Computer Engineer Barbie: La geek, c'est chic

Mattel has announced Computer Engineer Barbie, the latest (and greatest) doll in the ever-popular Barbie range. Barbie's latest career move was decided in an online poll last month

Barbie has turned her hand to many a profession over the years -- from ballerina to astronaut, from US President to fashion model, her career has been long and varied. You might be surprised, however, to learn of the oddly proportioned doll's latest change of vocation -- she's now coding her cotton socks off as a computer engineer.

She won't be available to purchase until later this year, but Mattel has kindly provided some pictures in order to drum up excitement. As you can see, this elegant little miss is rocking a functional Bluetooth headset for mobile productivity, a practical hairstyle and some stylish pink glasses because, y'know, nerds wear glasses.

We particularly like Barbie's binary-themed clothing and pink netbook -- we'd guess she's running a modded version of Ubuntu -- and her chunky wristwatch looks like it's capable of some serious multitasking. Energy drinks and LAN-party accessories will be sold separately.

You may well have detected the eager hand of the online community at work here. Last month a poll was launched on the Mattel Web site to decide Barbie's next job, with computer engineer being one of the many possible options. Once the fickle beast we know as the Internet got hold of this, there was really only one way the vote could go. Maximum kudos to Mattel for keeping its word on this -- apparently it worked closely with the Society of Women Engineers during the doll's development.

So -- is Computer Engineer Barbie a crass abomination that furthers the stereotype that everything a girl owns should be pink and sparkly ? Or is she a bold bastion of 21st century feminism, dispelling the myth that girls should aspire to nothing more cerebral than bagging a rich husband? Answers in the comments please.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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