I highly recommend members of the Quality Conversations Circle read Paul Ford’s essay “What Is Code?” in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
It’s a long read that weighs in at 38,000 words but well worth the time. It’s like a web version of the show “How It’s Made” with a bonus Certificate of Completion at the end of the article to prove you still have an attention span!
Paul Ford makes the point that if coders don’t run the world, then they write the code that runs the world.
My question after nearly three decades in the industry is: Who runs the coders?
Paul Ford begins to answer that question in this Gawker interview about his essay when he addresses the problem of women in technology. Hint: It’s not the women.
My sense is that it’s not just the men either. There’s also the question of power and who gets to be in the Conversation to contribute “meaningful work.”
Paul Ford says “The men have the power right now, and they’re the ones who have to make the serious ethical decisions necessary to get their shit together.”
That’s a start. But they’re not the only ones who need to make decisions. It’s up to those in the “room with a bunch of dudes (who) just cannot believe how horrible they’re being” to start the conversation that makes the need for that decision unquestionable.