back to article Vote, vote, vote for Barbie the computer engineer

Our friends at insideHPC pushed this story recently, but there hasn’t been an accompanying groundswell of buzz, so I’m bringing it to The Register’s audience in an attempt to get the ball rolling. Mattel, purveyor of the iconic Barbie doll, is running a contest to decide Barbie’s next career. She has quite a wide range of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    How about....

    ...Barbie the witch instead.

    We take all the Barbies and burn then, oh and the Bratz things as well...

  2. Rocket
    Paris Hilton


    Playmobil (de)construction may be required

    Who plays Barbie?

  3. alyn
    IT Angle

    cable tester

    She would need a CAT5 cable tester and RJ45 crimp tool and to keep BOFH fans happy a cattle prod.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    As a *true* computer engineer...

    ...such as desktop or network support/admin, she would undoubtedly need:

    Shabby clothes - you aren't going to crawl under desks and into risers in a nice dress.

    Multitool - Leatherman-esque knife/pliers combo for cutting through cabling rats nests.

    A utilitarian handbag with a cheap mobile phone, make up compact, can of deoderant and a pack fo alka-seltzer, for when [and the morning after] comprehensively outdrinking the men in the team. Which seems to be a common theme with the lasses I have worked with.

    Also, a box full of motherboards, hard drives, SCSI cards and GPUs, for her houseshare in south London where she annoys her flatmates by trying to get esoteric old hardware to work properly.

    And a large stock of absinthe.

    There again, mebbe that's just the lasses I have worked with. And loved working with, frankly.

    Anon though, as I don't want a slap from them - as despite all the above, they are still nice fluffy girls at heart.

  5. fifi
    Thumb Up


    A electrified firesafe, complete with beancounter Ken locked inside?

    A USB stick of pr0n and incriminating emails?

  6. Mark Lockwood Silver badge

    No need for a title

    Surely we need a BOFH Barbie, complete with cattle prod

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "true" engineer?

      "such as desktop or network support/admin, "

      That would make her a technician, not an engineer.

      The engineer is the person who designed the system in such a way that the technician needs 6 different Torx screwdrivers and a non-standard wrench in order to change the hard drive.

      Hmm, nearly typed non-standartd /wench/ there. That would be Barbie...

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      and the rest

      She'd need a wallet ful of CD's plus the mantra of 'Can't fix it - will have to rebuild' - which comes about 2 minutes after arriving and doing bugger all.

  7. Doc Dish

    Essential accessories

    What about each doll coming with a dozen frustrated "IT Kens" desperately trying to get her attention?

  8. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Duly voted.

    However, it's going to be hard going removing all traces of the fact I've accessed a Barbie site from work, especially when the boss of the firewall team is notoriously NOT Barbie :)

  9. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    I should have mentioned the idea my wife came up with last week, and I quote..

    "Up the gut Barbie".


  10. Stone Fox

    I can't get at the site from work.

    bah humbug... :-(

    Anyone want to write a basic script to vote repeatedly via a proxy server?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Google Barbie

    Google's HQ is basically a big colourful toyland for attention-deficient children, right? Barbie would fit in perfectly.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I propose a new cable connector standard called the Barbie DD Type.

    These would not fit any know piece of equipment so she could have boxes of the damn things as accessories.

    Paris 'cos she has a usable socket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Just ask around 4chan, they did it before ;)

      Although knowing their taste, next role would be a porn star.

      Anonymous, for obvious reasons.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        or gtfo


      2. Stone Fox

        The first rule.

        You're breaking it...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          2nd rule

          anon you broke it !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Would that be for twisted pair, or coaxial with a crimp coupler? Never mind, you'd never be able to find a male one when you needed it.

  13. LinkOfHyrule

    I used to play with my sisters Barbie dolls...

    ...used to run-the-bitches-over with me Tonka trucks! Wa-ha-haha! Think I also got Ken to be their pimp once too, oh how we laughed!

    Back on topic, Well seeing as Barbie is all like fashionable and stuff, they'd probably give her a magic pink iPad rather then anything that's any use for her job.

  14. Richard Jukes


    A five and a half inch floppy? Oh wait, that would be for ken...

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    All good ideas but your'e missing important accessories

    What are her piercings?

    Eyebrow? Nose? Lip?

