a divide existed even before testing their hypothesis.

Edition: June 2017

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