I have been reading SCJP for Java 5 Study Guide by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates. It’s a very well written book, but there is one very weird thing… Whenever the authors have referred to the users, it is in the female gender.. as in “The user should make note of this so that she does not mess up the exam”.

The two places where I remember seeing this usage in the book are:

  • When a programmer creates a class, she creates methods for that class.
  • It’s quite possible that the developer enhancing class B has no knowledge of class A, why would she?

now… now… I am not a MCP… but this is the first book that I have seen written this way. And… I must admit, it’s quite funny to refer to programmer and developer as “she”. I know many females who are good at coding and developing, but still, it’s just funny… Just seems weird as I have always seen the readers and users being referred to as males or males/females.

My Master’s advisor suggests the best way to get out of this problem. Simply refer to the users in plural. So, I could change the above sentence to “The users should make note of this so that they do not mess up the exam”. Might make the whole thing a little more impersonal, but definitely better than using he or she.

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