  16. Sean Bergeron
    Paris Hilton

    Sneaking Suspicion

    Barbie does QA on commercial Java applications. Paris, because she couldn't figure out pointers, either.

  17. tony72


    "But what would you sell with “Computer Engineer Barbie?” On the clothing front, not that much."

    Not that much clothing? “Semi-Naked Computer Engineer Barbie?” Pervert.

    1. Kevin Dwyer

      Size Matters

      I seem to recall that "proper" floppies were five and a quarter inches - although Barbie would tell Ken that size is not important.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        huh. *Real* floppies are 8-inchers. Still have a box or two...

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Barbie remodelling

      So, what, Geek Barbie is going to be based on the caffiene-happy girl with the odd hairstyle in NCIS?

      Actually... come to think of it... that's not a bad idea.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    oooo eerrr

    Stockings and suspenders required.......for Barbie..........not me.

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Or maybe...

      ...rumpled chinos and a black t-shirt with "I (heart) Big Hard Drives" on it...?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Wot? No photographer?

    They could have made a small fortune selling lenses, upgrading the bodies every year ... They could have done a Nikon and asked $8,000 for a new model. For those who like the retro feel, they could have sold, darkroom Barbie, complete with chemical stains on her hands and an instant response of hands flying to her face when coming out in to the sunlight.

    ... or are they too scared that the combination of Barbie, Ken and the little red light might be a little too much for young minds?

  20. Velv Silver badge

    Moveable fingers....

    ... so she can press Ctrl-Alt-Del

  21. Steve Swann


    I don't think she'd need many accessories really, after all she'd be promoted to PM pretty damned quick and just have to tell us engineers what we should be doing on a daily basis instead.

    I think she needs a diploma from some crappy management school, a copy of the contractual SLA's and budgetary control. Possibly a copy of "PCs for Dummies" so she can understand all the technical language that real engineers sling around?

    Oh yeah, perhaps some carpet burns from the promotional process too.

  22. Dennis
    Big Brother

    Cabling Engineer

    In some places this might be called cable monkey, though in Barbie's case cable bunnie may be apt.

    Then she'd need all the necessary protectives ....

    A backless, topless boiler suit,

    And high-heeled hobnail army boots.

  23. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Actually voting

    It seems as if the only connection go out to Google Analythics and "Scorecard Research", whatever that is. I need to research that later.

  24. Wommit

    Barbie DBA

    She can have a whole wardrobe full of heavy metal / geek / just plain rude Tee shirts, mountain boots, thirty or forty pairs of jeans (of which she only wears her 'favourite' pair), oh and a single dress for when she visits her Mum.

    Her dressing table can be fitted out with sample beers from all over the world, and single speed CD drives and 32MB HDDs, various Linux distro CDs, three boxes of A4 micro-perf fan fold printer paper, 170 to 200 kilos of various technical manuals for such exciting things as Apollo Domain Unix installation complete with 57 5 1/4 inch floppy disks, Borland C (Brand New, Try it today!!!) George, The Operating System. A single lipstick (the one she bought the day after she left school) currently lying under one of the boxes of fan fold paper.

    She can have an anorak for the winter and a thick leather coat for the summer.

    See so much and I haven't even started on her real home (her cubical) yet.

    Ken should be her manager, with pointy hair. She hates him.

    1. heyrick Silver badge


      If you drop out the girly stuff, it's disturbingly like my dressing table. Fan-fold, check. HDDs are 40/60Mb. CDs, iomegas, blah blah. Linux distro? Minix3-yeah! TurboPascal 5.5 full set (well, hey, a quid from a charity shop!). You forgot the 386 motherboards, four different types of memory (remember the old 30-pin SIMMs?) and various bits that once belonged inside a BBC Micro...

  25. MB 1

    Speaking Barbie

    Pull the string dangling out of her back and she could say 'Have you tried turning it off and on again?'

  26. gotes

    Computer engineer?

    Come on, how about something more realistic, like crazy old cat woman?

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Thumb Up

      Best idea ever!

      Seriously, Best idea ever! Accessories should include, little tins of cat food, soiled baggy clothing, over-flowing litter trays and as a special bonus, Ken in a new role as "Community psychiatric nurse" to check on Barbie to make sure shes not laying dead on the kitchen floor, surrounded by very hungry cats.

