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(NPR)   Why is the Open Source community the whitest of all programmer groups?   (npr.org) divider line 137
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2804 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Dec 2013 at 5:46 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-08 07:00:24 PM  

Rincewind53: Smeggy Smurf: What the fark does the color of your skin have to do with your ability to write code?  Oh yeah, the racists have to keep preaching that if you're not white you're somehow not capable of competing.  Farking racists

Your "it's racist to point out that an industry doesn't hire minorities and suggest that this is a problem" schtick is really getting old.


Are Asians still considered minorities? Because the industry is filled with Indians and East Asians. As far as females, I've worked with many female Indians in programming and QA roles.

If you're going to imply the industry discriminates based on ethnicity, then you're going to have to tell us how it discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos, but not Asians.
 
2013-12-08 07:00:42 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: No one tells little girls "when you grow up you can be a welder or a pipe fitter or an electrician"


Someone slept through their history lessons. Meet Rosie the Riveter.

savvyseniorswork.com
 
2013-12-08 07:03:21 PM  

fluffy2097: Doktor_Zhivago: No one tells little girls "when you grow up you can be a welder or a pipe fitter or an electrician"

Someone slept through their history lessons. Meet Rosie the Riveter.

[savvyseniorswork.com image 578x744]


You must've missed the 50 years after WWII.........
 
2013-12-08 07:03:22 PM  
I'll say it again for the slow ones.  failure to see programmers of color is not an open or closed source issue.  its an issue of Education.

Public Education to be specific.  and this Nation's public schools, (day care centers),  leaves alot to be desired.  we're too busy giving tax cuts to the wealth and big business and too busy invading other nations because we thought they had WMD's and were full of Terrorists.

any Nation that does not invest in its Schools and young people is DOOMED to failure. but at least the richies can send their mice to good Private Schools where there isn't a 100 student to 1 teacher ratio.  there are some good public schools, but their numbers are getting small.


now you know!!
 
2013-12-08 07:03:34 PM  
clickamericana.com

/how scandalous, she's wearing pants.
 
2013-12-08 07:03:46 PM  
Being in InfoSec - this industry is mostly straight, male, and white.  Hit any conference anywhere in the world and you will see this.  I spend a lot of my time reaching out to women and non-white people to bring them into the industry.  Its not easy.

/gay
//white
 
2013-12-08 07:05:56 PM  
There's no racism like the kind you can imply without proof. To prove racism, you must first prove that the industry is predominately one ethnic group and that others are in some way being blocked on the basis of their ethnic group.

It always gets the clicks, so these stories are just click bait.
 
2013-12-08 07:06:16 PM  

minuslars: MrLint: You'd be white too if you never left the basement.

+10 internets for you, well played.


Yeah, that basement quip never gets old.
 
2013-12-08 07:06:53 PM  
Doktor_Zhivago:
You must've missed the 50 years after WWII.........

cfnewsads.thomasnet.com
/oops. Is this colored enough for you?
 
2013-12-08 07:10:48 PM  
Just keep ignoring what I said about anecdotal evidence and post some pics
enr.construction.com
 
2013-12-08 07:11:52 PM  
Also, the big ass blue chips & Fortune 500s are the ones who are going to overpay for all the quality coders who are minorities. They are the ones with the big time diversity mandates.

By the time you get down to companies that can't afford coders of non-overrepresented race, you're kind of stuck.
 
2013-12-08 07:13:18 PM  

ZeroCorpse: I don't understand why we're always talking about programmers. Gods, you guys sure like to talk about yourselves and what you do.

MOST people get done with work and then go home and stop talking about work. You coders? You just can't stop talking about work; All day, all night, all you do is talk about coding, the industry, the hiring practices of the industry, etc.

Go eat a cheeseburger, make out with your significant other, and stop talking about work. Nobody outside of your industry cares what happens in your industry (except maybe investors, but they're worse than coders when it comes to workaholism).


This.  Coders tend to be some of the most boring motherfarkers around.  Many of them gladly work themselves to the bone, then when they get older complain of a work/life balance and being distant from family/friends.

And they certainly won't organize for better treatment.  Overall they have no social skills for such, and their tendency toward a Randroid mindset really makes them think that they're the most talented of all and any minute now they're going to be the next Zuckerberg.
 
