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GitHub is undergoing a full-blown overhaul as execs and employees depart (businessinsider.com)
808 points by easyd 382 days ago | hide | past | web | 973 comments | favorite

The current dominant themes in certain feminism & diversity cliques in our community are openly hostile towards me. I'm a male. I'm white. I'm middle class. I'm heterosexual.

I'm also a leader. I'm a parent of two daughters. My mother had to fight sexism issues in her career. I am supportive of inclusion & diversity. I am trying to raise my girls to be empowered, confident & curious. But the dominant themes in current diversity & feminist circles are so racist & sexist towards me that my first impulse is outrage.

For those of you who share this impulse- I want to provide the piece of perspective that helps me manage my frustration: Our culture operates under a pendulum. Right now, it's bad, but it will swing back.

There are “equality” people who are openly hostile to certain categories of humans based on gender, sexuality & race. This has happened before and it will happen again.

The pendulum will swing back and we'll look back at these people in the same way as certain stale feminists & race marketeers of the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s etc. The leaders of these ideas in the tech community who focus on gender & race over building products that people want will not last. They get louder & shriller, but wielding bigotry to fight bigotry always fertilizes suspicion.

You can't fight exclusion with exclusion. So don’t worry about these themes. If people aren’t bitching about their bigotry, their relevance wanes.

Just keep trying to do big things. If someone calls you privileged, it doesn't mean it wasn't hard & that you didn't earn it. You don’t have to argue with every person who writes something stupid on the Internet. To hell with those bigots. Their misery does not earn them the right to rob you of your own self worth and success. Diversity means that all perspectives deserve to be heard. It is ok that someone uses the word diversity to ward off white folks from leading. The community eventually rejects this kind of bigotry.

You can find these people worthy of your contempt and still be supportive of diversity & equality. Now ignore these fools and go build your shit.

I don't understand how people can seriously claim that these are "current dominant themes". I studied at UC Berkeley, one of the liberal capitals of California. Most of my friends are Berkeley students. Most of my friends are feminists.

There's practically no hostility (as you put it) towards white, heterosexual males in these circles. I have never been personally attacked or felt uncomfortable. Most of the discussion is aimed at systemic issues, not individuals. It's been pretty eye-opening, actually.

Based on my experience, I'm fairly certain that stories involving militant feminist/diversity people have been vastly overblown by places like Reddit.

Your Berkeley friends may simply be more educated. In any case, before you pass judgment, try expressing a differing opinion.

Most of the feminists that are my friends aren't 'militant'. I can disagree with them and point out where their little bits of dogma differ with reality. We can usually have a discussion and learn from each other.

But trying to do that with any self-proclaimed feminist who doesn't already know me and it's I don't get it because of male privilege, or I'm ignorant on the subject (even if I cite sources and they don't), or I'm a rapist or rape sympathizer. They give me appeals to (their own) authority, fabricated statistics* , specious arguments about female fear, and I get shouted down if I want to discuss where males have similar struggles to females.

I once pointed out that the term feminism does not espouse the equality the feminist movement is trying to achieve. I said that is a disservice to the movement because it excludes some would-be allies while at the same time encouraging the "bad" type of feminist. I also pointed out that if someone self-identifies as a feminist, I don't really know what that person means. For some, like your friends apparently, it means what I think it means. But for others it means "white males are the devil."

I was immediately attacked. My attacker stated that she had read all the literature and (a million non sequiturs). My feminist friends just bowed out of the conversation, which irked me. The only person who stood up and was like "Uh, this is crazy. You're not even talking about what he said," was another male.

*Did you know murder by males is the number one cause of death among females?

Edit: Formatting

> *Did you know murder by males is the number one cause of death among females?

I've been hearing that myth a lot recently too. I checked the CDC to see the real numbers. Cancer (disturbingly all ages groups), and (traffic) accidents, and heart disease make up the lion's share. Even suicide is larger than murders.


I was wondering if they lumped in accidental "murders", like traffic accidents, they might get there.

But even that isn't enough.

The tweets in this article are militant. A Github employee actually said this:


That would not be possible if it wasn't a dominant culture (without him getting fired).

I feel like their general counsel should not have allowed any of this to happen.

Under the Civil Rights Act / Equal Opportunity law, race and gender are protected classes. So having your executives on record saying that "white women" are "some of the biggest barriers to progress" seems dangerous.

I'm not a lawyer, but when your employee tells Business Week that "it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white'", that seems like a legal disaster.

Replace "white" with any other color and notice how flagrantly racist and illegal that sounds. The law does not distinguish.

They need to fix this quickly.

They should assure people both internally and externally that hiring and promotion will be meritocratic, without regard to gender or race, and then ensure it actually happens that way.

As someone else here pointed out, that tweet is out of context. It was part of a 10+ tweet rant about politics and social medicine. (It still is a bit offensive, but less so than the article makes it out to be)


I think it's still offensive and racist. It's also scary to see that he basically has a university freshmen's outlook on the world but for some reason has a position to execute these ideas from within Github.

The larger context goes beyond a 10+ tweet rant. The larger context is @_danilo's general attitude in many other tweets and even HN comments. This isn't a first or even isolated example of racism and bigotry from him.

Well I know this may be off topic but Mr Danilo's rant against US military seems narrow minded. It's BECAUSE we have US military that US citizens are not exposed to exposure, hunger, fear, rape.

Taking one post out of context is pure #hnwatch technique, tho'.

If "white privilege" or "white supremacy" were actually a thing, then a person who said something like that would be summarily fired. The fact that he's not means that their hated white boogeyman is an illusion. The SJW agenda is the agenda in power at the company.

> Most of my friends are feminists.

> There's practically no hostility

There are many people who identify as feminists who are fair, rational, and genuinely want equal opportunities for all.

There are many other people who identify as feminists who are militantly against anything but total female domination.

The word is used by so many different groups with different ideologies in different contexts that it's become meaningless.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was reading about "PIV is Rape". I had never heard of it before but wow it blew my mind of how different and extremist can some people's view be.

Had that as required reading in a religious studies class. Got yelled at for complaining that if taken serious it was advocating for the extinction of the species.

So, what measures are they taking to match Berkeley undergraduate sex ratio (52.1% female 47.9% male [1]) with the sex ratio of the entire US in the same age range (51% male 49% female [2]). A woman is roughly 1.13 (13%) times more likely to be an undergraduate at Berkeley than a man. Or is this a topic best avoided?

[1] http://opa.berkeley.edu/uc-berkeley-fall-enrollment-data

[2] http://www.census.gov/population/age/data/files/2012/2012gen... @ 15-19yo

Did you not read the article? It says they can't even interview white candidates for jobs.

Just because they wrote it doesn't mean it's true.

...and they showed photos of Powerpoint slides that were pretty damning as well. Sure, those slides could also be faked, but I think that's well past the believable threshold for giving the benefit of a doubt.

Where does it say they can't interview white candidates for jobs?

Quote "While their efforts are admirable it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white' which makes things challenging," this person said."

There is no proof that white candidates are hard to interview there.

That quote sounds like the kind of thing that could easily be an immature employee who doesn't like the idea of a "VP of diversity", or doesn't like the tone of the VP's slides, taking something small and blowing it out of proportion.

Like, they tried to recommend a friend of theirs for an open position and the friend didn't get an interview and suddenly that n=1 case becomes "OMG! They won't let us interview white candidates!!"

Gee, a subjective opinion from an anonymous source. I'm convinced.

Even if true, "very hard" /= "not allowed".

It's not acceptable that there is ANY obstacle to interviewing whites.

So imo "very hard" == "not allowed" because it virtually achieves same result.

If things ever get that extreme, it's time to whip out the research on race and IQ.

It's like, well, you asked for it.

I am an academic who is a straight white man and who researches things related to race and gender and I don't think I have ever met a militant feminist. If the internet is to believe they are everywhere but somehow I haven't ran into them.

I've been lighthouse keeping for 21 years and no one's ever thought that I was in anything but a lighthouse.

When white men with great credentials, skills and experience have their résumé thrown in the waste bin because a company has to meet "diversity quotas", then yes there is a problem. Discrimination is being battled with discrimination, with the exclusion of qualified people based on their race and gender - which is the original problem to begin with, just turned on its face.

did you even read op's article? look at the slides

A few days after it passed, I complained about the abuses to liberty in the Patriot Act to an older, and very-wise friend. He talked about a sociological pendulum as well, and predicted those over-reaches of power would be righted in time. Given how often and completely he has been right, before, I started watching and waiting. Except, I've been waiting for fifteen years now, and that pendulum seems to only be going further away from liberty, privacy, and (real) security.

I'm not sure, but I'm starting to think that we've reached a point where sociological constructs that would have flamed out, even just 20 years ago, can be sustained, because the people in power to sustain them now have an echo chamber where the message never quite falls below the point of being lost. It's almost as if improvements in communication have now backfired in raising the noise above the signal.

I hope you turn out to be right. As a white, male, heterosexual programmer who's reached his late 40's, I don't need any extra pressure working against me in my career prospects. I'm already starting to hate the H1-B visa program, but that's a rant for another post.

It will swing back in thirty years. In thirty years I plan to be retired. Or have died of my unhealthy lifestyle. Or at the most optimistic become too old to code competitively.

My point is, far as I'm concerned I can't afford to just sit tight and wait for it to blow over. And neither can the rest of you.

Agreed. I follow this topic for quite some time already, but I cannot understand few fundamental things.

I understand that indeed people could have "issues" because of their gender, race or some other quality. I support they in their effort to make things better.

However, I do not understand this categorization. By categorizing people this way one actually splits a group of people into smaller groups based on given categorization. Those groups have conflicting interests and different level of privileges, and each of the groups tries to change that.

But why, instead of working within this artificial categorized groups, just get away from this categorization completely?

PS It's a sensitive topic and I hope I didn't offend anyone; sorry if I somehow did it, however. PPS I'm wondering what are the job duties of diversity consultants...

This is just misguided, plain and simple. I am white, male, heterosexual, and from a middle class family, and I absolutely know that my background gives me privilege. It doesn't matter if I earned it or not; I had and still have an advantage over other classes of people, and that is where the hostility is directed.

Instead of taking it personally, use this advantage to eliminate as much privilege as possible. Don't shy away from "leadership," but instead embrace it and make diversity a major focus of your leadership style.

Calling out the underrepresented as "bigots" for being upset is just plain cowardice.

It is not the underrepresented that are bigots.

It's the ones who say that certain people must shut up because $GENDER or $RACE who are bigots.

I don't think this describes the majority of reasonable people defending diversity.

Not defending it, but that tweet is taken out of a 10-part twitter rant, so it's lacking context.

Yes, as a life long White Man who likes football and hot dogs, and it somewhat fat I agree with you 100%.

Radical anti Male Feminism and Euro phobic racism are wonderful things for everyone. And there good for the economy. Just like you, I will continue to watch the glorious Television programming.

Do you seriously think most of this is based in straight-up hatred of white males? Every time I read something like was in the article, I view it as representative of what the author feels every day. God forbid we feel that way for 5 seconds before we throw it away.

Perceived grievances with the unfairness of the world do not entitle you to scapegoat other people or groups. This language is strikingly similar to to the dehumanisation of the Jews (as a race) in the public sphere in the 1920's and 30's after economic collapse and people were looking for a villein. Once you demonize a group as pure unredeemable evil its a short step to advocating physical violence as moral good to eliminate such evil form the world.

These are very dangerous ideas that are being thrown around.

Driving the adoption of identity politics seems to be a synergy between the Western ruling class's interests and those of a subset of leftists. My guess is the ruling class likes the ideology, and supports it, because it provides a moral pretext for weakening historically dominant demographics. Once these demographics are sufficiently cowed, they will be more willing to let go of self-determination and accept supernational rule (rule imposed by the EU on European nations, for example).

This kind of racist "gender politics", along with a level of self-hatred and loathing for certain classes of people is a wider problem with GitHub employees and has been manifesting for a while, for example: https://github.com/todogroup/opencodeofconduct/pull/17

https://twitter.com/rachelmyers/status/629981737121021953 (also see some of her late Tweets about this very thread)

https://twitter.com/agelender/status/629080326736773120 https://twitter.com/agelender/status/573560084837498880

I think it started around the time they threw out their "meritocracy rug" back in early 2014 or somewhat before: http://readwrite.com/2014/01/24/github-meritocracy-rug

Right, I disagree with pretty much every point you're making, but maybe your anti-PC screed makes you feel better. I do question what this has to do with the core message of the article: GitHub has growing pains, long-time employees are unhappy because the Investors are bringing in the Suits and making them follow all kinds of corporate oversight stuff. Some unhappy employees also dislike the diversity hiring team, but I would assume the Investors and Suits like it (for lawsuit avoidance if nothing else).

Bottom line: all of these pains are probably inevitable if you want to go from 50 to 500 employees with revenue in the $100-$500 millions. Hopefully they get it right, and manage to keep most of their long term employees happy. If not, hopefully they take care of them, and find people to replace them who know how to keep Github working well.

I'm perplexed that you disagree.

My intention is to get the angry dudes to chill out on arguing with every social justice warrior they meet.

Is that the thing you want to disagree with? Or did I make my point poorly?

Perhaps the notion that people are actively discriminating against white guys, and that it's some kind of problem that people should just ignore because eventually it'll go away.

There's about 5 things in there you could disagree with.

(are they actively discriminating? is it just against white guys? is it actually a problem? should people just ignore it? will it eventually go away?)

I'm not saying yes or no to any of these, but I think its pretty obvious people could disagree with any number of things that you've said.

...that said, broadly speaking, I agree with the idea that people should just chill out...but also, that github's growing pains are probably about more than this particular issue you raise.

We laugh at Iran's theocracy. But this militant push for diversity for the sake of diversity does not seem much different to me.

I think you're making too blanket a statement about culture and bigotry from this one story. This is about something at Github. Specifically, the Github "diversity initiative" appears to have dispensed with the notion of diversity training for certain segments in favor of adopting a bias against members of traditionally privileged class. I can't imagine this will go well for them. It's a pretty clear conflict of mission.

Adapt or die. Integrated workforces are more successful.

And with that I take my leave of this whiny white bastion called HN. Enjoy your caves, suckas

You say "adapt" but you mean "capitulate."

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. The reason why this narrative is doing so well is because they've scared everyone else into ducking for cover instead of speaking up. If we don't fight back, we are surrendering to this tyranny.

History doesn't have to play out in any one way. Our culture of individualism and freedom is not guaranteed to survive. It is on each generation to preserve it for the next. When they asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution would create, he said "a republic, if you can keep it." We can't win every battle, and we can't win the war if we don't choose our fights, but we must fight to win.

I agree, a common diversion tactic of these activists is to try and tell you to just ignore the bad people and they will go away, eventually...

Usually with some self confirming story like the OP... I'm white just like you! Just ignore these radical racist people. go back to watching the ball game dude!

Its a tactic. The last thing they want is an actual debate because there ideas do not hold merit under scrutiny. If they can't get you to sit down and shut up then they will try to attack attack you.

So yes, everyone needs to stand up and stand firm against these people or they will continue and only get more irrational and nasty.

this is not some battle of civilizations

You're right, this enemy is within.

I don't know why you are so frustrated. It seems misplaced. The system is totally stacked in your favor (and my favor).

> The system is totally stacked in your favor

Is it? What about white men who grew up as orphans? Or with parents that had severe mental illness? What about white men with emotional disorders?

What about white male cancer survivors? Or white male single parents?

What about white men who grew up as historically disadvantaged minorities in their home countries?

Why is it OK to assume the system is stacked in someone's favor? How is that not prejudice?

I think this is one of the core questions that those playing identity politics games completely ignore. The very nature of their own efforts is, itself, something-ism. As you illustrate, they're categorizing a whole group, and assuming that every member of it fits its stereotypical mold.

So in one respect, sure, as a white male I had some advantages, but there are plenty of other ways to look at it. As a "nerd" I was bullied; I suffer from an incurable disease; I'm not a particularly attractive person; I'm notably uncoordinated and bad at sports. And on the other hand, I've got a fairly sharp mind, and have some talents and a supportive network around me. A lot of these things apply to other people in and out of my demographic cohort, to such a degree of ... let's say "diversity" ... that it makes no sense to focus on those demographics when thinking about who has privileges or disadvantages.

Privilege, favor and advantage is completely useless single-dimension concepts when talking about demographics. Statistics can show that men dominate the highest and lowest ranks in society, but every only focus on the few top who succeed and turn a blind eye to everyone else. It as if we would argue that people who gamble are "favored" since they have a slightly higher chance to become millionaires compared to everyone else.

White males has comparably poorer supportive network than most other demographics. Culture assume that all white men are healthy and strong, and society carry a discrimination when reality crash with that imagine. Is that privilege? Privilege for whom and compared to what?

> Is it?

Perhaps, perhaps not -- but your examples do nothing to counteract the idea that it is, as every single one of the groups you've mentioned is, in the US, significantly advantaged over the broader, corresponding group that is identically described without the "white men" or "white male" limitation.

Now, in many case, the system is also stacked against the class described in the other part of the descriptor, such that the intersection of that class with the "white men" restriction is disadvantaged compared to "white men" more generally.

But that doesn't, in any way, change the fact that the system (in the US) is stacked in favor of white men.

> Why is it OK to assume the system is stacked in someone's favor?

There is a difference between "conclude" and "assume".

> How is that not prejudice?

If you assume in the absence of evidence, it is prejudice. If you conclude on the basis of evidence, it isn't prejudice (because there is no "pre".)

Because it's wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right, etc.

Depends on what metric you choose. If your metric is "likelihood to study a technical subject and get a high paying job in the tech industry", maybe. That's pretty meaningless, though, and narrow - there are lots of other ways to have a good, often even better life.

Not if shit like this continues. Positive discrimination by definition stacks against the incumbent privileged.

History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme. Down with the Kulaks! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulak

Completely agree with the pendulum hypothesis (a theory indeed already) and not letting any offense make us fall into rage and the other side of the pendulum they are claiming us to be.

Agree also in the big problem with the word 'feminism'. It seems the opposite of 'machism', and machism is bad, to claim supperiority of men over women, so many people still think feminism is claiming supperiority of women over men. And as you say, there are soooo many variants of feminism that indeed claim that, and so many feminists (men and women) that claim it, that when I say 'of course I'm feminist' I always have to inmediately explain what I mean in case someone doesn't really know it's real meaning, coming from the context of its birth, as an oposition to machism.

And almost always, personal feelings, traumas, etc get into every discussion, deforming reason incredibly. Also prejudices about what you are trying to say (filling everything non explicitly stated with what they want to hear, you being the monster they're desiring to crunch). So you have to loose so much time stating everything about the context of what you are refering to, it's better not to even begin, as if they read you, either wouldn't understand anyway, feelings and lack of practice in logic would make them not to reason properly, or would just be the kind that doesn't really want to listen and be open to change in front of new verified data and reasonings, as all of us should, and will attack you using the lowest use a human can give to its brain, a use we have used over centuries to destroy and kill innocents (evil plots, rumours, false accusations, deformation of claims, lies, ...).

Some random thoughts and observations after reading this thread:

[1] I'm interested in the differences between reactions to this, versus Brendan Eich's gay marriage scandal at Mozilla a couple of years ago.

Don't get me wrong... I supported marriage equality then, and I do not support the worst of the statements called out in this story now. However, there are rational arguments that the HN community overreacted in BOTH cases. You have to assume that self-interest factors into the difference.

[2] Why are people so reluctant to move from GitHub to Bitbucket or GitLab? I've done work with all three, and personally haven't found any of them to be significantly more or less reliable than the others (i.e. they ALL go down occasionally). GitLab's interface is virtually on-par with GitHub at this point, and frankly Bitbucket is far superior if you're using JIRA.

Current architecture trends are moving toward smaller services, with a proliferating number of repositories. So GitHub's pricing model, in which you're charged by the number of repos, is becoming less competitive every day against Bitbucket and GitLab charging per user. I sometimes wonder how many HN people do actual work on teams of significant size, and how many are college students or micro-startup founders who don't really pay much for tooling anyway? GitHub's pricing model makes NO sense for established companies with lots of projects, and it seems weird that so few people here bring this up.

Agreed about Bitbucket. I've used it for a long time and haven't found it to be substantively different from GitHub in either functionality or reliability. The major downside, as I see it, is that it's just not as popular.

Popularity is certainly important for open source stuff, and personal code samples that you put online for "resume" purposes. Hell, for that use case you might as well be posting your code on LinkedIn.

But for the use cases in which people actually pay money (i.e. private repos that you don't WANT outsiders to access), then how is lack of popular visibility a downside?

For open source I suppose, since GitHub being so popular makes it easier for people to contribute to your project. Still, though, the only obstacles in using Bitbucket for those purposes (that I know of) are that you need to sign up for a Bitbucket account and learn how to make pull requests. As far as resume code goes, I wouldn't trust an employer who thinks having code samples hosted on Bitbucket is a mark against you. There's just nothing different between GitHub and Bitbucket in that case. Or is there some other issue I'm not aware of?

> The major downside, as I see it, is that it's just not as popular.

Has anyone really thought of this? Do people just happen on to a github project because "it is on github" or because someone linked their work and people liked it and wanted to contribute?

Would React, D3, Rails, Bootstrap etc not get what they do now simply because "oh I don't have a bitbucket account, I'm not going to bother"

To me at least this kind of argument (I hear a lot of, nothing personal davesque!) is along the lines of "everybody is on MySpace"

> Has anyone really thought of this? Do people just happen on to a github project because "it is on github" or because someone linked their work and people liked it and wanted to contribute?

I happen to have a BitBucket account, so I can't speak directly to your point, but I'm less likely to file issues on a project if I have to register a new account with their bug tracker to do so. I imagine the same would apply to a project hosted on BitBucket if I had a GitHub account but not one on BitBucket.

Right, and, just to be clear, I actually wasn't trying to suggest that this downside is really justified (and I think you understand this). Mind share is important, however.

bitbucket for private repos, github for public. No downside there :-)

It is not about the software.

Github has become the number one place to show of your portfolio. Half of job postings these days encourage you to include a link to your GitHub profile.

> It is not about the software.

For me, it emphatically is about the software.

Even for totally private repos, where popularity is not a factor, I continue to turn to Github because the UIs for both Bitbucket and GitLab continue to stand in the way of me easily getting shit done.

Anything we can improve in GitLab to make getting shit done easier?

Focus on minimizing the friction to doing the most common tasks.

Ex. by far the most common thing I'm doing when going to a repo is looking up a file and doing something with it. So why isn't a file list the first thing which comes up when I open a repo?

Also, generally work on visual hierarchy more. GitHub does a great job of this and it makes the UI both efficient and pleasant. For example, you show the latest commit on a repo's homepage but it is very poorly differentiated from the content around it. This makes scanning the page much harder.

Thanks for the feedback!

> Ex. by far the most common thing I'm doing when going to a repo is looking up a file and doing something with it. So why isn't a file list the first thing which comes up when I open a repo?

You can set this as default in your profile at /profile/preferences! Note that with GitLab 8.4 we now also have the quick-files finder which you can open from any page in a project by typing `t`[0].

We're working hard on improving the UI and UX and improving visual hierarchy and especially providing context to the current view is very high on our list. I hope the many changes in the last and upcoming releases will help, but any more specific feedback is very welcome.

[0]: https://about.gitlab.com/2016/01/22/gitlab-8-4-released/

I'm in the process of moving all my stuff to gitlab.com.

There's a lot of stuff going on in the sidebar and it took a while for me to figure out where things were. The mobile experience was also not amazing.

If you would like to take this conversation offline, I'd be happy to. I like Gitlab so far, although I'm only 5% in to my "migration" process.

The mobile views for sure needs some work, we're hiring frontend engineers https://about.gitlab.com/jobs/ and on Friday we hired a second person.

If you need any help please email support@gitlab.com and reference this comment.

But commenting online is encouraged, all of our issues are public.

In fact, GitLab 8.5, due the 22nd of this month, will heavily improve many views for mobile. This has been something we've been holding off on and we'll be slowing working more and more on it, as our UI matures.

GitLab 8.5 will have responsive views for most pages, but their functionality will be slightly limited compared to a full-browser, as we chose to hide certain elements (rather than a separate mobile view).

The mobile experience for github is not amazing either. It rearranges everything for no apparent reason and makes it harder or impossible to access what I want.

I hate to take impinge on your good nature, but you gave such good feedback to sytse I have to ask: what's getting in your way with Bitbucket? As a product company we're pretty focused on UX and spend a lot of time getting it right, so I'd love to hear any suggestions on how we can streamline it!

(I'm one of the founding engineers on Bitbucket Server, but more involved in Bitbucket.org these days)

this comment (not by me) is representative of my impression of atlassian:

Why has it been 7 years and nothing's been done? We're also considering moving everything to github, even if the price is higher... especially since the interface is more user friendly and there are far superior integrations available. It seems Bitbucket has been lagging in improvements :(

  -- https://bitbucket.org/site/master/issues/589/file-history-should-follow-copies-and#comment-25069061
streamline your honesty about bb.org. turn it off or get serious. atlassian's handling of bb.org has turned me from "no opinion" to "avoid" on all their products.

Github has a great UI, probably my favorite web app of all time. Not even sure why, I just like it.

Their culture is definitely screwed up - or they wouldn't be in the news like this. Culture starts at the top, a few people, even just one person at the very top. You have to take responsibility for that. The "we can break all the rules" thinking is naive - you'll find some of those rules are there for a reason.

If you wanna develop software without profit motive (and VC investment) that's awesome, but don't think flat org structures are going to fly in a company over 100 people. I'm all for question authority, but profit motive needs organization, which needs order and hierarchies enforce that order.

I don't find it that great. Finding your own repositories is a bit cryptic compared to bitbucket.

Do you think a link to a Bitbucket profile would be ignored?

If I want to see someone's work, and they provide a URL, I'm interested in the content, not the identity of the service it's hosted on. Gee, this sounds familiar...

> GitHub's pricing model makes NO sense for established companies with lots of projects

Totally agree with this assessment. When we were with Github, we actually ended up on a custom plan, negotiated with them directly, because we had too many projects to fit within their normal pricing structure. We eventually moved to Bitbucket two or three years ago and it's far more cost-effective for us. At this point we have 500+ projects on Bitbucket, and we're a company of only 20 people.

What do you do with that many different projects? Genuinely curious.

I use bitbucket for the same reason. As an agency of <20 employees, we have 30 or more clients and many of them have 5-10 projects. Most of them are small projects that we don't touch often, but bitbucket is the only place we can afford to host with that many. We pay for a plan for our own org and we set up free orgs for most of our larger clients since there are rarely more than 4 devs who need access to the projects.

Agency work, so just repositories for all the various websites, web apps, mobile apps, etc., that we build and have built over the years.

I suspect that the "microservices" craze will soon have reach a "MongoDB moment". Where everyone has gotten burned from jumped in too quickly and blindly, and the pendulum swings back in the opposite direction.

However, right now microservices are blowing up. The new greenfield project that I'm working on right now started out a year ago as a monolith with one repo. It now has microservice components scattered across several DOZEN repos, with dev teams finding excuses to refactor into smaller and smaller granularity each month.

it's not just "microservices" crazyness, if you do devops, you will end-up with bazillion recipes repositories for each dependency, and will may not want to make all of them public.

Sometime back when I moved from svn to git. My default choice was Github. But their pricing was a hindrance. I guess, its more suited for US (or countries with value-equivalence with USD). 7 USD per user, did not make any sense to me, from India. So I went with AWS CodeCommit. And my experience has been good. Finally how bad can any service which uses Git (done by Linus Torvalds) can be?

