Thanks for replying.

I’m not sure I follow that reasoning. The current hiring practices and the pipeline is the problem. Tech companies say they can’t fill jobs while only looking down a very narrow tube that excluding many qualified candidates. The pipeline used today is built to exclude people not on efficacy but on confirmation bias in skill sets that are mostly orthogonal.

The vastly majority of qualified candidates are excluded from the pipeline if they don’t have a CS degree (or 10 years work history) on their resume. If they can’t optimize an algorithm on a whiteboard, they are excluded. Those are good skills to have but it’s not mutually exclusive to being a writing good code. The current tech hiring pipeline is a series of confirmation bias gates.

So taking a step to look at the real world we all live in. There’s a lot of blacks, latinos and women who can code. But many didn’t go through a CS degree. They might not have been able to afford a university. They don’t have 10 years of work history in programming. They might not have world class mentors. They might not have friends or personal contacts to give them a referral. None of that should matter. They can write good code we just need to let them prove it. They could have learned on their own, online or at a bootcamp. That grit to push against their own personal and environmental challenges to become proficient is not rewarded in the current hiring pipeline, it’s ignored. Only if someone has grit, plus money, plus the loans, plus ability to spend 4 or more years in a CS program does our current pipeline reward them for that effort. Some engineering jobs like creating a new programing language does require a lot of skills university’s teach but most jobs do not.

I entirely concede that this process will not, defacto get you more women engineers. That is not the purpose of it. The purpose using blind performance auditions is to say unless.

Unless we stop looking down a predefined pipeline we won’t see the efficacy of solid engineers that are currently being excluded. Women, blacks and latinos are not today in CS programs. Their backgrounds do not fit the mold. Tech companies will continue excluded them. We need to start with self-evaluation of our own company and our own processes. Unless our processes fully embrace non-traditional backgrounds we continue to struggle to get solid engineers that are women, black or latino because real-world stats says their backgrounds are primarily non-traditional. It’s only after we’ve self-corrected that we’ll be able reach out to where those people are and offer them a chance based on their efficacy. We can make a serious impact today. We can hire good, qualified women, black and latinos if we just stop excluding them.

P.S. I love that big companies are improving the curriculum at Howard and working to get more women in computer science programs. I’m doing the same with my own daughters. But if that will ever make a substantial impact it will take years if not decades. Even then it will still not help a lot of disadvantaged people who increasingly can’t afford a university degree.

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