Nevertheless, Ali Coded

Ali Spittel on March 08, 2019

Nevertheless, Ali coded... and wrote about it online. [Read Full]
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Ali, ignore the randos. You are a highly respected professional and we think you are amazing!!!


I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. It pains me a lot.


This was heartbreaking to scroll through, and the worst part is I'm sure it's only a small fraction of these kind of messages that you get. Thank you so much for continuing to share your thoughts and your knowledge with the developer community, even when this happens. <3


That last screenshot is especially powerful. Thank you for sharing this important perspective with all of us, Ali.

I admire your strength, and I appreciate everything that you do for all of us in the DEV Community and well beyond.


Well that's put me off my tea.

All of these people need to get right in the bin.


My heart broke as I read through this. You're such an inspiration, Ali. Please never let the haters get you down! <3


This makes me cry. Saying “happy international women day”, there is no happy after all, just a day to day fighting basis. IT, geek, nerd world are too sexist, too machist. It is unfair to say sorry about it. There is no excuses for things like this. Ali, you are powerfull, your speech, your lessons, your code, your job. You and all women in this business.

We have to remember Kathleen Booth for creating assemblers and Grace Hopper for creating compilers. These women made coding easy and just because of it men take all space in this area.

This is your speak place, sorry if I had to go so deep, it really makes me cry. I manage my teams to fight this but is hard too, even when distribute tasks some of my colleagues only pass easy stuff to women, this needs to change, this and all related stuff, equal payment, ascension and etc. No one have the power to minimize your efforts to make coding accessible, you’re amazing. I can’t say sorry but I can say thank you, next.


Wow. I'm brought to tears reading through this. I'm so sorry. As a woman currently studying computer science... this scares me, but I'm so thankful that there are people ahead of my females peers and I who are blazing this trail, fighting battles for us. Thank you.


Just want to say that there are good places to work, where gender is not an issue. I have enjoyed 18 years of fun and challenging work with great coworkers and bosses that encouraged me. Online seems to be another issue though and is still a place where I choose a robot as a profile... Hang in there and come join the rest of us, the more women we get the easier it will be!


Ali, to see you excel in the face of constant abuse ... I don't have the words. You are a force and I sincerely thank you for all that you continuously do for tech.🌟🌟🌟


Angie, you're such an inspiration and I'm so grateful for all the women who have come before me! Thank you for all you do too! (Also, I think you're keynoting a conf I'm speaking at this year!!!)


Wow Ali! This is a lot to deal with. I get that trolls are everywhere but this is so much. Sending over all the ❤️


Sorry to see all of this! Keep being you and thanks for all the work you've done for the community.


This is horrible and I'm so sorry that you have to deal with these idiots and fools. I imagine it can be exhausting. It is truly inspirational that you continue sharing and have such a wonderful and positive attitude, despite all of this in the background. You are awesome!


Ali, you have all of my respect after making this post.

I can only imagine that the amount of stuff that women have to deal with in the tech industry is really overwhelming at times. But, you seem to always manage to find a way to handle these situations with grace, brevity, and professionalism that I personally don't think I could handle if I was in your shoes.

For this, I definitely don't want to say I'm sorry or anything along the lines of that - I want to say PLEASE keep being you, and continue to challenge the status quo of what a woman in tech can AND should look like.

Cheers to you.


Ah, thank you so so so much! That means the world to me -- cheers to you too!


Oh my god... I'm so sorry that you, and many other women, have to deal with this. Thank you for sharing and keep coding and doing what you're doing!

Although the sexist douchebags out there are many and loud I hope that you keep in mind that the people who respects you and admires your professional skills are many more!


I hate it but I believe it. I have not had this in social media, however I am fairly new to twitter...but I have had a long career in various tech fields, I am over 40 and 4 kids, I coded in my 20's and had some inapproriate advances (too much) I recently wrote about it in a blog that sort of came out unexpected (from years as a female in tech) here: Recently I had a coding colleage harrass me at our grad. This is what prompted my reflective blog.

Please continue to shed light here, to help others going through it. And continue to be the techy hardworking brainiac you are -- you are helping pave the way for all the current and young next girls in tech!!