I also did not understand the big hoopla. If you can open source your project, then its good for you (free!). But they depend on enterprise and potentially other businesses with private code. But then it really does not make as much sense - as in whats the real gain - most of the use cases are from command line doing git [clone/pull/push].

At least for [2], I'd suggest the community around Github is the reason many are reluctant to leave.

That's exactly my point in wondering about the ratio of students to established company professionals.

For every company I've ever worked at, the "community" or "network effect" of a source control vendor is meaningless. Because the repos are all private. Sure, the company might have SOME open source stuff mirrored on GitHub for publicity purposes. But the real bread-and-butter daily WORK that pays the bills takes place in private repos. In most cases, private repos that are hosted on-prem rather than in the cloud.

Sure, GitHub and its "network effect" matters for open source projects, and for resume-fodder side projects we tinker with as individuals. But all of that is free anyway. What about the scenarios where you'd have to pay GitHub a lot of money? How many vocal people on HN are actually IN that scenario?

Company I work for pays Github for enterprise.

GitHub continuously improves their application and enterprise customers get new features a release or so after its rolled out on github.com.

As a tinkerer, I tend to appreciate a feature when I have it missing during the day and rely on it at night. A self-network effect of sorts?

As mentioned in another comment, I'm trying gitlab to move my stuff there but I'd be a bit pissed if we got off Github Enterprise at work since it "just works" and "needs no fixing because it's great".

I was interested in your comparison in #1, wrt "HN community overreacted".

I've been searching through old HN stories about Eich, but can't seem to find any where the comments generally supported firing him due to supporting Prop 8 (banning gay marriage).

Is there a particular thread you had in mind? Or are you stating the overreaction was being angry that he might have been fired over that support?

I don't have a link, and I'll admit that this is subjective and anecdotal.

I just recall there being a LOT of people who found it perfectly reasonable to oust somebody for long-ago political donations, despite there being no indication that he ever actually discriminated against anyone at Mozilla.

Yeah, you can make arguments that the mere existence of a such past donation creates a symbolically hostile environment, etc. But those arguments seemed pretty thin to me. At the time Eich made that donation, every major Democratic presidential candidate (including Clinton and Obama) were ALSO publicly opposed to marriage equality. So it seemed like extreme mental gymnastics to put a "hate speech" label on Eich.

In the GitHub story today, if you were feeling charitable then you could likewise apply some positive spin too. There IS some context to those slideshow bullet-points and that tweet, which has been buried under the outrage. Once again, I disagree with these messages even when that context is considered. But my point is that it seemed like there were a lot more people willing to do mental gymnastics in the Eich case than in this one.

> At the time Eich made that donation, every major Democratic presidential candidate (including Clinton and Obama) were ALSO publicly opposed to marriage equality. So it seemed like extreme mental gymnastics to put a "hate speech" label on Eich.

No, the extreme mental gymnastics here involve thinking that hate speech can be defined by looking at the content of Clinton and Obama's campaign speeches.

The ouster came six years after his donation. The only way that could be characterized as "long ago" is by the use of extreme mental gymnastics.

Anyway, donating to Proposition 8 is equivalent to making the statement "I will actively work to take other people's rights away, even though it will never affect me". Is it any surprise that he was ousted? It was a disaster for Mozilla to associate with him.

He was on the wrong side of history, but your last sentence was unnecessary and over-the-top. He wasn't hired as a CEO, he was promoted into it. Before he became CEO, his political donations would not necessarily have been a concern.

>He was on the wrong side of history

Does the last 6 months count as history? I don't think enough time has elapsed to fully ascertain the merits of same-sex marriage. Changes in sexual culture take a few dozen years to propagate and get a good read on the real effects.

> your last sentence was unnecessary and over-the-top.

People started boycotting Mozilla after he was promoted. "Disaster" is an appropriate descriptor.

I haven't bookmarked those threads but I'm certain I saw a lot of comments here saying things along the lines of "the right to free speak only protects you against the government", strongly implying that what happened to him was fair game because it wasn't the government who staged it.

I don't recall hearing that much in the context of Eich, but it certainly is a common go-to argument more recently among those who want to see people punished for having incorrect political views. It came up a lot when Strangeloop kicked out Curtis Yarvin, for example.

I said it back then and I'll say it here: There's a difference between "having a political view" (thinking that non-heterosexual marriages are icky) and taking positive action to prevent others from having equal rights (donating money to a lobbying/social engineering group)

One is a thought, the other is an action.

Punishing people for unknowable bad thoughts is an Orwellian nightmare. Punishing people for visible bad actions is how society moves forward.

"Having a political view" contra SSM might not only take the form of "non-heterosexual marriages are icky." Engaging in caricature doesn't help advance the discussion of PC in the workplace. People might believe that homosexual marriage isn't morally or ethically legit. That a company or large numbers of people disagree doesn't mean the people that have these views should be punished for thoughtcrime or for expressing their opinions, or donating to a non-PC cause.

So people are allowed to have unpopular opinions as long as they don't, you know, tell anyone else about them or anything? Sorry, but that's unacceptable.

What would you propose we do - jail people who call for boycotts? Jail people who criticise corporations?

I'll spell this out very simply: the same laws and social standards that make it OK for you to criticise them, make it OK for them to criticise Mozilla.

And they also make it OK for me to criticize the people who are criticizing Mozilla, and for those people to criticize me for criticizing the people who are criticizing Mozilla, and etc. So now that we've gotten that out of our system, we can realize that there's a difference between being criticized and losing one's job because of one's political opinions, and a society where the second thing happens is a society that has real problems.

> So now that we've gotten that out of our system, we can realize that there's a difference between being criticized and losing one's job because of one's political opinions

As I see it, Eich didn't lose his job because of his political opinions, he lost (or decided to leave) his job because of his inability to perform basic duties of the job -- a CEO, after all, must ultimately be responsible for managing a company, including its public image and relations with its employees, customers, etc.

And, honestly, I think that even with the past donation, the situation was manageable, and that anyone who was up to the task of being CEO of an organization like Mozilla could have managed it.

I don't see how that's relevant in the grand scheme of things. In particular, it doesn't justify what the mob did, or make it good that we have these mobs.

So again I ask, what would you propose we do about it? Criticism leads to boycotts lead to resignations. At what point does it become unacceptable, and unacceptable to whom?

> So again I ask, what would you propose we do about it?

How about for starters, "we" stop getting people fired for holding unpopular political opinions? That said, I don't have a good idea of how to persuade everyone to change this disastrous course we're on, if that's what you were asking.

> At what point does it become unacceptable, and unacceptable to whom?

Unacceptable to people who realize that in a large nation full of people with wildly different lifestyles and cultures, a level of tolerance is required so that we can all go about our business as opposed to murdering each other in the street.

This doesn't mean that you don't speak your mind, advocate for your cause, and criticize those idiots over there who are clearly wrong; it does mean that you acknowledge those idiots still should be able to earn a living and argue for their own causes, no matter how wrong they are.

Both Eich and Mozilla characterize his leaving as voluntary. Now whether that's the case is somewhat disputed, but there's no evidence to suggest any other conclusion.

And for the second or third time this thread, having an opinion and taking an action are two different things. Please address that rather than just repeating your original post.

Society has decided that denying people basic rights is what's "unacceptable" and chooses to punish those that act in that fashion. And it's not like there's any other explanation for the donation either... the group he donated to was a single purpose lobbying campaign.

> Both Eich and Mozilla characterize his leaving as voluntary. Now whether that's the case is somewhat disputed, but there's no evidence to suggest any other conclusion.

Voluntary, in the sense that when you get mugged you can choose between your money or your life? For some reason I suspect Eich did not leave the position he had just taken because he wanted to spend more time with his family. And "voluntary" or not, somebody leaving a position in a private industry because of a mob that's intolerant of his unrelated political views is nothing to celebrate: in fact, it's a symbol of the wild polarization that is destroying this country.

> Society has decided that denying people basic rights is what's "unacceptable" and chooses to punish those that act in that fashion.

"Society" has decided this, has it? When did that happen? Last I heard, there was a lot of arguing going on about that very point.

> And it's not like there's any other explanation for the donation either... the group he donated to was a single purpose lobbying campaign.

And as I stated previously, "you can hold any opinion you want as long as you don't tell anyone about it" is unacceptable.

So personally involved people aren't allowed to voice displeasure at those who have taken positive steps to harm them?

Did you completely ignore the differentiation between thought and action that I just laid out?

> "the right to free speak only protects you against the government"

I strongly agree with that statement, but I also strongly object to the ouster of Eich. An opinion on one does not imply an opinion on the other.

I support the right of the KKK to march through the streets, but that doesn't mean I should have to hire one of their members.

> I support the right of the KKK to march through the streets, but that doesn't mean I should have to hire one of their members.

That's not the analogy. It's contrived, but to stick with the theme of white racists, is it ethical (legality aside) for a board full of clansmen to fire a CEO that donated to the ADL? To keep it simple, let's say the CEO is not Jewish, but does financially support the ADL.

> That's not the analogy.

I was making an oblique reference to a rather famous free speech case. [0]

> is it ethical (legality aside) for a board full of clansmen to fire a CEO that donated to the ADL?

No, but I have a hard time finding anything clansmen do ethical. If your ideology is motivated by bigotry, that's the problem.


I'm familiar to the case. My point was that I don't find it particularly analogous to the Eich case. Having no relationship to some people who walk down the street occasionally is substantially different than actually having to be professionally associated with someone and practice tolerance on a regular basis. I'd also argue that free speech should be protected in both cases (socially if not legally).

> If your ideology is motivated by bigotry, that's the problem.

I agree. I'm not sure corporate leaders need legal protection. Perhaps. But the right to publicly assemble and speak absolutely needs legal protection. That's why I was trying to draw another analogy. To explore the difference between the Eich and Skokie incidents.

> My point was that I don't find it particularly analogous to the Eich case.

I think there's been a miscommunication, because neither do I.

They're fundamentally different cases, in that I think the NSDAP should have the legal right to march but they can absolutely be punished socially.

Likewise, I think what happened to Eich was perfectly legal but not necessarily moral. They're not the same and that was my point: invoking "free speech" as a Constitutional right has no bearing on the Eich case.

Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be? They can fire him for any or no reason and it's completely ethical. They don't owe him employment.

> They can fire him for any or no reason and it's completely ethical.

You must have a different definition of ethics than the rest of us do. I'm having a hard time reconciling that opinion with a definition of "ethical" that actually means anything, to be honest. Would you care to provide a definition?

> While their efforts are admirable it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white' which makes things challenging

How is this even legal? Change 'white' for any other race, and you'd have yourself a workplace discrimination lawsuit.

Its not, but lawsuits are finally happening


It definitely doesn't sound right. I'm hoping/wishing that this quote was taken out of context. Can anybody with more insider context elaborate?

I'm very interested in the "internal cultural battle" over diversity issues at Github, because my school's CS dept. is having a lot of dialogue lately with similar rhetorical arguments. Teaching Assistants recently had a mandatory student-run training session that I perceived to be frighteningly one-sided.

Besides the photo, what else did the talk discuss?

This is very odd. I know universities can be very liberal places, but where did this combination of "mandatory" and "student-run" come from? I'm actually in favour of flattening hierarchies - but not inverting them. Why should students barely out of high school get to dictate the behaviour of teaching assistants who may be up to 40 years their senior? Why should the power relationships be temporarily inverted like that?

Well tumblerinas says you can't be racist against white because patriarchy. /s

No really, just read reddit.com/r/tumblrinaction and realize wtf people are saying these days shielding behind (false)feminist propaganda and some very confused idea of oppression.

> No really, just read reddit.com/r/tumblrinaction

Before reading that subreddit, one should probably be aware of Poe's law. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

It's a deep, and scary, rabbit hole. If you're at all curious, it seems Sargon of Akkad and Thunderf00t on YouTube are not just slinging shit. I've watched some, and sources have always been included.

Don't get me wrong, they clearly kick things up a notch in the drama department, but they do the ground work in sourcing articles for you.

My fiancée enjoys watching TLDR (teal deer) on youtube because he's the only youtuber speaking on these topics who literally only ever speaks facts. Theres not a thing he says that he doesn't back up for you.

Well to be fair, a white man's opinion on racism or sexism is sort of like a Pacific Islander's idea of how cold it is in Siberia. But on the other hand being ignorant does not make you less-than-human which seems to have become a common opinion in the age of Twitter lynch mobs.

>Well to be fair, a white man's opinion on racism or sexism is sort of like a Pacific Islander's idea of how cold it is in Siberia.

I hope the irony is not lost on you. What a despicable (and sadly typical) comment.

> a white man's opinion on racism or sexism is sort of like a Pacific Islander's idea of how cold it is in Siberia

This sentiment is racist and sexist.

But in that case you aren't blaming the Pacific Islanders for the lack of warmth in Siberia. If you were, I would like to hear their opinion on the matter.

Well, you have to remember that this statement is the opinion of one anonymous employee. Some of the other more blatant racial statements are much more worrying.

A lawsuit would be nice to confirm that 1. This is not legal, then 2. Confirm that it's the role of GitHub to get rid of such employees, 3. Have it happen regularly at GitHub for both racist and revert-racist attitudes, until clean, 4. and in the IT sector in general.

You have to take the article with a grain of salt. Their anonymous sources are likely the most disgruntled of the disgruntled employees.

This isn't true of GitHub as a whole, and I'm not sure it is true of any part of GitHub. Their team page shows everybody on staff in the order they were hired. Scroll to the bottom and you will see that there is no shortage of white people being hired. https://github.com/about/team

Is that up to date? They used to introduce each employee on their blog but they hadn't done one for months last time I checked.

It's up to date. It has people who started last week.

I dislike anti-discrimination laws in general of course. I think a good compromise would be to limit to manual labor jobs and the like which the laws was originally designed for.

Bring on the suits! While GH is busy distracting their world-class engineers with B.S. reverse-racism meetings, they will successfully free up their equity pool for more suit hires. That should suck the life out real quick...

Goodbye revolutionary, forward-thinking work culture & hierarchy (meritocracy). You will be gravely missed. Good luck hiring sub-par engineers for the next 2 years and watching your data centers go down on a daily basis.

I guess the only question left is... who are you switching to?

Well, what are the alternatives?

Hosted: Bitbucket, GitLab

Self-hosted: GitLab, Gogs

None of these come close to GitHub in my experience.

We've been using self-hosted Phabricator at work for building nuclear reactor design software and it has been pretty darn amazing. It's quite easy to get going and has been very low-maintenance.


That product page is gold:

* Even has a serious business mode, for the most serious businesses. * Written in PHP so literally anyone can contribute, even if they have no idea how to program. * Even babies and dogs can contribute. * You, too, can contribute!

And then underneath: 'Companies probably using Phabricator'

We have also been using Phabricator for the last year in the FinTech startup were I direct the technical team. Phabricator is really awesome in general and has been a live saver.

We started using it due to the Arcanist pre-commit hooks. We now use it for issue tracking and may be soon migrating our "scrum" functionality from JIRA to Ph.

The only downside I see is that it is not very well documented... in fact I will say it is all the opposite. But still, the fact that we use it happily shows how good it is!


Now you can self-host BitBucket also with BitBucket Server[1]. We're starting a migration to it at my work right now.

[1] https://www.atlassian.com/software/bitbucket/download

bitbucket server (used to be called stash) has practically no search capability. it's the underappreciated killer feature of github IMO

If you're seeking to stay within the Atlassian ecosystem, the product that you're looking for is actually FishEye[0]. (Yes, yes, paying money, etc., but if you're a large organization, you're already used to buying stuff off the shelf to solve problems like this.)

On the other hand, if you don't feel like drinking the Atlassian sugary beverage with an odd taste, there's LXR[1] (and LXRng[2]), OpenGrok[3] (remember OpenGrok?), and Etsy's Hound[4], not to mention Russ Cox's standalone Go implementation of Google's code search tool[5].

0: https://www.atlassian.com/software/fisheye 1: http://lxr.sourceforge.net/ 2: Ironically enough, search Github. lxr.linux.no went down some time ago. 3: http://opengrok.github.io/OpenGrok/ 4: https://github.com/etsy/Hound 5: https://github.com/google/codesearch

Just an FYI. I've been contacted by Atlassian to make my search technology available for Bitbucket's ecosystem. Right now it's being developed as a chrome extension, and you can learn more about it here:


If things go smoothly, Bitbucket users will be able to make search, a first class citizen.


I should have mentioned it, but the current version of GitSense in the Chrome store doesn't support Bitbucket. I'm still testing it out but it should be updated within the next couple of days.

We've recently started using it at work and the lack of profiles and graphs (without paying for oddly priced plugins) is quite unfortunate as well.

It was quite disappointing, especially since Gitlabs was on the table as an option but we opted for Bitbucket since we added JIRA a couple years ago.

If the smart people here have any suggestions on how to make Bitbucket look more line GitHub, I'd love to hear.

Stash (Bitbucket Server now) lacks a ton of features that Bitbucket (and Github) have. Like most Atlassian products, the base product has subpar functionality that you can theoretically expand with overpriced and/or low-quality plugins.

Also, the degree to which Atlassian products integrate varies a lot. FishEye and Crucible integrate closely. Both of them integrate OK with Jira. Neither of them really integrate at all with Stash, which has its own implementation of code browsing, search, and review. Jira and Stash integrate acceptably, but not very flexibly, and not to a level that surpasses any number of third-party integrations.

And there's no level of integration that would make Confluence worth using.

There is no good reason to be a full-boat Atlassian shop, period. If Jira is what you want, use it; I'm not a huge fan of it conceptually but it there's nothing wrong with it. Crucible is decent if you're willing to put the effort in to get it set up for your workflow. Nothing else of theirs I've used is worth the time it takes to set up, let alone the cost.

> Stash (Bitbucket Server now) lacks a ton of features that Bitbucket (and Github) have

CEO of Atlassian here. Can you list the features you deem missing? I want to check them against our roadmap, as I don't believe we have many gaps, and a host of things better.

I'm at US Customs so we have pretty much the entire atlassian suite self hosted: stash, jira, fisheye, confluence and crucible, some plugins... some of the parent/sibling comments have spelled out the poor integration between stash and the rest of the suite.

Here's some additional things off the top of my head...

- search! maybe our fisheye isnt indexing all our repos properly (we just recently migrated 10+ years of svn codebases too, in addition to a slew of new git repos) but I would have hoped to be able to do deep code searches within stash itself, across many/all repos.

- project areas: Only one level hierarchy. we'd rather be able to form adhoc groups (think github organizations) under those project areas

cant think of any more right now but it's late saturday evening :) but you can certainly have your folks contact us at CBP and we'd be happy to give deeper feedback if you want it

Thanks for taking the time to write feedback. I really appreciate it.

Search is known and being worked on. FishEye should work in the interim until we do Stash native search - if not - please contact our support team.

Project areas - will get the team to dig into this more, and understand the real underlying use-case you need this. Is it search? Permissions? Discovery?


re: project areas, all of the above :)

It sounds like you might also (or rather) be looking to do things by groups people (ie self-organised teams), rather than a multi-level repository structure?

I'm a product manager at Atlassian, feel free to email me (rbarnes@) if you'd like to crack this open, I'd love to hear more.

(I'm going to refer to Bitbucket Server as Stash here because that's what it's been called for most of the time I've used it and to keep it distinct from the public offering I'm comparing it to.)

Stash and Bitbucket have converged more than I expected, mostly because my recollection of Bitbucket was closer to Github than it actually is. But versus Bitbucket, Stash is missing Mercurial support, snippets, issues, wiki, project overview pages, and some social features. The lack of snippets was particularly vexing to me in my day-to-day work until we started using Slack. And Slack snippets are still a poor substitute for Gists.

Versus Github, the difference is more pronounced. Github has better search (and it isn't even that good), much nicer pull requests with superior integration to the issue tracking system, a much better API, better profile pages, static site generation, and in-place editing.

Yes, I know the answer to the lack of some of those features is "use our other products too", but Atlassian's competitors offer products with lightweight issue tracking and wikis. And while the features Stash provides are generally decently implemented and usable (the last few versions have been a big improvement), Confluence... is poorly suited to be used as a programmers' wiki, to use the gentlest language I can muster.

The removal of wiki-formatting from Confluence was a huge blunder. Every programmer who comes into contact with the Atlassian suite is now going to do their best to avoid it in the future.

Started moving from TFS over to Bitbucket server (local install for legal reasons). Have thus far created one project and a half dozen repos in it.

Using this for work:

- Would love to be able to see something on my profile page. I've got hundreds of commits but my user page is completely empty. Maybe this is because our repos are private, but since I'm logged in I would expect to see something.

- I love GitHubs personal commits page, as well as the reporting features baked into each repo. I think it would make the higher ups happy if they could see how active we are.

Note that there is a plugin that seems to do this, but while it's cheap for 10 users the price escalates at a weird rate ($1 to $6 to $8 /user at the first three tiers). At this point I'm hoping we can trial it out to show how much it would help with reporting/at a glance metrics, and then hopefully find funds for it. Or find a package to generate these locally. I'm not sure why this isn't just baked in though.

- Triggering emails when commits are made seems to be a plugin? Or email isn't setup correctly yet. This one still needs to be dug into.

- This is a value add: README file support for projects?

Maybe it's intentional, but coming from GitHub a local server install of Bitbucket is just so plain.

Edit: And kudos for reading Hacker News and leaving a comment asking for feedback.

I'll see what we can do on the profile page part. Would be easy to "put something" on the page - harder to put the right thing. Email me if you have thoughts (scott@).

Email should be built in. Raise a support ticket with our amazing support team if any issues with that.

I'll check on README. I thought we had equivalent, but perhaps in a different place. Will have to wait until the team wakes up.

> Maybe it's intentional, but coming from GitHub a local server install of Bitbucket is just so plain

We try to be deliberate about adding features that matter. The Bitbucket server team is one of the best at Atlassian, so hopefully you're saying the lack of "right features" is the issue, not just the extra whitespace.

Thanks for taking time to add feedback. I really appreciate it & helps us make a better product.

You're right about commit notification emails, an add-on is currently the best way to get this. It's something we'd love to add soon but isn't being worked on right now. You can hook up HipChat notifications for new commits as an alternative, and one that means less email.

I call my README files README.md and they show up.

Never tried it without the .md extension since that was the Github default (IIRC).

While we've got your attention, the number one feature I'd like to see is installation and configuration that meshes well with devops tools.like Chef, Puppet or Ansible. Your current installers require multiple phases of installing the files/dbs and then interacting with running apps via a web ui to configure.

Could you make it so that you could just lay down files, attach storage and start the service?

Also, clustering (active/active) word be awesome.

I am a Bitbucket product manager.

There are a few options for configuration management and automation.

The installer[1], web setup[2] and almost everything in settings/admin/provisioning can be done via a config file, script or REST call[3].

There are a few 3rd party modules for config management tools available that make use of this:

Chef: https://github.com/bflad/chef-stash

Puppet: https://forge.puppetlabs.com/thewired/Bitbucket

We also provide a docker image that may be of interest: https://hub.docker.com/r/atlassian/bitbucket-server/

As for clustering, Bitbucket Data Center[4] provides the same self-hosted functionality as Bitbucket Server for 500+ user tiers, with active-active clustering for performance at scale and HA, as well as Smart Mirroring for distributed git read performance.

Feel free to email me (rbarnes@) if you have feedback on how these options work for you.

[1] https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucketserver/running-the...

[2] https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucketserver/automated-s...

[3] https://developer.atlassian.com/bitbucket/server/docs/latest...

[4] https://www.atlassian.com/enterprise/data-center/

I'll check. There are ways to set them up without using the web UI, but we can probably do a better job of documenting them for the power user. Stay tuned.

For Clustering - any reason you need active/active? We have mirroring[1] which (from our chats with most of our customers) is what people prefer.

[1] - https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucketserver/smart-mirro...

Ohhhh, how could I forget?

Please use the same markdown syntax across ALL your products.

That bugs me also. We're working on it, but will take a while I'm afraid. One of those "death by a thousand cuts" issues, but really difficult to fix & migrate millions of users.

No excuse, but wanted to set expectations.

Sorry to hear GitLab was not the choice. For anybody reading this: GitLab CE and EE have great JIRA support, see http://doc.gitlab.com/ce/project_services/jira.html

You're kidding, right? Search in github is so bad that I typically clone a repo and grep it rather than try to find things with their search. And they built a wiki feature without search whatsoever?! (from what I can find) That's absurd

> has practically no search capability. it's the underappreciated killer feature of github IMO

I honestly have to ask: have you used GitHub Enterprise? It's search functionality is horrible. Oh, it searches for things, but it won't find things. And this isn't a rare issue. And I'm not talking about anything other than searching through master branches.

It's a tool that I cannot trust.

Just an FYI. GitHub's Enterprise search will get significantly better once I'm able to integrate my search technology with it. You can learn more about the search technology here:


Searching is done at the branch level and you'll have niceties like case sensitive searches and you'll be able to search across multiple branches at once to verify bug fixes and what not. It also introduces commits and diffs search, which are currently not possible with GitHub. And once again, these searches are at the branch level.

I have just switched to Bitbucket, since in my experience anything feminists touch turns to shit shortly thereafter.

I get free unlimited private repositories and everything works. It's blazingly fast. I absolutely love it, not a single issue so far.

Should have switched sooner.

I would suggest Atlassian. I've met both founders professionally and at least one of the duo is not weak enough to let this happen to his company. If even they capitulate, then you're fucked.

Haven't seen anybody mention Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Services[1]... private repos, reasonably priced for teams, and some pretty sweet extra tools and integration into other services. I've used it for a few projects and prefer some parts of it to github. You don't have to use Visual Studio itself or, really, ANY other Microsoft tools.

[1] https://www.visualstudio.com/products/visual-studio-team-ser...

Strongly considering moving my private repos and dumping my paid GitHub subscription.

Last I checked, git on TFS didn't support certificate based authentication.

At the moment.

Destroying company culture takes some time.

I use GitLab at work and I think the only thing GitLab is lacking is the community. What do you find lacking in GitLab?

GitLab.com certainly is much smaller. But it is growing fast and projects like mailman and fdroid are already using it. If you think of a community as the people that make the platform itself better, more than 1000 people have contributed to Gitlab.

I activated my student account (was formerly paying) and voiced my disapproval in the comment section of that form. I'm really happy with GitLab at work though, so I will be switching to that.

Generally, - use the contact form, esp if you have a paid account.

Since our team is small and will remain small for a while we're going to run Bitbucket on one of our private servers. For the first 10 users it's only $10 (one-time payment).

I would expect more from a tech company that is supposed to be by programmers for programmers.

Programmers are abstract thinkers, and it's disgusting to see them lower themselves and adopt the semantics and memes of obvious cultural constructs like race. What does it even mean to be "white"? Who exactly are they talking about and what is it about this group of people that is so bad? There's no need to bring in this gross oversimplification of culture and biology into professional talks. If they're seeing some kind of pattern within their company that correlates with some ethnicity or culture, it's just a coincidence! Start hiring less asshole managers! Who cares what color they are?

American culture is such a bummer when it comes to how it shoves people into categories. We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT. There is simply no excuse at all to mention it. People CANNOT be categorized based on skin color at all, AT ALL. People cannot be categorized based on culture either. Virtually everyone is multi-ethnic and multi-racial at some level. To identify even yourself as belonging to a distinct "color" is just a fabrication of American culture that is an unfortunate outcome of the history in this country.

