Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Facebook Programming

Facebook Launches Initiative To Attract More Minorities and Women To Coding (thestack.com) 281

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has launched TechPrep, a new initiative to attract more minorities and women into coding. The project draws a very strong analogy between the learning of computer coding skills and the learning of spoken languages, a field which is important to people whose first language is not English, and which engages with the popular understanding that women are better at learning languages. TechPrep is seeking to engage with parents and guardians to get its target audience into coding earlier in life.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Launches Initiative To Attract More Minorities and Women To Coding

Comments Filter:
  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:49PM (#50775647)

    How about hiring more people over 40 as well.

    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:05PM (#50775797) Homepage Journal

      I can't speak for Facebook, but my team is currently comprised of

      8 Caucasian men
      1 Caucasian woman
      5 Indian men
      4 Indian women
      2 Asian men

      (Note that my metro area is ~78% white). I can only hire from the applications I receive, so I can't bring in Latino or African American devs/BAs/PMs/etc... I've been thinking about doing an outreach program to see about visiting some of our local high schools' CS programs and see what I can learn about our next generation of coders.

      The youngest people on my team are late 20s. A couple of months ago one of the women on my team retired. I have multiple team members that are looking at full retirement in the next 5 years (one of whom I hired last year). Probably half of my team is in the 40+ category and a good portion of that has been hired on in the last 3 years.

      There are dev managers in the world that don't give a crap about your age or skin color as long as you can code, document, lead, teach, test, implement, or what ever else we need done.

      -Rick

      • Re:How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:11PM (#50775883)

        There are dev managers in the world that don't give a crap about your age or skin color as long as you can code, document, lead, teach, test, implement, or what ever else we need done.

        Maybe we should stop putting people into categories and treating them differently (+ or -) based on the amount of pigment in their skin?

        Maybe we should judge people not based on the color of their skin but on the content of their character?

      • I can only hire from the applications I receive, so I can't bring in Latino or African American devs/BAs/PMs/etc

        Then you need to do more recruiting. If the corporation is more interested in meeting diversity targets, then you don't need to worry about qualifications; just go find someone and hire them for the job. I'm sure the cafeteria janitor can become a PM or developer.

        • Re:How about... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @05:08PM (#50776899)

          Listen, if I get an application that fits the profile and the person provides what I'm looking for, I'm hiring him or her.

          I am not going to compromise the financial situation of my company for the sake of pandering to some PC fad.

          • Why are you worried about the financial situation of your company? The company doesn't belong to you.

            What's important is what your bosses want. Do they want diversity, or do they share your attitude? If they're pushing diversity uber alles, then you should propose promoting one of the janitors to high-skill jobs so they can fill those quotas. See what the CxOs say about that.

            • "Why are you worried about the financial situation of your company? The company doesn't belong to you."

              You didn't seriously just post that on Slashdot for everyone to read did you?

      • Asians don't count towards your diversity quota. They are an over represented group, and their sum should just be added to the caucasian group.
      • Is your metro area population also 50% H1B foreigners?

    • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:12PM (#50775897)

      You can be sure anytime employees want more people in a field it means they want to reduce labor costs.

      • "You can be sure anytime employees want more people in a field it means they want to reduce labor costs."

        To be fair, You can be sure anytime employees don't want more people in a field it also means they want to reduce labor costs. (i.e. companies always want to reduce labor costs.)

    • Sorry that won't work. That would mean paying people actual market rates for skilled jobs. We just can't have that. Particularly when there is an endless supply of 3rd world talent willing to work for a fraction of what you and I would work for. So let's just open the H1-B floodgates and let them all in. It's the Walmart-ization of high tech. Careful what we wish for.

  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:51PM (#50775657) Homepage

    Hooray smash the patriarchy!

    • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:17PM (#50775945)

      I'm still waiting on all the "Why aren't there more straight men in the fashion industry?" articles that I just know must be coming any day now. ....still waiting......

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:53PM (#50775689)
    Why not just get people who are actually interested in coding to participate? Why do they have to be women or minorities? That seems rather bigoted.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by x0ra ( 1249540 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:55PM (#50775709)
      Because STEM is paying well, and the induced physical risk and requirement is null. You will never see a progressive campaigning to have more women working in mines.
      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        Actually I have. I have seen women recruited for industrial electrical work, driving big as trucks in open pit mines, and running equipment underground. Or launched into space using liquid oxygen and or HME.

      • by c ( 8461 )

        You will never see a progressive campaigning to have more women working in mines.

        It does happen. A friend of mine spent about 20 years as a welder because of one of those "get women into the trades" programs.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      Are you assuming there are no women and minorities who are interested? Or who might be interested if it were presented in the correct manner (which does not imply easier).

    • Because the people who tend to buy into this crap believe that anything other than an even gender/sex ratio must be due to discrimination and couldn't possibly be explained by other causes such as differences in the male and female brains over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that shape our culture just as much as societal norms and influence vocational interests.

      As such, they either don't regard the treatment as sexist or racist, or if they do see it that way feel that it is justified in orde
  • by x0ra ( 1249540 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:53PM (#50775691)

    The way concepts are expressed is irrelevant, what matter is how structured they are to one another. To make a culinary parallel, everybody can use a pan and a pot, but not everybody can marry food in delicate and tasty way.

    This, or Facebook is looking for code monkey.

  • by thedonger ( 1317951 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:55PM (#50775705)
    FTA:

    Another notable finding was that men were five times more likely than women to say that they knew a lot about computer programming.

