Orla is a programmer. A senior programmer. She has talent, drive, and high hopes for a successful career, and her new job at CouperDaye, a trading firm, will, she thinks, get her where she wants to go. And then, of course, comes the predictable disaster. First, she makes mistakes, the mistakes we all make in an attempt to stay out of trouble or to keep our troubles from growing worse. But at last she stops, assesses her situation, faces facts with courage, and finds a way to recover her faith in herself, survive management incompetence, and save her career.
It is refreshing to read the story of a woman who takes her work seriously and whose first priority isn’t finding or keeping a romantic relationship. It’s especially refreshing to see a woman’s competence depicted in a field where few women compete. Some readers have complained about the jargon, both technical and financial, but for me it was a highlight. It established the author’s competence, and therefore Orla’s, while respecting the intelligence of the reader. I seldom see complaints about technical jargon in books by men. We accept it, whether we understand it or not, as part of the mystique of male-dominated endeavors.
Orla’s Code is well-written, with a fresh style, and subtle and insightful humor. Formatting and layout are also well done.
My only quibble with the story is that we don’t discover who Orla’s love interest is until the end of the book. It was not clear to me why the author saved this as a surprise, but other readers enjoyed it, so I register my response as a quibble rather than a complaint.
I hope we see more books like this—books that depict women taking their rightful place in the world, including the world of work.