The only way forward is to forget about categorizing people, and just speak to their qualities -> not "white managers are assholes", instead "asshole managers are assholes".

It has more to do with the current cultural war in USA than anything else. Like all wars it's about power, it's a power grab.

"Reverse-racism" is now an acceptable ideology in the media and in the tech community, and all the social-studies crowd now get jobs as "diversity officers" in Tech companies. It isn't going to end well for some companies, that might get "disrupted" from the inside because of people pushing politics before anything else.

It's a protection racket. If you don't have these worthless diversity officers, if you don't kiss Jesse Jackson's ass when he accuses you of racism, they drag you through the media with the worst implications and associations put next to your name.

That's delusional conspiracy nonsense. Seriously, take a step back and look at what you're saying.

It's not some grand conspiracy. There's no secret committee toasting to their success. It's just what has happened when the press and a lot of people believe all of the vitriol that comes out of people like Jackson and Sharpton, or lesser known race-baiters in other communities. South Park did a whole episode about this phenomenon (episode titled "With apologies to Jesse Jackson").

I've been a member of multiple institutions that have fallen on the wrong end of this kind of activism. My Catholic high school has been dragged through the local media for not listing a gay marriage in the Marriages section of the alumni magazine. The inter-fraternity council at my alma mater has a speech code for offensive language and a dress code for offensive clothing, like Indian mascots. I saw the behind-the-scenes arm-twisting by the college administration to make them do it. Every big tech company has to pay the protection money here too. Jesse Jackson and his allies in Congress started saying that the tech industry was racist for not having enough black people, a totally absurd accusation because the only reason why there aren't many black employees is that there aren't many black applicants. Then he got invited to a few board meetings, extracted some donations, and went on his way.

It's sad as hell what the alma mater is doing these days... Guess there was nothing offensive about the speech in the library a few months back.

Outragism certainly pays a lot of salaries for mid-level administrators there, though.

Seeing it all first-hand was definitely the low-point of my schooling, but the high-point of my education.

France takes this stance on matters of race. So much so any numbers regarding race in France are simply estimates because there are no official numbers.

In practice so far, it hasn't fared any better, but probably not worse either.

Like in the U.S., one of the biggest hindrances or obstacles to success is segregation (forced or by choice). Wanting success essentially entails assuming the culture and practices of the successful, but for some fraction of people, being malleable and becoming like the mainstream is antithetical as it's interpreted as "giving in" to the larger culture, while simultaneously wanting to be part of the larger culture and to be accepted by the larger culture. So there is that ambivalence.

Personally, if I wanted to succeed in China or Mexico, I'm willing to bet I'd improve my chances by adopting local customs, manners and attitudes, rather than being steadfast about my own. [it's somewhat peculiar some Americans are sheepish about being "too American" while abroad but simultaneously believe that integration into the mainstream isn't all that necessary. It tells me that their brain tells them one thing, but in practice, when given the opportunity, try to be like Romans while in Rome]

Personally, I think people put too much stock in group identity over say, personal identity. But you know, let people do as they wish.

Do you look non-Asian? If you do, you will never be fully accepted in Chinese society, as I've heard from a few white people that have lived in China. Even if you marry and settle down there and raise kids.

I'm not saying be undistinguishable from native Chinese, I'm saying adapt to the culture and you'll do better. Don't think, "I'm going native" think of it as transitioning into the mainstream of Chinese society. Celebrate New Years with your coworkers, eat the local fare, defer to ancestor worship, observe deference to elders, etc... the things that allow locals to function within their society. You don't go ahead and show them how "guanxi" is bad, etc. you function within the local framework.

A perfect example of this is DaShan (Henry Mark Roswell).

That said, mainstream Chinese society is basically Han Chinese, which is largely eastern China. There's a lot more to China than just the eastern areas. Xinjiang and Tibet are two areas of the PRC that are essentially occupied countries experiencing ethnic cleansing via dilution. The ethnicities that are the majority (or used to be the majority) in these regions are second class citizens in the PRC.

Insterestingly, I think by using China as an example is an example of an issue I've raised a few times in this thread. Countries as large as the United States and the US are hard to generalize about. There are many remarkably different regions flying the same flag. One of the issues the frustrates me is that Silicon Valley needs to be representative of the United States instead of California, neighboring states and those US states and cities that many California transplants come from. Large countries have utility insofar as exerting economic, political and military force upon other nations, but they present internal complications because of internal diversity. There's no reason that Silicon Valley should be representative of US diversity. US diversity is and should be merely one of several contributors to diversity of Silicon Valley. The US, like China, is one nation composed of many states many of which could function as their own nation as many countries in the EU do.


I think the question about how wide the net of diversity should cover geographically is an interesting one. Some people will say that because the users are a worldwide audience that the demographics of the product/service producer should reflect that demographic (so reflect the demographics of the user base rather than the more traditional local talent pool or population, regional talent pool or population, etc.

But I think people make these demands arbitrarily [or rather not, but whenever it benefits them]. So as an Irishwoman or an Indian man, I might not fret about the diversity of a product/service from Ireland or India, but then if a product or service from the US or Japan is used extensively in Ireland or India, I might insist on it having representation of my country/ethnicity.

You also don't hear people saying, HonHai (Foxconn) should hire a more diverse workforce, or Xiomi [or even Lexus, for example] even though many of the products out put by these companies are used in diverse places.

I don't even know if a company necessarily needs to even hire people representative of the people that use their products. Some user testing, focus groups and great analytics to discover how a product might be used elsewhere should be sufficient to make sure a product meets the needs of people elsewhere. If they are doing a good job of meeting those needs then they will be successful. If they don't a competitor can be founded that does better understand and cater to that audience.

TBH, I find it positively weird to concern myself in any way about the identity of the people that make products I use. I am a human being after all and that is most important for the overwhelming majority of product decisions. Gender and body size may also be important depending on the product. For example, the only trait I wish more product designers understood and catered to is my height (I'm 6'5" (196cm)), but it's insane for me to demand a firm to employ someone my height or even design products for me when I'm well past the 99th percentile (I guess that makes me part of that 1%, right?). Accommodating people of my height may not be cost effective for most firms, especially if it raises the price enough to make them less competitive. If I can't use their product, then I won't and hopefully I'll find a product that caters specifically to me or solve my own problem.

How sure are you about that? Most "white" people don't actually fully integrate to the culture, despite marrying and raising kids.

Take a look at this video about a Chinese villager with Russian ancestry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rS30IjG05c

He is completely culturally Chinese, although in a rural kind of way, in his speech and mannerisms. If you can read Chinese, the comments are very inclusive.

"Non-Asian" people have settled in China for hundreds of years, especially Arab traders who arrived through the silk road. Multiculturalism is not a foreign concept in China.

100% sure. Chinese society is quite racist (I'm talking about the country China, not the race). I'm not sure what you think a single example of a villager (who I'm sure faces discrimination based on his skin color) shows.

They have settled for hundreds of years. And never been fully accepted.

Looks like they trade "structure based purely on meritocracy" by "promote diversity".

I don't see how this can go well. Meritocracy is important among dev and open source. And they don't care about political diversity. I can only imagine this new "culture of fear" where you can't hire white people (even woman).

Skills and experiences should be the only way to choose who you hire, not race or gender.

Anyway, looks like a good time to switch from github to open source solutions.

The entire point of diversity initiatives is that the meritocracy in theory doest not translate into a meritocracy in practice, due to unconscious bias: https://library.gv.com/unconscious-bias-at-work-22e698e9b2d#... as well as other factors.

You're totally right that skills and experiences should be the only way to choose, but right now, tech firms in this society are fundamentally incapable of actually implementing that without diversity initiatives. True meritocracy can only come through promoting diversity.

This sentence seems like an oxymoron to me:

>> True meritocracy can only come through promoting diversity.

If you are taking diversity into account, you are taking things other than merit into account and so it isn't a 'true' meritocracy. Not only that but it also suffers from the no true Scotsman fallacy.

The best way to promote meritocracy is to base your decisions on merit and nothing else. To avoid unconscious bias, you would have to hire someone without knowing their age, sex, sexual orientation or anything else that you could consider discriminatory. That would mean hiring someone that you haven't and that's a little extreme.

> If you are taking diversity into account, you are taking things other than merit into account and so it isn't a 'true' meritocracy.

Well, no. The point is that due to inherent unconscious biases (see my link for scientific papers documenting this), it's impossible to only take merit into account without social norms biased towards white men skewing the process. Diversity initiatives seek to eradicate this bias, in order to truly measure merit and compensate for the interfering factors.

> Not only that but it also suffers from the no true Scotsman fallacy.

I really don't see what that's got to do with anything here.

> To avoid unconscious bias, you would have to hire someone without knowing their age, sex, sexual orientation or anything else that you could consider discriminatory. That would mean hiring someone that you haven't and that's a little extreme.

Presumably you mean "you haven't met"? Well exactly. Hence, diversity initiatives that seek to compensate in practical ways.

How about a "blind" hiring process? For software engineers, it's easy to imagine tools that could help evaluate skills without revealing that person's race or gender.

Isn't the problem that the majority of the pool of qualified applicants is mostly white/Asian males. Hiring initiatives aren't going to fix the pipeline problem.

If you work at a truly diverse tech company you can assume discriminatory hiring practices are in order.

except that because of the original remote nature of Github the first thing you saw was their work and then the person. by changing the culture they are increasing a bias that may have been less prevalent or even non existent in such a work culture.

Trying to apply normal social dynamics to a play where you have a completely async environment(meaning they don't even see each other), is a little bit of a stretch.

A lot of interviews in tech don't even involve voice or face to face communication. If you take away looks, sound and name, what else is there besides quality of work?

see my comment below:


> except that because of the original remote nature of Github the first thing you saw was their work and then the person.

Unless their name is in their username. Or they have a profile picture of themselves. Or they have their real name on their commits. Or their username or picture is something stereotypically masculine/feminine.

I searched for 'things' on Github and looked at the most recent committer of the first 20 responses (easiest way I could think of to get a random sample of users). For 16 of them, I could easily see that they were male. 2 of them had their names, but I wasn't sure if the names were feminine or masculine. 2 had no hints whatsoever.

Because everything name people use online must match their govt issued ID.

I can still remember the first time I uploaded a masculine avatar I had to get a medical exam to prove I was the same gender people seeing my picture assume I am.

Its a hard world, if only we could communicate online with a total identity of our choosing! We could all pick fake names, like a pen name, or a 'pseudo' name thay wasn't real. Wjat a crazy world THAT would be @sanctus.

For bonus points, consider the gender and racial connotations entrenched within your own username - sanctus - based on the language (latin) I'm guessing you're a white roman from antiquity!

So what you're saying is that if a woman wants to avoid unconscious bias, she should avoid indicating her gender or pretend to be masculine?

What if there are other ways to overcome those biases other than stuffing the office full of people from every kind of (oppressed) minority?

> Meritocracy

Meritocracy is a lie. Look how broken interview processes are - definitely not meritocratic. Meritocracy is a rationalisation for "I hire people I like so long as they don't say anything idiotic during the interview". You'd get better results from having some kind of bar that candidates have to meet and then just selecting one at random and giving that person the job.

Oh yes. No one is any better than anyone else at anything. In fact, github isn't a better hosted SCM/code review/issue tracking platform than any other. Which makes sense, because none of their employees are better at doing anything than anyone else. It's all just a rationalization, and a lie. Old boys club all the way down.

But why didn't the old boys club decide to have microsoft's hosted team foundation server win? Or sourceforge? The silicon valley conspiracy is hard to understand at times ...

I've come to the conclusion that most people cannot grasp how meritocracy works, because the majority of the "real" world simply doesn't work like that.

One side of the equation are people that grew up with an alternate reality, because they spend a lot of their time online, growing up, working on their own projects and only later joining "society". In that world you get indeed ridiculed by how good or bad your code is, but not generally based on your socioeconomic background.

The other side of the equation is people that grew up in society where things do indeed work like in an old boys club. I will never get access to the people, that people studied international affairs at columbia do. I will also never get access to the people that MBAs from Harvard do.

But I still very well remember when I graduated from "the annoying kid that doesn't know shit" to "the kid that wrote a LR parser in IRC almost 20 years ago. And most of those people never ever found out my real name, my gender, my socioeconomic background, nor my ethnicity.

In fact the reality that this shit does matter in real life was as inconceivable for me back then, as the concept of meritocracy must be for someone that spent his entire life in society now.

Yes, I think this is the heart of these issues. Most people are fundamentally incapable of ascertaining objective merit, and thus the concept of a meritocracy is meaningless to them. This is instructive in business too; never trust your customers to be able to tell that your offering is superior, you have to TELL them.

Thats part of it. But there is a whole other group that is using victim hood and distorted diversity arguments to extract monetary gain and organisational power from usually large companies who reflexively instantiated paid positions with little or no research and vague PR-friendly mission statements.

If the only real goal put down on paper is to hire x% black people and y% brown people and reduce z% of white people under some fuzzy equality rubric its no surprise these positions attract people who have ideologically compatible beliefs.

There has been a small collection of black/brown power radical organisations in California for over 50 years. There views are openly racist and have anti white, anti European, anti Colonial America sentiments. These diversity jobs are a magnet for people with that mindset who live every day with there race on there sleeve. When they get in they can twist whatever mandate there is to promote there own agenda and beliefs.

The sheltered Ivy league set who runs these companies have no street smarts or experience with race politics in California. So you end up with what we have now with genuinely nasty ideologues hired into these organisations and they eventually do lots of damage.

> If the only real goal put down on paper is to hire x% black people and y% brown people and reduce z% of white people under some fuzzy equality rubric

I suspect that in GitHub's case, the diversity officer was tasked with defining those goals, on the basis that the straight white male executives would have no clue what the "right" goals should be.

You're wrong. People don't hire people like that.

I hire developer where I work, I hired white, non-white and women, and every time I make my choice by testing their skills and asking about their past experiences because that's how you get the most competent employees. And every tech company want best employees...

You are human. You are not a robot. That's the problem. Humans judge people, make snap judgments, fit people into sterotypes. I'm not saying you do that. I bet you don't. But if you start scaling the interviewing process, adding more and more people into it, you'll eventually get a few who do make racial/other unfair judgments.

Everyone has some level of bias. The best thing you can really do is try and counter your own bias when you notice it. In most jurisdictions not hiring someone based on racial or unfair judgements is illegal. Trying to change workplace culture away from meritocracy for the sake of diversity might sound noble and well intended, but just as 'meritocracy is a lie', so is diversity in that sense.

Hiring people based on how much diversity they provide based purely on their gender, race, etc is prejudice in itself, even if well intended.

I agree with you that everyone has some level of bias, but we disagree on to what degree people are biased. Race is a very complex issue in American society. It permeates everything: politics, economics, academia. And it's visually obvious. The evidence is pretty clear to me (all the statistics related to how racial judgments are made, how stunningly often resumes get rejected if they have names that sound like they belong to certain racial groups), that race plays a very large role in people's snap judgments of others.

What do you mean by "having some kind of bar ... to meet"? Isn't that what most interviewers do? For example have a expectation of javascript knowledge and ask questions to determine how knowledgable they are?

How do bad interview processes prove that meritocracy doesn't work?

You cannot prove meritocracy doesn't work. Fortunately you don't have to. The burden of proof is required for positive claims.

We don't have a lot of evidence meritocracy works. We have several pieces of evidence suggesting that it, in fact, didn't serve github very well. The fact there was a sexual harassment lawsuit with a barely kept secret about a whole group of women bound by arbitration and non-disparage agreements is probably evidece it doesn't.

The sad part, most people will never really understand how much Tom sacrificed to protect his friends during his final days there.

If you're referencing GH with that sexual harassment lawsuit comment, it fizzled, and from the outside, it seemed like it wasn't anything sketchy, just that the accuser's work wasn't very good and people didn't treat her with kid gloves. The only inappropriate thing was one of the founder's wives trying to manipulate her, but that doesn't sell as well.

The philosophic burden of proof is on you as you're making a statement counter to user "audessuscest"'s claim that meritocracy is important and the ideal is to make solely skill-based hires.

> The philosophic burden of proof is on you as you're making a statement counter to user "audessuscest"'s claim that meritocracy is important and the ideal is to make solely skill-based hires.

Let's just... ignore the larger societal angle of harassment, denigration, fear and uncertainty that plagues women and some minorities in STEM fields or finance, okay? Let's say, "It exists but let's not discuss it here."

I really don't wanna do this conversation AGAIN but the contention is that right now "whiteness" and "maleness" are implicitly part of the meritocratic process as positive traits. That happens in 2 ways:

1. Young, single, white (and Asian!) men are targeted by recruiters because of a perception of a "work ethic". This ethic is "I expect people to prop up my life so I can work 80+ hours a week, which is not sustainable if you have ANY responsibilities at all outside of basic sustenance". Historically, they has been a safe bet.

2. Subsequent "pattern matching" be it implicit or explicit, kind or cruel, expects that kind of commitment and education and ethos. That this wasn't ever reasonable is lost because people are just trying to recognize someone who can likely work in the same way they're expecting or have worked.

You can argue that people should work that hard and that it's fair, if you want. But what actually happens is that people find that there is a specific profile of people most likely to be willing and able to commit to that kind of lifestyle and then they optimize for selecting that. Therefore, Meritocracy is not a hedge against racism or sexism. Indeed, Meritocracy may be selecting "merit" based on attributes which explicitly reinforce sexism or racism.

So when you say, "skill-based hires" I can't help but hear, "people like me" every time. Because if anyone actually gave a shit about skill based hires they'd be blinding their recruiting efforts, doing pre-filter tests and desperately trying to remove every drop of bias from the industry to identify them.

>Let's just... ignore the larger societal angle of harassment, denigration, fear and uncertainty that plagues women and some minorities in STEM fields or finance, okay? Let's say, "It exists but let's not discuss it here."

No, let's not just agree to a narrative that you want to sell. I strongly reject your premise that uses weasel words and emotive language. You already tried manipulating the conversation by referencing a lawsuit without mentioning that the outcome ran counter to your narrative of endemic sexism.

>I really don't wanna do this conversation AGAIN but the contention is that right now "whiteness" and "maleness" are implicitly part of the meritocratic process as positive traits.

It's clear that you're used to "arguing" with people that agree with your ideology. If you don't want to deal with disagreement, then don't bother responding -- stay in your echo chamber.

The/my meritocratic process doesn't care about race or gender. When I hire consultants and contract-out work, I often don't know their race or gender and I'm not interested. I choose candidates in my price range based on the best work-samples.

>1. Young, single, white (and Asian!) men are targeted by recruiters because of a perception of a "work ethic". This ethic is "I expect people to prop up my life so I can work 80+ hours a week

Sorry, you forgot to mention that those people have experience in the industry or are otherwise credentialed -- your phrasing either intentionally or unintentionally suggests that recruiters just contact arbitrary white and asian men: "Hey, so we see that you're currently painting fences. Want to run a tech startup?" That's not the case.

Further, your assignment of "work ethic" to mean "I put my career first" reflects a personal choice. Either gender and any race can make this choice. By the way, "working really hard" isn't a "perception of a work ethic", that's just what's meant by work ethic. It's okay for words to have definitions.

>2. Subsequent "pattern matching" be it implicit or explicit, kind or cruel, expects that kind of commitment and education and ethos.

If I'm unpacking your assertion correctly, you're just saying that an interviewer or recruiter wants/looks-for commitment, relevant education, qualifications, and a career-first mentality. What a shock.

>But what actually happens is that people find that there is a specific profile of people most likely to be willing and able to commit to that kind of lifestyle and then they optimize for selecting that.

Which makes me think that I'm understanding you. The person that makes the personal choices and sacrifice required to excel in an industry is the logical pick over the person that didn't.

>Indeed, Meritocracy may be selecting "merit" based on attributes which explicitly reinforce sexism or racism...if anyone actually gave a shit about skill based hires they'd be blinding their recruiting efforts, doing pre-filter tests and desperately trying to remove every drop of bias from the industry to identify them.

According to your reasoning, hiring someone with a very strong work ethic is a "reinforcement of sexism and racism". Your prior suggestion that that those traits are unique to "young, single, white (and Asian!) men" is disgusting and offensive. Stop diminishing the importance of personal agency in becoming successful in a highly competitive field.

I'm going to stick with my approach of not caring about the gender, race, or any other _not at all relevant to their work or how I treat them as a person_ detail. If this wave of "social justice" parasites actually wanted change instead of attention and money, they'd quit the bullshit and put in the work to become great engineers or create their own companies.

> The/my meritocratic process doesn't care about race or gender. When I hire consultants and contract-out work, I often don't know their race or gender and I'm not interested. I choose candidates in my price range based on the best work-samples.

It might be true for you. We know it's not true for many other people. That's why orchestras stick auditionees behind curtains. It's why people are advised to remove any protected characteristic information from their resumes/CVs.

> I'm going to stick with my approach of not caring about the gender, race, or any other _not at all relevant to their work or how I treat them as a person_ detail

I'd be interested in how you know you've eliminated this bit of strong conditioning, or whether you're operating under a cognitive bias.

Because so far when we test people who say "I don't care about race / sex / etc" we find people who do in fact care about it.

>It might be true for you. We know it's not true for many other people. That's why orchestras stick auditionees behind curtains. It's why people are advised to remove any protected characteristic information from their resumes/CVs.

In a highly-competitive field with strong compensation and a lack of qualified candidates, I have a hard time believing that it's any sort of normal for recruiters (who require placement for compensation or to keep their jobs) to discount people based on race or gender, especially with the amount of good press and cheap marketing that now comes from having an outwardly diverse company.

I don't buy into the narrative that the engineering field is flush with discriminatory practices. Companies are even paying non-STEM people to spew inflammatory garbage about the STEM industry -- if the tech industry is financially tolerant of these parasites, why is it insane to think that we, as an engineering workforce, have healthy/tolerant views?

>I'd be interested in how you know you've eliminated this bit of strong conditioning, or whether you're operating under a cognitive bias.

This one is easy -- I'm not interested in someone's race/gender/religion/appearance/other-non-consequential-factors when it comes to work. I'm primarily interested in taking care of my family and in personal growth; working with others that help the success of my company and challenge me to better myself help in these goals.

By definition, I wouldn't know if this is some sort of cognitive bias, but evidence would suggest that I'm in good shape on this front. If it's a bad thing to not raise or lower my expectations of others based on race/gender, then I'm comfortable being a jerk that judges people based on their merits.

>Because so far when we test people who say "I don't care about race / sex / etc" we find people who do in fact care about it.

I feel like you're trying to indirectly accuse me of something, so if you are, own up to it and make the accusation directly.

People who fixate on race/sex/etc that have deeply rooted issues with it, not those who focus on thoughts, ideas, and ability.

> The burden of proof is required for positive claims.

Any positive claim is a negative claim and vice-versa. That also means positive claims are often contradictory.

1. Diversity should be considered along with merits when hiring.

2. Merit should be the overriding concern when hiring.

3. Extra precautions should be taken to promote a "blind" application and vetting process.

There's not enough proof to close the discussion, but we still have to hire people.

It's a truth and a lie depending on how you want to interpret the meaning if meritocracy.

For many people it means, atomically, when you're filling a position, you're not just going thru the motions to get your buddy, mate, someone you owe a favor, your cousin, etc. in and not doing due diligence in finding someone capable of executing the position. For many people merit does not equate to reversing historical injustices, but it does mean not being unjust during this process. That's to say you don't disqualify people out of hand, just because.

Did you adapt this from the similar suggestion for college admissions that made the rounds a while back? I liked the idea.

> Skills and experiences should be the only way to choose who you hire, not race or gender.

Exactly. The issue should not be how many percent are what "race", but if companies are dumb enough to leave good programmers, managers etc waiting tables, manning the help desk etc because they doesn't fit our stereotypes.

Or: If if companies does spectacularly bad hires because of political correctness.

I didn't get this 'we are afraid and only want to hire non-whites' from the article. Hiring a diverse workforce is a good good thing, generally. Why do you think that should mean we don't hire white people? Every tech company that isn't going out of business in the world has open headcount, and they'd like to hire all capable people.

My reading is that the reorg and push for diversity are two different things.

Not talking or thinking about race, or any other marginalization category, does absolutely nothing to help.

"Privilege is invisible to those who have it". I humbly suggest you watch this TED presentation, https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_kimmel_why_gender_equality...

Granted it's primarily about gender equality, but it does an excellent job also addressing race, ethnicity, etc.

> Not talking or thinking about race ... does absolutely nothing to help.

But in the better future world we're trying to create where there is much less discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or sex or other body attributes, isn't that exactly what we'd be doing, not talking or thinking about race because it just isn't important to us? Isn't not talking or thinking about race exactly what we should be doing, as much as possible?

Everyone is biased[1], even toward groups they themselves belong to. It's impossible not to think about it. Biases are hard-wired into humans.

To come anywhere near social equality, you have to recognize your own biases and actively ignore them.

1. http://www.boston.com/news/science/blogs/science-in-mind/201...

It's true there's a case for having people interact with many cultures and races, but forcing it can be a problem because you will only persist the segregation because you will have to continue to divide people in order to treat some of them in a special way to attempt a fix.

The initial problem is seeing the world as if people are different, and then identifying yourself as part of a group, and then seeing people outside of that group as "others". This is even worse when the categories are inaccurate, and are actually not races, but rather sub-cultures.

We shouldn't be promoting these inaccurate categories. Many "white" people are actually "black", and many "black" people "white". It just so happens that American culture has incorrectly correlated certain physical traits as markers for these sub-cultures, and now in an attempt to fix inequality we have persisted this mistake into government forms and professional business in the name of fixing the inequality, but we're simply promoting this mis-categorization and actually persisting the segregation into the future. There are definitely ways to address racist people and the damage they're causing without using these incorrect labels.

This! So much this! Just about any communal animal likes to be around others that look, communicate, and behave like themselves. It's a natural effect that promotes safety and efficiency.

To acknowledge that we have this blind spot and ensure that we shine extra light into it is the only way to mitigate its effect. Cultural, like genetic, diversity is a good thing. We achieve by standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants come in all shapes and colors.

If we continue to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals, we will never learn what we don't know. It is by gradually incorporating foreign ideas and concepts that initially challenge our own that we grow as a society. Two hundred fifty years ago, we thought it was acceptable to own another human. Two thousand five hundred years ago, we thought the earth was flat. Twenty years ago, we thought the Spice Girls were the pinnacle of musical achievement.

It is particularly difficult to accept these new people and ideas because it forces us to reconsider our beliefs and admit we were wrong. But when we know better, we do better. Be self critical and form new opinions when exposed to the new and different.

This is like saying I shouldn't be worrying about my budget, because in the future that I am trying to create where I have plenty of money, I won't need to.

Isn't it a bit more like saying that because I don't want to be an alcoholic anymore, I should try hard every day not to drink?

Sure, you could be one of those that gets addicted to AA and goes to three meetings a day.

Or you could just put it out of mind and not drink.

No, because it doesn't actually address the existing situation. Maybe "I don't want it to be a problem that I'm an alcoholic, so no one should ever talk about my alcohol problem".

> But in the better future world we're trying to create where there is much less discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or sex or other body attributes, isn't that exactly what we'd be doing, not talking or thinking about race because it just isn't important to us

Acting like your goal has already been achieved doesn't necessarily get you any closer to your goal. If my closet has a bunch of stuff I don't use, it's not going to get any cleaner if I just pretend it's already clean.

