I took on an internship at a software company several months ago. When I interviewed and visited the office, everybody was very nice and I felt I would fit in.

As time has passed, I think people have gotten very "comfortable" and "casual" and I am no longer comfortable with the culture in the office. There are a lot of mean jokes and it feels very awkward to be a female developer here (there have been two instances when nudie calendars have showed up in the office, much to the amusement of everybody else - there is much more but I want to keep this short). I feel like an outcast and wish I could have predicted this shift in culture.

What are some indicators I could look for next time?

edit: not totally cool with the duplicate mark, I should have been more clear in that I was looking for indicators of underlying bro culture/general weirdness about stuff relating to women, especially in software.

  • 1
    Based on your concerns, you might want to try and find a company with female ownership / management / principals Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 20:09
  • 1
    Sounds a bit like it's been answered here
    – Lotok
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 20:39
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    This question of mine is very similar.
    – enderland
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 22:06
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    Thanks @enderland. This answer was especially useful to me.
    – tM --
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 2:00
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    You might also consider staying away from start-ups, they tend to have more of a boys club atmosphere than places where software isn't the main business and they have a lot of female employees in other roles. Most female developers I know (and I am one) feel more comfortable in a place where there are other female employees especially if none of the developers are. That tends to limit the "boys will be boys" garbage.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


When last time I applied for new opportunity\es I always made benchmarks regarding the community and the internal culture. I asked for information from my friends and acquaintances about the company as well as the employees.

During the process sometimes I visited the employer and tried to drink a coffee\had a talk with my would be leader or compeers. If I sympathized with the company I was in communication strong enough with the guys as could I do and gained really much information about the company. In additional I checked the employer's online presence regarding the social media also and this was a huge source of information and indeed useful.

I suggest that next time try to come in contact with the employers on informal way and making benchmarks online-offline as well.

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