a bank where the wild thyme blows

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;" - "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Google Manifesto/Memo Writer & Gender Discrimination

Regarding the Google Manifesto/Memo Writer:  

SOCIAL EXPERIMENT:  All this arguing could be somewhat prevented IF High-tech and Business started doing more science-based skills-testing pre-hire and through-out employment, also, more thorough background checks looking for proven evidence of empathy and efforts at helping people.  This 100% affects the design of usable product for consumers.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN: Skills testing Could eliminate a huge amount of deadwood and Good-Old-Boy cronyism, and open up the field (I think, hope) to more women and minorities---and reduce the Good-old-boy targeting and undermining of territory intruders (women & minorities).

WHY:  I have worked with mostly men, and many (not all) are cliquey cronies, very unwelcoming to newcomers or "others", and aggressively territorial.  (I do know some that aren't underminers, and for the most part they tend to be the most secure in their skills, irreverent or anti-establishment, and/or tend to be ex-military.)
 Most outsiders (women, others) get subtly undermined, discounted, whisper-campaigned and shut-out.  Many of the Good-Old-Boys are not truly brilliant, if you talk to them, you'll find a very average intelligence, but often very encouraged since childhood to "act" like geniuses--which usually intimidates HR and Managers.

In the high-tech & business world:  I've never seen a science-based skills test, and the background checks are lame-to-nonexistent, ex: Large-Insurance's employment personality test that asks 5-different ways how many people you know do drugs, or Trucking-Software-Co's monthly spam dress-code list that says women can't wear leather coats or open-toed sandals. (I always wondered how many foot-fetishists were on staff, and IF wearing said leather coat & sandals might set off a savage toe-sucking.  Good god, don't go into the elevator with them!!)

What would happen if employees were there by merit + empathy, where they would care enough to analyze & solve world & people problems instead of churning out more unusable widgets.
A lot of product I see going out the door is very poorly tested, testing groups are rare, I've never seen target consumers consulted pre-development and most of the time the product winds up in the landfill.

BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYER:  Clueless "Brilliant Acting" programmers are a HUGE issue.  All corporate, development and production expenses are written off, pushing more tax burden on taxpayers, not to mention landfill costs---so this does affect the Joe-Average Taxpayer.  Not to mention, all these unusable products are sand in the gears of society, bought by individuals, government agencies, military, health care & school systems--and most solutions wind up being extremely hard to use, upgrade, modify or maintain.
Again, Joe-Average Taxpayer. is forced to take up the slack, surprise!, having to play-catch-up, and having to become the "Superman" for their kids, sick family members and elderly.

My contacts have to constantly direction-correct the programming of so-called "brilliant" (expensive) programmers who have no Real-World understanding of the business they are in, or 100% inability or desire to comprehend target consumer's needs and using habits.  
At that point, it's not "brilliant" programming, and the product is full of landmines waiting to destruct  --again, due to territoriality, refusal to share power & document programs, both inside them or in corporate documentation.  At this point, it's more like "The Producers" musical where product is doomed before it's even bought.  Usability was NEVER the goal, selling widgets is.

WHAT IF:  We took all the people who volunteered for helping the elderly or disabled, or ex-military, and groomed them into product developers & programmers? (ex: Cyber-Seniors program)  These workers would actually understand the end-user, and have more chance of learning and understanding the business user's needs as well.

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