Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rockstars, ninjas, and silent technical privilege

Technically Baltimore did a nice write up of my recent appearance on the podcast. One of the things we touched on was the continuing difficulties of tech companies with recruiting people and with attracting a more diverse set of people to the software industry. I think the best solution to both problems is for software companies to spend a lot more time and money on training people instead of trying to find the perfect person who's incredibly experienced. I plan to write more about the outcome of our own training program very soon (short answer: it worked out awesomely).

The Technically Baltimore article focuses on my off-the-cuff critique of passé, potentially harmful recruiting terms like "rockstar" and "ninja". I think that terminology unintentionally contributes to a culture of silent technical privilege that repels smart people who don't identify with those labels. The reporter also links to some further analysis of this problem, so please check out the writeup! And start using better recruiting language if you want to cast the widest net possible for talent.