Re: kieranmccarthy Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?
"....In the same way that many start-ups in Silicon Valley - especially apps - tend to cater for people exactly like themselves, so having mostly white male software engineers means that software will tend to cater for their needs because that's what and who they know....." And there you go with yet more failure, only this time you fail to understand the business roles and decision chains for products. Software engineering teams in large corporations do not decide which apps a company will produce, indeed it is my experience that they are the last people to be asked if something is a good idea. Waaaaaaaay ahead of them in the decision-making chain are Marketing (usually a female-dominated department) and Sales (usually an unscrupulous asshole-dominated department, whether they are male or female). Ever heard of market research? Here's a clue - not done by software engineers!
In reality, what happens is the software engineers usually build what they are told to build, the product requirement having been identified by someone else. In that respect, whether they are white, black, brown, yellow, male, female or non-identifying is irrelevant as long as they are good coders and have a program/project manager that can follow the requirements doc. Pretending that better code will be written just because 14% of the coders are black and/or 50% of them are female is simply nonsense. The best coders write the best code, and therefore you want to employ the best coders and not the ones that are not the best just because they make you feel socially warm'n'fuzzy.
Many years ago I stood up for hiring gay coders in security projects, something that was definitely not the approved line. Although there was some drivel about them being a security risk due to blackmail (an easily debunked point by answering that if they were openly gay then there was no point in trying to blackmail them), when the reality was there was a considerable body of (homophobic) opinion that gay men just could not do as good a job as straight men. My stance was that there was no proof that being gay made you any better or less able to code than a straight male, and I challenged anyone to prove otherwise. Did I do so because of some altruistic idealism about equal opportunities? Fuck no! I did it because I wanted my projects to have the best coders available. Whether they were straight, gay or fancied sheep, I saw that as none of my professional business. Did I want my projects to succeed because I loved my employers? FUCK NO! I did it because of the money - successful completion of projects meant I got paid. The Google management fired Damore because they wanted to keep their business revenues healthy because they wanted to keep getting paid.