now listen

Aug. 10th, 2017 08:17 am
juan_gandhi: (Default)
It's about the (now popular) idea that female engineers are worse than male engineers.

At lest at Google.

I got a suspicion that if we narrow down the requirements for engineers to what is a de-facto standard at Google, the guy may be right.

The company (like a bunch of others) needs arrogant soldiers, ready to follow the orders FAST, without much thinking, meanwhile pretending to be the smartest species of the universe that has solutions for any problem (e.g. NLP and AI, right?)

Twain Liu writes every day on LinkedIn that this narrow, european/male/stanford attitude to language processing is just stupid. I join her.

Programmers that don't know math or linguistics abound. They are working hard on building something that replicates their mentality, that's only natural. In Google it's also enforced by the general totalitarian approach where your perceived IQ is inverse proportional to your distance from Larry/Sergey.

If you are a QA, you cannot be allowed to come up with a language for writing web tests. If you are a plain engineer, you are not allowed to use Haskell, or Scala, or Git; you must use Java/C/Python and perforce. Now someone close to the big bosses came up with a pretty dumb language, openly explaining that Google engineers are too dumb to use anything more sophisticated than that.

When Marissa was there, she held an immense power, so that you could not tell it's all about male giving orders, females obeying. Now Marissa is gone, and the culture is settled.

What would be the role of a female engineer there? A normal female will hardly start shouting at a meeting, interrupting other people, pushing her opinion, however stupid, on others, similar stupid participants. Personally I could not figure out how to say a word in a meeting at Google, for two years. Eventually I found a solution; I believe it would work for female engineers too.

But what I want to say, their whole idea of "meritocracy" just means that you have the right to your own opinion if managers are your buddies, otherwise your opinion has no merit. 

How, in such a situation, would a regular female engineer thrive? Some definitely would, but these are not the kind of people I'd like to deal with. Normal people would rather keep low profile.

I actually saw this behavior in the previous company I worked at. A bunch of rather ignorant male engineers were leading the game, while a very competent and knowledgeable female engineer was keeping low profile, knowing that anything she says will be at least ignored (but most probably perceived negatively).

So, in my opinion, we can have varying opinions regarding whether females at work are as aggressive as males; I think they are not, and that's what is perceived by the aggressive ones as their weakness. Does it have a biological nature, lack of aggressiveness? I think it does. It just has nothing to do with professional qualifications.


juan_gandhi: (Default)

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