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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Computers don't care about race

Made a post where I gave my position on diversity in coding, and to me the reality of writing code for computers is extremely important though often lost in commentary on the subject, as computers don't care about any of that stuff. Computers don't care about race, or sex or any of those things that trip up human beings.

And I have thought that to myself while working through compiler errors which the compiler dutifully shows me, over and over again even when I'm struggling for some reason through a massive debugging session which I hate. Prefer pristine code that just runs right from the start, which I actually have more of now, but starting out, there was that dread when doing the compile and screen would fill with compiler errors.

And the compiler didn't snicker at me. Didn't suggest that maybe I just wasn't good enough.

Computers offer that wonderful arena where this brilliant device with awesome computing power will just try to do what you tell it to do. No backtalk. No snide remarks. No questioning your worth as a human being.

So to me writing computer code is where discriminated against people should go! Because the computer is like this brilliant friend which JUST DOES NOT CARE about that stuff.

And only merit should matter when it comes to writing computing code as in actuality that's all that matters anyway.

Computers are tearing down divides like race and sex or other irrelevant stuff. Because if you hire some guy because he looks like you versus someone who can write brilliant code then you will pay the price down the line.

And the difference between good coders and crappy coders is so huge there is no hiding it.

A good coder can do in days what a team of crappy coders can't do in a year.

And I assure you, if you have people paying millions for development, and they have the metrics to see that Team A, which just randomly happens to be very diverse, can code with half the price or less, than Team B, where all the team look the same, they will go with Team A. Without hesitation.

Being someone who has been in the position of looking at what happens in the real world, hey, I was a Java team lead. Got picked out of a diverse group of people, but reality was the people from this country were mostly white guys. Others were from India and Pakistan.

Being in charge of that team was a fascinating experience and I learned everything I need to know about diversity in coding, where it's simple: computers don't care about that stuff.


James Harris
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