Three times so far, I've had that aimed at me. There was also the time when a man much more than twice my age asked me to dinner after a brief computer-related conversation in a book store (note that I was jailbait). It gets old, and it gets old fast. I've heard from plenty of women before about the annoyances of men at tech events who think it appropriate to have a come on be the first (or one of the first) things they say to any lady there.
So, this is for all the obnoxious straight men (and lesbians too, I suppose) at tech events: STOP IT! We don't come to these things to be hit on, I swear.
Would we prefer to be hit on for our brains instead of bodies? Yeah, I would, and I'm sure many others would too. But then, how much can you know about my brain if the first thing you said to me was a come on? So you overheard me talking to someone else. Big deal. Talk to me first. Introduce yourself. A little conversation goes a long way, trust me. I'm much more likely to say yes to a movie or dinner after a bit of conversation. Leading with a pickup line will get you an automatic "NO." Grow some tact.
So, you think you're complimenting me. OK, so you feel like this couldn't possibly rude in any way. It may surprise you, but you're wrong. First, think about why you want to compliment me. I'm a girl that's into computers. OK, that's not a good reason. Do you regularly compliment guys that are into computers just for being into computers? Probably not. Find something that is worth complimenting on its own, regardless of gender. "Hey that script you wrote to do X was really helpful" or "the research you did on Y was interesting" are examples of honest compliments regarding things worthy of being complimented. Compliments just because we're girls make us feel like the phrase "you know, for a girl" is attached. Surely you don't think "that was a nice throw, you know, for a girl" is something female ball players take as a compliment. Essentially, when you compliment me for doing something easy, I hear, added to the end of it, "but you're a girl, so that's really good. I mean, we all know I shouldn't expect you to be able to keep up with the guys on this, so your poor attempt was a nice shot. Computers are for guys, after all." Maybe you don't realize you're saying this, but take notice. Think about your "compliments" before you say them. Will I be offended by your implication that my gender means I'm useless with computers and that my skill level is high just because of my gender? Would you be offended if I said, "oh these are the best cupcakes I've ever had that a guy made"? They're not fantastic cupcakes, but then, I can't expect a man to actually know how to bake, can I? A man's cupcakes that taste like dirt are worthy of praise simply because a man made them, though perfectly worthy of ridicule if a woman made them. Please! Women can handle computers; men can bake. Don't act so shocked when it's thrust in your face, and stop holding each gender to different standards.
Now, we realize that these are mostly jokes, but jokes get old. This one got old some time last century. It might as well be "you know how to use a calculator? marry me!" You're not original. At the very least, come up with something new. If you must be unoriginal, tea or coffee to discuss $subject is fine.
Finally, it is never appropriate to hit on someone when you are supposed to be being professional. I would have thought this was common sense but it seems not. At LUG or something like that, you're being social, and if you want to ask a lady's number, fine, go ahead. If, as the most recent person was, you are representing your company, please refrain from doing so, especially if you are trying to recruit potential employees (as the person I have in mind, whose name I will not copy from his business card, was). Hitting on someone doesn't exactly give that person the best impression of your company. If recruitment tactics include come ons, what is it like inside the company? Is it full-on sexual harassment there? I consider such an approach very off-putting.
I wasn't sure whether to post this or not, but since one friend said "they're nerds, they probably don't know any better since nerds lack social skills," I thought it might turn out to be useful for some of ya ;)