The Best Response So Far to Diversity

Frances Berriman (possibly Jewish–but THAT doesn’t matter much in the big scheme of things, although, Jews are in the forefront of promoting ‘diversity’) posted an entry on her blog howling on about the need for diversity in the tech industry, see:

In the comments of her blog entry most entries were clearly negative to her take on things, but the far best answer came from somebody with the moniker ‘SomePersonFromHN’ .

That person wrote the following entry below.

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Orignally written by ‘SomePersonFromHN’:

Sorry, but I despise articles like these, and I’m tired of endlessly disproving the nonsense spouted in them to no effect, like a constant game of whack-a-half-baked-idea. They always start with the implicit assumption that we have some sort of duty to cater specially for minorities in order to coax them into fields where they otherwise wouldn’t go, and that there’s something inherently positive about having diversity of race/gender in a field.

I’ll start by challenging the second point: there is value in having diversity of opinions and ideas in a field, as this can help form to uncover faulty ideas that another mindset wouldn’t see, but assuming that because someone’s of a different gender or race that they’ll have a different mindset is just ignorance and prejudice. There is nothing convincing about the argument that being physically different to another person makes you of a different mindset, and that is indeed the premise of modern equality: that stupidity and ineptitude cannot be predicated on the way someone looks. In fact, if you work with female or non-white programmers then I’m willing to bet that they’re slightly geeky, from an educated background, and from some degree of limited wealth. Gee, what diversity. If you want to argue that diversity of mindset — irrespective of physicality — is something to aim for, then I’ll agree to some extent.

Next, I’ll cover the issue of what amounts to special pleading for minorities. Honestly, how would you feel if you knew you were hired simply because of your race or gender? If you had to work alongside people who’ve got where they are because of hardwork, but you’ve simply coasted in as part of a drive to hire minorities? Who would want to work in such an environment? Furthermore, the tech industry is hard! You have to be willing to work 60+ hour weeks, and then do work in your free time to stay at the top of your game. What convincing reason is there to believe that a person hired for their race or gender, as opposed to their love of programming, will actually want to do this? When I’m involved in hiring programmers I pay no heed to anything other than how they perform on the technical test, and how passionate they are about programming. THIS is fairness in the industry, and it is this credo that almost all software houses follow for hiring. I cannot think of any compelling reason to suggest to my team, or any other team for that matter, that they start hiring based on any other criteria.

Lastly, I’ll cover rolemodels, which I’ve not mentioned up until now. Preaching that we should — let’s face it — make you more employable on the basis that it’ll provide rolemodels for children is a particularly fashionable argument among the proponents of this drivel (who nearly always stand to gain financially from it, you may have noticed). Children pick bad rolemodels. It is irrelevant who we push forward as a rolemodel for kids, because they’ll stick pick the latest sports-star/singer/actor/badass. So, the only rolemodels would be rolemodels for adults, and I must ask why exactly an adult is looking up to a rolemodel at all? This seems ridiculously insecure, and worse still, why we’re arguing that an adult of x gender/race needs to look up to an adult of x gender/race? Adults should know to assess themselves by their own goals, and to ignore gender and race as much as possible. I fail to see the rolemodels argument in a very compelling light either.

This is not an industry hostile to change; it changes yearly. It is, however, an industry hostile to special pleading for ineptitude.

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Spot on observations to be sure. 

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