2013-12-08 07:15:21 PM  

RyansPrivates: redsquid: You can get a used computer for next to nothing and internet access is cheap and offers a never ending variety of educational resources. The code monkeys I know are mostly self taught. There is no barre to entry- if you want to do it you just do it. The open source community doesn't care what color you are. The reason Blacks and Latinos  don't code is because they are less likely, for whatever reason, to want to write code. It's as simple as that.

Or, that they are less likely to be exposed to the tools  and opportunities to do so because they are disproportionately represented in the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic spectrum?

redsquid: In the end it doesn't matter. Code is a product. As long as the soup gets made the color of the chef is irrelevant.

Agree with this - the ethnicity, nationality or gender of the coder doesn't matter.

redsquid: Why is there no hand wringing regarding the lack of white convenience store operators or mobile car detailers? Who cares as long as the market's demand is met.

Because these aren't typically high paying jobs in a growth industry?  Just guessing....


Most programmers I know are self starters. Things change so quickly that the classroom isn't the best place to learn. The tools necessary to get started are available at yard sales and flea markets. All it takes is curiosity and a desire to do it. This isn't an example of exclusion as much as just disinterest. I agree that education is lacking in low income areas, but I don't think that's the main block to programmers of color.
Also this article is talking about participation in the open source community, which is voluntary. It may look good on a resume and it could attract recruiters if you are particularly gifted, but the immediate payoff is mostly reputation based. These are not high paying jobs in a growth industry but they are the stepping stones to getting one. The real question is why minorities and the economically challenged are not flocking to a field that offers a very low investment in learning tools, large amounts of free online educational resources and a friendly community that will allow you to get your feet wet in real-world situations while working along side knowledgeable people?
 
2013-12-08 07:15:36 PM  
Didn't we have the same thread about a similar article (also in NPR) about craft beer and home brewing?

I like NPR a great deal, but sometimes their concern about identity politics veers into silliness.
 
2013-12-08 07:27:21 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: Skilled labor as a whole is vastly male and vastly white in this country. No one tells little girls "when you grow up you can be a welder or a pipe fitter or an electrician"


Of course not, they tell women to be engineers, doctors and lawyers. Stuff that can hurt and not pay well? We have an expendable class for that.
 
2013-12-08 07:30:39 PM  
As with just about any article about the characteristic differences of the races, the brown races are the lazy researcher's short-hand for "poor, disadvantaged, and having low-education parents" because Brown-Americans (my short-hand for Latino/Hispanic, African-American, South East Asian, etc.) have been disproportionately poor, disadvantaged, and raised by a low-education parents. It's changing, but slowly. These changes come at the speed of generations.

So here are my suggestions for explaining the "race gap" in open-source coding:

(1) If you grow up with a desktop computer in your house, you're more likely to go into coding. African Americans and American Latinos have less disposable income and are thus less likely to have a working computer throughout childhood.

(2) If you grow up with a desktop computer in your bedroom, you're more likely to go into coding. If you have a computer in your room, you can't be blamed for "hogging" the computer and you can experiment more. Moreover, most coders get their start attempting to do things they probably shouldn't (according to their parents) at the age, so there is some privacy required.

(3) If you have an un-capped/high-cap broadband internet connection, you're more likely to go into coding. You have to learn from somewhere... something... and today's kids don't do books so much anymore. "Oh, but Rarechimer! I started on dial-up! So ya!" Yes, well, when you were young, dial-up was the best there was and all educational media was based on it. It's different now.

(4) If you grow up in a household that values education, curiosity, and exploration to the extent that your parents get on your about doing well in school, you're more likely to be curious, self-teach, and explore. (This is why "1st generation high school graduates" and "1st generation college graduates" are so desperately important to the advancement of civilization.)

(5) If you grow up in a culture or sub-culture that has a "nerd niche" (Asian, White, etc.), you'll likely feel more comfortable steering your own development toward that niche. I'm Mexican-American. There were *no* other brown/black people in my neighborhood that saw nerdly endeavors as an option. I had to hang out with white and Asian people (only accessible at school) to receive validation.
 
2013-12-08 07:34:46 PM  
As a developer for the past 13 or so years let me just say this :

I've NEVER worked at a place that people utilize open source.   Why? Ego is my best theory.   It's so stupid how people can get over criticism.

