A group of programmers came together during one of their four daily one-hour tea breaks, and were debating whether computers should be assigned male or female genders. None of them could decide what gender a computer should be.
A consultant walked past on his first 3 minute break of the day, and overheard their argument. So for fun he split them into two groups, by gender, and asked them to come up with reasons as to whether a “computer” should be a masculine or feminine noun.
Both groups were required to give four reasons for their recommendation. After caucusing over more donuts and coffee, they presented their findings.
The men’s group went first and decided that computers should definitely be of the feminine gender because:
- No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
- The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
- Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for possible later retrieval; and
- As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay-check on accessories for it.
The women’s group, however, interrupted their high-fives and laughter by concluding that computers should be masculine because:
- In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on;
- They have a lot of data but they are still clueless;
- They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
- As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you’d waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
Before he could declare a winner, the consultant left. He had real work to do.