    2. Wommit

      Oh no

      She's Helpdesk Barbie

  27. The Indomitable Gall

    I voted computer engineer

    I voted computer engineer, but I only voted at all because I know that if it comes out, Moss and Roy will get their hands on one. I have no idea what they'll do with it, but it ought to be hilarious.

    In fact, it probably doesn't matter -- now that the suggestion's out there, it'll probably find its way into the series whether or not it actually exists.

  28. No, I will not fix your computer

    20+ years in IT tells me....

    (Almost) every "Computer Engineer Barbie" will either very quickly move to another department (IT management or something "audity") or leave and start having babies, then be too far "out of it" to return when the short ones are big enough to be left alone so they'll go into teaching or something else instead.

    Sigh... whatever she wears she'll need to have a change of clothes, IT is rarely a career.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what would you sell with “Computer Engineer Barbie?”

    Barbie's first noose

    Barbie's first jumbo bottle of paracetamol

    Plane tickets to Switzerland

    The possibilities are endless.

  30. Chris007
    Paris Hilton

    surely her first job... as the programmer for the Aussie company - believe she'll make the requirements

  31. The Indomitable Gall


    I reckon this is a fit up.

    I'm pretty certain the next Barbie will be a computer engineer whichever way the public votes.

    Why? Cross-selling: there will be a pink Barbie netbook computer on the shelves by Christmas, you mark my words.

    1. Nebulo

      Well, really!

      Now look what you've done. I wasn't going to vote, I really wasn't, then you mentioned that pink Barbie netbook computer and ...

  32. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    Give her an iPad

    Oh, and don't forget the black turtleneck. Ok, ok, I know that's closer to industrial designer than computer engineer but let's face it. Imagine the extra hype that could be generated if Steve's stand in had double H bulgarian airbags!

  33. Anonymous Coward

    I voted as you asked

    and spent 2 hours playing with the games on the Barbie site. Thanks a lot, guys

    1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Paris Hilton

      Hey, girl!

      I tried to vote, but all I got was:

      You need to download the latest version of Flash in order to check this out.

      If you need help, ask a grownup!

  34. Jango
    Paris Hilton

    Engineer ?

    But Barbie's blonde ....

    Paris - cuz she's in the same league

  35. Dana W

    Why not?

    As one of the few people here who can say I've collected Barbies ans well as computers, I really want to see this. "My first one came home as a monitor toy" Not really bought into Barbies much in the last several years, but I love odd, non standard Barbies. From Morticia Adams Barbie, to Star Trek Barbie, to Gay "Earring magic" Ken. I'll be the first to go out and buy one. And if they don't give her a PINK laptop I know a few other women who will too.

    The Bratz people have pretty much sewn up the "Teenage Skank" doll market, Mattel hates to admit it but it lost most of the kid market to them and now does its best in dolls that sell to adult collectors.

  36. Flakey

    I voted for.......

    ....Surgeon. Just think of the sales of operating theatre equipment, blood soaked gowns and, when the string is pulled, cries of "scalpel....suction"..and of course there is always the possibility of the operation going wrong which leads to 'Litigation Barbie' jeez, the possibilities are endless

  37. Jimbo 6

    For proper realism...

    ...surely we need "Human-Resources Barbie" ? Or would that be totally indistinguishable from the real thing ?

    Not actually a joke I suppose, more of a cynical observation.

  38. Nusato


    Engineers don't BUY clothing, we go to sponsored events and get free t-shirts.

    Yes, you could sell me a Barbie with her own PDA and Bluetooth Headset. So long as I get matching HP/Microsoft/Dell shirts to go with it. In fact, everything she carries should have some sort of corporate stamp. From the CW backpack to the MS CD carrier (holding a stack of Debian distros).

  39. Martin Usher
    Paris Hilton

    So what,, exactly, is a computer engineer?

    Twenty or thirty years ago there were such people. These days you've got the techs who keep a company's computers and networks running. The developers themselves look like ordinary (for us) people, male and female.

    BTW -- I have it on good authority that being over endowed in the bust is a serious nuisance if you want to get anything done. (If you've got nobody to ask then check out the episode of the Simpsons a year or so back when Marge accidentally gets augmented.)

  40. Goat Jam

    Divorced Barbie

    She comes with all Kens stuff

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    re: clothing

    Good lord! You've figured out a way to make Sun profitable.....oh, too late...

