Friday, August 11, 2017

A Response to an Open Letter to James Damore

I posted a comment in response to An Open Letter to James Damore by Debra Sterling, below:
It doesn't get mentioned, but some of the same stereotypes that Damore claims make women ill-suited for technology, e.g., extroversion and emotional management, are the same traits that in some studies have been shown to make teams more productive. The concern about managing relationships, regardless of gender, has been shown to correlate with more effective team leaders. Extroversion in programmers has also been shown to correlate with team productivity.

I'm sure there are findings that might contradict the above, but Damore seems to have a very narrow view of what makes one effective. Leadership, or at least getting to the top, in Damore's view, and in traditional masculine societies, might require a desire for dominance and a penchant for combativeness, but ideal styles of leadership typically require driving consensus, presenting a vision, social cohesion and charisma, obviously absent from Damore's understanding of leadership.

Damore's ideas are cherry-picked to support his flawed world view.

A Journey — if You Dare — Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

My responses in a NY Times comment section for the book, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson ...