Code for “I don’t believe you”
Happy Valentines Day! I love the stuffed Han Solo that my husband gave me, and I also love that he celebrates Groundhog Day instead (he got a new hoodie and a 4×4 Rubik’s Cube). We’re weird, but it works.
And now for something that I don’t love. A few weeks ago I posted the following on Facebook:
“Just spent fifteen minutes poring over some pretty straightforward code just to realize that I forgot to put a backslash at the end of a redirect URL. This getting old thing is not for sissies.”
I expected a few chuckles from friends who, like, me, find that aging comes with some forgetfulness. I thought I might get a little bit of validation, perhaps a few comments along the lines of “OMG, forget a semicolon and you’re toast” or “Been there.” What I didn’t expect was comments from men who assumed they knew more than I did about the code:
“Breaking a redirect (or anything) in PHP is allowed because there are like 100 built-in methods for any action.” (True, and I chose the one that made the most sense in the situation. But you have to get the syntax right for each method.)
“Pretty sure you meant forward slash.” (No, I’m pretty sure I meant backslash. Do you somehow have access to my files and therefore think you’re better informed than I am?)
I’ll explain, not that I think it’s necessary: yes, I can code. A little. It’s not the #1 thing that I spend my time on, because it’s not what I enjoy most and it’s frustrating in much the same way that copy editing is frustrating. But I co-own a small test prep business, and we wanted a fun and engaging web page with the ability to accept payment for our classes, and though my business partner is fully competent changing pieces of a page in HTML, I’m the one who has experience with page design and learned ASP when it was trendy (and then switched to PHP when the trend was over). Am I a full-service web developer? Nope. Am I capable of building a page? Yep.
So to my mansplaining dude friends (and I have plenty of friends, male and female, who do this for a living, and only a few of them thought it was their job to correct me): Dudes. It’s coding. If it’s written correctly, the code runs and you get the result you want. If it’s written incorrectly, the code breaks. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t ask any of you for help, and I’m even more sure that it would take you far longer to find the mistake in my code than it took me.
To the rest of you: what are some gender things you really, really don’t love?