    Just think, she has an Purple SGI box, and blue Juniper firewall, and a F-5 BigIP with the bright red logo... hell, maybe more hotties will want to be in I.T. if they think Barbie can do it too.

    On the other hand, some of us ********* already have the modded Barbie Joystick w/ pierced nipples (added) and other piercings (added to added anotomical features)

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Restricted choice!

    I wanted to vote for Pope Barbie. Bound to be better than the current Protector of Paedophile Priests...

  43. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Opportunities ...

    The small accessories are OK, but what about the big stuff: the Barbie Data Centre... rows of tall, thin 19" racks, with lots of opportunities for product placement (aww, cute, it's got a tiny CISCO logo...), AC units, UPS... Also fits with the Barbie Secure Data Centre - add the credit card logos on the payment processing kit (note: Ken's Guard Desk (with entry log book and CCTV monitors) sold separately).

    1. David Stever

      Barbie Data Centers

      The data center in a box makes a perfect Barbie add-on accessory. The trailer that unfolds into the Google style stackable data center. Plug the USB cable in, and it can be used as a USB hub. Make 'em pink, throw some corporate logos on it, logos that could be paid for in a licensing deal, and Mattel will make out with this.

      Ken dolls, with tented pants ("you're REALLY pretty, Barbie! Would you like to go out to lunch with us?") and lab coats...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mattel will never go for it but

    I think Computer Engineer Barbie is going to need:

    No dress sense

    Thick NHS glasses

    Polo necks

    Wallet full of CDs

    Lord of the Rings action figures on her desk

    Strange musty smell

    As well as the usual computer accessories:




    piece of old pizza down behind the screen

    Empty drinks cans

    Signed photo of Leonard Nimmoy


  45. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I don't think it's beeing counted

    Has anybody found the connection which sends the vote yet?

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Why did I think....

    of pocket protectors?

  47. Emilio Desalvo
    Paris Hilton


    ... she already works at Mattel's given that the page didn't work why Firefox, at least for me...

    Paris, because they would probably be co-workers...

  48. Hungry Sean

    view from across the pond

    Why on earth do you Brits think a computer engineer is someone who spends their days mucking about with wires and providing tech support to lusers? Here in the states, computer engineering includes disciplines such as: digital circuits; embedded systems; computer architecture; distributed systems; networking; and DSP. CE Barbie obviously spends her days in a cubicle covered with Matrix and LoTR posters, squinting at tiny font, diagrams, and possibly wave forms.

    In her cube, she needs to have a stuffed Tux, some old dilbert books, xkcd comics, dual-head monitor, and a giant coffee mug. As fashion accessories, she should come with removable carpal tunnel support gloves, a carabiner filled with keys, bottle opener, mini leatherman, etc., an android phone, and little or no social life.

    Hmm, on second thought, it'd be nice to get more women entering this field. Maybe honesty isn't the best policy.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      engineers do not do IT work

      Thanks Hungry Sean. I'm a computer engineer and work on embedded systems, C programming, VHDL code for FPGAs. I have yet to meet a computer engineer that has anything to do with IT techie nonsense (unless they're working on their own computers at home). I'm the one usually calling the IT department to fix my Windows problems so I can focus on more important problems to my job description such as, why does this board not work?!?! Why won't my code compile?!?! Why are my waveforms delayed a clock cycle?!?! The SPI on my DAC is not responding?!?!

  49. David 45

    How to deal with problems

    Barbie engineer's stock cure will probably be: "Re-install Windows.......Have a nice day, y' all".

  50. Anonymous Coward


    I like the idea of computer engineer barbie! I am a young single woman and a computer engineer so of course I like the idea. I kind of like the barbie but she needs a cup of coffee and a purse with way too much stuff in it. she also could use an iPod unless of course she is streaming music via her bluetooth headset from her smartphone.

    I think she needs to lose the blazer and get a cute casual sweater. Oh yeah! Don't forget her all important ESD wrist strap!!! LOL! Get her a pink one! We can't have her zapping all of her Altera development hardware!!

    She also needs her badge! Where is her badge! How will she get into the building where she works? Get her a cute pink lanyard for her badge, or like me - a super cool retractable badge clip! I like the badge clip better so I don't choke myself dashing from one lab bench to the other.


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