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View Diary: Not Merit Based: All Winners Look Alike (73 comments)

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    •  True problem, possibly wrong scapegoat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, Nulwee, Alice in Florida

      Paul Graham comes across as fairly apoplectic about how a conversation he had with a journalist was edited into a interview, and he feels that his views were greatly misrepresented:

      This is not to diminish the very real concerns about diversity in Silicon Valley, just to point out that Paul Graham might be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

      •  I think if you read this commentary (6+ / 0-)

        there is much truth here. Most particularly, I agree with him that the best programmers are people who truly love solving problems with programming, rather than people who have a computer science major. There is some overlap but probably less than the average person realizes.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:34:01 AM PST

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        •  Bah (15+ / 0-)

          Graham (and I have met several of his, ah, 'progeny', founders of companies that he helped start up) believes in the myth of the 'maverick programmer'. He believes that the people who work 16-hour days, 7 days a week, and found a successful company, are necessarily good programmers.

          They aren't. The ones whose code I have dealt with are almost uniformly BAD programmers. (Albeit very fast, and 'clever', for their own definition of that word.) Their code is unmaintainable, has horrible bugs, and is in general horribly inefficient. They almost always end up with 'scalability problems' much sooner than they ought to, because they don't think about scale when they're writing. (There are plenty of perfectly legitimate times to run into scalability problems, and times to say 'if we get big enough to worry about this scalability problem, we'll be big enough to fix it', but if you aren't willing to think at least six months or a couple of orders of magnitude ahead, where it isn't hard to do so, then... you might be a Y-Combinator founder!)

          They are the reason that it has become acceptable to continue calling a product that a multitude of people depend on for their livelihood 'BETA', and to do so for years. Because people expect software to work poorly, unlike everything else they buy.

          In short, they are brilliant at lashing crap together into something that does not, from a distance, resemble crap. And then going on to something else, and leaving the horrible mess for other, more poorly paid, people to clean up. And they to a man believe that this makes them 'truly great programmers', and most of them believe that nobody who works in any other way is any good at his job.

    •  don't give 'em that benefit of the doubt (0+ / 0-)

      programming (well, most math & science) is something girls start getting 'trained away from' in about 2nd grade -- it's HARD, and you're not CUTE when you're GOOD at it.


      It's lookadouche writ large. Has been for ... centuries.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 10:40:43 AM PST

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