Yours was the comment to Sarah’s post that especially caught my eye, because I too was in the first boom, as content co-manager for a biomedical-science-focused website. I’m now in the online education area after leaving one of the big test-prep firms, and I’ve noticed the decline in standards, too. We had people from academia, from business, from hardcore coding backgrounds, and a few graphic artists who were pioneering UI design. There was no “culture fit” because we made up the culture as we went along; my co-manager was a woman, and the age range was from 23 to upper 40s.
It seems to me that many people in tech now just simply aren’t very bright, they can just code — but are convinced they’re brilliant, and that conviction gives them the entitlement to behave with no social skills & no social filter at all. To steal a line from Dave Pell, showing up at a gold rush with a shovel & a pail doesn’t make you a genius!
So have you moved out of direct tech work as I have, freelancing or something? Toxic work environments are no fun at all . . .