No, not talking or thinking about race leads to erasure, which is another form of racism. (For race/racism, you can substitute gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, etc.)

To try to make this clear by analogy, one of the reasons that #OscarsSoWhite is a meme is because if black children only ever see white people winning Oscars…they won’t believe that they themselves could win one (and there’s 95%+ white winners for all acting categories in the Oscars). Having visible role models is important. Having discussions about equality and representation are important.

> No, not talking or thinking about race leads to erasure, which is another form of racism.

Erasure seems to be jargon with no widely accepted meaning outside of social justice. For now I will stick to what I perceive to be the average of the various dictionary definitions of racism. By that meaning, not talking about or thinking about ethnicity is definitely not racism.

> if black children only ever see white people winning Oscars…they won’t believe that they themselves could win one ... Having visible role models is important.

I think you're saying it's important to have visible role models with the same ethnicity and/or sex, and/or whatever other bodily attribute we're focusing on at the moment. But why would anyone think that unless they already have racist and/or sexist beliefs?

> I think you're saying it's important to have visible role models with the same ethnicity and/or sex, and/or whatever other bodily attribute we're focusing on at the moment. But why would anyone think that unless they already have racist and/or sexist beliefs?

That's a new low in victim-blaming. It's not Hollywood that's racist - it's black people!

Well, first, this talk is mostly about gender, which is completely different than race.

If you think about what race really is, it's not what it seems (unlike sex and gender, which have not only a more consistent historical difference, and a stronger biological one as well). Race is more cultural than anything else.

Sure it starts with physical traits, but whether or not you're black, white, or asian, does not depend on your biology. You're actually not born that way (even if the labels make it seem like you belong to a certain geographical location, they're just labels), and the proof is people who are of mixed race.

People who are half black, half white, from my experience, they choose which culture to belong to, and we all confuse it with their race. Obama is a great example. People saying he's our "black" president. What? What does that really mean? He's clearly half white, half black, so why is he a "black president"? That statement is inaccurate, and people should always say, he's our first "half black, half white, president". So what's going on there? People just categorize themselves, and it's just a matter of the stories and memes they adopt from a set of some kind of cultural background. In other words, it's all made up. Half-white, half-black people often choose to be black because they think black is cool. They adopt that culture and roll with it.

So in short, if people keep categorizing themselves, there's no way out of this. Categorization will lead to division among people. "Black" people are just Americans with a different sub-culture, that's it. "Black" people are just as racially diverse among themselves as they are in comparison to "white" people. There are "blacks" from east Africa, west Africa, and Saudi Arabia. Every "black" group is culturally and ethnically different. Why group them?

I'll recognize there is a history to be dealt with here. And that is that we've inherited inequality that is for the most part based on skin color (because that's how our ignorant ancestors decided to categorize people), so that division of inequality still lingers. But there is a case for both repairing the damage, while at the same time getting everyone to forget there is any kind of racial categorization. There is only sub-cultures within American culture.

And if somebody self identifies as trans-racial.

All jokes aside, some white people grow up dirt poor in predominantly black neighborhoods and identify more with black Anerican culture then their own skin color.

Do they get better access to schools, scholarships, government jobs, funding for small businesses? Etc...

What about the black kid who grew up in the suburbs with a stable family and all whote friends. Should their access to the same programs be cut because they're less likely to need it.

Categorization will never go away as long as people are incentivized to promote their identity as a 'protected class'.

It has gotten to the point where everybody except white males falls under one or more protected classes.

I'm not claiming inequality is an issue that should continue to be addressed. I'm creating government mandated classes of people based on their race/ethnicity and throwing money at the problem isn't the solution. It replaces implicit descriminatiom with explicit descrimination.

The problem is that white kid could dress up in a suit and tie, go into an interview, and be totally free of racial judgment (also dropping any obvious mannerisms). A black man can do that, including dropping any mannerisms, but they will still be black.

I don't know how many poor white people you know, but this isn't true. You can't undue the effects of poverty by putting on a suit and tie.

I grew up as a poor white kid in a multicultural neighborhood and I've spent the last 20 years trying to fit into middle class white society. It is a constant struggle. I've had to work harder than every one of my peers to get to where I'm at. When I hear upper middle class white women and minorities whining about how hard it is for them my blood boils.

Your parents read to you, paid for you to go to college, talked like middle class people do about middle class things, taught you how to manage money, a growth mindset, encouraged you, teachers expected you to be something when you grew up and treated you appropriately. Poor white kids, like poor black kids don't get any of this. Putting on a suit and tie doesn't improve your vocabulary or make you think about yourself like an equal. It doesn't teach you how to write a good resume or cover letter. It doesn't put internships or solid educational credentials on that resume.

This is not true, if the person doing the interview is also black. Or are you saying a black interviewer would also be racist against another black person in a suit and a tie? The fact is that race is matter of in-group, out-group thinking, and mentioning it exacerbates the problem because we are persisting the group-think. It's true the problem won't go away if we ignore it, but we should identify behavior and hunt down people who are racist, regardless of their race, and without mentioning their race so as to not keep persisting the grouping problem.

Under most circumstances you're right and that's sad.

So what's the alternative? Systematically killing off all the old white guys who still cling to their anachronistic perceptions? Their children are still going to inherit their wealth and the 1% will continue to be the 1%.

Hand the power over to militant feminists who happen to be as -- if not more -- biased based on race and/or gender? IMHO, that's just trading one class of terrible people for another.

Tech is a the perfect place to foster a diverse working environment. I wish there were more people from varied backgrounds rather then 50/50 white/asian males in development and mostly white women and men in design.

But I don't know how to rewind the clock 10-15 years and teach inner city kids that all of their idols are frauds and that being a computer is the path to being a real success in life.

The kids I knew from the inner city who were into computers and tech didn't start in college. They got deeply involved in tech in their teens partly to stay out of trouble and fell in love with learning and creating things.

My own path wasn't much different except I grew up in thr suburbs and had more resources. I had my own bad influences to get away from and I didn't need to go to school to be taught what I was happy to learn on my own.

Yes I agree with you. And I'm not a fan of affirmative action. I'm just seeing a stunning number of people in this thread who are in denial that race is even an issue at all, or who think the best course of action is to stop talking about it.

A problem to be sure. But I'm not convinced of the ubiquitousness of the problem - that folks really suffer much from 'reverse discrimination'. Or that folks do much to promote their identity as a protected class. Most of us just muddle on.

And I'm not ready to resist every attempt to re-level the playing field as 'explicit dicrimination'. Is the alternative to do nothing, and hope it all works out?

First, there is no such thing as 'reverse descrimination'. Descrimination is descrimination, no matter who it is aimed at. Assuming that only specific classes of people can be subjected to negative prejudice based on superficial characteristics such as race/gender/creed is dismissive and a clear sign of ignorance.

Second, I'm all for leveling the playing field when it comes to education and building community. By which I mean, multicultural communities not 'stick with your own, fuck the other guys' communities.

I went to school at one such community and it deeply saddened me when I left because the same degree of diversity can't be found anywhere else. Ironically, the military (ie USMC) is probably the closest I've found to a true, 'not just for the photo op', diverse community that doesn't explicitly try hard to be. The difference there is, everybody is American first and individuals have the courage to stand up for each other in the face of injustice.

"We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT." We live in a world where this is not remotely possible. Suggesting it is the worst sort of idealism.

But do you agree that the goal should be, more or less, to create a world where ethnicity, sex, and other body attributes matter as little as, say, eye color does today?

If so, what is the plan to achieve that goal? Don't we achieve it by actually acting that way as much as possible? That's what makes sense to me.

Suppose we, in the name of equality or diversity or fairness, actually elevate the importance of bodily attributes like ethnicity and sex, deliberately considering them during hiring, and build that practice into our culture. Having practiced doing it wrong for however many years, will we someday decide it isn't needed anymore and get rid of it?

It's rarely possible to achieve a goal merely by pretending you've already achieved it. If current problems are driven by subconscious biases then you need to eliminate those. It seems to me that the best way to eliminate them is to forcibly overcome them until people get used to seeing more minorities in these positions and replace their subconscious biases with new ones.

How is race or sex aware hiring going to help with eliminating subconscious bias? It reinforces bigotry, because it gives a rationalization for bigots to not respect their minority coworkers, as they can claim that they were not subject to the same scrutiny when they were hired.

What is the historical justification for the effectiveness affirmative action? Certainly, countries like Malaysia and South Africa with extreme disparity seem to have mixed results at best.

I agree that pretending ethnicity/sex are not visible, is not the same thing as making ethnicity/sex invisible. But actually implementing enrollment and employment laws or policies that hide this information from decision makers could make it nearly invisible.

That's actually not the fundamental problem though. Even if you managed to a perfectly even proportion of middle class stem graduates from 1st and 2nd tier universities represented on your payroll, you'll still end up with a monoculture. Not because of some hard to pin down unconscious bigotry, but because little has been done to eliminate class from society, and social class is a big factor in a persons access to education and the quality of their childhood.

Poor, working class women have less work opportunities than men, as less educated ( religious ) working class people tend conform to traditional gender roles more than middle class people, well paid working class jobs require more physical strength, and unlike middle class mothers, working class mothers cannot afford childcare or help with housework while working or studying. Like ethnicity, class is almost hereditary so is easily confused with ethnicity in statistics.

Making the statistics look better by hiring proportionally more middle class minorities is a face saving exercise, not a solution.

Who cares what coworkers claim? If job performance is used for evaluations and promotions, then fairness is preserved.

And the assumption that minorities can only be hired by insufficient scrutiny is not a very enlightened attitude. Perhaps the company can look really hard for qualified candidates that help balance the workforce. How about that?

I agree that real progress is the right way to evaluate hiring/ admissions programs. Do qualified people end up in a diverse student/worker population? Then you're doing it right.

I would care if my coworkers were bigots, and I would especially care if they were prejudiced against me, how can you effectively work with someone who doesn't respect you? Pretending bigotry doesn't exist is the same thing as pretending that race/sex aren't visible. You will also have to apply the same affirmative action when promoting people, as a couple of years work experience doesn't erase the generations of privilege you're competing with.

I never said that minorities can only be hired by applying insufficient scrutiny. What I will say is as a group, minorities can only be hired in a proportion that is different to the proportion of minorities in group of qualified applicants if some weighting is taken off the job relevant qualifications, and applied to their membership in minority groups.

If you could come up with a huge list of entirely fungible, interchangeable resumes and interview notes, you could consciously pick minorities first without harming the quality of your recruiting. What kind of roles would have that weak of a job market though?

If candidates aren't fungible weighting any importance to race/sex means taking some weighting off something else, and it means that bigots will assume individuals from minority groups are less qualified, because of the fact that the group as a whole is less qualified, because of your own policies. It perpetuates both inequality and bigotry.

If you merely know about the race/sex/whatever of your candidates then you're already giving some weight to those attributes whether you want to or not.

If we had some way of scoring candidates numerically, then yes, you'd just pick the biggest number. But I've never heard of a hiring system that worked like that. There's always some subjectivity. You can look at a bunch of resumes and rank them, but a good chunk of that ranking is guesswork and opinion. That gives room for your biases to play, and you'll end up with the "best" candidates tending to match those biases. And don't tell me you don't have any racial or gender biases; you do, everybody does.

You shouldn't give up a 9.9/10 because he's white, and hire a 2.4/10 because she's black. But if you have a bunch of candidates around 8/10, consider hiring the minority candidate who's a 7.9 rather than the candidate who matches the existing demographics of your team and is an 8.1. Your numbers are probably ±3 anyway, so it's not the irrational decision it sounds like it would be in a universe of pure numbers.

So you'll just take a guess at your biases and then try to counteract them arbitrarily?

I'd like to know how you even begin to judge what ethnicity someone is just by looking at them. Sounds like an extremely fraught game to play.

Part of the answer is surely to try your utmost to take all the subjectivity out of the process. I've mentioned it here previously, and people said that they enjoy getting to make subjective value judgments of candidates. I think that is a poor attitude.

This is the kind of process I was thinking:

One person strips CV's of irrelevant info (names, ages, schools, etc). They hand that to another person who decides who to interview. When the candidate is interviewed, pre-determined questions get asked, and then notes are taken of their answers and any relevant info, and that gets handed over to the person who makes the ultimate hiring decision.

Even that process probably leaks a bit, but it's better than simply trying to guess.

You don't have to guess at your biases. Look at the demographics of your company and you will see them.

Your idea sounds great too. I think there's still room for error there, in how the questions are formulated or answers interpreted. Think a mild version of the old Jewish Problems. But it could certainly make things a lot better.

OK, I can readily believe lots of our problems stem from subconscious biases. But what do you think about the questions I posed? Are we trying to create a world where we don't care about body attributes? If so, do you advocate doing the exact opposite behavior (deliberately paying attention to body attributes and factoring them into decisions) for some temporary period and then stopping?

Yes to both.

We're already factoring these things into decisions whether we want to or not. I don't see anything weird about saying that we should change how we do so, as a step towards getting rid of it altogether.

I think that as long as we have large discrepancies in how many people with or without a particular attribute are in a particular profession, we'll have subconscious biases in evaluating who's good at that profession. If you spend your whole life in an environment where almost all the best programmers are purple people, you'll have a hard time overcoming the notion that purple people are generally better programmers. Pretending not to notice color will simply persist the status quo. If we deliberately include more orange people for a time, then we may be able to overcome that.

I don't want to be unfair to you or your argument, but I can't understand what you're saying any other way than that we should build racism and sexism into our policies and processes as a step toward eliminating racism and sexism.

I don't see why you should understand it any other way, done that is in fact what I'm saying. It's like putting wheels on an airplane. You want to be in the air, but you have to deal with the fact that you're on the ground or else you won't get anywhere.

I don't believe the two approaches conflict.

We're all familiar with the possibly apocryphal experiment of five monkeys, a ladder, and an electric shock - with the end of the experiment being five monkeys that have never been shocked, but their behaviour is changed. I think we all like to think we've evolved above this kind of manipulation, though I also suspect we each have stories of having worked in professional environments, staffed by evidently smart people, where we observe this same phenomenon.

(Aside -- it's sobering to consider that the people we've worked with may have stories about such effects operating upon us.)

Anyway, point being that while you may be correct in the assertion:

  > It's rarely possible to achieve a goal merely by pretending
  > you've already achieved it.
What if the goal is to have the next generation(s) achieve a way of thinking by pretending (I'm not ecstatic about that word, but it'll have to do) we think that way now.

Do you think that may have a positive effect?

I'm reminded of the Garbage Dump Troop - a fascinating story, told in many places, but here's a succinct explanation of the effect:


Unsurprisingly, alpha males usually don't find the story charming. ; )

I think the next generation will tend to do what we do. If a certain profession has a racial makeup that greatly differs from that of the general population, that will tend to cause the next generation to think of that profession as being typically whatever race is predominant. In short, if you grow up in an environment where almost all programmers are young black women (being deliberately opposite here) then you'll tend to see young black women as being more qualified, all else being equal, and this will perpetuate the disparity.

It seems to me that if you want to get to a state where diversity just happens by not consciously thinking about race, you need to first get to a state where diversity happens, let it sit for a while, then relax it. I don't see how it's supposed to work if you just stop deliberately discriminating against people and otherwise let things take their course. It seems like trying to achieve flight by making airplane noises and thinking real hard about being up in the air.

Let's say we all started ignoring everything you're talking about today.

Currently a black family making $100k will live in roughly the same area as a white family making $30k.

This family is also much more likely to have family that has gone to prison due to previous racist institutions, and less likely to have had 3 generations of parents having gone to Stanford.

So sure, race gets ignored, but do you think people will start ignoring all the other social signals? Even if you ignore everything else, being born to a white family in itself means you inherit centuries of advantages

This is the justification behind affirmative action. Even if it might not be "fair" when looking at an individual case, its also pretty unfair when a kid just happens to be born to a family that has had opportunity robbed from them until extremely recently.

Your end goal might be laudable, but the path to reach it requires corrections

    Currently a black family making $100k will live in roughly 
    the same area as a white family making $30k.
I've heard this figure several times and no one using it has yet cited a source for this. Could you please provide a citation for this figure and any secondary sources that study primary sources attempting to explain this disparity.

I don't doubt this figure could exist at some time pre-1990, but I don't understand how this could possibly be the case since the start of the housing bubble that burst in 2008 in which many many firms pretty much threw out all prejudices in the pursuit of money as people tried to source any and all loans to sell Wall Street. They not only threw out prejudices, they actively overlooked issues that might correlate with and work against some identity groups like credit rating and earning power.

>Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, studied children born from 1955 through 1970 and found that 4 percent of whites and 62 percent of blacks across America had been raised in poor neighborhoods. A generation later, the same study showed, virtually nothing had changed.

>Sharkey’s research shows that black families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000.

(From http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case...)

> Your end goal might be laudable, but the path to reach it requires corrections

If you think it's a good goal, how would you would try to achieve it?

Well... Things like affirmative action do help price in the advantages race have given people, at least for a while. A stronger safety net works too.

Obviously in combination with "magically getting rid of all racist/sexist thoughts".

But doesn't affirmative action necessitate the exact behavior we want to eliminate, making decisions based on body attributes?

The logic here seems circular. How do you get from a world with racism/sexism/etc issues, to one without? Simply by assuming it to be true?

How does acting like the problem doesn't exist solve the problem? If that's not what you mean, then do you mean we should all just suddenly stop being racist/sexist/bigotted/etc? Just like that? How would that work? How do you get your neighbor to go along with that? Or white middle manager, who means well but is uncomfortable hiring people of certain ethnicities or sexualities because of "culture fit"? It seems that anyone willing to do what you are saying, if I'm understanding it correctly, is probably already of the belief that a world without racism/sexism/etc would be better, and already behaves in the manner you suggest. In which case, we still live in a fucked up world and system where these things are actually still big problems.

When is the disease distinct from the cure? At a certain point, we need to move forward and strive towards a harmonious ideal. Otherwise we delay true equality.

I agree that we need to move forward, but I think it's better to focus on tactics that can succeed.

What about tactics that are antagonistic and counter-productive? Isn't it about time someone asked "What could possibly go wrong?" when discussing each tactic?

So I shouldn't celebrate the interesting and cool things about other peoples' cultures (and my own)? That's sad.

I agree it may be idealistic, especially because part of the problem is people thinking themselves into a category, and adopting it as an identity. It is however the right direction, because all this "racial" problems are caused by categorization of people in the first place.

> We live in a world where this is not remotely possible

No, you live in a COUNTRY where that seems not remotely possible.

Why? Let me apply the principle you claim to be the case in a different, ahistorical way:

"'We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about denigrating and enslaving blacks, and NOT MENTION IT.' We live in a world where this is not remotely possible. Suggesting it is the worst sort of idealism." --some Southern slave owner, 1859

The same could be applied to historical anti-semitic movements, anti-suffrage groups--anti-anything groups, really.

It can be boiled down to: "We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about treating other people badly because of their appearance or where they are from, and NOT MENTION IT," and people like you saying, "That's impossible. We will always be just as hateful and prejudiced as the worst of us are now. You shouldn't even suggest that it's possible to make any progress in human society."

It boggles my mind that you could even think this way. But, then, people thinking and acting in unreasonable ways is the root of these problems.

You are setting up an enormous straw man. When you say people like the GP say:

> We will always be just as hateful and prejudiced as the worst of us are now.

That is emphatically not what the GP is saying. The problem is not the ideal that race should not matter, it's that history does not go away, or more generally we can not build the ideal world from first principles.

Those with privilege often wish it was as simple as simply being "color-blind", then everything would be fair, right? Wrong. Because even if no white person harbored racist thoughts of any kind, we are still saddled with racist institutions and wealth distribution. Even if police magically became completely egalitarian, black people would still suffer the brunt of police brutality, because they still live in the poorest areas where there is the most crime.

The bottom line is that, if you are a white male (which I am), then you really and truly should be listening and not proclaiming any strong opinion or solution, because privilege is a blind, and so you really are not qualified to have an opinion about what should be done about sexism or racism. I feel like this is especially onerous for geeks (again, like me) who value their ability to reason, but understand that your (my) feelings being hurt is much less of an indignity than most black people face on a regular basis. Don't get defensive and try to prove how non-racist you are. Instead just take a deep breath and realize that this country forcibly imported 10 million African slaves. Despite how uncomfortable that makes a lot of people, there really is no way for that legacy to ever be erased.

No. As a white male, as any other type of male, you should be seeking to be educated about the subject on which you wish to voice your opinion. Having privilege does not render privilege invisible.

You saying "If you are a white male, you should hold your tongue" is hugely problematic, because it means white males should not be part of the solution to racism and should have no voice in any changes.

I disagree. That is, indeed, effectively what the GP is saying: that we can never rise above the mistakes of the past. That we can never let go of the past and move forward. That we will always be guilty of the sins of people who lived on this plot of land 150 years ago.

And that's all balderdash. In fact, go back in time a few decades, and this was not such a big deal. We were moving on. Fast-forward to today, and we have a new generation of agitators learning how to be outraged at the distant past, fomenting dissent and unrest.

We are not saddled with racist institutions--we are building a new breed of them. And poverty knows not skin color.

And what is it with this idea of police brutality? "black people would still suffer the brunt of police brutality, because they still live in the poorest areas where there is the most crime." There is less police brutality in this country than there has been at any time in its history. Those people you're talking about are suffering from crime. The problem is not police brutality--the problem is crime. Most murdered blacks are murdered by other blacks.

Frankly, how dare you tell anyone that they are not qualified to have an opinion on what is just or fair or right or wrong. That is a stone age attitude if I ever heard one. What you are advocating is effectively a detatched kind of /lex talionis/, one in which the distant descendants of people who were wronged are asked how they should be compensated by the perpetrating of further injustice upon innocents who are in no way responsible for said wrongs of the distant past.

And as a rational human being, I am fully qualified to recognize that injustice, regardless of my skin color or sex.

It's ludicrous. Ask any human being, "Hey, some folks way up your family tree a long time ago were treated wrongly. Therefore, we can give you some free money and bump you to the top of the resume pile. Is that okay with you?" and what do you think they are going to say? The problem is that, in some ways, it is a zero-sum game, because every time one person is given preferential treatment over another, that other person suffers. And that is unjust, unfair, and wrong.

And at the same time, in some ways, it's not a zero-sum game, because when one person suffers injustice, we are all wronged. The only way to stop this is to stop all injustice and treat all people equally. That is the only truly fair, just, and right thing to do. Justice should be blind, and that includes being blind to skin color and sex.

> Don't get defensive and try to prove how non-racist you are.

Why are you saying these things? Show me where I am defensive and trying to prove anything about myself. I am not and have never been the subject of this discussion. You're parroting lines, not participating in a discussion.

> Despite how uncomfortable that makes a lot of people, there really is no way for that legacy to ever be erased.

So, tell me, what is the statute of limitations? When is the expiration date? Apparently 150+ years is not it. Apparently the 600,000 deaths of Union soldiers who died as part of the effort to end slavery isn't part of the equation. So what is it then? 200 years? 500 years? 1,000 years? The dissolution of the nation altogether? If there is truly no end to this "legacy," then why are we stopping at slavery? Why aren't we going back more hundreds or thousands of years to all the other horrific tragedies perpetrated by one group upon another?

Quite seriously, where do you draw the line, and who are you--or anyone else--to make that call?

You don't bail out a sinking ship by pouring water into the ship; you stop the leak and pump out the water. You don't heal broken bones by breaking other people's bones. You cannot solve racism by applying more racism.

The actual analogy would be:

"We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about slavery, and NOT MENTION IT."

Do you see why this would not be an effective way to eliminate slavery?

This is a very strange mental exercise you're asking, but I'd like to explore it as a thought experiment for a moment if I may.

Can you implement and maintain a market without mentioning/discussing that market?

I don't see how any activity, economic or otherwise, can exist much less persist if you can't discuss it.

How would one buy something if they don't understand what it is or its utility?

Why would someone engage in selling something if they don't know a market exists for that product and don't talk about it (market it)?

Could racist groups like the KKK persist without resorting to racial language to communicate their ideas?

This thought experiment is rooted in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity.



Yours is akin to saying, "Let's sweep slavery under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist."

Mine is akin to saying, "We should no longer even consider enslaving people or treating people badly because their skin is a certain color."

Yours would certainly be ineffective in eliminating slavery because it advocates pretending that it doesn't exist.

Mine is standing up against slavery and saying that the underlying principle used to justify it is morally wrong.

Applied to the issue of reverse racism, yours would be akin to saying, "Let's ignore or even advocate one kind of racism, while condemning another kind."

Mine would be akin to saying, "All racism is wrong. We should all stop being racist in any way, period."

I think the issue is that one side bases its position on moral principles, while the other side bases its position on utilitarianism.

One side says, "Two wrongs don't make a right. -1 - 1 = -2". The other side says, "It's acceptable to do wrong to compensate for another wrong. -1 - 1 = 0."

One side says, "We are not all-knowing or all-wise. We cannot fairly do a concrete injustice to an innocent person to compensate for a perceived injustice done to another innocent person." The other side says, "This innocent person should not complain about being treated unjustly, because this other innocent person has probably been treated unjustly."

One side sees it as a zero-sum game. The other side recognizes that, as long as racism exists in any form, we all lose.


HA! no. What's being advocated by this '...NOT THINK... NOT MENTION...' is essentially racial pacifism. In theory, yes, we shouldn't perpetrate violence or war upon each other. But if those who seek to eliminate violence rely solely on pacifism, it leaves those with no such intentions to perpetuate war uncontested. Should people ignore genocide because they idealize a non-violent future?

The thought promoted by the OP (of this idea) seems to imply that by setting an example behavior based on our ideals, others, with no such ideals, will somehow be compelled to adopt them. I just can't imagine anyone actually thinks that's true.

A German citizen in 1940 doesn't want anyone to see murder in the world, so he sets an example by NOT THINKING and NOT MENTIONING murder. And millions of people get murdered by his fellow countrymen who don't share the same ideals.

Pacifism has it's place and is often respectable. But non-confrontational, silent pacifism is a holey personal journey and has little hope of having any influence outside oneself.

  > "We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and
  > NOT MENTION IT." We live in a world where this is not remotely possible.
  > Suggesting it is the worst sort of idealism.
This saddens me.

I'm somewhat curious on knowing some other data points on your spectrum of (bad) idealism..

But the 'not remotely possible' claim sounds like you've decided for all of us that we're incapable of ever thinking of skin colour in the future the same way we think of, say, hair colour today.

I suspect your position is based upon your current cultural surroundings, in which case I'd prescribe travel. Lots of it.

The point is to not ignore racism by pretending it doesn't exist.

I don't think anyone is advocating that we ignore racism, let alone that the ideal state is one where it exists and we ignore it.

Rather, we aim to be in a place where racism simply doesn't exist.

I am painfully aware that for many people this is an unsettling proposition as it sounds like rampant fantasy and/or they don't comprehend how (or believe that) any society could reach that position.

But in turn I believe those people exhibit a poverty of imagination, and are exhibiting an ignorance of various historical examples of comparably profound cultural shifts.

Not talking about race has been the status quo in tech. Only in recent years have people even brought it up. To think that not talking about it further will cause racism to not exist is the fantasy.

The parent's point was that not all places are racist in the same way and when you see the diversity in how racism plays out across countries and cultures, you realize that is exists because people believes it exists.