Aw, thank you so much!! I'm so sorry to hear about that, keep being awesome!


Thousands of years of civilization and this is all the better we can do? It sucks that you and so many other women have to endure this kind of harassment. I hate that as a father of three girls I've had to prepare them for this.

One of my daughters is interested in learning to code. Thank you for being a wonderful example to her. I'm sorry this happens to you. I hope it never drives you away.


I'm always aware these attitudes exist, but seeing them all collected into one place...oy vey. I'm sorry anyone would have to deal with so many neanderthal-style thinkers.

Thank you for being awesome at everything you do, Ali! I always enjoy your articles.


This is truly disturbing. From engineer to engineer I just can say: keep what you're doing, don't let them judge you!


I always read your articles. You seem to be a great coder (say seem cause i dont really know you). Anyway, send this guys to hell. In the country that i live we are facing hard politics moments, for women and human rights in general. This is make women here mobilize even more, turning the girls fighting for rights a really inspirational example as a path to a real world cultural change. thank you for inspiring us to try to be better human beings, and hugs from brazil.


As an old man used to discuss with grown-ups, to chat with smart men and women in safe areas, I tend to forget how rough it can be sometimes.

Thanks to remember us concretely that misogyny in tech is a real problem, and what shapes it takes. This collection is eyes-opening.


I can relate which is why I don't show my face online v much. Having a career as an artist which was even more public, it seemed like even people I was working with sometimes felt comfortable to cross that line. I am glad to be comfortable with telling people it's inappropriate and to shut it down. And yeah regardless of this, there are many things to enjoy about code that are NOT this kind of community 🤬


Is really cringy for me to read through the whole thing while realizing is true (because I've seen several of this fools who lack any social skills out there) but at the same time I feel a sense of relief at the end of the post 'cause despite all that sht you still keep coding AND writing about it online. Never stop doing it and keep inspiring thousands while at it :)


I'm so impressed with how you deal with everything.


To get through this and still keep going, that's something no man, including myself, will ever be able to understand. It sucks to see that this happens everywhere. Be strong and keep going and hopefully you'll be enough of an influence so that we start eliminating the structural sexism that we see it daily.


Makes me mad!

I remember being outraged when a friend of mine told me that during a job interview for a software engineering job that the interviewer felt it was necessary to ask if she had a boyfriend and why not.

That's so creepy, or judgemental, or both.

Tired of folks telling me that science and engineering is for boys, and nerdy girls are un-cute.

Note: Un-cute - means you were cute, until you starting doing X.

People just can't believe that you can be cute / pretty / beautiful and have good brains and write damn good code.

You go girl! Thanks for showing 'em what you're made of!


sees one of the questions is about girl coders on youtube

Oh there was a girl who was doing python videos a few years ago! I loved her videos, she was cool, let me see if I can find it.

Here she is:

It's been forever ago since she released a video, but I always remember her :P


Also, I admire how you ignored them because I certainly wouldn't have reacted that way. I tend to go all aggretsuko when I get horrible messages. >-<

Glad you're still here with us :3


I didn't realise until now that I've normalised alot of the mistreatment I myself have faced as a woman. I literally thought this what I had to accept.

To read the harrassment you get, especially when you contribute tons to the community, I'm so sorry. Like, damn


Ali, I am sorry that this is the sh** you have to deal with on a daily basis. But thank you for pushing through and providing the community with your incredible thought leadership, patience, and passion for your craft. You are awesome and I appreciate all you do.


Woah, you made one heck of a statement without typing a word for this post.

I'm so sorry that face this, but I'm so glad that you do. It would be much easier to hide, but instead you are here making a better place for everyone. (Even for the ones who don't deserve it)


Online catcalling can be just as bad as irl. What depravities. People are so ignorant and rude. You're probably ten times smarter than the lot of em'! <3

Thank you for speaking out! We need it!


That is a lot to deal with! You're such inspiration to all of the women!! Keep coding!!


Hi Ali! Your posts are always very helpful to me and I would like to express my gratitude here. It is sad to see that your received so much harassing messages, and I even cannot understand why these would ever happen in 2019.

