The archetype of software engineering dress code is quite parochial: a t-shirt (usually featuring a conference or programming language logo, or a geek joke), a pair of jeans, snickers, and a sweatshirt, in case the weather gets more San Francisco-like than you might expect. And that is it. Let us admit it: the “about us” page of software companies often looks like advertising for The Gap, American Apparel, or sometimes even, sadly, Abercrombie & Fitch, minus the abs, of course.
This prototypical vision is strongly influenced by a software industry predominantly populated by white males between 25 and 35 years old. Thankfully, the winds of change, particularly since the 2010s, have brought a much-needed breath of fresh air, and we see more and more people from other ethnic and gender groups lately.
(Well, at least in some parts of the world. In Switzerland, as usual, we are quite a bit behind the rest of the world, this time in terms of diversity. The software industry in this country remains a stubbornly white male affair, at least for now.)
We also saw during the last decade the rise in popularity of a new kind of entertainer: the social media influencer. Many have built solid names in the tech field; suffice to mention Justine Ezarik (aka iJustine), Linus Sebastian (aka Linus Tech Tips), and Marques Keith Brownlee (aka MKBHD), among a myriad of others.
Hence our choice for this month’s Vidéothèque section: Mayuko Inoue’s video “What I wear to work in a week (as a Software Engineer)”. Mayuko is an iOS software engineer and social media personality from San Diego, USA. She has worked for companies such as Patreon and Netflix, and shares her experiences of being a software engineer in various online channels. She is the voice of a whole new generation of female software engineers, sharing their passion and expertise, and inspiring future generations to join our industry.
In her video “What I wear to work in a week (as a Software Engineer)” Mayuko shares the rationale and motivation to choose an outfit that corresponds to the expectations and the look & feel of the industry. She mentions a newfound love for fashion, as a motivation to “energize” herself and to feel comfortable while working, and then she describes five basic outfits that make her feel comfortable at work, while at the same time making her feel good in general.
Mayuko is an excellent storyteller, touching a variety of subjects. She has been interviewed in various podcasts and magazines, speaking against the spread of hustle culture in the tech industry, explaining how to build a career as a content creator, and in general, letting her followers know more about what it is like to work in the tech field.
Complement Mayuko’s video with this complete dress code guide, followed by Microsoft’s, Google’s, Facebook’s, and Netflix’s specific dress code guides. Spoiler alert: The Gap, American Apparel, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Cover snapshot chosen by the author.