Racism is not reality.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

from "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978) http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm

Just to point out... the US is the western only country on the planet which cares, or even mentions, people's skin colour/race AT ALL.

Literally every other western country calls people... people. A man is "a man" not "a green/blue/pink/red/etc man". A women is "a women" not "a green/blue/pink/red/etc woman".

Continuously giving skin colour qualifiers in descriptions of people... is (to non-US people) bizarre, and seems to be a large part of the language used to keep racism alive in the US.

That's as far as I've been able to tell so far anyway. :(

You haven't been paying much attention then. Especially with all of the refugees coming into Europe, there is absolutely racism and discrimination based on race.

There is also a long history of racism in Australia towards the indigenous population, and more recently towards immigrants.

Pretty much everywhere you have two different cultures meeting you have racism. The modern western cultures are no exception.

That's not at all what I said. I'm saying the US is the only country which prefaces descriptions of people with info about their skin colour. It seems (to someone not from the US) a truly strange cultural behaviour.

[note - edited for clarity]

I dunno if Europe is really recent, or just a bigger problem now. My experience of Berlin circa 2009 was that the natives were as racist towards Turkish immigrants as my hillbilly folk back in the states were towards Mexicans. There were also waves around that time about North African and Muslim immigrants in France.

> People CANNOT be categorized based on skin color at all, AT ALL.

People are categorized in that manner every day. Perhaps you're trying to say that's regrettable and inaccurate?

> To identify even yourself as belonging to a distinct "color" is just a fabrication of American culture

Certainly, but it's a culture which still exists. It doesn't go away just because you announce that it's illogical and unfortunate. I think you may be falling prey to the is-ought problem[1].

(To be clear, I'm not expressing a view on Github's actions, but I think it's somewhat naive to suggest that there aren't real problems out there.)

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem

Yes, I'm saying it's a wrong categorization, and inaccurate. People inaccurately categorize themselves as well. It would be more accurate to not refer to those categories as race, but as sub-cultures, because then it becomes something that isn't inherent to someone's identity. People of mixed race, for example, half "black", half "white", will often choose to be "black", and identify as such, when in fact, their race is a mix, yet they see themselves as "black". This is clear proof it's all fabricated, but most people can't see this.

The problem is that people do it. Telling people to stop talking about it is not going to solve the problem while the reality remains that many, many people out there judge others based on race and other "inaccurate categorizations."

That's true, in practice it's different and it could be hard. But still, companies that take into consideration this incorrect categorization are exacerbating the problem, because I'm sure there are alternatives to helping unfortunate people without considering their race.

Everything you said is factually correct. Race is a social construct with just as much meaning as society chooses to give it, which ideally should be none, because it's inherently nonsensical.

The problem is, society chooses to give it a significant amount of meaning.

> People of mixed race, for example, half "black", half "white", will often choose to be "black", and identify as such, when in fact, their race is a mix, yet they see themselves as "black".

Yes, but they're generally treated by society as "black". And since race is construct rather than a scientific or genetic reality, that's all that really matters.

Racial categories ought not to matter, but the cold truth is they do.

    The problem is, society chooses to give it a significant 
    amount of meaning.
But why do we have the society we currently have? Can't we foster a society where race is less important by making it less important to the point it's not a concept we consider at all?

Personally, I felt as though we were progressing towards a society where we were giving it less and less meaning but in recent years we're regressing towards elevating its importance again and that is resulting in animosity.

I think we can both acknowledge race, which often goes hand-in-hand with different cultures, and treat people as individual human beings. You can make all sorts of statistical inferences based on race, but they're not really useful when you're dealing with individual people. There's so much individual variation, that a judgment based on race is silly.

Let's treat people as individuals, not as faceless members of some caste.

This definitely, in addition to the fact that, at least in the U.S., we incorrectly correlate certain physical traits as markers for a certain sub-culture. This is why it's an inaccurate categorization, and by continuously bringing it up in professional settings in the name of "fixing the problem", we're simply persisting the mistake that allows racists to have a framework to continue causing problems.

Finally some common sense.

All people should be treated with respect.

Best comment here.

> Programmers are abstract thinkers, and it's disgusting to see them lower themselves and adopt the semantics and memes of obvious cultural constructs like race.

You have to be joking. This is sarcasm, right?

Nope. But I don't know what you're getting at.

As a programmer, I just care that you write good code. In fact, I might as well be interacting with your mind across the internet, and don't even have to look at you in the face, and we will be collaborating just fine.

Why does it matter for someone who deals with 0's and 1's what the color of the skin of your coworker is? Once again, if you're a programmer and you're swimming in abstractions and code, my coworker might as well be a robot, and I could give two shits.

It matters to them because people that push those PC nonsense are racists following the agenda as other people tell them to do.

For them their ideology comes first, and professionalism is only worth it when it can be applied to meet their political goals.

Never had problems working with people from all around the world, but if there is a bunch I would never consciously hire it is SJ activists.

Then we should hunt down this racist people, regardless of what their race is. It doesn't matter that the people doing this are white or whatever, what matters is that they're acting that way.

> Why does it matter for someone who deals with 0's and 1's what the color of the skin of your coworker is?

It seems crazy to me that someone would have to explain this on a public forum.If you are a white male I'm sure it might be hard for you to understand why race, gender, and class matter and how they intersect with your life, your work, and that of your colleagues.



If you contribute to an open source product under then name 'anotherc', nobody cares if you are black, white, pink, male or female. All they will care about is the quality of your code

Likewise at work, all that people should care about is the quality of your work, and being respectful of others.


Lets not deliberately ignore the point that was trying to be made. Its possible in this industry, to not even know the race or ethnicity of a coworker. That's a positive thing.

Lol. So true. I had a co-worker that I talked with several times a week about technical issues via HipChat for almost a year before I met him in person and the entire time I knew nothing about him other than he was a guy or identified as a guy and he was really good at his job (we have a few trans co-workers, so I don't assume cis-male). When I finally met him, it turns out that he was on the same floor about 50 meters away despite the fact that we're at a company with 1500 engineers spread across multiple offices.

There is a lot of overlap between the HN user base and the delusional SJW ilk that is running Github into the ground. People here are defending the blatantly racist sentiments mentioned in the article. They are performing some serious mental gymnastics to both hold the belief that race is an irrelevant social construct and that too many people of one race (cough whiteys cough) in one place is bad.

There's a lot of overlap between the HN user base and both sides of this argument, because the tech community itself is divided and HN reflects that. Each side feels that the other is over-represented here, but that's probably just cognitive bias.

From my view, race seems arbitrary. You could also split people into blue-eyed and brown-eyed or something. It still doesn't say anything about that person. Its just that many normal persons act like its a huge difference.

Many people would agree with you that race doesn't say that much about a person. However, it's quite naive to argue that racial issues are not a part of every day life. We live in a world built on racial divides and conflicts. It's obviously venerable to strive towards a non-racist society, but to do so one needs to understand the issues at hand.

I'm refusing to accept the split between "we" and "they" based on appearance or minor biological factors.

Show me a discrete situation where this results in bad decision making on my side, and I'll change my behavior.

Sure, but that emphatically does not mean abandoning principles of merit and equality and letting bullies and shakedown artists run your companies, as Github and too many others are doing.

> From my view, race seems arbitrary. You could also split people into blue-eyed and brown-eyed or something.

You could pick any societal construct or experience and say it doesn't matter to you. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

You could say money is just paper and ones and zeros in a database so you shouldn't have to use it but you are deluding yourself.

Its a pretend-game anyway and i'm well aware of it.

Money justifies itself because it allows trade and therefore specialization of individuals. Its required for the technological progress we already done.

Same goes with Companies, Math, or most Science things.

Race is used by people who want to discriminate (independent of direction) or seek justification by victim-hood (and everything derived). Both are harmful behaviors. I will not support that.

Why would it be? Are things really so much different where you live as compared to western Europe?

> We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT. There is simply no excuse at all to mention it.

So when Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about his experience constantly being treated as a shoplifter solely based on his race [1], there's "simply no excuse at all"? I'd counter there's simply no excuse at all to attempt silencing necessary discussion about ongoing mass injustice.

[1] http://parade.com/250591/lynnsherr/cosmos-neil-degrasse-tyso...

You misinterpret proc0's comment: they are saying there is no excuse to treat Neil deGrasse Tyson as a shoplifter because of his race, that there is no excuse to ever decide that all people of a certain race or any category are all something or share something (in their comment "assholes" in yours "shoplifting").

Basically racism (using this definition: [1]) is never OK, regardless to which race and with which attributes.

[1] https://www.google.ca/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=define+racism&gw...

> they are saying there is no excuse to treat Neil deGrasse Tyson as a shoplifter because of his race

If that's really what he's saying, then that's even dumber. You can change how you think. You can help to change the thinking of the people you come in contact with. You can't change anyone you've never met, particularly the people who treated Tyson as a shoplifter. I'd love it if racism were to just disappear too. But wanting it to happen doesn't make it happen.

> I'd love it if racism were to just disappear too. But wanting it to happen doesn't make it happen.

The point being made here is that making the system even more racist is going to make the problem even worse. It's bad to assume Neal DeGrasse Tyson is a shoplifter because of the color of his skin. It's also bad (it may or may not be worse, but it is in no way good) to assume a person will discriminate against others because of the color of his skin.

The problem is proc0's comment is saying that any discussions of racism are racist and should be shut down. This is clearly wrong, because not talking about something does not make it go away.

If the discussion of racism is honest, it can help. There are generally no honest discussions of racism, however, because people cannot separate the emotional content sufficiently, and so most discussions are useless at best.

I acknowledge it seems I'm dismissing and even excusing people who are racists. This is definitely not the case.

Let's pretend there are no races for a second. What would racist people do? They would probably still hate on "others". They would probably not have the vocabulary or the knowledge to group people, but they would still hate "others". The fact that racist hate other races is just incidental to the fact that we categorize people, and then they use that as a tool / avenue for their hatred. So why would we promote their tool for hatred? We don't categorize people based on eye color, so why skin color?

The idea is not to lose identity and pretend we're all the same, but rather to avoid explaining things with race. When someone behaves a certain way, or when someone can't get a job, or got the job, the explanation should not include race, because it's just not needed, it's inaccurate, and it promotes the semantic tools for racist to leverage and keep hating.

I'm definitely open to why this is wrong, so corrections are more than welcome.

You're wrong because you're making the assumption that diversity programs are intended to promote hatred of anyone. That is the opposite of what they are intended for.

We are sadly forced to "categorize" people of certain "races" because when you in fact meet an enormously successful astrophysicist who is African American, that person almost certainly had to achieve that status in the face of many completely intractable obstacles put up by society, compared to an enormously successful astrophysicist who is white and had no such obstacles.

Now, any person that achieves anything had to overcome obstacles; however if you met a successful scientist who was say, an injured Iraq war veteran, or someone who went through struggles above and beyond what most of us go through, you'd likely give that person some credit for achievement in the face of very great obstacles. Looking at the plight of African Americans in this country in a critical fashion would reveal that they also are subject to significant struggles that should be acknowledged.

Nowhere in that above sentiment lies any notion of spreading hatred towards white people. Only that, since I'm not an Iraq war veteran, I don't get to run up on stage and claim a purple heart.

Well, there are those claims of unwarranted scrutiny and his assumptions that they were race-based... and then there are his bogus claims about what was said about him in the media and before Congress, which have been documented.


You realize you just cited a hit piece that happens to say global warming is not a problem.

No, it says that Tyson's views on global warming defy the actual data, then links to an article referencing why.

And neither article says that warming would not be a problem, instead indicating that popular climate models for rates of warming have a lot of errors... and shows some.

The race aspect is basically a footnote in the article regarding the exodus (the complaints largely center around a change in leadership and the company's hierarchical structure).

Yet a comment about the race aspects is the top comment here.

Your complaints have already been addressed many many times in academic literature and popular media. But I have to say, there is something amazing about reading someone comment that we should not be talking about race. I guess the current alternative, where we don't talk about it, but people both consciously and subconsciously continue discriminating by race seems far more palatable to you.

It was a bullet point in the company's slide presentation that "white women" were the problem. That's not just a minor detail, and I would be outraged if it were my company, even though I'm not white or female.

I think you're seeing the tail wag the dog here.

Racism or 'seeing in race' isn't just a natural group-think behavior. It provides poeple with concrete benefits both emotionally (meaning, it allows people to tell themselves a story where they're better than other people) and logistically through the racial equivalent of cronyism.

So don't get caught up in the idea that racism is just a random behavior, or holdout from an earlier time, or something that people want to think themselves out of.

Acting with love towards all people and believing it's in your best interest requires a level of abstract thought and faith that isn't a prerequisite for tribalism & racial discrimination.

I think it's a weakness to omit thought and speech of outward appearance.

Race for some is more than outward appearance. It's a line of community strategy. It's a shared language. It's shared food. Shared customs. Shared values. There's something beautiful and treacherous there.

Race as a social reality exists whether we talk about or it not. Omitting speech destroys a valuable technique for counterbalancing instinct. Omitting thought disarms people from contemplating social reality.

But why? You can have a shared language, shared food, shared customs and shared values despite race. Brazil is exemplary in this regard, where most of the country is mixed race and everyone is having sex with everyone else despite race. A former co-worker of mine, Wesley poignantly lamented this when he was in the US, when people ask questions like "What are you, Japanese, Chinese, Korean or something else?" and he was like "Huh? None of those. I'm Brazilian."

> American culture is such a bummer when it comes to how it shoves people into categories. We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT.

This is something that had wondered about the USA race culture... the fact that you mention "there are x Latin-like population" or "Y black population" or "Z white population", the mere separation means that people are thinking in terms of races...

I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking about race or identifying as one thing or another. I think the problem is when we start thinking what we identify as is better than what others identify as.

Yes race is a social construct but so are lots and lots of things that we talk about all the time and don't see to have problems with.

No thanks.

I'll talk about race the same way I talk about eye color.

I'll talk about culture the same way I talk about TV preferences.

Without hysteria.

Fuck racists.

Fuck spineless "don't you dare mention race" bullshit.

Both are equally cowardly.

The moment you mention race, you are fighting the racist's battle. Instead if you avoid it, you are side-stepping and leaving the racists on their own ground, where they are just insane and/or ignorant people. History gave us inaccurate representations of people, and racists use these to spew their hatred. Why promote the tool and framework for racists to continue using?

Your argument, the way I see it: "People say lies about race[0]. So let's not talk about race anymore". This is, appallingly, the current state of the art of racial discussions in the west.

Try to apply that logic to any other subject however, and the insanity will reveal itself.

"People say lies about used cars. So let's not talk about used cars anymore"

"People say lies about the mistakes of The One Party. So let's not talk about the mistakes of The One Party anymore"

There is no excuse for suppressing legitimate, non-racist speech on racial issues. Also, that kind of speech exists, and if you haven't heard it, that's because decent people around you are scared shitless of being labelled a racist for bringing up race, however innocuously. And actual racists don't care. Which exactly the scenario that your argument is designed to enable.

[0] every racist statement is by definition a lie. That's very important.

That's not the argument, granted it's very subtle and hard to see.

The argument is "race as used in the U.S. is a social construct that is incorrectly correlated with some physical traits. So lets avoid bringing up someone's race when trying to explain their behavior and/or intentions."

Just because someone has dark skin doesn't automatically mean they are "black" because black is more of a cultural thing than a race. It's incorrectly attributed as a race in the U.S., and in many cases it does coincide, so someone that looks black is probably black, but not everyone. This is more so the case with white people. The white label is a huge generalization on many sub-cultures and races, not just one. So it is inefficient to try and explain behavior with these labels that are incorrectly seen as race.

To further expand, yes there is a problem with racist people, but what's the point of saying they are "white" racist people? They're just racist. No need to be further promote the same mis-categorization that racist people love to use. Racist people are ignorant and/or crazy, and we can continue analyzing them and fighting without mentioning anyone's race.

> So lets avoid bringing up someone's race when trying to explain their behavior and/or intentions

Normal people already do that most of the time, because most of the time race, ethnicity, or culture does not matter for whatever you're talking about.

However, a blanket statement that such things never explain anything is false. A person's upbringing and environment influences them tremendously, and it does correlate with ethnicity, nationality, country of origin, socioeconomic status, and many other variables.

For example, an average russian doesn't like gays. That's a fact. There are cultural reasons for that, it's not just something that happened randomly. If I want to explain to someone why my russian friend doesn't like gays, I will tell them that it's because he's from Russia, where it's normal.

Here, I've used ethnicity to explain someone's actions. In America this would cause hysteria, and I would be branded a racist, because in America every statement that involves race is racism thanks to the argument you're promoting.

However, there is no racism in my statement. It's factually correct – if my russian friend was raised in Canada, he probably would have internalized the normalcy of varying sexual preferences long ago. But he was brought up in Russia, where casual racism, sexism, and other assorted intolerance is the norm. My statement is also not judgmental. I'm just explaining the probable reason for a person's behaviour using information available to me.

But again, for the sole reason that it involves ethnicity, in America this valid statement is widely considered racism. Not to mention that if my statement was similarly correct, but involved blacks or mexicans or whatever other ethinicites are conversationally popular in America, I would be in even bigger trouble for no reason other than the reader / listener's prior experiences with racial issues, which are, I might add, dependent on the reader / listener's race, ethnicity, and country of origin (and here we go again...).

> Just because someone has dark skin doesn't automatically mean they are "black" because black is more of a cultural thing than a race.

What are you trying to say? That sounds incredibly racist. Are you trying to say that someone who has dark skin but "acts white" is not black??

Look beyond the labels. Yes, sometimes a white person that grew up among black people is more black than a black person who grew up with only white people. Think about half-white, half-black people, why aren't people talking about mixed race people? Why do mixed race people often choose what side to identify with? Because "black" and "white" is just sub-cultures within American culture. Yes there is a correlation with physical trait, but this correlation is misleading and was started by our ignorant ancestors that lived in a world that is completely different from today.

Dark skin alone doesn't make you black, and I know I'm right because there are plenty of dark skinned foreigners that complain they get lumped in with black people when they're actually Arabs or something else. This is even worse for white people. Italians and Russians are in the same category, and that really makes no sense. Skin color should just be forgotten altogether.

This is why I tend to trend in many comments to talking about "identity in-groups". I do occasionally use examples based on race or gender, but abstractly, I prefer "identity in-group" because it explicitly highlights that whatever it is we are talking about is an abstract concept that is not reality but something that exists as discrete quanta merely because we believe it does.

American culture is such a bummer when it comes to how it shoves people into categories. We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT. There is simply no excuse at all to mention it. People CANNOT be categorized based on skin color at all, AT ALL. People cannot be categorized based on culture either. Virtually everyone is multi-ethnic and multi-racial at some level. To identify even yourself as belonging to a distinct "color" is just a fabrication of American culture that is an unfortunate outcome of the history in this country.

Nope, the left won't let that happen. Leftists have to categorize to divide, conquer, and marginalize their enemies...all under the guise of compassion and the other bullshit they make up to further their agenda.

Please don't post generically ideological comments like this. The thread is bad enough even without going there.

Dang, as someone that is supposed to be objective, I'd be careful showing your true political colors. I'm sure there are people that watch your commentary.

I didn't post that because I agree or disagree with you politically, but because ideological name-calling (a) isn't substantive discussion, and (b) invariably provokes worse.

Yes, I'm mostly a liberal, but I agree that it fails completely to see certain truths if the truth even remotely violate political correctness.

The irony is remote workers are one of the best ways to remove much the physical power politics due to human biology. Size, body language, sexual attraction, etc.

Valuable comment. Also, gender and ethnicity get neutralized when remote employees have text-based conversation, allowing your words to be the focus as they should.

Possibly, but only if people actively choose usernames that remove hints of such things, avoid disclosing their ethnicity or gender, avoid using stereotypical male or female communication patterns... it's a rather unstable equilibrium.

Fantastic point. In a sea of not-fantastic points.

This is just gross. I've spent the last 10 years of my life listening to various minority leaders discriminate against whites with no consequence.

I hope someone stands up for themselves and sues GitHub for this type of behavior. First off, this is very irrational and not based in any facts. Second off, it's blatant racism and sexism.

I will probably migrate my repos to GitLab or even BitBucket shiver. We need to vote with our dollars if that's the only way to get a point across.

If you can, avoid Bitbucket. We used them for a few years and it just wasn't good, through and through.

I've been really impressed with Gitlab and we use that as a backup right now but I really think I'll be moving all of our repos over to them. Plus, you can even host your own Gitlab server.

Why avoid Bitbucket? We switched to it from github at work and haven't encountered any major issues.

For us it was a combination of things. It was never really service/uptime related, but I can't count the number of in-app Javascript errors or weird UI decisions they made. The issues were just not good enough and the web pages were continually slow/bloated to load.

Every time I'd open a support ticket I felt like I was a second-class citizen or that the issue I raised wasn't important to them. Continual, multiple years or bad support from them. I get that we were paying $25/mo but I just couldn't deal with it anymore.

Bitbucket dev here, I am truly sorry to hear that Mike. I've been an Atlassian for almost a decade and "legendary support" has always been something that we've prided ourselves on, so it hurts to hear about your experience! I'm not sure how long it's been, but things have hopefully improved since last time you checked out Bitbucket - the unification of Bitbucket.org with Bitbucket Server (née Stash) has meant a lot of refurbishment of the front-end code, much of which is now common across products. Our front-end and design teams have grown a lot more muscle too. If you have any specific feedback about the UI/UX I'd love to pass it on to the team.

I've been using Gitlab for a couple of years, and it's really great. Used a self hosted repo for a team of ~40, and I can't recall any major incidents or any loss of code, ever.

> I can't recall any major incidents or any loss of code, ever.

It's Git either way, how does code get lost? It's not centralized unless you don't trust your local copies.

Of course, but I meant remote repo code loss.

I actually had this happen once when I was running a small filesystem based git server. Users could login with normal shell sessions with their public key, and repo permissions were handled with the unix permissions system. Some user with a funky git UI client for windows actually deleted a repo completely from the server.

It wasn't much of an issue because of local copies, but we moved to git-shell right after that, and to gitlab not long after when then team grew beyond a handful of people.

This articl was a bit of a hit job. GitHub is changing as revenue and staff increase. That makes sense. There are always growing pains. A flat, so-called meritocratic structure only works in a few situations. GitHub makes the majority of its revenue from enterprise. It only makes sense to mirror the structure of your most valued customers. A VP of important corporate enterprise customer expects to talk to another VP at GitHub to get things done.

I am not sure there are many success stories for increasing diversity in any industry. There are minor improvements to diversity but not much. At most companies I've worked for, the majority of the HR department were white female and the majority of engineering department were male. It was a very clean separation. I've always found that a bit odd in terms of diversity.

I think it's unfair to class everyone with white skin as "white", or darker skin as black or south asian or middle eastern. There is so much diversity in culture and backgrounds that stretch far beyond skin color. Can we stop classifying people based on skin color and just build great software to make the world a better place?

The irony is corporate sales is even less diverse than tech. Bring back the whiskey, the strippers, the boozy sales lunches, the white guys in suits.

I hope this whole SJW-led assault implodes because I just want to get back to writing software.

Make no mistake, this is a political war.

Can you people please not pollute this board with your over the top non-sense?

This has nothing to do with growth or even sexism/racism. This is a political takeover and shakedown of a valueable company. Moving out of a meritocracy to a hierarchy like this is to move away from performance based influence to political based influence.

The SJWs behind this just want money and they are importing their people into the company to increase their control. The use of discrimination is part of the mechanism to increase their numbers. Once they get a lot of people below them, they'll demand larger and larger paychecks and stock options. That's it, it's a fairly simple plan. Find a valuable company and raid it. All this inclusion/sexism talk is just dressing. Even githubs ceo's motivation is pretty clear. If he grows the org, he'll argue that he deserves more money because he's managing more people. Then when he exits he can position himself as the manager of a much larger org of thousands instead of this insanely profitable 70 person org.

We've banned this account for crossing into personal attack. There are a lot of new accounts in this thread commenting in a way that pushes the limits of HN's rules, but given that it's a highly charged topic, we've cut most of them some slack. But stuff like the end of this one is not allowed.

How is that comment a personal attack? For saying that the Github CEO would hypothetically argue for more money? Other than the Github CEO, who has been singled out for personal attack? There are really no personal details or singling out of individuals here.

This comment is low-signal for sure, and smells like a newly minted account to avoid repercussions on a primary account, but banning it for "personal attack" is suspect at best.

It accuses the GitHub CEO of planning to gut his own company for personal gain. Evidence? None, just his "motive is pretty clear". No, it isn't, and that's a personal attack.

If an established account did this, we'd ask them not to. If a brand new account does this, I'm calling troll.

Hold on.

Before we make judgment based solely on mentioning race in a slide. I highly recommend reading Nicole Sanchez's full take on the issue here:


Again another diversity piece that claims that trans people are somehow "locked out" of tech. I've seen no evidence for this, and in fact some evidence for the opposite - that they're overrepresented. That makes sense, I would expect trans people to find it easier to work as a programmer than say, a construction worker or any kind of customer-facing job.

But trans people are kind of invisible, both (usually) statistically and (sometimes) passing so well that they are not known to be trans. With other minorities the situation is more clear-cut and obvious. I hope at least no-one will pretend that Asians are not overrepresented in Silicon Valley relative to population.

Trans people have contributed some crucial developments in tech. The ARM processor was invented by a trans woman. If trans people were barred from the industry we might not have all these amazing mobile devices right now.


Thanks, good idea. I read it. To me it seems saturated with the insidious mutant form of racism and sexism that I've been very worried about.

Yeah, in her coda, "be honest" and have "uncomfortable conversations" read more like, "let's end the conversation and agree with me".

These comments are a conversation. I'll take it in good faith that people are being honest. But I doubt that Ms. Sanchez has this in mind:

"We refuse to accept the current paradigms that reflect rather than challenge the status quo..."

So you want to have an honest conversation about how you're refusing to accept the status quo?

> those of us who are non-white, older than 40, disabled, trans, not neurotypical, queer, from low-income backgrounds, and/or a host of other identities will continue to be locked out of tech.

What if those people are just less likely (note: this is about probability, for all I know the best programmer in the world could be a disabled queer 50 year old black person from a poor family) to be competitive among candidates? This basically amounts to hiring as charity.

There is no end to the list of possible "identities". You can ALWAYS slice humanity up into smaller and smaller groups to find some identity that is underrepresented. Everybody is clamoring to grab a niche identity to claim oppression points. This is why identity politics is garbage.

Unless for-profit corporations are actually jobs programs in disguise, there's only one sensible thing to do: value people for what they can do for the company. Period. Though maybe favoring a candidate because they have the right skin color IS actually good for companies? Who knows?

Too late. The pitchforks are out, the angry nerd mob is on a crusade now.


This article could have been written better. It has two themes going on. Github is restructuring and the lack of diversity in tech.

Why did they unnecessarily mention diversity in the context of the reorganization of github? Because that is the corporate BS that is popular to spout when you are redefining power within your company. Make no mistake github is doing restructuring to position themselves for large corporate contracts, NOT to be a more diverse workplace.

Using injustice to whitewash your redefined power structure is disingenuous.

sad to see github losing its way = (

It also seemed odd that it implied that whatever the new structure is does not include meritocracy. Does "meritocracy" really mean "no managers"?

>"(The social impact team) are trying to control culture, interviewing and firing. Scary times at the company without a seasoned leader. While their efforts are admirable it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white' which makes things challenging"

No wonder they got rid of the meritocracy rug.