As a female, I am always supporting you! Don't give up and keep doing your best! Thank you so much :)


I know everyone here in the community appreciates all the great work you do. Sorry you have to deal with this awfulness.


Love this post, and hate how painful it is to read.

These are horrible... why are men so terrible. So many thoughts / questions about this. Why? Would people act like this if it weren't online - aka say it your face? Does it ever actually work? Does it just feel empowering?

I actually would love to have discussion / movement on how men can be better ally. Besides telling people not do to dumb stuff. Men are the issue here, how do we involve them?

Also - I wish there was some tactful way to publicly shame people... almost like a board you would see a store - "do not accept a check from this person". How do you cut down on this type of behavior. Feels like there is no punishment, especially online, for sending an abusive message.


That's super sad. Thanks for putting it in light once again.
Just yesterday was speaking about it explaining that when I spot these "guys" I remember them that the "L" in the SOLID principle stands for Barbara Liskov, and her substitution principle.
Thank you for being so strong to ignore them and pushing forward with your work.


So sorry you’ve had to deal with this! You’re fab


I think back to the wonderful insight you offered me, as I struggled to become a developer. I am really glad you haven’t let fools like this deter you from maintaining the confidence and compassion needed to help others. It’s hard to believe this kind of thing exists until you actually read it. I’m sorry you have to experience this level of stupidity. Don’t take those fools to heart. I am deeply appreciative of the developer that you are and that you were willing to freely share your knowledge with me.


It is painful to watch :( Thanks for sharing and be prowed of yourself


People are funny' like that.
Here's a random quote.

“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

-Douglas Adams


this was painful to read, I'm sorry that people are like this. I can kind of see what they were trying to do, an attempt at a compliment, a hope to start a conversation with someone they find attractive, but all of that felt off, like every mention of looks was like that was all they saw...


I hate everything about this. Such fragility.


JFC that was hard to read through. My sympathies!!


This is ridiculous, and I'm sorry you have to deal with all of this crap. I'm glad you've persisted, and especially glad that you've continued to write about it!


You're marvelous Ali, :) just ignore them. Keep coding and sharing! you help us people like me a lot! and that's the thing that matters. Sorry for my english haha I'm trying haha!


Some people weren't raised right and it really shows. Sorry you and others are dealing with that daily.


I'm sorry you have to deal with this nonsense, please hear me when I say that you and your content are a very welcome voice here and on Twitter.


I'm sorry for all you have been gone through. Thanks for bringing awereness to all of us. I'm glad that nevertheless you continue coding and sharing your knowledge. Keep it up!


Stay strong. It's a shame you have to, though.


I am inspired to include pinks in all my colour schemes from today onwards!

Keep up the good work Ali, you're awesome and appreciated.


I'm so sorry you get all this. You do so many great things and contribute such a lot to the tech community!


Oh wow, thank you for still sharing your knowledge even though all the creeps.
P. S. I hope for all the nasty ppl out there, there's twice as many nice ones.


Oh wow, this is so cringe worthy, I feel embarrassed myself 😩

I've basically never had to deal with this crap. This amount is beyond annoying and disrespectful...


It's painful to read, and must be a lot more painful to receive.
Thank you for sharing this reminder of what we need to improve across our industry.

Keep on doing you ❤️



Thank you for saving it all and for sharing. It gave (me at least) a lot of context to keep in mind.


I don't think I've ever *YIKES*ed so hard in my life

those "comments" though 😬


Glad you are writing about this, it's important to bring to light to this issue to light. It's more common than most people think.


Waw... I don't even know what to say. It must be just horrible to face this kind of words everyday.
Cheer up. We need you in tech :)


Lots of mofos on the Internet. Hard to ignore I'm sure and probably wears you down. All I can say is stay awesome and keep up the great work Ali! 💪🔥


Can't believe random strangers feel like they can talk to you this way. Really sad that we still have to put up with this BS. I feel your pain girl, keep coding.


Yikes - thanks for sharing I knew it could be bad, but this is awful.


Keep coding! 💪 💪 💪

And keep ignoring a**holes, they are just sad dudes.


I feel embarrased of being a man when I see messages like these. Ignore them and keep going, you are an inspiration to a lot of people.