That being said Im about to implement  http://jshirota.github.io/Earthworm/  this.  It's going to be fun.
 
2013-12-08 07:43:41 PM  

redsquid: Most programmers I know are self starters. Things change so quickly that the classroom isn't the best place to learn. The tools necessary to get started are available at yard sales and flea markets. All it takes is curiosity and a desire to do it. This isn't an example of exclusion as much as just disinterest. I agree that education is lacking in low income areas, but I don't think that's the main block to programmers of color.
Also this article is talking about participation in the open source community, which is voluntary. It may look good on a resume and it could attract recruiters if you are particularly gifted, but the immediate payoff is mostly reputation based. These are not high paying jobs in a growth industry but they are the stepping stones to getting one. The real question is why minorities and the economically challenged are not flocking to a field that offers a very low investment in learning tools, large amounts of free online educational resources and a friendly community that will allow you to get your feet wet in real-world situations while working along side knowledgeable people?


Sorry still have to disagree.  The things  you talk about yard sales/flea market where old computer materials being available aren't viable for kids who live in the projects.  They can't get to the county fairgrounds, the first saturday type sales because of lack of quality transportation to get what they might buy back home.  Unfortunately this leads to a downward spiral for them: the local yards sales that they can get to won't have these materials either.  Hey, online learning is great, until you have do it at a library that has only a few computers.  I'm not saying it isn't possible.  What I am saying is that there are larger barriers for entry for those lower on the socioeconomic spectrum.  The same things can be said, by the way, for Appalachian rural whites who are "under represented".  I think probably the most represented demographic is middle class kids.   It just so happens to be that  middle class has a lower minority representation than the population at large.

I say all this to say it isn't the industries job to get more representation per se, it is a societal failure.  You give access to those things, the intangibles, you can get it.   One of the ways to do this is municipal broadband and school provided computers to every student.   That would go a hell of a long way toward making inroads.

In other words, I think this  is a great opportunity field for the economically challenged, as you said..  I just think there some barriers for entry that need to be addressed.  Everyone talks about the "midnight" basketball leagues to keep kids of the street, which aren't a bad idea.  But how about midnight gaming leagues?  With some folks there that can maybe start doing some modding.  I don't know, I'm no policy wonk, but food for thought nonetheless.
 
2013-12-08 07:50:34 PM  
Well, since that article was 100% based on a single stupid anecdote, I can fully counter by pointing out that the most enthusiastic open-source guy I know is an Arab.

There, entire article countered.  Next time, come back with something resembling actual data instead of fluff piece nonsense.
 
2013-12-08 07:56:32 PM  

Rincewind53: Mugato: Anecdotal. I can give you twice as many stories of women and blacks in managerial positions in IT and software development and this was 10 years ago.

No one is implying that there aren't any women in positions of power in the industry. In fact, the most common position for women in the IT industry is project manager. But women often don't get hired in jobs requiring actual tech work:

[b2b.cbsimg.net image 275x269]

Furthermore, women are vastly underrepresented in IT. Only 26% of professional computing occupations are held by women. In some subsets of the industry, like game development, you get absurd statistics like the fact that 89% of game designers are men and  97% of game programmers are men.


Anecdotal science to the rescue:  Indian men get educated as developers, move to the US to do those jobs.
Then they hook their wives up with QA jobs at their companies.
 
2013-12-08 07:56:54 PM  

Red Shirt Blues: slave drives


Time goes by fast. It's been 10 years since this craziness.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/11/26/master.term.reut/index.html
 
2013-12-08 07:59:10 PM  

fluffy2097: Doktor_Zhivago: No one tells little girls "when you grow up you can be a welder or a pipe fitter or an electrician"

Someone slept through their history lessons. Meet Rosie the Riveter.

[savvyseniorswork.com image 578x744]


Yes, and after the war most women said fark it and went back home and put their feet up until the 70's.

If a job is dirty and/or dangerous and/or has farked up hours and pays over $50k then seeing a woman doing that job will be rare. Not that they aren't there at all, but seeing a female welder in a shipyard isn't a common thing.
 
2013-12-08 08:12:03 PM  

serial_crusher: Indian men get educated as developers, move to the US to do those jobs.


