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Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by XopherMV (#48066299) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline
We can't change the fact that we work with machines. However, we can change the fact that we work alone. Make programming more social by adding pair programming at all levels, including academia, and you'll get more women willing to join and stay. You'll also get the rest of the benefits which come along with pair programming such as fewer bugs and higher quality code.

Comment: Re:Not where *I* work. (Score 1) 342

by XopherMV (#48065333) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline
Indeed. I find it more than coincidence that the majority of women stay away from fields where they need to work alone with machines. IT, auto mechanics, construction, and engineering are all male-dominated fields. Why? Sexism? Yes, some fields are more sexist than others. However, medicine and law were also extremely sexist in the recent past. And yet, we have tons of women doctors and lawyers. The main difference I see with those fields is that doctors and lawyers actually work with other people. The work is often group work. Frankly, it appears that most women simply don't like IT work once they get a chance to perform it in the industry. If they truly loved the work, I'm sure we'd see many more women rushing to come into tech and stick around.

This brings to mind an interesting solution. You want to see more women in tech? Then make tech work more social. We already have an answer to that: Pair programming.

Comment: Re:No rage over roofers, drillers, and boilermaker (Score 2) 342

by XopherMV (#48065269) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline
Why are companies pushing women into IT? Simple. Follow the money. If companies could find a way to make IT interesting for women, then they could double their workforce. Doubling the supply of workers for the same number of jobs means that companies could cut salaries in half. Cutting salaries means increasing profits and bonuses for executives. That's the real motivation, not some altruistic concern over womens' rights or equality.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 342

by XopherMV (#48065219) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

You'll have to look beyond school. What is media telling men and women about IT?

Not many third graders pay attention to "the media". Why didn't the media keep women from becoming doctors, lawyers, police officers, and soldiers? Why is it ONLY with professions that involve solitary interaction with inanimate machines, that women suddenly turn into delicate snowflakes and collapse in the face of the slightest, almost undetectable, pressure from "the media"?

Exactly. Why are auto mechanics overwhelmingly male? It's the same damn reason. Most women aren't interested in working alone with machines. If women were interested in this work, then they'd already be doing this work.

Whenever I see articles like this, I keep getting the feeling that we're trying to hammer square pegs into round holes. Then we sit and wonder why we see a problem.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 342

by XopherMV (#48065171) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

But why is it really frustrating?

Because I want to see flying cars, robotic maids, and real AI, in my lifetime. The chance of that happening is a lot lower if we waste half of humanity's brain power. If there is something we can do to get more girls interested in science and tech, then we should at least try to do it.

Sorry, if end goal is to turn out engineers, then I don't see the logic in pushing uninterested girls to become interested when we're turning away boys who are already interested. From my experience, the kids that do best in any field are the ones most interested in that field. If you really want to see all those technological marvels, then we should be focusing effort on the kids with the interest, motivation, and drive to learn the topic. Let's focus on the kids who are interested regardless of their gender.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 5, Insightful) 529

We didn't just build industry. We built the freeway system. We built the space program. We rebuilt our military to defend the world against the Russians. That was all government spending. And yes, our top tax rate was 91%. Millionaires still made buckets of money. But, they paid their taxes and shit got done.

Then, Reagan came into office and lowered that top rate. All of a sudden, the government deficits started going up and work didn't get done. Millionaires started using their new buckets of money for speculation. Now, we're in a recession as a result of Wall Street speculation and we can't fix a fucking pothole let alone pave a single new freeway.

Comment: Re:won't matter for 90% (Score 4, Interesting) 192

by XopherMV (#46902449) Attached to: How 'Fast Lanes' Will Change the Internet
The ISPs aren't creating "slow lanes." They're simply refusing to widen the freeway until they're paid to do so.

Funny. Customers pay their ISPs for an advertised bandwidth. Content providers also pay ISPs for advertised bandwidth. Yet, ISPs are still able to turn up the speed if content providers pay them extra. It sounds like ISPs are purposefully not living up to their advertising in order to extort money from people who aren't their customers.

Comment: They were already paying (Score 3, Insightful) 192

by XopherMV (#46902293) Attached to: How 'Fast Lanes' Will Change the Internet
Provider pays to provide information, customer pays ISP for access to internet and then has to pay a per view fee to view content at reasonable speeds. So long as there's money to be extracted, the consumer will be squeezed.

This buys into the framing of the argument pushed by the ISPs. The content providers were already paying for their own connection to the internet. Now if content providers want to provide fast connections to their customers, then they not only have to pay their own ISP, but they also need to send money to every other ISP in the world. This fundamentally changes the structure of the market.

