A popular female coding influencer’s Instagram is apparently run by a man

Eduards Sizovs, founder of software developer conference DevTernity, has already been in the headlines for listing fake female speakers for a conference. Now, it has been revealed that Sizovs may also be behind is also behind Coding_Unicorn, a popular Instagram account supposedly run by a female coder, 404 Media reports.

Coding_Unicorn has 115,000 followers on Instagram and claims to be run by a professional software developer named Julia. The account features photos — many of which are glamour shots — of Julia at a MacBook alongside "no-BS coding, career, productivity tips." 

404 Media has laid out a range of evidence that Sizovs is responsible for the account, such as a YouTube video showing Sizovs having previously logged into the account's email and photos of Julia's computer screen that show her logged in as Sizovs. Some of Julia's Instagram captions are also exact copies of Sizovs' LinkedIn posts. 

Julia also lists herself as a DevTernity fan and links to the company's upcoming conferences. She was allegedly going to speak at a conference but "switched to helping with the organization." The event, which was set to start on December 7, has been canceled following the allegations that fake women were added to the lineup in an effort for it to look diverse. Two women — one listed as a staff engineer at Coinbase and another as a Microsoft MVP and WhatsApp senior engineer — were removed from DevTernity's website and have no online presence or, potentially, existence at all, according to The Register.  

Sizovs responded to the conference allegations on X: "The amount of hate and lynching I keep receiving is as if I would have scammed or killed someone. But I won't defend myself because I don't feel guilty. I did nothing terrible that I need to apologize for." Sizovs did admit that one profile listed on the site was a "demo persona" that was "auto-generated, with a random title, random Twitter handle, random picture." However, skeptics claim removing the person should have been simple and that it didn't appear to be auto-generated at all, with the picture even changing early on.

Looking to the future, Sizovs said, "I’ll increase efforts 10x to make sure that next year, if one of our ladies drops out, we have a fallback plan." As for Unicorn_Coding, it's unclear who exactly the woman is in the photos or how she's connected to Sizovs. Read 404 Media's article to learn more about this wild case.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/a-popular-female-coding-influencers-instagram-is-apparently-run-by-a-man-115046245.html?src=rss

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