Or US companies outsource programming jobs directly to India because they only look at this quarter, outsourcing bites them in the ass, company brings back jobs to the US or goes out of business.
 
2013-12-08 08:18:31 PM  

DirkValentine: As a developer for the past 13 or so years let me just say this :

I've NEVER worked at a place that people utilize open source.   Why? Ego is my best theory.   It's so stupid how people can get over criticism.

That being said Im about to implement  http://jshirota.github.io/Earthworm/  this.  It's going to be fun.


As a developer for (counting on fingers ... In base 2) 22 years, I have never worked in a place that didn't utilize open source code.

Ego schmeego. The professionals I work with have deadlines. I can't think of many contracts that include: build new programming language and compiler tools from first principles.

Yah, I'm just going to hang back here and just finish my work integrating OpenGL into the core Tcl/Tk interpreter.

/Should be ready by version 9.
 
2013-12-08 08:24:47 PM  

MrLint: You'd be white too if you never left the basement.


Came to say this, glad you have it covered.
 
2013-12-08 08:29:22 PM  
I don't suppose anyone ever considered "lack of interest" as a reason?
 
2013-12-08 08:32:45 PM  

DirkValentine: I've NEVER worked at a place that people utilize open source.


Are you kidding me? You've never worked at a place that uses the GNU toolchain or SVN?
 
2013-12-08 08:33:16 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: DirkValentine: As a developer for the past 13 or so years let me just say this :

I've NEVER worked at a place that people utilize open source.   Why? Ego is my best theory.   It's so stupid how people can get over criticism.

That being said Im about to implement  http://jshirota.github.io/Earthworm/  this.  It's going to be fun.

As a developer for (counting on fingers ... In base 2) 22 years, I have never worked in a place that didn't utilize open source code.

Ego schmeego. The professionals I work with have deadlines. I can't think of many contracts that include: build new programming language and compiler tools from first principles.

Yah, I'm just going to hang back here and just finish my work integrating OpenGL into the core Tcl/Tk interpreter.

/Should be ready by version 9.


I think alot of my experience is b/c in my field there are a lot of people that became programmers from another position.
 
2013-12-08 08:38:26 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Well, since that article was 100% based on a single stupid anecdote, I can fully counter by pointing out that the most enthusiastic open-source guy I know is an Arab.

There, entire article countered.  Next time, come back with something resembling actual data instead of fluff piece nonsense.



Yea, I have known and worked with a guy on and off over the last 15 years who has forgotten more about OO implementation and design than I will ever know. Dude's a witch. He went to MIT and he's black.

I have also worked with plenty of women and men from all over the world.
 
2013-12-08 08:44:46 PM  
Of the serious programmers I know, none of them has "programmer" on their job title.

I'm slumming it. For the past few years my card said "House Wizard". But upstairs now insists I go by Senior Developer.

/And Chief security officer
//And senior IT manager
///And help desk
////and sweeper of the Imperial Polo Ponies
 
2013-12-08 08:48:29 PM  
It sure seems like if there was some way that everyone except white guys were being prevented from writing software and giving it away, they would have mentioned it in the article.
 
2013-12-08 08:50:13 PM  

beer4breakfast: GNU toolchain


Ok, so one place I worked at used log4net.  Im being serious about this.  It sucks b/c it really dampens the whole process of, uh, developing software in a team-friendly environment.
 
2013-12-08 08:58:06 PM  

redsquid: You can get a used computer for next to nothing and internet access is cheap and offers a never ending variety of educational resources. The code monkeys I know are mostly self taught. There is no barre to entry- if you want to do it you just do it. The open source community doesn't care what color you are. The reason Blacks and Latinos  don't code is because they are less likely, for whatever reason, to want to write code. It's as simple as that.
In the end it doesn't matter. Code is a product. As long as the soup gets made the color of the chef is irrelevant. Why is there no hand wringing regarding the lack of white convenience store operators or mobile car detailers? Who cares as long as the market's demand is met.