And you, as a customer, get a crappy connection to the internet unless the content providers pay. That's true regardless of what you pay your ISP for their advertised bandwidth.

If this goes too far, customers will eventually start suing their ISPs for false advertising. ISP customers are paying for a certain amount of bandwidth, not a certain amount of bandwidth IF the content providers also pay.

Comment: Re:Denver? Atlanta? (Score 1) 285

Microsoft is a major employer of technical talent in the Seattle area even though you didn't see that in your anecdotal experience. Microsoft employs just about 101,000 people worldwide. About 43,000 are in the Seattle area. Yes, not all of them are technical staff. Companies need to employ more than just developers, testers, and admins to operate properly. (Duh?)

Amazon has more employees at about 110,000. It has about 15,000 in Seattle. Those are mostly highly paid engineers, managers and programmers. It's hiring like crazy.

Boeing has about 170,000 employees. About 81,000 are employed in Washington state.

T-Mobile has about 4,800 employees at its local headquarters.

AT&T near Seattle manages operations in the Western US and performs engineering and testing. It has 4,592 employees in Washington.

Adobe's Seattle office employs about 500 people, focusing on product development and operations.

F5 employs over 1200 workers in Washington state.

The Seattle area hosts Google's third-largest engineering center. It has about 1000 employees.

You are simply wrong about the speed of internet connections and the government. Areas in the north has access to Verizon fiber. Other areas have access to high speed internet from Comcast. As for the government, they're working with private companies to establish citywide fiber. People aren't electing "anti-Internet candidates", whatever the hell those are.

So yes, Seattle IS a significant tech hub.

Comment: Re:How exactly (Score 4, Insightful) 285

Fighting increases to the minimum wage. A higher minimum wage would increase wages for both the people at the low end and those immediately above the low end. Republicans don't like that.

Fighting government stimulus which provide jobs. Fighting stimulus creates a surplus of workers. More workers means more people looking for work. Businesses don't need to offer good pay to find workers. Republicans like that.

Fighting unemployment payments, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, and housing assistance. All that money eventually enters and supports jobs in local economies. That increases the demand for workers. That also increases salaries. Republicans hate that.

Fighting against sick or vacation days. Keeping people at work means that employers don't need to hire as many workers as companies in other countries. That creates lower demand for workers. That keeps salaries down. Republicans like that.

Comment: Re:this again ? really (Score 1) 333

by XopherMV (#46353103) Attached to: Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

well there were not many women doctors not too long ago and now there are quite many. I assume if programming is as attractive as medicine then this will also happen.

Yes. When developer salaries rise to match the salaries to those in medicine, then the field will get flooded with all types of people looking to do development work. This will include women. That's economics 101: supply and demand.

Comment: Re:Let's be clear (Score 5, Interesting) 278

by XopherMV (#44905527) Attached to: Ballmer Admits Microsoft Whiffed Big-Time On Smartphones

Microsoft was not looking to make a Phone a PC

I worked at Microsoft from 2004-2005. This was before the iPhone or Android phones. Most people had flip-phones. If you wanted a smart phone, you either got a Blackberry or a Windows phone. Those were the most advanced phones on the market. They were around years before Apple thought of getting into the phone business.

Keep in mind that Microsoft mainly earns its money through the sales of Windows and Office. So, every product they make is engineered to drive the sales of those two products. One of the initial groups I interviewed with at Microsoft were the guys making the Windows phones. (No, I didn't end up working with this group.)

Yes, they absolutely were attempting to bring the Windows PC experience to the phone. And yes, that was a disaster.

The problem was that tiny screens don't work well with a Windows type of interface. Users don't like the clutter. Microsoft needed to make the interface transparent and focus on what people actually wanted to do with their phones, which is use applications.

Hiding the Windows interface doesn't work when you're attempting to promote Windows. Marketing which promotes "Windows on your phone!" doesn't sell phones. I remember thinking during my interview, "what does Windows on my phone actually get me? Why would I want that?" Microsoft itself couldn't adequately answer that question until the iPhone and Android came out and focused on the apps. Even then, Microsoft still screwed up their answer to the iPhone and Android. They simply can't get away from promoting Windows and Office.

Comment: Re:Since when is sharing stealing (Score 1) 221

by XopherMV (#43973557) Attached to: Sharing HBO Go Accounts Could Result In Prison
A restaurant could kick you out. Or, they could call the cops. The police do take these actions seriously. You could get charged with theft. And you could spend time in jail. That's happened to people I've known. And, it's harmed their lives. Try getting any serious job with a theft conviction on your record.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

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