    Holy shit, really? Men are more likely to claim they know a lot about anything.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      That's not the only thing they lie about. ;)

    • LOL and how much do men outnumber women in programming.... maybe 5 to 1?

    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

      Sure but that was the results of one of the research papers. Women feel they must know 100% about something before attempting it where Men feel like they must know about 60% about something before attempting it and will learn the rest on the job.

      [John]

    • confidence and bullshitting will get you a job. and a raise.
    • FTA:

      Another notable finding was that men were five times more likely than women to say that they knew a lot about computer programming.

      Holy shit, really? Men are more likely to claim they know a lot about anything.

      Yeah, ask men about their dick size and then ask their wives the same question.

  • Define minority please. Heck, for that matter these days, define women! This is baloney. I don't give a rat's ass about a programmer's sex, color, background, etc. I care that they like what they do and that they do a good job of it, without being offensive to the team. Frankly, I care more if they smoke or wear too much cologne and come in stinking up the office several times a day.
    • Re:Define minority (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:16PM (#50775927)

      It's any racial group that's in the minority in a given population--except Asians of course, because they just learn, work hard, and refuse to play victims.

      • by Raseri ( 812266 )
        You mean Southeast Asians (China, Japan, etc.). South Asians (India, Bangladesh, etc) are a completely different story.
  • by Fragnet ( 4224287 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @02:58PM (#50775741)
    It doesn't matter what shape their genitals are.
    • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:13PM (#50775905)

      Because SJW.

    • The people have to exist if you're going to hire them.

      TFA isn't about hiring unqualified people just because they're from underrepresented groups. It's about encouraging people from underrepresented groups to seek and acquire the qualifications in the first place.

      • by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @04:16PM (#50776427)

        That sounds cruel.

        The underrepresented group is the "low IQ" group, and unless I missed some big developments, IQ isn't something that can be acquired by seeking.

        The root problem is that membership in the fundamental group is not distributed evenly across superficial demographic groups. But reality (genetics) can't be moved by wishing, shrieking or blaming.

        The implications of IQ distribution by demographic groups has been discussed in gruesome detail elsewhere [f2s.com]. Pay particular attention to the parts about thresholds and tails.

        Of course, everyone already knows this, and are increasingly recognizing that these stories are about power, not programming.

        • IQ tests measure how good you are at doing IQ tests. They don't necessarily correlate to an individual's abilities in all areas.

          In any case, my post was not about average IQ of a particular group. It was about opening the door to groups that might perceive that they are closed. People still need to make the grade. We just need to make sure they aren't discouraged to try.

          Not long ago, women represented about 10% of physics majors. In recent years, that number has increased significantly, and not because wome

  • YAMICI (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:00PM (#50775751) Homepage Journal

    I reckon these initiatives are close to outnumbering the people in the target groups. They'll have to start moonlighting to keep up with the supply.

  • by rtkluttz ( 244325 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:12PM (#50775889) Homepage

    Not mine, copied from a forum...

    sup
    {
        gimme fibo bitch
        a be 1 bitch
        b be 1 bitch
        putou a bitch
        putou b bitch
        fibo be fibo widout 2 bitch
        slongas (fibo bepimpin 0)
            c be a an b bitch
            a be b bitch
            b be c bitch
            putou b bitch
            dissin fibo bitch
        nomo
    }

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:13PM (#50775899)

    seeks to analogise coding skills with language skills to make the subject of computer science less forbidding and opaque

    Good luck with that. Programming is about logic, not language.

    • Programming is about logic, not language.

      oh yeah? well then how do you explain LISP?! ;P

  • Women are better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mesterha ( 110796 ) <mesterha@@@cs...rutgers...edu> on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:15PM (#50775921) Homepage

    So if woman are better at languages then there are differences (surprise) between the sexes. If you open that door, maybe men are better at programming.

    • So if woman are better at languages then there are differences (surprise) between the sexes. If you open that door, maybe men are better at programming.

      Sure, as long as you're aware that those facts allow you to make inferences only about populations, not specific individuals.

  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:20PM (#50775973)

    What I learned today: It's okay to say women are better at language, but clearly men can't be better at programming.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:28PM (#50776037)

    Let's see what passes the PC compliance test:

          "Women are better at learning spoken languages" - PASS
          "Therefore men are not as good as woman at learning spoken languages" - Eyebrow inperceptively raised, but PASS
          "Men are better [on average] than women at computer programming" - RED ALERT RED ALERT RED ALERT !!!

  • Is "wiling to work for minimum wage" considered a valid minority now?
  • by CQDX ( 2720013 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @03:43PM (#50776159)

    And multiple posts by people over 30 were saying they won't even consider working for FB? It's SJW shit like this that experienced engineers loathe.

  • "The project draws a very strong analogy between the learning of computer coding skills and the learning of spoken languages"

    Seems to imply speaking a language, which is not right at all. It's about writing a language. Maybe not coincidentally, male authors outnumber women authors by about the same proportion as in software development.
    http://www.theguardian.com/boo... [theguardian.com]

    BTW one of my favorite authors is Mary Stewart, her Arthurian Saga is awesome!

  • We need more H1B visa. Look, in the US we only get applications from white males, but we want diversity in our company!

    For example, Indians are really underrepresented in our work force!

  • Now that he's past 30, I wonder if Zuckerberg will pay attention to it.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/303... [fastcompany.com]

  • by ruir ( 2709173 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @03:03AM (#50779217)
    In a male dominated board. Bring it on fuckers, it is excellent PR.

Failure is more frequently from want of energy than want of capital.

Working...