Why some don't write code:
it might make a difference how children are being raised. i grew up in a lily white area where the college educated parents knew the importance of their education. they saw to it their children attended school, did well and went to college.
the farther down the economical scale you go the tougher it gets to break out from the pack and shine. single parent households, high school drop outs, those that have to work a few jobs to make ends meet. not being around as much as they would like to be to keep an eye on the kids, guide them. often these adults hated school themselves.
people that like to kick the public schools should speak with the teachers. parents that don't show up for PTA one on one conferences, parents who hate teachers, parents who did not have the benefit of a sweet home life themselves as children - no good role models, no well educated adults impressing the importance of education upon them. the cycle continues.
there is a shiatload of children living in miserable circumstance. try telling a kid who sees the easy pile of cash from slinging dope on the streets how important homework is.
yes, a used laptop is cheap. but without someone guiding a child toward something productive it's a slim chance it will happen.
should the day ever come when Corporate America feels there may be huge profits to be had by providing disadvantaged youth the things they need to steer them down a path that leads toward a specific skills set so Business can enjoy the future rewards it may hold you'll see all sorts of social changes taking place. for now the profit makers already have enough busy bees to exploit so it remains like it is. the demand is being met.

DigitalCoffee: fluffy2097: Doktor_Zhivago: No one tells little girls "when you grow up you can be a welder or a pipe fitter or an electrician"

Someone slept through their history lessons. Meet Rosie the Riveter.

[savvyseniorswork.com image 578x744]

Yes, and after the war most women said fark it and went back home and put their feet up until the 70's.

If a job is dirty and/or dangerous and/or has farked up hours and pays over $50k then seeing a woman doing that job will be rare. Not that they aren't there at all, but seeing a female welder in a shipyard isn't a common thing.


Social engineering makes damn sure there are too many hands available for too few jobs. Toss on top of that the ongoing nature of young people falling in love and/or reproducing, the cycle never ends. That's why we'll never see legalized prostitution approved by the Feds for the country. We'd have droves of happy bachelors with money in the bank, a sports car in the garage and a hooker stopping by on pay day. The long established trend of turning a young man who wants sex into a father/husband/walking pay check would slowly bring about a population decrease. This would bring a higher working wage as less people clamored for the jobs. Corporate America would never let this happen and the masses are too stupid to see they are slaves without chains.
 
2013-12-08 09:30:49 PM  

serial_crusher: Then they hook their wives up with QA


Cool, I like Indian chicks. Have them shaved and brought to me.
 
2013-12-08 09:35:46 PM  

ZeroCorpse: I don't understand why we're always talking about programmers. Gods, you guys sure like to talk about yourselves and what you do.

MOST people get done with work and then go home and stop talking about work. You coders? You just can't stop talking about work; All day, all night, all you do is talk about coding, the industry, the hiring practices of the industry, etc.

Go eat a cheeseburger, make out with your significant other, and stop talking about work. Nobody outside of your industry cares what happens in your industry (except maybe investors, but they're worse than coders when it comes to workaholism).


Programmers are deluded that their trade requires superhuman intelligence. Don't let them know that they are the semiskilled laborers of the 21st century.
 
2013-12-08 09:39:49 PM  
Because India can't program for shiat?
 
2013-12-08 09:43:42 PM  
Because there's more than a few open source coders who take on the worst attitude of Linus Torvalds but have only half his brilliance. This group are unhelpful and make it discouraging to try and find your way as a programmer. Fark these people, life's too short to be dealing with negative open source geek attitudes.

Not that dealing with something like Linux is a walk in the park. It's 2013 and the Linux community should be installed on a good percentage of desktop PCs. That people use non-Windows OS' like Android/Linux and iOS show people are not attached to Windows. Just need less farking distros and a solid plan to get desktop Linux to the masses.
 
2013-12-08 09:43:47 PM  

RyansPrivates: itcamefromschenectady:
People who are smart enough to code are usually smart enough to do other things. And people who don't particularly enjoy coding are likely to (a) do other things, and (b) not contribute to open source. 

Using open source as a litmus test is not going to get you diversity, but it's going to get you people who enjoy what they do enough to do it for free. That's why people consider it as a criterion.

[Citation needed on the whole "those who don't like to code don't go open source"]

That said, I understand the premise, but there are plenty of people love to code, but do so to make a living and don't feel like doing it in their free time.  I have known plenty who code both for open and closed source projects, both having very talented people who love doing it.  It really is a philosophical thing that is only tangentially related to the love of coding by the developer.  For example, there are some developers who love writing games and spend a hell of a lot of time doing it, but don't release their stuff open source.


You do realize there are paid open source developers right?
 