Hang in there Ali! These creeps don’t ever go away. The high road is a tough journey but stay on it.


I feel really bad that you have to deal with such types of sexist people on a regular basis, who do not appreciate the hard work you regularly put in your works. I truly appreciate your contributions to the dev community and respect you even more after knowing about all these.

Stay strong and always maintain that positive attitude.



Thank you so much for writing about this Ali! It is so helpful for other women trying to keep their head up to know they're not alone!


Can I steal these screenshots and post them out of context?
Especially the callback one.


Sometimes to make a point. Sometimes, just for the cringe.
Generally please interpret my question as "What license are you publishing the images in this post under?"


Reading that made my skin crawl. I’m sorry you—and other women in this industry—have to put up with crap like that just because you chose to pursue the same career as a man.


Just sending my respect for you continuing in spite of all the garbage shit from garbage men's thinking. I send my thoughts and hope to ya in DC, and if you're ever in Seattle and want to speak, hack some code, chit chat, or just want to grab some food with a group of good souls, just gimme a hollar and we'll all be there. There's more of us good souls then there are these shitty humans, so keep up the spirit we're all here for ya!


What a bunch of disgusting individuals. Thank you for carrying on through this junk.


🤦‍♂️ Props for dealing with idiots all over the place.


Has this kind of shit ever worked for anyone ever?


Holy shit! Really shouldn't have to put up with that


These people really suck and it sucks that you have to deal with that. The Gmail auto responses made me smile :)

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

I am sorry, but as it is the time to be brave, let me be brave too.

If memory serves me right, this comment ( "Came in to find some good career tips to pass around and instead just found a SJW checklist :(" might have been mine (not sure, the comment was deleted).

In the deleted comments, I supported my points while a certain user was just being obnoxious and aggressive - but that is not the point: I never mentioned or, to be fair, even considered your gender. I might not have even noticed that, as I tend to read several articles at once, but that is not the point: while we can certainly agree to disagree on the quality or usefulness of that article, why would that comment (that, again, I am not 100% sure might be from me, but let's pretend it was) in the wall of sexist shame?

I might have remarked the same to any author and, as a matter of fact, I did in another article from an author - who happened to be male -; we agreed to disagree after a polite discussion and end of story:

So, if I don't get deleted again and, trust me, in a non-sarcastic or polemic way, can you tell me how that comment was sexist or specifically aimed at women?


Can I know why this polite comment and all the others not even dissenting, but just deviating a bit from the echo chamber of, got downvoted and marked as "Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct"?

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

Interesting, but do you have to post them on a blog? You could just deal with them and move on as other women do.

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

Am I a terrible human being for thinking some of those are not bad at all? Some are dumb, but the asking out and complements... I don't know, I'd like to get some of those. I also look like the first attempts of an untalented 12 year old trying to draw his favorite anime character so I guess we've experienced life differently, not just in the male/female kinda way, wich I agree is very different.
For real tho, am I missing something? Am I not thinking it the right way?
To clarify, they are weird as shit and I would never do that, but I wouldn't put them at the same level.


I assume you are genuinely curious, not just trying to dismiss Ali's (and other women's) experience, so I am responding.

When a man acts that way in response to a woman sharing technical content, he does two things:
1) Takes focus away from the woman's expertise and credentials, and
2) Shifts focus into himself and his own (sexual/romantic) interests

This does not happen in isolation, but adds up to all the biases, discrimination, stereotypes, and objectification that women have to constantly fight the whole time ("women have poor technical skills", "women are meant for domestic work", "women exist for men's sexual pleasure", etc— ofc these sentiments are usually phrased more subtly, but that's the drift).

As such, at the very least these acts are harmful because they emphasize and perpetuate objetification undergone by women.

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

And again a legitimate, polite question (which was basically also my own thoughts) gets shut down with downvotes.

I received unwanted sexual attention and much, much harsher comments on my code and work as well, but I assume that would not prove a thing.

On top of that, I am not sure about the context, but a few of the comments above (no, I am not referring to the "romantic" ones) did not seem offensive at all on their own.

I am just curious to see if the anti-stereotypes crusaders will just downvote me and label me again as a "white male" at this point.

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