Many times before I’ve written how the video game industry is a male dominated one. Yet all this time that I’ve been working at EA as a software engineer, I’ve been lucky enough to work with a female software engineer. “Lisa” as I shall call her, has been sole female SE on our team since before 2006. She just happens to have the only PhD in computer science on our team as well.
Back when I knew nothing about the PS3 (yes, I actually do know something about it now), it was Lisa who sat down with me and gave me the tour through the PS3 dev tools. Believe me, the Sony dev tools back then for PS3 weren’t the best but Lisa was able to cut through all the crap to show me how to at least get the debugger running.
Over the last few years, Lisa has been patient while I asked my questions, answering so that I could go back and get unstuck from my problems. It’s not a big surprise to me and other people that many would consider her one of the best PS3 programmers on the planet.
A few months ago, Lisa and her husband got the great news that a baby was on the way. It’s been interesting as the pregnancy developed. In our programmers meetings, it was great to see half a dozen guys jump from their seats to offer them to Lisa as she arrived for the discussions. Two weeks ago, I had a problem and Lisa volunteered to take a look over at my computer. I felt bad that I was forcing her to walk all the way to my desk in her very developed state.
Lisa started her one year maternity today. On her last Friday, we got her cards and a small gift. We’ll all miss Lisa and hope her time off will be well-spent. Don’t tell anyone but I hope the little boy/girl grows up to be like their Mom, a pretty good programmer.
As Lisa said herself on Friday, our band of software engineers is now all boys. I hope our code doesn’t get all stinky now.