2013-12-08 09:57:40 PM  
The open source company I worked at for a few years was ~80% white. That's pretty much unheard of for a software company here in the Bay Area.

We worked with Canonical on various things, and they're even whiter -- but that's because they're based in London.
 
2013-12-08 10:07:07 PM  
Well they should stop being so black then.
 
2013-12-08 10:13:18 PM  

skinink: Because there's more than a few open source coders who take on the worst attitude of Linus Torvalds but have only half his brilliance. This group are unhelpful and make it discouraging to try and find your way as a programmer. Fark these people, life's too short to be dealing with negative open source geek attitudes.

Not that dealing with something like Linux is a walk in the park. It's 2013 and the Linux community should be installed on a good percentage of desktop PCs. That people use non-Windows OS' like Android/Linux and iOS show people are not attached to Windows. Just need less farking distros and a solid plan to get desktop Linux to the masses.


I have a story about that.  One time I was in a Linux forum asking how to use the "cut" command to sort through crap from a tail'd syslog.  One guy's response: "cut is not efficient".

... yeah.
 
2013-12-08 10:19:07 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: The article doesn't present any evidence about the racial makeup of open source contributors; since open source is global, the statistics for US developers are not going to be representative. NPR seems to think all programmers are in the US which is a very alien idea to anybody who works in the industry.


Who needs evidence? It's all about truthiness now. For instance, based on this site's overall political leanings, frequency of racist jokes and comparative lack of outrage at same, and the general response to pictures of white actresses and models versus pics of other ethnicities, I'm declaring that 99.5% of Farkers are upper middle class white male libertarians in their late 20's to early 30's, the majority are college students who have never held a real job, all of them have Asperger's Syndrome to the point of being borderline sociopaths, and at least a third of them are gay based on all the "sharp knees" complaints. Not that sexual orientation is important, given that no Farker has ever had a real life sex partner. They all molest bowls of mashed potatoes while staring at photoshopped images of Jennifer Lawrence and/or Benedict Cumberbatch half-transformed into their favorite My Little Pony mare.

/I, of course, am the exception to the "hetero with no partner" rule, as I am the most handsome man who has ever lived, and I've had more sex than Robert Downey, Jr has had blow. I maintain my looks and stamina by going to the gym every 20 minutes, as required by my commanding admiral in the Marine Core.
 
2013-12-08 10:57:03 PM  
Marginalized people in tech - women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and others - have less free time for a few major reasons: dependent care, domestic work and errands, and pay inequity.

Can someone explain to me what the fark LGBTQ people are doing with all their time that they don't have time to code?
 
2013-12-08 11:15:40 PM  

gizmo62: Marginalized people in tech - women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and others - have less free time for a few major reasons: dependent care, domestic work and errands, and pay inequity.

Can someone explain to me what the fark LGBTQ people are doing with all their time that they don't have time to code?


It says less free time, not no free time, and then goes on to explain why they might have less of it.  It could have been something you got from reading comprehension.
 
2013-12-08 11:30:47 PM  

ThePastafarian: gizmo62: Marginalized people in tech - women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and others - have less free time for a few major reasons: dependent care, domestic work and errands, and pay inequity.

Can someone explain to me what the fark LGBTQ people are doing with all their time that they don't have time to code?

It says less free time, not no free time, and then goes on to explain why they might have less of it.  It could have been something you got from reading comprehension.


I think the question is whether the reasons given for restricted free time really apply to gays and lesbians specifically, or if they were just thrown on the list because they are a historically oppressed minority group, and the NPR blog is working with the lazy assumption that something that affects one minority group must affect all, so they just made a laundry list.


Is a gay man or lesbian really more likely than a straight white man to have restricted free time because of dependent care or domestic duties or 2nd jobs?

 
2013-12-08 11:31:05 PM  
TFA"Why Isn't Open Source A Gateway For Coders Of Color?"


Oh, FFS...

www.ok.gov
/ hot

Seriously. Slow news day at NPR?


Rincewind53: "I'll just put this here:
http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/11/silicon-valley-isnt-a-meritocrac y -and-the-cult-of-the-entrepreneur-holds-people-back/"



Jeebus, that is a LOT of words to reinforce the mentality that people should see their lack of success/achievement/advancement as somebody else's fault.

