Social Engineering
Subject:   A Disappointing Start
Date:   2007-09-21 10:40:29
From:   bengoodger
Response to: A Disappointing Start

I read this piece more as an account of a woman in the technology industry, rather than a statement of where women should or should not be.

Frankly I think the attitude of "if you don't code you don't matter" leads to lower quality in a lot of open source projects.

Why is "code" the arbitrary determinator of whether or not you matter? Is it because it's hard? It's "math/science"? Ok, let me give you an example. CLIs are hard. Myself, I've never really understood them. There used to be a time when I had to have friends write down the commands I would have to use to unzip files. This is because I felt like memorizing arcane commands was a waste of my brain space.

Later, when I worked on Firefox, I refined this into this formula: most people don't care about learning things that aren't related to their core job function. Why should they? That's what technology is for after all: to make the hard things easier.

As a programmer, it's easy to succumb to this hubris that you are the best and that everyone needs to rise to your level. This leads to a somewhat distorted view of reality.

The more "real people" you have not just as your users but as part of your development team, the more relevant you can make your work.

The world of Open Source is filled with so much bickering, political maneuvering and gasbaggery. Personally, I think there's never been a better time for a little social engineering.