"Technical director Danilo Campos" was part of a major shitshow a year and a half ago on Hacker News (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8389163). He called HN a cesspit and then tried to work up a Twitter mob against someone who made the mistake of challenging his points.

If a vindictive, narrow-minded individual like that is a technical director and a member of Github's social-impact team, no wonder people are leaving in droves.

I Hope to see GitLab, and other Truly Open Systems, replace GitHub as the go to place for source control

Same here. I like that Gitlab is so open. I hope they continue to grow and more people trust them to host both private and public code.

We're certainly growing, and I'll do everything I can to keep and increase the openness. We just made our strategy public https://about.gitlab.com/strategy/

Exactly, It's time for opensource networks to become open source !

I used bitbucket for a long time because it did the job and it provided private repos. But after I had to start looking for another job, many employers wanted to see my github profile.

I don't understand that as a criteria to be hired. I could see it as something to help show off, but shouldn't you as an employee be focusing on your company's codebase and not OSS products (unless there is some bug in the product you could fix that impacted your company)?

Maybe it's since I've always worked for companies with > 500 employees, but there is always a pile of work on the products I've worked on that there was little time to contribute externally.

So you paste your bitbucket link into the github field.

Yes but many employers want to look at how many stars and forks your repo got on github. It's a nice metric to filter repos from candidates, it is not enough for sure but usually repos with tons of stars are considered a good signal and it allows employers to save time before they start looking at your code. Bitbucket doesn't have enough users to offer these kinds of interesting metrics unfortunately.

Wow, I've never seen that. I mean, people often like to see some kind of evidence of something you've worked on, and looking at someone's Github profile is an easy way to do that. But I've never heard of stars and forks being used as a crude filtering mechanism.

There are so many factors that go into whether or not a repo becomes popular, which aren't necessarily related to anything that reflects on the creator's merits as an engineering hire. I think you'd skew your candidate pool in a weird way if you leaned on these metrics too heavily. Honestly, I'd be curious to hear more about how it's used in hiring.

I'm not sure about your sampling of "many". I can count the number of interviews where my code was actually looked at on one hand; no doubt this is different for unicorn-type companies.

At any rate, enter the law of triviality. Making something simple that lots of people will understand is more likely to lead to more stars than something brilliant but complex, yet more indicative of development skill. This selects for gaming of the system and/or salesmanship; no doubt said employers will screech about a lack of "qualified" candidates before long.

Doesn't entirely solve the problem. But you could use multiple remotes. Still gives github power in terms of forks and stars, but your commits can be in many places. (and you can decide to do issues where you want)

You can easily make your bitbucket projects public and show them off. No need to be conformed into using a given service.

While I fully agree, there's somewhat of a chicken-n-egg problem here though, because part of the profile shows contributions to other projects/repos, and that's more of a github thing, partly because their profile is designed differently to focus on that, and partly because there are just many more popular repos on github to begin with, so to contribute to those, an Atlasssian bitbucket profile doesn't help much, IF the primary intent is to 'show off' activity. Personally, I couldn't care less, I very much like the fact that Bitbucket offers free private repos, and I also prefer the tooling and cleaner UI of Bitbucket over github's.

You raise a good point.

I know others have waxed on the irony of the centralized role GitHub plays in a supposedly decentralized world of the DVCS that is git.

It would be cool if there were a Behance or even a Dribbble for programmers: a way for us to present our creations well but also easily in a host agnostic and semi or fully automated way.

Many of us or don't invest the effort necessary to maintain a work portfolio, unlike say design oriented fields where it's the norm. I think there could be something to it.

I was refering to OPs use case where he mentioned the usage of private repos. Such commits won't show up in a Github profile either...


I mean, I'm always happy to see competition keeping companies on their toes, but why do you actively want people to leave GitHub?

I don't like them because they put someones opinions/values above technical skills.

https://hacked.com/github-promotes-reverse-racism-sexism/ http://dancerscode.com/blog/why-the-open-code-of-conduct-isn...

I think the clue was in "Truly Open", github isn't open source and is fairly expensive for small teams with private repo's (compared to bitbucket for example).

It's network effects are large but beyond that the product doesn't really do anything that others don't do just as well.

I am not the GP. To me, supporting GitHub is like supporting Jetbrains. I know they're good people. I know they're trying to do good things. However, I will always have a nagging feeling that wishes that the universe was somehow different and that their business model made it possible for them to freely and openly offer all their software.

I guess I can include things like Aerospike and even Gitlab in that group. I don't actively wish for them to succeed either. I am glad they exist and I actively use their products but I would not cheer for any of them.

Why do you put GitLab in that category? We're trying hard to freely and openly offer as much as we can. We do have an open core business model with a proprietary GitLab EE. But I wonder what you think we have to change.

I do not like the centralization of anything

GitHub is becoming too large, and code is becoming too centralized, that is dangerous.

In some part it can be simple ease of use.

Most larger companies will not use a third party cloud service to host their code like github.com. They want software to run locally on their own servers instead.

Github offers their software to enterprise customers to run on their own servers, but they traditionally have done a bad job doing it, at least relative to gitlab. Today, dozens of open projects and even closed ones are using personal gitlab instances, but since the ecosystem is more open on gitlab contributions come back in to make it a much more friendly tool to self-host.

Tons of larger companies favor gitlab for exactly that reason.

This is standard stuff for a growing company. Right down to the disillusionment of the rank and file. I'm curious if anyone in the HN community has worked for a > 500 person company with a flat structure.

What a lot of commenters seemed to miss is that the remote work policy applies exclusively to senior managers.

Senior managers are no longer allowed to live afar and must report to the office.

These are the people that are usually on a separate bonus plan and receive an order of magnitude more stock options. It seems totally reasonable that they should have to come into the office.

HN seems to have a white-male persecution complex. No one here is talking about the interesting parts of the story:

"10 or more executives have departed in recent months."

"In addition to previously reported executive departures, Business Insider has learned that Ryan Day, VP of business development; Adam Zimman, senior director of technology partnerships; and Scott Buxton, controller, have all left in the last six months."

"Out with flat org structure based purely on meritocracy, in with supervisors and middle managers. This has ticked off many people in the old guard."

"...key technical people from the old days like CTO Ted Nyman and third cofounder PJ Hyett are mostly absent from the office and not contributing much technically."

Github is very likely going to be a different company by the end of the year. The question is, is that going to be good or bad for its current leadership position? I'm a pessimist: I'll go with bad.

The most interesting part for me is that the CEO talks to 2 of his VC's every day

How does a GPS fence lead to better management/leadership?

Until you realize their whole reason for github existing (and why Linus wrote git in the first place) is to support product development for large remote/distributed/non-centralized teams or projects. It just happens to also work identically for very small teams/projects too.

I wasn't commenting on the effectiveness of remote work. My point was that it's reasonable to ask more from senior management.

I'm sensing righteous indignation in your comment and a lot of the other comments. It's missplaced. Remote vs. in-office work is not a right vs. wrong battle. I work 100% remotely and sometimes I wish I was in the office.

Every company, employee, situation, etc. is different. It should be up to Github and its employees to decide what is right for their particular situation.

Diversity is a touchy subject. As a black engineer myself I've worked at three companies where I've been the only black technical worker and it's hard some times. I've gone to conferences where I've been maybe 1 of 5 or 6 engineers out of hundreds. i don't do any hiring but I often wonder if there is a lack of qualified black male or female engineers or what but sometimes I do feel isolated.

You'll see pretty much the same numbers at top American engineering universities. Most of the race/gender disparities we see in tech companies are a direct result of the same disparities seen in tech universities. The problem starts before freshman year of college.

In the case of black, latinos (I am one of them myself) and other minorities I think it is partly a matter of numbers. Black people account for around 13% of the population in the USA.

So in theory, a "natural" number would be to have around 13 black students for every 100 at every university. If it is less, then it may be due to either a) Lack of opportunities or b) Lack of desire enroll in specific subjects.

Here in Mexico face a similar issue with the lack of Women in technical careers (programming in my experience). The fact is that for some reason less women enroll in Soft. Eng. or Comp. Sci. courses... And from the few that enroll, several get out after the first or second "filter subjects" (Data Structures, Programming I, algorithms). Given that there are more females (61 million) than males (58 million), in theory there should be roughly the same number of both in schools.

> ...I often wonder if there is a lack of qualified black male or female engineers or what but sometimes I do feel isolated.

FWIW, my anecdata shows that less than 1 out of 20 technical interviews I do are with black applicants. I do wonder why that is.

Also, this is a great perspective from Twitter's only black engineer in a leadership position: https://gimletmedia.com/episode/52-raising-the-bar

You may like "The darker side of tech", a talk Bryan Liles gave at Velocity 2015 in New York: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ5wYZqHQGo>.

It seems that many posters here believe that it is okay to discriminate against white men because they enjoy "white privilege," whatever that is. There are those who believe that it is okay to discriminate on the basis of skin color and those who do not. The former are called racists, attempts to redefine the term notwithstanding.

What I find most interesting is that the comments about white men are roughly equivalent to commonly heard antisemitic statements. It is often said that Jews are over represented in various occupations not because of any virtue on their part, but rather because of devious trickery. I don't see much distinction between such sentiments and those being expressed here.

The claim is not that white people are overrepresented because of devious trickery, but because white people are usually doing the hiring and they are often biased, consciously or unconsciously, against non-white people, and women.

It's not something that's exclusive to white people, by the way. Racial and religious nepotism should be resisted wherever and whenever it occurs, in favour of meritocracy.

It seems that a large number of posters believe that discriminating against white men is okay because they enjoy "white privilege", whatever that is. Either you believe it is okay to discriminate against someone on the basis of their skin color or you don't. Attempts to redefine the word notwithstanding, those who subscribe to the former philosophy are known as racists.

It is hard to distinguish the anti-white vitriol I see on this page from the antisemitism of yesteryear. It was often said that Jews were over-represented in various occupations not because their industriousness, intelligence or other virtues, but because of devious trickery (they plot together to deprive others of opportunities). I fail to see how the arguments regarding white men are any different.

> Either you believe it is okay to discriminate against someone on the basis of their skin color or you don't.

In most anti-discrimination policy discussions, the question being asked is not what colour ones skin is. It is whether the person belongs to an identifiable group that has suffered systemic prejudice.

The ordinary intention of anti-discrimination is to rectify past and prevent future wrongs, and in particular to break cycles of stereotype, poverty, and crime.

Colour of skin is incidental to the formula, being an identifiable group. The primary consideration for preferential bias is belonging to a group that has suffered prejudice.

One could as readily substitute for skin colour those discriminations founded upon language, hair colour, sexual orientation, height, and body shape, among many others. The factor itself is not an entitlement to preference; it is the history of prejudice and prospect of systemic improvement that determines suitability for discrimination.

The argument that white people are being discriminated against based on a formula that rectifies past wrongs and undoes future ones belies a misunderstanding of the purpose, benefit, and impact. One may only come to this conclusion by discounting those past and future wrongs that have been committed and will continue to be committed by a system with inherent biases.

> The argument that white people are being discriminated against based on a formula that rectifies past wrongs and undoes future ones belies a misunderstanding of the purpose, benefit, and impact.

That's perfectly absurd. Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination.

How do we measure wrongs? How do we "undo future wrongs"?

I can't. Totally cannot. 100% can't deal with your argument.

> I can't. Totally cannot. 100% can't deal with your argument.

I find it telling that you think it is my argument. What I wrote is neither mine nor an argument. It is a description of a theory.

> Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination.

Not all discriminations are equal.

To argue that all discrimination is discrimination is to give equivalence to police murdering for traffic violations and being denied the pole position on a job application. Both are wrong, but there are quantitative differences – they can be measured.

> How do we measure wrongs? How do we "undo future wrongs"?

We can measure the effect of discrimination by the number of people affected, and the impact a discrimination has on an individual. It's not an unknown problem; statisticians measure it on jobs, income, applications, promotions, employment types. The data exists or can be gathered, and it can ascribed monetary value ("damages" in law). No formula will be ideal in all cases, but that is not an excusable barrier.

Societies with affirmative action have in essence determined, whether founded or not, that the aggregate of prejudice against classes of victims outweighs the aggregate prejudice of attempting to correct it.

If you want to discredit the theory you must first understand that it is a widely published and peer reviewed theory of many facets of society and not just an argument from some guy on the internet. The theory is founded in the philosophy of law, and touches on many other aspects ranging from the relationship between culture and economics through criminology.

I didn't think that first quote was your argument, I just thought it was the dumbest thing you said. I think it's silly that you believe that past wrongs can be rectified and that future wrongs are definitely going to happen, and that that invalidates the argument you presented about discrimination against white people not existing. Theory or argument, that's pedantry.

> Not all discriminations are equal.

Never said that.

I was implying that anything that was discrimination was wrong. Are you arguing the opposite?

> We can measure the effect [etc] and the impact [etc] and it can ascribed monetary value [etc]. No formula will be ideal in all cases, but that is not an excusable barrier. [emphasis mine]

You'll have to inform me then why there's debate on the ballpark percentage of the wage gap or even that it exists in general, just as an example. (not arguing for or against, but that there is a debate) And it is perfectly excusable for someone not to take action, or not to execute a very big action, if it is not the correct action, unless you think justice is necessarily coexistent with wrongful imprisonment.

And how do you pick who gets affirmative action anyway? I'm a Polish immigrant. My ancestors have been fucked 5 ways from Tuesday by just about every major happening in Europe. It was still 1989 when communism fell (only 27 years ago), and it left desolation and despair in its wake. Coming to the US, my parents and I had just about nothing.

And better yet, I'm not going to claim I deserve something. Because the world dealt me and everyone a shitty hand and the best I can do is play it, no matter the odds. Even if someone got a better hand than I did.

As a matter of interest, the school of thought you are describing is the Deontologists. In "Capitalism and Freedom" Milton Friedman captured this as:

> [Antidiscrimination] legislation involves the acceptance of a principle that proponents would find abhorrent in almost every other application. If it is appropriate for the state to say that individuals may not discriminate in employment because of color or race or religion, then it is equally appropriate for the state, provided a majority can be found to vote that way, to say that individuals must discriminate in employment on the basis of color, race or religion. The Hitler Nuremberg laws and the law in the Southern states imposing special disabilities upon Negroes are both examples of laws similar in principle to [antidiscrimination legislation]

This is in contrast with a focus upon either consequence or virtues. Deontological theory falls down on some observed economic scenarios. For example, banker bonuses are generally deontological in nature, and as a result paid out quarterly regardless of performance; a consequentialist or "virtuist" might formulate banker bonuses on practical timelines or overall long-term results, in contrast.

In any case, what I thought was a reasonably balanced emperical study by John Donohue is worth reading [The Law and Economics of Antidiscrimination Law] <http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?artic... (it is the paper from which I drew Milton's quote).

Thanks for the well-reasoned reply, and for the excellent link. I apologize for having lost my cool.

Could you link me a paper describing the perspective you mentioned in your earlier comments? I'd like to try challenging my own beliefs.

It's my pleasure, I am glad you are interested in spending more time on the topic.

Here's an reasonable read on the US history and positions: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/

I hope that helps and serves as a good starting position.

That same society at a different time determined slavery, jim crow laws and other prejudicial treatments were once okay just as it did affirmative action. An appeal to authority or populism doesn't make it good or right. It merely makes it lawful and/or socially acceptable.

There are many widely published and peer reviewed theories that turned out to be wrong after implementing them and empirically seeing that they are imperfect. There are scientific theories and there are non-scientific theories and the one you've put forth is squarely in the camp of non-scientific theory, which typically are hypotheses that lack the ability to be disproved.

I would like to think we can do better than replacing one system of prejudices with another. We've seen the pendulum swing both ways enough time now to better predict where the ideas contributing to momentum of the pendulum will lead to an over-correction and novel injustices.

So you're telling me that it's okay to tell someone, X, from group A that they are being disadvantaged in favor of someone else, Y, from group B because Y belongs to group B and because years ago someone, M, from group A unrelated to X disadvantaged someone, N, from group B unrelated to Y. How is this right? X isn't responsible for any wrongdoing committed by M or others like M, so why should X suffer the consequences?

It's fine to rectify past wrongs when X is responsible for the past wrongs, but guilt by identity association with M is absurd. I'm mixed-race mostly caucasian that immigrated to the US from South America in the 1980s but look vanilla white to most. Please explain to me what past wrong me and others like me are guilty of here?

I am aware and fully understand the purpose and anticipated benefit/impact. A question worth asking is if those that propose a "formula that rectifies past wrongs and undoes futures ones" understand how that formula will produce present wrongs and foster unintended future ones? After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions[0]. You're merely converting one system with inherent biases for another with inherent biases. That is a non-solution the problem[1] you purport to fix.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_road_to_hell_is_paved_with...

[1] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=problem

It wasn't uncommon to hear in Eastern Europe a short while ago that "Jews control the world" and that's why we should take their power from them. Clearly absurd, but that's how people felt. (And I'm not making points about the Nazis, I'm making points about Poland in 1989 during the fall of Communism.)

But now we hear "white men control the world," and are expected to take their power away.

Just because they're similar doesn't mean they're the same, I realize. But we should at least be self-aware about that similarity, because it means something.

I think you're misunderstanding the argument people make about the concept of privilege. Nothing about it is intentional in the standard sense. It's more that people behave to benefit themselves -- which is natural and fine -- and power has slowly accrued over time to white men more than to other types of people. The argument is not that white men are malicious, but that their traits are implicitly favored and promoted because we tend to gravitate toward and feel more comfortable around people who are similar to ourselves. Ergo, white men in power enable other white men to gain more power.

I understand perfectly. This is precisely what was (and is still to an extent) said of Jews.

> believe that discriminating against white men is okay because they enjoy "white privilege", whatever that is

> It is hard to distinguish the anti-white vitriol I see on this page from the antisemitism of yesteryear. It was often said that Jews were over-represented in various occupations not because their industriousness, intelligence or other virtues, but because of devious trickery (they plot together to deprive others of opportunities). I fail to see how the arguments regarding white men are any different.

It's because you don't even make an attempt to understand the terms of the debate. White privilege is a structural, societal-level advantage that white people have stemming from centuries of economic and cultural disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities, that while you personally can't change, can be worked towards overcoming it. Educate yourself before you throw Godwins around.



> Educate yourself before you throw Godwins around.

He's not invoking Hitler or Nazism, he's making a comparison between white privilege and anti-semitism. It's pertinent because of whites and Jews being races; it's not just a random invocation of whatever to win an argument. Not all anti-semites are Nazis. There are plenty of otherwise normal people who just randomly hate Jews for literally no reason.

There's a point there, and I think you missed it. (Please note I am not arguing for or against that point, just that you may have missed it.)

I also appreciate the "Educate yourself" thought-terminating cliche. It's an interesting one.

If you call an argument Godwinesque but turn out to be wrong, who has lost the argument?

Who exactly are you reffering to when you talk about "white people"? Anglo-Saxons/Saxons? Franks/Gauls? Celts? Slavs? Greco-Romans? Nordic people?

You're talking and generalizing an awful lot of people.

It's interesting how most of the comments here are focusing on the diversity part of the article. Reading it, the thing that screamed at me the most was the influence of VC culture. It seems as though the owners of GitHub are making the decision to appease their investors by going the traditional route - fast growth with a traditional top heavy hierarchy. This always consolidates money and power at the higher levels of the hierarchy. This is great for VCs and those at the top because they can allocate more revenue and profits to them, but bad for employees and to low revenue (high volume) customers because the immediate ROI is not as good there.

This trend is fine for most companies because ultimately, the only people that matter are the ones with ownership control in the company. However, GitHub is different because of it's position in the Open Source community and with the type of people they serve - developers. If they burn the community too much, their customer base can and are fully capable of leaving the platform. The interesting thing to wonder is, have they built up a Facebook level of momentum yet? If not, the changes they are making now could ultimately turn them into an enterprise-only company and cap their potential.

I wonder which startup will chomp off this new sourcefor-- I mean, Github.

I know, totally different companies at this point, but this shift marks me seeing GH as a completely different entity from what it used to be, and I don't look forward to what kind of company they'll become in the future. Kind of disappointing to read about the changes. None of them sound good.

Gitlab has already surpassed Github in terms of functionality. I've been hard selling it at my place of employ but I work at a large company so Github is already solidly entrenched and will be so for at least awhile.

Please let us know if we can help convince your company. Email sales@gitlab.com if you need help convincing the higher ups.

I already use GitLab for my personal projects, since I don't care about the networking effects and it's open-source. Since it's still just git, there's nothing stopping people from switching: it has inheritably less lock-in than Twitter or Facebook. GitLab even scrapes issues and other GitHub metainfo if you migrate.

There is one-click repo import functionality that is great also.

Thanks! Since Jan 22 we now import repo's, issues, pull/merge requests and wiki's.

i think that is fine by GH. i mean, it's clear that the $$ is in enterprise, not in selling $9/month plans to hobbyists. someone else will step up to fill the void.

I think this article pretty much shakes all the confidence in Github and for several (good) reasons:

Whenever a new CEO steps in and starts making big changes like that to the company, it usually results in big changes in the product. Whereas before, the product was controlled by programmers, now it will be controlled by CEO, his inner circle, and VCs that have the most influence. That means a product that's more "money-friendly" toward investors rather than users.

The fact that a lot of high-ranking people left and possibly, many remote developers will stop working there is yet another sign that Github as we know it will change. Maybe for the better, maybe not.

One thing that really disappoints me is killing off the remote option. I've always looked up to Github and would use it as the perfect example of how "remote can work, even at scale". Facebook recently (a year or two) implemented the same thing which is a shame.

I won't address the leadership thing but that last quote in the paragraph summed it up perfectly.

Anyways, from the looks of it, Github will become an enterprise-friendly place with less of a focus on ordinary developers and smaller businesses. This makes me think that there is growing space for a new company to take up that "developer-friendly" social network/code repository.

The content in this article is disgusting and despicable. I will be moving my code from GitHub as soon as possible.

Isn't it though? Nicole Sanchez and Danilo Campos are openly advocating racial hatred while creating a toxic environment. If I worked there I would leave too. Never again, Github. There are too many good alternatives out there for me to support this fallen star.

GitLab is pretty nice and auto-imports from GitHub!

Meh, I think we need to fork github. Gitlab supports the same nonsense github does.

What nonsense are you blathering? Github isn't open source so you can't fork it. Meanwhile there are lots of other GitHub-a-likes out there - Gitlab is only one of them. So if you don't like Gitlab either, there are other choices.

Do you have any sources? I'm genuinely curious.

What can we do better at GitLab?

Will you be moving to Google Code? /s

It's not like Github and Google Code are the only two choices. (Of course, Google Code isn't a choice, as it's shutting down.)

Seems like another instance of "let the nerds build a company and then take over"...

Should this be considered an example of entryism, or just opportunism?

It might be neither if it were the default (uncommunicated) strategy of investors...

Just out of interest, what are other examples of this?

Not OP, but I think the "let the nerds build" quote may have referred to this:


Over the past year, we've moved to limit our exposure to GitHub by shifting repos over to Bitbucket, but it looks like that'll have to accelerate that now. The cultural and leadership turmoil described in the article sounds worse then those DDoS attacks last year. How can they stay focused on building a great product?

"Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women."

edit : also : "it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white'"

Yeah, what does that even mean ?

As a european i'm really shocked that this kind of tumblr bullshit invade top tech company like Github...

I think what she's saying is that usually when tech companies talk about diversity they mean they really are talking about increasing the number of women in tech. To her, at least, that's not as important as increasing the number of minorities in tech. So as "white women" are in one group but not the other, the are bad because they are minorities in disguise. Even with that, it's a terrible thing to put on a slide without any added context.

well, the only important thing that matter is skills / experiences, because choosing people (or not) for their race or gender is really... at least weird.

uhm... So a company that is an enabler of developers working from anywhere and collaborating on code doesn't have at its core value working remotely? I find that a bit hard to believe, but I guess I've heard stranger things.

I guess I just expect as a matter of dogfooding that a company that strives to do great distributed source code control and all the activities surroundings that would live the remove lifestyle.

It's enabling developers to work from anywhere. That doesn't mean this approach works for management.

If the person making the decisions isn't familiar with the basis of the decision then I trust their judgement not at all.

All "diversity" programs, along with other legalisms like "minority" status, "historically disprivileged groups", etc. are entirely about anti-white racism and dispossession. They have no moral standing and no logical consistency, and they don't pretend to, nor do they even need to. It's utilitarian and provides benefits to a specific group at the expense of another.

I'm happy GitHub is getting to experience the runaway consequences of this toxic and repugnant ideology. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving group of "progressive" folks.

You don't believe any actions should be taken to try and unwind the lingering effects of chattel slavery and jim crow?

Do you think actions should be taken? If so, what actions?

Yes. Free college would be a good start. Stopping over policing of black/brown neighborhoods would be another. Basically anything that actively seeks to break the cycle started with slavery and continued through Jim Crow. Occupying black/brown neighborhoods and using jay walking as a pretext to throw as many in jail as possible needs to stop - immediately.

Nope. Plenty already has been done, and why do other non-white groups get special status too?

Like I said, it's all about shaking down whitey.

Right. Fucking. There. Let me guess, you are a white male tired of people bringing up diversity? Or maybe you have forgotten about the special status given to minorities that brings us to todays topic? If enough was done, we wouldn't be having this conversation. As if "whitey" hasn't been shaking down different groups over the years.

It's clear that the diversiteers doesn't ever intend to define what constitutes "doing enough", and why would they? We keep falling for it.

As for whitey shaking down other groups, so what? That's how the world works... shake or be shaken. I realize this is a topic that brings out a lot of emotions and moralizing in people, but it really is that simple...

People aren't robots so meritocracy is a pipe dream. Everyone has biases (just different ones). And if that's how the world works, then why the criticism of "whitey" being shaken down? Your post smacks of "don't hate the player, hate the game" kind of reasoning. Another word for this is "Supremacy" or "Entitlement". A black candidate doesn't get the job so maybe he or she isn't qualified, but as soon as the tables are turned for a white candidate, then all hell breaks loose.

In an ideal setting, the best candidate gets the job. But who is the best candidate? The black guy who doesn't live in the bay area, with no formal education but had to self teach himself programming because he couldn't afford to go to school? Or the recent Stanford grad that is more likely a culture fit (looks and sounds like the interviewer) with the grades but not the real world experience (yet)?

> And if that's how the world works, then why the criticism of "whitey" being shaken down?

I'm not criticizing it per se. I'm trying to describe Diversity Inc. as a much simpler phenomenon than it's being made out to be. It's a battle between two groups with a conflict of interests, and one of those groups isn't even taking its own side in the fight. It sounds simplistic, but without an understanding of the basic political dynamics at work, there's not much use bickering over the details.

As for who is the "best" candidate for a given role, I didn't comment on that, but human interactions and group dynamics are highly complex phenomena. The problem as you described it may turn out to be unsolvable. This raises the question of who exactly benefits from these futile attempts to solve it. See above.

Considering when the "shakedown" laws were written the power structure was exclusively white I disagree with your premise. White men shaking down "whitey" to no benefit of the lawmakers doesn't really hold water. Try again.

First Sourceforge went over to the dark side. Next, Github? This is a huge setback for open source.

We need federated open source hosting, where several companies all host the important projects, they all stay in sync, and any client can go to any service for any operation.

Maybe because Sourceforge and Github are not open source.