From your link: "The myth is that anyone can come from anywhere and achieve great success in Silicon Valley if they are skilled."

Horseshiat. That's NOT A MYTH. I spent most of my career in the Silicon Valley, over a time period that had serious ups and downs. From fairly diverse personal experience I can honestly say that even at the worst of times, nearly everyone -- black, white, Asian, female, male, pedigreed, state school dropout -- whose talent, skillset, work ethic and basic networking skills merited a job in the tech world had one.

Yes, there were hard workers who couldn't make it in the start-up world (mostly white men, BTW), but overwhelmingly they were the ones who shouldn't have been in that space to begin with. Generally, they were the people who either went into the field with little foundation or real interest because in boom times the way in was easy and the money was enticing, or who used their hard work to get into a decent school to study CS (because of the bubble-driven career prospects, not because they were genuinely interested in it) and came out with no experience or real love for the thing when the market was on the downswing.

As far as the expectation that "anyone can come from anywhere" to the Silicon Valley and "achieve great success"....I mean, you kind of have to keep your definition of "great success" realistic. A gold rush by any other name is still a gold rush. Yes, just about anyone with real skills can make a living. No, not everyone can become an overnight multimillionaire -- just like in any other field, that's something that is achieved by very few people. Someone who feels that this is the baseline of success should probably sit down and re-evaluate their understanding of how the professional world operates.
 
2013-12-08 11:37:03 PM  

Doc Daneeka: ThePastafarian: gizmo62: Marginalized people in tech - women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and others - have less free time for a few major reasons: dependent care, domestic work and errands, and pay inequity.

Can someone explain to me what the fark LGBTQ people are doing with all their time that they don't have time to code?

It says less free time, not no free time, and then goes on to explain why they might have less of it.  It could have been something you got from reading comprehension.

I think the question is whether the reasons given for restricted free time really apply to gays and lesbians specifically, or if they were just thrown on the list because they are a historically oppressed minority group, and the NPR blog is working with the lazy assumption that something that affects one minority group must affect all, so they just made a laundry list.
Is a gay man or lesbian really more likely than a straight white man to have restricted free time because of dependent care or domestic duties or 2nd jobs?


I'm not gay myself, but just off the top of my head there's stuff like not being able to have their SO on their insurance or being kicked out of the house at an early age for having "teh ghey" which can put a bit of damper on having time to code.
 
2013-12-09 12:14:21 AM  

Lanadapter: RyansPrivates: itcamefromschenectady:
People who are smart enough to code are usually smart enough to do other things. And people who don't particularly enjoy coding are likely to (a) do other things, and (b) not contribute to open source. 

Using open source as a litmus test is not going to get you diversity, but it's going to get you people who enjoy what they do enough to do it for free. That's why people consider it as a criterion.

[Citation needed on the whole "those who don't like to code don't go open source"]

That said, I understand the premise, but there are plenty of people love to code, but do so to make a living and don't feel like doing it in their free time.  I have known plenty who code both for open and closed source projects, both having very talented people who love doing it.  It really is a philosophical thing that is only tangentially related to the love of coding by the developer.  For example, there are some developers who love writing games and spend a hell of a lot of time doing it, but don't release their stuff open source.

You do realize there are paid open source developers right?


My response was to the bolded statement: "Using open source as a litmus test is not going to get you diversity, but it's going to get you people who enjoy what they do enough to do it for free. "
 
2013-12-09 12:27:59 AM  
One surprising thing I keep seeing in this thread is the idea that open source coders are working for free. Believe it or not, giving away one's source code doesn't necessarily mean working for free- there are a number of companies that make money with and produce open source products.  There are many highly used and well known open source projects that have contributions by paid individuals: Linux, Firefox are two easy ones that come to mind. For the former, many companies (like RedHat) contribute to Linux for various reasons. For the latter, there's a whole nonprofit that pays people to work on that project.
 
2013-12-09 12:45:03 AM  
Working in a company that has a large open source product, and uses literally thousands of open source packages... The Indians and Asians in the company consistently have to be informed that we can't just steal open source software and call it our own. Everyone else, the Russians, the Canadians, the Arabs, they all "get it". For the most part, the Indians and Asians in the company don't.  I don't know  if that's highly indicative of their culture or if it's just anecdotal and irrelevant.
 
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