SourceForge is open source. The software underpinning the way the whole setup works is called Allura. Paid developers at SourceForge keep enhancing it. It's hosted by Apache: http://allura.apache.org/

Github is closed source.

What BIZX did with SourceForge is already promising I think.

Way back in 2005, Shelley Powers made the argument that a diverse workforce helped a company deal with crisis. The inverse was also implied, that a rejection of diversity was an indicator of some kind of resistance, which would make it difficult to deal with crisis.

Powers wrote:

"When jobs are plentiful, diversification within the job pool is not seen as a threat. In fact, diversification can be seen as a way of extending one’s power over a larger base of people. Book companies see more people buying books, conference organizers hope for more butts in seats, industries have less stressed and healthier, happier workers. However, when jobs are threatened, any change in the status quo will be seen as a risk–even those in an industry populated by people who consider themselves free of bias. It is a natural inclination to want to pull in, like the turtle into its shell, when threatened. Except in the tech industry, this ‘pulling in’ materializes as a resistance to difference."


My interpretation of this is that the problems that Github has had with diversity in its teams was a leading indicator of the wider management problems that we now see.

Total conjecture, with a tad of sensationalist on a topic that is otherwise unremarkable: Company grows large, needs to adjust to survive.

The ease in which y'all are swayed into this article's point of view is the true worry here.

Even the decision to show the image of the scotch collection is subtly (actually, not so subtle) using our ideas of appropriative work culture to lead us down the path of believing how terrible GitHub is.

Restructuring and growing pains are normal.

This stuff just happens to companies. The kinds of people who enjoy a meritocratic, decentralized kind of system are less likely to really want to be someone's boss or to have a boss who acts like a boss.

It's unlikely that the kind of multi-tiered management structure most larger companies use is ideal, but it's the best thing management science has found (it's a young field, rooted in the buildout of factories in the industrial age).

In defense of github, they can create whatever culture they desire. Same with npm and every other company out there. If they succeed, they will be seen as a company who took ethics and equality very seriously. If they don't theyll be seen as racists and confused leftists.

They are making a big risk with no obvious gain (outside of hypothetical culture and numbers). But this is their risk to make. If it does well they will be considered heroes.

I wonder if remote-work culture helps with diversity. It obviously does with geographic culture diversity, and with nationality (due to visas), but does it particularly help with racial or gender or age or anything else?

I'd assume it does with gender diversity (since women more often end up taking care of kids/elders/etc. even with a full time job of their own); race/ethnicity seems more indirect.

We need a decentralized (federated) system to store our source repositories.

Yeah, that sounds pretty cool.


What an utter mess of a thread.

Look, social experiments of the sort taking place at GitHub are good things - they can teach us something. If their policies make the organization stronger, that's awesome - we get a stronger GitHub. If their policies end up damaging the organization, that's also awesome - because it'll become evident they're bad policies, and companies will stop implementing them.

Everyone just sit back, let the market do its job, and be sure to take note of the results when it's time for you to do your own company-building.

> If their policies end up damaging the organization, that's also awesome - because it'll become evident they're bad policies, and companies will stop implementing them.

I'm a bit more cynical - if it fails, I suspect the failure will be blamed on "wreckers".

Well, sure, and if it succeeds, some people will claim the success was in spite of the policies. Ideologues gotta ideologue, and all that. But that doesn't mean we can't learn something useful - since those 'wrecker'-style arguments give off the political equivalent of code smell.

I'm inclined to agree. I wonder, however, about the huge amount of VC money and the pressures of money and capitalism. I wouldn't be surprised if these experiments are more lip service than actual concrete restructuring given that people in positions of power tend to want to protect their power bases, and investors tend to want to protect their investments.

Edits - I am not losing anything by them changing things. I have not invested any money in them, I use their service though, and pay for a pro account. I am curious to see what happens and am optimistic about humans but pessimistic about VC money!

It is interesting to see how race is discussed on a site like HN vs. a political website. Even people posting opinions I disagree with state their point(s) with respect.

I understand how a white person could feel "under fire" in a discussion about "diversity" and "white privilege." For all the talk about the importance of empathy, it sure seems like some on the left don't have very much for our white brothers and sisters.

We have to understand that no one is born with historical context and we should't be so harsh on white people who either don't have it (context) or who do and feel singled out for being white.

We can't speak of the ingenious, invisible hand of institutional racism and then be mystified when a 23 year old white guy is skeptical of its existence.

If we could all grow up and act like professionals, that would be great. I have a hard time understanding why the tech industry always tends to create this much drama.

At the end of the day, this is about software, not about your genitals. I don't care if you're liberal or conservative, black or white, straight or gay, or anything in between! In fact, i won't bring it up, or ask. I simply do not care, the only thing i care about is your pull request.

How any company can include a slide like the one in the article (backup link here: http://i.imgur.com/p5zwScc.png) is absolutely beyond me. I am paying you to make a great product, not to make daily diversity meetings.

Can we have a seal for services and software that are not run by the SJW crowd? That would be helpful. No racist "Code of Conduct"? Check.

Codes of conduct generally act to protect people from racist and sexual harassment, by prohibiting and deterring it. Name one example of racist harassment against white people that a code of conduct hasn't prevented.


The biggest 'privilege' someone can have is not white skin, its money. All the people who bang on about diversity are usually upper class, and never talk about the socioeconomic component of it.

> With plenty of competitors, including Atlassian, GitLab, and even Google, one thing is certain: If GitHub does stumble, there are plenty of companies that want to pick up its slack.

Atlassian? Oh god. Their software might be ideal for corporate beancounters and expensive consultants, but for everyone else it's a nightmare.

GitLab? A pile of memory leaks and other weirdness.

Google? Not so much, I highly doubt they'll ever re-open Google Code.

edit: and another thing, Github enjoys a massive, massive network effect, next to impossible to recreate by anyone else. Except Sourceforge, but they burned so many bridges that no one sane in his mind will ever trust them again.

Atlassian bitbucket is fine for me, and it gives free private repos. If you just want something for side projects without all of the bells and whistles, bitbucket is fine

Shame they lack any way to discover active forks that is as useful as the GitHub network graph widget.

Using the API you can get it, they just don't bother showing it to the user.

Dev attached to the Bitbucket team here. While we love and support open source where we can, the vast majority of repositories on Bitbucket are private or public but maintained by a single organization. Our core focus is professional teams, which typically means branching (rather than forking) workflows. This has lead us to prioritize features like branch level permissions over network graphs and other features focused on forking workflows, because they are of higher value to our users. We're not ideologically opposed to them (indeed, forks are useful for some professional workflows too - such as working with contractors or external contributors), but they just haven't bubbled up to the top of our roadmap just yet.

The frequent bitbucket downtime is what got me to switch my company's stuff to github.

For us, Github has been down more than Bitbucket due to all the recent DDoS attacks.

My company has been using bitbucket for a couple of years and I personally haven't noticed much in the way of unscheduled downtime. Maybe once or twice during that time.

"Google? Not so much, I highly doubt they'll ever re-open Google Code. "

One thing to remember is that the main reason Google did code.google.com was to create competition for sourceforge (I was the third or fourth person to join the code.google.com team)

Now, it's pretty much 100% that Google won't do this again anytime soon, but that doesn't mean some other large company won't have the same thought.

Maybe Google Ventures will end up investing in Gitlab, or some similar startup down the line. It seems like it would be a decent hedge, and possibly cheaper than developing and/or running it themselves.

I love both BitBucket and GitLab, have no issues with either.

I'm administrating a small-ish Gitlab server and we have to reboot it every week or else it will fail in random and weird ways due to OOM - the machine has 8GB of RAM and 20 active users, so WTF? Isn't the entire point of git to have one pretty dumb server acting as a file server and letting the client do the work?!

You might want to look into using https://github.com/kzk/unicorn-worker-killer which _should_ be enabled by default (https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/blob/bce482a59a235ed...). Besides that we're working on fixing performance problems, cutting down memory usage, etc.

GitLab, GitHub, BitBucket etc are not simply a GitServer, if that is all you want then there are better projects out there for that. hell basic ssh or http server can be used a gitserver with no front end at all or gitweb http://git-scm.com/docs/gitweb.html

GitLab, GitHub, BitBucket etc are project Management platforms that enable Bug Tracking, Documentation, Social networking all on top of and around basic git functions

No matter what extra functions, 20 users and 8 GB RAM is way out of proportions.

Especially these days where everything is done on the client and the server only has to run a simple API!

For 20 users you should not need more than 2GB of RAM, see https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/blob/master/doc/inst...

Please ensure you've installed the Omnibus package that helps manage memory.

just use git directly then without a gui server? or hell if you need a gui use upsource, that needs 8 gb ram however it is down you still could use everything else. https://www.jetbrains.com/upsource/ (just repository browsing and code review not hosting, for hosting you need to create your bare repos yourself which is not hard)

You might want to check out Gogs. https://gogs.io/

It doesn't have Gitlab's extra features, but it makes a great, lightweight dumb server.

This is definitely not normal. For 20 users, 8GB is more than enough and it should not require constant restarts. Please check out https://about.gitlab.com/getting-help. Message me on Freenode #GitLab @ dblessing or Twitter @drewblessing or @GitLabSupport. I'm happy to help.

We run a Gitlab server at our company, with about 25 people using it to host their repos. I don't know the technical specs of the server, but it's only been down two times for the last year, so OOM seems unlikely. If it was that horrid, I'm pretty sure the admin would have said something by now.

You probably have pretty good sysadmins. My experience with Gitlab is pretty similar but you kind of have to have a bit of knowledge of systems, network and the software itself to set it up properly with the right amount of memory, CPU, etc. to accommodate for the user base.

check out gogs https://gogs.io/

Gitlab is one project that absolutely needs to be rebuilt using Java. Both from a performance and a deployment perspective (deploying a jar is a one line step through jetty).

Something like Akka is probably well suited for Gitlab and it's git hooks.

Are you using the GitLab Omnibus package? It has active memory management that should prevent OOM problems like this.

Try using JRuby instead of the MRI.

GitLab doesn't run on JRuby as far as I'm aware of.

That sounds really strange. What version are you running?

I believe that that is more of a Ruby runtime issue than a Gitlab issue.

A memory leak would be an application issue, not a language issue.

Well why implement it in Ruby then if it's known that the environment is sensitive to OOM?

Actually Gitlab could be a replacement, I use it with 10 dev team + customers and we have absolutely no problem.

We tried to switch. After few days devs make a note on the table "X days without GitLab being down". X always was < 2.

Do you use gitlab.com or you own instance ?

We use our own instance since 2 years (60+ users, 200+ repo) and the only down time is for update

I am sure that own instances will run much better, but i prefer cloud services for storing such important data.

We're sorry for the downtime on GitLab.com in 2015. It has gotten better this year but we're still working on improving the response time. See https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/operations/issues and https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/operations/issues/42 for more information.

been using gitlab for the past two years at work and the only time it's inaccessible is when upgrading it. it does have a lot of other issues like response time and a difficult to navigate ui but crashing is not one of them.

What version are you on? Since GitLab 8.0 great improvements have been made to the UI and if there is something still wrong on the latest version we would love to know.

it is generally hard to navigate, every time i'm adding a user and giving him access to groups/projects i have to spend a minute to figure out where. the new CI gui is worse than the old one (pre-8).

I dunno if it's impossible to recreate. You could just scrape GitHub's user data, mirror all public repositories, provide GitHub login, and do everything you can to ensure that your new competing thing lets people move away from GitHub with no friction.

I believe Github provides a free data-dump of their publically-available data. That makes things even easier, it's just no one's done it yet.

They aren't talking Google Code. If you read the linked article, they are talking a new thing Google "Cloud Source Repositories".


Haven't had a change to review it yet but seems to be they retired Google Code in preparation for this, not because they were acquiescing the market to Github.

They describe it as "fully-featured private Git repositories" so not a replacement for Google code. Also it's pretty inconceivable they'd retire Google Code early, forcing repos to move to a competitor, then introduce a new public service.

I agree that we at Gitlab should do something about the memory leaks and I created https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues/13241

What do you mean with other weirdness?

Google's Cloud Source Repositories [1] aren't related to Google Code if I get it right.

[1] https://cloud.google.com/source-repositories/

They mention Google Cloud Source Repositories as a recent concurrent of GitHub: https://cloud.google.com/source-repositories/

I've heard a lot of people complaining about JIRA and so on, but I've never really understood why they hate it. Sure, it's closed source, but so is GitHub, and people seem to like that (this discussion notwithstanding).

You got downvoted by people promoting the companies they work for. Altasian stuff is hideous and Gitlab I heard is a horror show.

This will be downvoted too but honestly who cares. Despite all of Github's problems no one comes anywhere close in terms of adoption and developer mindshare and there is a reason for that.

Out with flat org structure based purely on meritocracy, in with supervisors and middle managers. This has ticked off many people in the old guard.

This is almost certainly a mistake, from my experience. Our fairly small team's productivity dropped by I'd estimate 300% even with a much larger team once HQ decided we needed to bring in management layers. I wonder what GH hopes to gain from these changes.

Can someone explain to me why GitHub needs a "Social Impact Team". What benefits do they bring to the organisation? It looks to me like a massive money pit.

> What benefits do they bring to the organisation?

Marketing to uber-rich investors?

Given the amount of news talking about SV companies losing stock market value it seems the bubble is popping

It looks like a case of the things no one could talk about can now be talked about.

It will now be fashionable to talk about the emperors new clothes. Even by those who previously strongly vocalized their love of the emperors clothes.

I'll bet you sam a will start talking about being Ramen Profitable soon.

Since github doesn't want to deal with white male developers, I'm migrating my repos to GitLab. So long octocat.

How many more years before all of these orgs finally come to the realization that making hiring decisions based on skin color or genitals isn't a winning strategy?

You know the corporate rot has set in when you see titles like "vice president of social impact".

When this bubble pops, no one is gonna care about diversity in tech. It's only because there's big money do people care about diversity.

Wasnt github already involved in a scandal with a female employee who quit and came out a few years back?

I am a white customer.

Am I welcome at Github???

Hey, mods, did the top level comments get resequenced in this thread? Up until an hour ago, iza's comment was the first comment; now it's the fifth.

I understand that the post itself may be inflammatory but the resulting discussion actually avoided a lot of the diversity v.s. meritocracy ("it's my side or the highway!") that some of the other comment threads are focusing on.

Votes affect ordering even of top level comments.

As far as I understand it you mostly don't see it because once a thread gets to the top it is receiving a net positive stream of incoming vote and since it is already at the top it will receive more votes that threads further down the page.

Sometimes threads are detached by admins and end up at the bottom of the page. In those cases they are usually (possibly always) clearly marked as such.

Perhaps that's the case, but isa's comment was the first comment for 4 hours after it was posted. Round about two hours ago, it suddenly dropped down to the fifth slot, not the second or third.

I don't know what HN's policy is on resequencing; I thought I would ask to see if I'm not understanding something correctly.

Possibly brigading downvoters then, I don't know.

Just wow. I'm thinking about pulling my personal Jekyll site hosted off GitHub pages and host somewhere else. Not sure about the alternatives though, with custom domain support. Ah well, a nice weekend task.

One option is to host the repo on Bitbucket and use the Aerobatic (https://www.aerobatic.com) static hosting add-on. Free custom domain and more, included.

disclaimer - I'm one of the founders of Aerobatic.

Thanks, I already stumbled upon Aerobatic and it's in Todo list for trying it out :] One thing though, is it possible to use a naked domain ? Although I could use CloudFlare which supports ALIAS records.

Yep, naked domains are supported, as is SSL.

I have an Octopuses on Heroku, it seems a good solution for a static site.

Regarding diversity issues, it is interesting to go back and look at this interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from 1972. What I find worrisome is that the conversation is still being discussed in 2016. For all the progress in technology, there are some social issues that change only very slowly.


What has changed is that some corporations now have formal programs in place to try to make progress on diversity issues. But the resistance to progress on this issue is remarkable.

The real question is: is a repo purge going to follow from their internal purge? Will they start deleting projects with diverging political views?

It's not exactly paranoia: there has been precedents; see Gamergate.

>The real question is: is a repo purge going to follow from their internal purge? Will they start deleting projects with diverging political views?

They've already done that. https://github.com/FeministSoftwareFoundation/C-plus-Equalit...

However, they continue to host a mirror of it: https://github.com/ErisBlastar/cplusequality

Not sure why they didn't allow the "official" one but allow the mirror. Guess they just wanted the ability to say they took it down for PR purposes.

Cancelled my subscription as soon as I read the tweet from @_danilo. If the races and genders were switched and the context instead was some horrendous civil war in Africa, it would be outrage fodder in the mainstream media for weeks, but because it's white males, it's totally alright to claim they're not just devoid of empathy and compassion, but constitutionally incapable of ever acquiring it.

My disgust is boundless. To hell with anyone that thinks and behaves like this.

For contrast, look how Pax Dickinson was fired from the CTO role at Business Insider for his joking tweets that were perceived as anti-black racist. Such tweets were on a personal account, unrelated to work matters, and obviously ironic jokes about news items. (The context was ignored in order to paint a picture of Dickinson as a bigot.)

Here, @_danilo is also on a personal account, and tweeting specifically about work matters. The difference? His tweets were anti-white rather than anti-black. Given the prevailing SJW agenda infesting Silicon Valley his job should be safe for now. But activists should keep our eyes on him.

Is it ever a good idea to mix shipping products with social activism?

What are some examples where this has ever gone well?

"We’re trying to build a new kind of enterprise company where the playbooks of old won’t always work,"

Code for, "lots more money to be made here, move over hackers, let the ^professionals^ do their work". I'm not surprised, the hippy dream of work as you please is no more. Take and want the big money? don't be surprised when big money dictates how the company will be run.

Big question, will github be run to the benefit of users or share holders?

Meanwhile, github has quietly dropped the "owner" / "collaborator" tag for contributors to open source projects.

Either you're part of an org, or you're not.

Not too many OS projects have their own org, and commercial entities will be reluctant to add non-employees to their org, in order to distinguish contributors from employees.

Users of OS projects now have now easy way to tell if they're interacting with a collaborator.

Total shambles.

Serious question: why can't someone make a good Github replacement that is anywhere near feature parity?

I've tried both Bitbucket and GitLab, but their UIs continue to be leagues behind Github. It takes twice as long to do something in them (ex. find and blame a file) than it does with Github.

If they could just get the UI right, I'd migrate in a second. Hosting providers should enforce political opinions (beyond defending free speech).

When's the last time you looked at GitLab? I've been using it since last February, and the UI improvements have been pretty dramatic.

I agree it's quite good now, and still improving

The 'gogs' project [1] is decent and could use some support.

[1] https://gogs.io/

(not affiliated with gogs, just started toying with it recently)

> Serious question: why can't someone make a good Github replacement that is anywhere near feature parity?

Time and Github executed well at the start giving them experience.

I get the feeling that a company starting out now and doing all of their development and management remotely through the site they are building might have a good chance at catching Github in capability. Getting buy-in from customers is the problem.

I think something like gitlab + diaspora might actually have a chance of gaining some mindshare... at least the intent of diaspora, not the execution.

Maybe using something like keybase as an orchestration layer for gitlab either central and/or decentralized?

You could help gitlab getting better... It's open source.

I have checked Gitlab out in the past, and fully intend to mirror my stuff from Github over to there soon.

How do we know that Gitlab, as an open-source project, can't be infected with the same ideological virus? Should I just start by self-hosting Gitlab so I never have to migrate again?

I realize it was just an example, but in Bitbucket you can hit 'f' on the file view, type part of a filename, select it and hit blame.

I'm a dev attached to the Bitbucket team and we're pretty proud of our design, and always looking for ways to streamline the UX. Are there any other operations that you find cumbersome or unintuitive?

> ex. find and blame a file

If you're in a project in GitLab 8.4, simply press `t` to bring up the fuzzy file finder. On a file, simply press 'Blame'.

Let me know if we could speed this or any other action up further.

I understand why GitHub feels it needs to add structure to their organization. It's impossible for 500 people to coordinate themselves - Combine that with the remote work environment and it gives some people a free ticket to do nothing at all.

That said, I think the remote working aspect won't be a problem if you add a middle management layer. So I agree with adding management but disagree about cancelling remote work.

the only mention of remote work limitations I saw in the article was specific to senior managers.

Ok. I guess I fully agree with it then ;p

There's real fear about a user driven backlash against policies coming down the pipe. One recent slide deck was titled "Kill Your Idols?" and examined ways to prevent a LinkedIn esque reputation from forming during proposed policy changes to accelerate growth.

I make no claims as to the accuracy of this information or any relationship with GitHub. All assertions should be considered parody.

>Some of these folks may be hanging out until GitHub offers some kind of "liquidity event" — a way for longtime employees or investors to sell some of their shares — which one person believes could take place soon. (A GitHub spokesperson refused comment on that.)

This event is not likely to come any time soon because Andreessen Horowitz bid the price up so high.

Assembla offers free private repos (no bells, no whistles). I've been using them for over 4 years now.

That appears to be free repositories when you sign up for the $24/month personal plan, according to their Pricing page. That is a barrier to many people.

Edit: Hmm, there is also a page that talks about free repositories, but it requires an account. https://www.assembla.com/git/ In any event, they are confusing me.

It's interesting to see how people react to this, in the context of the reactions to their first VC raise of 100 million dollars -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4220353

e.g. "They want to do bigger and better things with Github. They're not quite done trying to change the world. Now they are not only profitable, but they have substantial capital to invest in further innovations."

and "I bet nobody here as anything bad to say about the exceptional skills of the github team. However such a huge investment may force them to "overscale" in order to be able to reach the expected return (by the VC)."

So where should I move all my repos now?

https://notabug.org might be a good place, in fact it is.

Is anyone else using it?




Self hosted Gitlab instance

You might be upset by some quotes here. It's important to not to let that take over you. You end up becoming exactly like the things that bother you. Don't get bothered over the people in the article expressing their opinions. It's the only way to live. Trust me, it takes over.

".. that is life. I cannot change them overnight. I think society, their own experiences, their own reading, their own observations, will bring about the change despite their innate biases."

"top lawyer, Julio Avalos, 'has amassed great power' in the company"

It's often not a good sign when the top engineers or star salesmen aren't running a tech company.

Great power != running the company. It specifically mentions he's taken over corpdev and some other functions

Also note that Julio is a very technical guy.

Note that what you have seen here is nearly identical to what david drummond did at Google (start as legal, take over some other functions like corpdev) in the early years.


It's hard to say this didn't work out amazingly well.

I'm also completely unsure why, without any evidence (in this article or elsewhere), you would assume that whatever power Julio has, he's using in a way that stagnates things, instead of using it in a way that enables folks to get shit done.

(David is the reason Google was willing to take so many legal/etc risks for the past N years)

Interesting perspective but a lawyer heading corporate development can make sense, having a lawyer with no accounting or finance training or experience is reckless at best but very scary to any potential shareholder. How on earth is Avalos making investment decisions? Avalos is not technical at all, he knows markdown, yoga and how to spin records. The company is falling apart under his watch, case closed. His purview is HR and Social Impact, he is calling the shots.

Who's making the assumptions, counsellor(?) ?

I didn't write the article which is fingering him as the root of the problem.

You say he does "corpdev" and the article clearly points out "development of the corporation" has become a big problem.

I'll take your word on Mr. Drummond, though.

"Who's making the assumptions, counsellor(?) ? "

You are. Let's take what you said "... aren't running a tech company."

Nothing in the article said he's running the company, you are making an assumption here.

Nothing you have provided at all backups up your claim that "It's often not a good sign when the top engineers or star salesmen aren't running a tech company. ". So there's an unproven statement combined again with the assumption that engineers aren't running the place (the article says it's being run by one of the co-founders, who was an engineer - "Prior to founding GitHub he worked as an engineer at CNET Networks on Gamespot and the launch of Chow.")

"You say he does "corpdev" and the article clearly points out "development of the corporation" has become a big problem. "

This badly misunderstands what corpdev does.

It's pretty much not worth continuing this discussion, i'm just pointing out that you are making wildly silly generalizations to how to run companies and what the article actually says. And yeah, you are making a ton of assumptions to do it.

Hence why the development of GH appears to have stagnated in the last few years. I deal with limitations related to permission handling on a daily basis with GH Enterprise.

This would be a good lesson for other companies with SJWs on staff: do what _you_ believe is right, don't let them drive the discussion.

Software guys seem really impressionable if the argument is coming from the right sectors. I'd be really interested in learning more about that.

Anybody use Microsoft's Team Services git hosting? Looks like they have unlimited free repos, although I don't know about public.

I don't trust Microsoft

It's hard to have a meritocracy when a limited set of people make decisions for (or otherwise own) the company and are beholden to VC money.

The flat structure is better for creating new products than squeezing money out of what exists.

If people want this type of company, they have to build the company and product around those principles.

If they pursue this genuinely, they'll be perpetually flip-flopping between states - it won't take long under this leadership for the hard-done-by minority to change to white/male, and then 'reverse sex/racism' would be sex/racism towards non-white/female...

Christ, the wonderful platform for learning, sharing, and doing that is GitHub is potentially under threat and the majority of discussion here is consumed with questions and accusations of racism?!

Of course white privilege exists. Next.

Onto real shit like how do we not lose yet another bastion of web awesomeness.

It's embarrassing that you don't think this is something worth having a discussion about. You're basically suggesting we abandon critical thought. There's clearly more to this than white privilege.

It seems that people disagree with how obvious the existence of white privilege is. I don't think 600 comments would get posted over something obvious.

People who want to build large companies are just plain scum. They are the upper class version of the aspirational middle class. The aspirational middle class can't wait to leave their peers behind and start managing them like slaves. The aspirational upper class can't wait to build a giant slave farm.

Since the agricultural era, humans have been taken over by slave drivers. We should be going back to small, decentralised groups of people. Big business and big government have done nothing but destroy this planet.

I used to work for a large company and that experience solidified my disgust for these places. I can fully understand why people would want to resign now that the company wants to grow. I decided that I would rather go down fighting then ever work for a large company again.

Has anyone asked why GitHub needs to grow? If there are other products that could benefit from GitHub integration, provide an api and let some other small group of hackers build it. All GitHub is doing is laying the foundations for their slave farm.

You'll get hammered, I'm sure for the rest of it, but this is a good question:

> Has anyone asked why GitHub needs to grow?

They are a making a pretty decent profit now. They could keep the lights on and keep doing what they are doing for the foreseeable future, make incremental improvements and scale out servers to pick up additional load without shaking things up drastically and taking in loads of VC money. That's not the sexy, billion dollar unicorn move, but it is a safe, sustainable bet.

None of these big companies ever do anything useful after their initial product. They just start buying small companies and sucking them into the big shitty company.

That's a pretty blistering take. Really wonder if Bitbucket will see an uptick in business from this. I can see something like this influencing their users as well as employees.

There is a lot of anger in this thread. I understand. Honest question though: how much of it isn't coming from white men? I ask because the tone of what is causing this anger has been publicly said, and masked as "culture" and other phrases, about women and people of color for a very long time.

I love how the guy quoted saying that they can't teach white, male middle managers empathy is a white male middle manager. I guess he's saying that he's proud of what he is.

He could be a Latino, profile says he is from Puerto Rico.

Possibly. Though Latino's range from standard white European (usually Spanish or Danish decent) to near full blooded Indian. So it is hard to use it as a differentiating category.

The same goes for caucasian. It's a remarkably broad category that includes a lot of different nationalities and ethnicities.

> "We’re trying to build a new kind of enterprise company where the playbooks of old won’t always work"

By replacing flat meritocracy and remote work with traditional top-down management?

> "don't think we'll succeed teaching white, male middle managers empathy and compassion anytime soon, so let's limit their scope of damage"

So the technical director and member of the social-impact team is a blatant racist.

This makes me sad.

I thought you were being over the top about the racism but then I saw the slides in the article: http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/56b3d2462e526543008...

My first reaction is that the language of "us" vs "them", victims vs oppressors, reeks of hatred. Hatred undermines productive conversation, which undermines any attempt at building a good culture.

I would have to listen to the whole presentation before I render final judgement.

I don't know if you even need to see the whole presentation. A few of the full sentences on that one slide are more than enough to project a strong us vs them attitude of hatred and victim versus oppressor, especially the following bullets:

    - "This is not work for white folks to lead"
    - "Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women"
    - "we need solidarity with our Asian friends and colleagues"
This is blatantly racist language and policy.

It's actually written into GitHub's Open Code of conduct. (The 'Open' Code has not accepted any changes for quite some time even though this particular issue was under discussion [1].) The Open Code expressly excuses discrimination against some races and genders, specifically by explicitly ignoring any critique which might fall under a 'reverse'-ism; 'reverse-racism' or 'reverse-sexism' [2]. This line in the Open Code was previously discussed here [3].

[1] https://github.com/todogroup/opencodeofconduct/issues/82

[2] https://github.com/todogroup/opencodeofconduct/blob/gh-pages...

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10043668

I wasn't aware of this history. One thing to note is the sentence that precedes 'reverse'-ism:

>Our open source community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will not act on complaints regarding: > ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’

Coded language for sanctioned discrimination.

It also fails to understand and accommodate intersectionality needs with respect to cognitive diversity.

Related reading:

Tact Filter: http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/tact.html

Ozark English: http://ozarque.livejournal.com/176349.html

When Nerds Collide: https://medium.com/@maradydd/when-nerds-collide-31895b01e68c

Thanks for the great reads and a fresh perspective (to me)

I'm okay with it, because I can get a job elsewhere. Some minorities can't. I don't need to be able to get a job at GitHub, because for some stupid reason, society has a general bias in favor of me. I can work anywhere, but the folks they're giving a shot are folks who don't have it as good as I do.

If this continues to proliferate, instead of achieving a World where minorities have equal opportunity with non-minorities, we will instead end up with a mix of institutions where those in the majority have an advantage and other institutions where those who are minorities have an advantage. This doesn't look like equality, but a reversion to something looking like "separate but equal".

Every human being should be judged for the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

The law disagrees with you. I can very easily see Github on the losing side of workplace racial discrimination claim here.

I wish your world existed. It doesn't, however, and minority groups need advantages over me in order to get the kinds of jobs I can get.

I hope we can move past this some day, but that's not happening today.

What a load of tosh. Are there no disadvantaged people in America with light coloured skin?

Because of their skin color? No.

For other reasons? Yeah. They get help too, though.

Poor and middle class white people are a figment of your imagination. West Virginia basically is Narnia.

Oh well thankfully hating white makes is just plain old racism and sexism not some reverse-whatever nonsense. So I guess we're good ;-)

> (6) Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women.

I'm just glad I dumped Github. I'm pretty sure they'd find my white female friends [some of whom needed to transition] being discriminated against as okay based on those slides.

Reverse racism is a myth.

Do you mean that it does not exist or that it cannot exist? I've heard this exact phrase before, "reverse racism is a myth," and it seems like an example of a thought-terminating cliché.

Don't know about reverse racism but I know very well that reverse sexism exist where I live so I'm tempted to say you are likely wrong.

Given they are publicly singling out white women, I'm not really sure that is true.

You shouldn't be generalizing on race if you want me to believe that.

So, as far as I'm aware, there is "racism-as-defined-in-some-academic-circles", where it's only racism when it's systematic and directed by a privileged ethnic group against an unprivileged ethnic group. Which is (IMHO) different from what non-academic people understand racism. Maybe that's what parent means?

Yes, it's clear that some parts of academia has people with really suspicious agendas.

> "when it's systematic and directed by a privileged ethnic group against an unprivileged ethnic group"

Honest question: does it have to be directed by "a privileged ethnic group" or is it valid if it is by any general group or even a single, privileged person?

Presumably, the "privileged group" should have a perceived ethnic composition different from that of the "unprivileged group", otherwise discrimination can't be based on ethnicity. But I guess it doesn't mean that all members of that ethnic group need to share this outlook.

That said, I'm no academic, but I remember reading something about this a few years ago, in the case of a woman in France accused of anti-white racism.

I suppose I think I'm just pissed that they target white women. xD

- "This is not work for white folks to lead"

Well, it's not. It's kind of missing the point if your diversity initiative is being run by white people.

- "Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women"

Second wave feminism, largely led by white women, often leaves out women of color. I mentioned this below, but the publishing industry is 79% white and 78% female. This has a huge impact on the types of stories that get to be published, which subsequently has real results on culture and society.

- "we need solidarity with our Asian friends and colleagues"

I mean yeah, sure, nothing super deep on that one. There should also be solidarity with white friends and colleagues, preferably ones that do a lot of listening and understand how not to take up all the space.

> - "This is not work for white folks to lead"

> Well, it's not. It's kind of missing the point if your diversity initiative is being run by white people.

On the one hand, sure, it would be odd if it were entirely led by a group of people that the initiative is not meant to directly benefit.

But on the other,

1. The title implies it is white people that must be left out of leadership there. It does not mention Asian people, which is odd, as the tech industry is currently mostly white and Asian men. Asian people are highly overrepresented, much more than white people, relative to their percentage in the country. That means if you have objections to putting a white person in a leadership position for a diversity initiative, you should have a similar objection to an Asian person. Not having that mentioned can't help but seem racist against white people.

2. Diversity initiatives need to work with everyone, not just the newcomers, but also the existing tech industry, which is mostly white and Asian men. White and Asian men could be helpful in guiding the industry towards more diversity, in particular, by doing so in a way that gets as many other white and Asian men on board with such changes. They might know best what would work to convince them, for example.

3. And, in the end, it is just always wrong to say "this is not work for [race X]". That's racist and offensive. Instead, it would have been fine to say "this is work where we need a strong leadership presence of currently underrepresented groups".

    Asian people are highly overrepresented, much more than 
    white people, relative to their percentage in the country.
But not relative to California. This is important to note because the base rates of the state in which a company is located or an industry is concentrated matter. Very very few people move farther than 500 miles from the place where they are born. This means that the overwhelming majority of the people in this country would never take a job in California.

That said, I believe Asian people are overrepresented, more than white people, relative to their percentage in California, but it's not nearly as disproportionate as the figures relative to the entire country.


No, even relative to California, their overrepresentation is far larger.

Your link shows 14.4% for Asian people in California, but in the tech industry, they are at least twice that. Whereas in California white people are 73.2%, which is about equal or even less than their ratio in tech.

And about most people not moving more than 500 miles - is that true for tech jobs in California? See for example


which indicates that your general rule might not apply, as over a third of Silicon Valley people are foreign-born. That means even from outside of the US, not just outside of California. And it's obvious the valley is full of people from the rest of the US, in fact tech workers that grew up in the area are a clear minority.

Thanks for this thought/argument about mobility. It's extremely valid and not one someone has yet made when I bring up base rates.

With this in mind, I'm very curious if we're asking the question of what these overrepresented groups are doing differently and if there are lessons to be learned by and applied by underrepresented groups.

As someone born in Brazil, when I meet a Brazilian in SF, we get to talking about where in Brazil we're both from at some point and one thing I've discovered is that Brazilians from the state of Goias are very much overrepresented in SF despite the fact that São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are typically more represented globally with Brazilian expats. Why are Brazilians from Goias over-represented in the Bay Area? Near as I can tell from the numerous conversations is that there is a strong network of weak ties, à la Granovetter, at play and that this is the same phenomena that can be see among Asian and Indian communities in SF.

In fact, the only Indian-Brazilian person I know in the Bay Area (and in the world, since there isn't much cultural exchange between Brazil and India) is a VC and he has commented that he wishes there was as much community and support on the Brazilian side of the Silicon Valley as there is on the Indian side, because he has seen that as one of the greatest external factors (i.e. outside what the individual himself is capable of) helping Indians move to the region in the first place and be successful once they arrive and establish themselves. Perhaps more efforts to establish professional and social networks of weak ties would be an effective strategy within identities group that are underrepresented. I'm curious how effective directing energy towards helping those within your identity in-group is versus fighting for your identity in-group as a whole relative to other identity in-groups?

"...you should have a similar objection to an Asian person. Not having that mentioned can't help but seem racist against white people."

It's not purely about representation, although that is important too. It's about centuries of white dominance. A couple decades of people of Asian descent having a strong presence in an industry isn't enough. How many of those overrepresented Asians are holding positions of senior leadership?

"And, in the end, it is just always wrong to say "this is not work for [race X]"."

You're missing the ending part of that statement, which is "to lead". That makes it very different. No one said white people can't be involved, as long as they are not taking up all the space.

The historical question has to address the current facts on the ground, though. Those centuries matter in some ways, for example, in currently poverty rates among black people, for example, which are a disgrace to the US. But how do those centuries justify focusing only on white people in that slide, if the goal of the slide is diversity?

I didn't miss "to lead", I referred to it. My point is that no matter the position - rank and file, or leadership; technical or non-technical; etc. etc. - it is never ok to say "this position is not for [race of gender X]". It's just wrong.

Again, it's fine to say "it would be helpful to have a presence of [group X] here". That focuses on the positive, doesn't exclude a specific group, and there are valid reasons to indeed want a presence of underrepresented minorities, because it's about them.

In other words, this entire initiative could be done in a non-racist way.

"But how do those centuries justify focusing only on white people in that slide, if the goal of the slide is diversity?"

Again, no one said white people can't be involved. It says it is not for white people to lead. No one is leaving white people out of this.

"...and there are valid reasons to indeed want a presence of underrepresented minorities, because it's about them."

Think about that for a second. Do you see the subtlety in what you're saying? You're acknowledging that some power should be yielded from those that hold it "because it's about them", but you're not giving people of color the power to run the thing that is in and of itself about them. Only giving up token pieces instead of yielding power is one of many ways that white supremacy gets passed on over the centuries.

No, I disagree with that point of view. You see things as groups holding power and that distribution of power shifting. I think that's a combative and counterproductive perspective.

Instead, I focus on fairness and equal treatment. Individuals - all of them - should be given respect and opportunity. That's what really matters, and if we do that, then we can wipe out discrimination and intolerance.

Our points of view lead to some identical things we want - we both want to end any and all existing discrimination against underrepresented minorities. However, from there, there is divergence.

This is a political difference of opinion. It can't easily go away. What I think is important is that people like you and people like me find ways to meet on common ground and work towards those shared goals. But to do so, we have to accept some political viewpoint differences.

Side note: I find comments like "think about that for a second" etc. from you as potentially condescending. As if you're trying to play the role of a teacher, guiding me to some truth that you already grasp. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't mean it that way.

Sorry if I came off as condescending, that wasn't my intention. I once held a similar position as yours, but it was because I wasn't well read about the subtleties of white supremacy and power structures. That changed as soon as I first read Malcolm X and had my mind blown as a teenager. I thought maybe you also didn't see it, but now I realize you do see it but don't think it's about power. My apologies.

But yes we disagree. Of course all individuals should be given respect and opportunity, no one is arguing otherwise. The fact of the matter is that that's not the current state of the world. We can talk about fairness and equal treatment all we want, but that doesn't address the systemic racism that is happening right this second. People of color don't have the time to wait around for white people to decide to be respectful and fair. I don't see any way to overcome it than from a yielding of power.

I'm down to find common ground, but it has to be on something concrete, not vague ideas of fairness (which are subjective anyways). I personally think it's silly to have diversity initiatives led by white men. What do you suggest?

> I once held a similar position as yours, but it was because I wasn't well read

Again, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here, but I think any reasonable person could interpret that as condescending.

> I personally think it's silly to have diversity initiatives led by white men.

I might see a 10-person board of a diversity nonprofit that is 100% white men as silly. But to have some Chief of Diversity officer in one company happen to be a white man sounds fine to me - if he's good at it. No more odd than a professor of Russian history being Indonesian.

To say otherwise, as you just did, strikes me as racist. Do you really not see it?

> What do you suggest?

For example:

1. Educate hiring committees on implicit bias.

2. Make sure hiring is done as blindly as possible, e.g., coding tests can be done via text and not in person. This has worked wonders in other industries.

3. Have companies' HR departments focus on diversity, e.g. talking to employees (anonymously, or as they prefer) to see if there are current issues, and if so, to try to address them.

All those steps are already being taken by most major software companies, including the one I work at. Progress is happening. And it can happen without

1. Posing the problem as "group A" vs "group B", as you are doing. That's the type of thinking that got us into this problem in the first place, that led to prejudice and racism.

2. Acting and talking in ways that appear racist to a large segment of the tech industry, as Github is doing.

Nope, I really don't think saying the chief of diversity should be non-white is racist. I can intellectually understand the impacts of racism, but I'm seen as a cis-gendered white male when I'm out in the world and don't experience the effects of racism personally. It's a different thing to live in the US as a person of color and experience the small daily abuses that that comes with. When I come home with my girlfriend, who is a woman of color, and she starts crying because a white person followed her in a store, or assumed she didn't have money, or she overheard a comment made about her, yet I was treated with respect and dignity all day, it's very difficult to deal with. I can intellectually understand the effects of racism, yet I don't experience it.

Forgive me if I think she is more qualified for that job running diversity initiatives than I am, even though I'm very well read on the topic.

That's all true, and definitely that perspective matters a lot.

But it's not the only qualification necessary for the job. The other is to effect change in the organization. By your logic, if a black person is better at understanding the problems black people face, perhaps a white person would be better at getting white people to change things in the company.

I actually think both of those are wrong. You can feel horror at the Rwandan genocide or the holocaust or other massive injustices without being African or Jewish. You don't just intellectually understand racism in the US - I hope - you also feel it has to change.

Again, I agree the perspectives of underrepresented minorities are crucial here. But that doesn't lead to "every single chief of diversity must be non-white."

"But it's not the only qualification necessary for the job."

Exactly, but it is one qualification of many. If you have a white man with a stellar application for that position, and a woman of color with a similarly stellar application for that position, doesn't the woman of color necessarily get the job because she has more qualifications than the white man?

The point is there is always going to be a person of color that is more qualified than the white man for that leadership position because their experience as a person of color makes them more qualified for the position, everything else being equal, and they should thus be given it. Is that not reasonable?

I don't actually believe the following statement, but just to play devil's advocate, what would you say if I made the argument which is a direct corollary to the argument you are making:

"The head of diversity should be a white male because they are the only ones qualified to understand white male privilege and therefore will be more effective at working and communicating with others that also have the same privilege and coming up with ways to get others with privilege to change their behavior. Seeing that those with privilege are a majority in the industry, a white male leading it would be more effective leading more people to changing attitudes."

You're ignoring the parallel argument I made to yours (not that I believe it, but I'm saying it makes as much sense as yours), which would suggest the white man is more qualified.

Anyhow, in practice, I doubt it matters: most applicants to such positions are likely not white men anyhow. So the racism inherent in such statements as "white folks are not suitable for this role" is not only wrong, it is also unnecessary.

Again, no one ever said white people are not suitable for this role or can't be involved in any way. This is the third time I've pointed this out. No one is saying white people can't be empathetic, or thoughtful, or innovative when it comes to topics of race. It's just that people of color are even more qualified to lead these programs as they have first hand experience existing in an exceptionally racist system.

White people are already in charge of everything, they don't also need to be in charge of diversity. That's exactly why these positions are being created in the first place.

You're refuting something I didn't say. What I did say was an argument directly against

> It's just that people of color are even more qualified

which you're ignoring again. Is it because the argument wasn't clear? Should I try again?

I made your point clearer with my devil's advocate reply. I too am curious about the answer.


I agree your previous comment shouldn't be downvoted, but now you just wrote a racist one, so I guess it should.

>>It's kind of missing the point if your diversity initiative is being run by white people.

How can anybody who advocates equality say no white person can lead a diversity movement? Just because somebody is white doesn't mean they aren't an oppressed minority (female, transgender, Jewish or some other oppressed group like a furry).

I think we collectively need to declare it's not okay to say "people with skin color ____" cannot possibly understand Y or have an opinion on Y. To do so is institutionalized racism.

edit: typo

Who said anything about equality?

When the discussion is about "social impact", the conversation is about diversity. Diversity != equality. In the view of many, equality isn't enough, because the "un-oppressed" are fundamentally privileged. The concept of "reverse racism" is there to deflect the inevitable awkward questions that arise, when clearly biased statements are made and practices get institutionalized.

IMO, all this stuff is problematic. I wish we could all embrace the golden rule and move on.

I don't understand what you're arguing. Equal opportunity will lead to diversity. Equality is about removing processes that look at privilege (e.g. your rich father donated X dollars so welcome to our college).

If your idea of fairness requires we become systematically biased against certain majorities (white, heterosexual, male, cis-gender) for your cause then I don't want to be part of your cause, and moreover I find that cause discriminitory and dangerous.

> If your idea of fairness requires we become systematically biased against certain majorities (white, heterosexual, male, cis-gender) for your cause then I don't want to be part of your cause, and moreover I find that cause discriminitory and dangerous.

Exactly. As mentioned earlier, in the case of Github the cultural transition appears to be from prioritizing meritocracy to codified diversity for the sake of diversity.

"In the view of many, equality isn't enough, because the "un-oppressed" are fundamentally privileged."

Then that's not equality - equality is, or should be enough, because if the issue of diversity and equality is 'minimizing / eliminating privilege' then by definition, equality is that privilege is the same for all (or zero).

For many though, this becomes a good cover for 'preferential treatment above and beyond equality, in the name of 'compensation'.'

I'm sorry to move the discussion to politics, but such affairs trigger sentiments among White people which end up in favor of Trump, if I understand politics properly. So would it be clever for the Trump team to highlight and exaggerate such stories/Is this article the result of it?

Who is saying they can't have an opinion?

To be prevented from participating in a process is to be prevented from having a meaningful opinion about that process.

I don't agree that if they can't lead the program, that means they are being prevented from having a meaningful opinion about it. That's all they're talking about, right? Who leads the program?

Yes, presumably the leaders are to issue orders and everyone else is to follow them. That is not the kind of participation that allows opinions.

You may be saying that the non-white leadership is the kind of leadership that allows collaboration and influence from followers, which is what I would do, but the evidence in the Github case is to the contrary.

Yes, presumably the leaders are to issue orders and everyone else is to follow them. That is not the kind of participation that allows opinions.

This sounds excessively harsh, do you really think that's how GitHub will run the program?

Considering that they are moving to a more enterprise-y management style where there are lots of middle managers, I would imagine that that is a very real possibility.

Race is a goofy power structure which puts certain people ("whites") on top of others.

Whiteness changes with political needs. Hilariously, Irish-Americans, Jews, etc weren't always considered white. They had to become white. Nowadays, certain Asians are held up as model minorities and may get some honorary whiteness.

With children getting murdered by the state for being black, it's obvious race is about white supremacy. (Analogously, sexism is about male supremacy, also known as patriarchy.)

> but the publishing industry is 79% white and 78% female

The US is 77.7% of the US population. I hardly think that a 2% imbalance is an issue to create divisiveness over. [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_State...

"The US is 77.7% of the US population"

I think you mean 77.7% white? It should be noted that the census counts North African and Middle Eastern as white, which is inaccurate. That number also drops to 62.6% when you take out Hispanics that describe themselves as white. So it's probably more like a 20 point difference than 2.

Do you want to also take out the jewish % from the white group, and see how much of an 'imbalance' there is amongst top management / successful founders?

This sort of thinking is stupid.

Again, are you arguing that it's ok for the publishing industry to be 79% white and 78% female? Do you oppose diminishing white supremacy and racism? Because it sounds like you do.

You: White people are 79% of the publishing industry. Do you oppose diminishing White Supremacy (I mean, they're way overrepresented!)? Are you saying it's okay?

White Supremacists: Jewish people are 2% of the american population, but they hold the majority of top positions in the publishing industry. Do you oppose diminishing Jewish Supremacy? Are you saying it's okay?

Both of these arguments are terrible, and are both based on the premise that over-representation of some group in some industry or position constitutes a serious problem and probable conspiracy.

"...based on the premise that over-representation of some group in some industry or position constitutes a serious problem and probable conspiracy."

Ah, ok, so you don't think representation is an issue. Most people of color that have dealt with white gatekeepers will disagree with you. If you care to examine the part of you that holds that belief I'd suggest reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, followed by some James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, and bell hooks to start. Hate read it if you must, but give some experiences orthogonal to yours a chance.

So, to what number does the publishing industry "whiteness %" drop if you were to remove all those groups from it too?

By none, they correctly had a separate category: http://blog.leeandlow.com/2016/01/26/where-is-the-diversity-...

Diversity does not just mean skin color. You might as well try to empty the ocean with a spoon then pat yourself on the back for "doing your best."

> Well, it's not. It's kind of missing the point if your diversity initiative is being run by white people.

1) Diversity isn't just about race and the fact you think it is is why I'm honestly horrified by you.

2) Sexual orientation, transgender issues are serious problems and not really protected classes in many respects and they have as much of a "fixed" bag from genetics as you do.

The really sad thing is that there actually is sexism and racism towards women and minorities in various subtle ways at lots of tech companies. I've seen it first-hand myself. But this antagonistic line of thinking isn't helping. It just makes things worse for everyone.

The majority of sexism and racism that I've seen is probably subconscious and doesn't really seem intentional per se. People often just don't realize the side-effects of what they're saying or doing, or how it can come across to people sometimes. You certainly won't build shared camaraderie and empathy by antagonizing entire classes of people.

     - "This is not work for white folks to lead"
This one I actually don't think is so bad, in context. The title of the slide is "Diversity and Inclusion in Tech". It is difficult for someone that is not part of a minority to spearhead efforts to outreach to one, because they don't experience the same issues. Literally, they don't have the right experience for the job.

It's a stretch as a comparison, but no-one gets sued for refusing to hire ugly models. It's because a model's job is to be good looking. That's just the way it is. In a similar way, a head of diversity should probably be... diverse. Although that could include gay white men, for example - maybe that text is shorthand that was qualified in the actual presentation, none of us know.

The white women one mystifies me, though. Women are usually a minority in the workplace, surely their views are valid.

I'm a white person. My family came from Cuba with the clothes on their backs 50 years ago. Everything they ever had was taken by the Communists. Like millions of other Cubans, they came here with nothing and had to rebuild their lives. I grew up in a very unique environment, the Cuban-American community in Miami. I'd say that's a pretty "diverse" background. But I guarantee that in Github's book, I'm one of the "white folks" that shouldn't be leading this.

I'm sick of this politics of division. It pits people against each other and treats them as members of some helpless group instead of as individual human beings, with their own unique story and their own untapped potential.

But I guarantee that in Github's book, I'm one of the "white folks" that shouldn't be leading this.

I don't see how you can guarantee that. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand what you're saying. But this is a one-line bullet point in a slideshow, I'd like to see some more context before I grab my pitchfork.

> It is difficult for someone that is not part of a minority to spearhead efforts to outreach to one, because they don't experience the same issues. Literally, they don't have the right experience for the job.

We've invented tools to deal with this: language and literature. Almost everyone has experienced some form of discrimination, even if for many it is only occasional and minor, and that's enough to give a good writer an opening to get inside the reader's head and use that to build upon and paint a vivid picture of the more frequent or major discrimination the writer has dealt with.

I really don't think that reading about racism is the same as experiencing racism. For a start, it's quite easy to put a book down.

A middle age white man could be gay. Or have one leg. Or have psychosis. Or be a Muslim.

Yes, sorry, I just edited my comment to address that. I wonder whether the point was expanded upon in the actual presentation to address that or not - bullet points on slides are usually "launching off points".

samps 382 days ago [flagged]

I'm honestly shocked at the lack of empathy on display in this comment thread. The technology world has a diversity problem—why not assume that this is a good-faith effort to address it, just expressed in words you don't like? Why instead flip directly into Internet Outrage Status?

This kind of outpouring of rage, to be frank, is why Hacker News has such a bad reputation. Look around at the comments here: there are people complaining about the very notion that there might be something wrong with how hiring and promotion happens in technology. There are people, like @yoodenvranx, equating their own anecdotal problems with the victimization of white men. There are countless comments asserting that we are capable of "pure meritocracy," a notion that is invalidated by research on implicit bias.

The overwhelming consensus here is that (a) there is no problem, and (b) GitHub's attempts to address it are unjust. This is why Hacker News looks to the outside world like a self-affirming bubble with no grounding in reality.

Did you read that slide and the comments others have made addressing it? Even after going through some seriously generous contortions to assume good faith, it's racist and alarming.

I also don't think your comment extends good faith you are demanding to the comment and commenters which you're addressing.

    there are people complaining about the very notion that 
    there might be something wrong with how hiring and 
    promotion happens in technology.
I haven't gotten past the topmost comment thread on this HN post, but I have yet to read one comment here that makes this argument. Many here are addressing a particularly troublesome form of racism using a slide and other primary evidence as exemplary of this type of creeping racism. I haven't yet read a comment that argues that "(a) there is no problem", so the "consensus" you're asserting isn't there. I do agree that there is generally consensus about your second point " (b) GitHub's attempts to address it are unjust.", but maybe it's because GitHub's attempts just might be unjust?

Comments like the one you replied to, threaten to derail our discourse with the distortions you've already pointed out.

Comments like yours, on the other hand, are the reason I come to HN. Measured rebuttals without being too biased one way or the other-- it really enhances the reading experience of those going through this thread.

It's hard to convey my appreciation through an upvote, since that can be confused for just popularity, so I had to say it here.

Personally it irks me that tech has excellent representation of diversity in the forms of people of colour, specifically Asians from different a diverse set of backgrounds, yet they don't count in the tally of diversity.

Yes, that's worth celebrating!

But we also have to remember that, to someone not in those well-represented groups, it's not a huge consolation. Diversity isn't a floating-point number between 0.0 and 1.0.

True, but we need to ask valid questions like "Why do we have a bunch of diversity in this vector, but not this other vector? If tech was fundamentally intolerant of diversity in general like many claim, wouldn't we lack diversity in all vectors? Why causes might contribute to the disparity between these two diversity vectors with different representations?

Overall, I rarely if ever see anyone arguing for diversity asking hard questions like "Why are there many Asians and Indians even though there aren't many Women, Hispanics/Latinos and Black people?". What are these successful identity groups doing differently that is affording them much success in being well represented or even over represented? How might the under represented groups adopt the same approaches to achieve the same success?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't solve unconscious bias as well, but I'm less inclined to first consider solutions that address unconscious bias if those solutions are proposed by someone who hasn't also considered other explanations and solutions because they aren't applying the null hypothesis in their thought process.

Also, how about some multi-variate analysis to determine which factors most greatly contribute to the diversity gap for each underrepresented group? We can't adequately fix what we don't measure and I really don't see a lot of measurement going on. For example, all successful startups understand and apply concepts of a user acquisition funnel and pipeline, but then people complain loudly in simplistic terms that the "pipeline problem is a myth". I don't understand how you can the former technique with great success and hold the latter incongruous thought in your head at the same time.


I want to reserve judgement for now, but the slide is very upsetting.

Why is it OK to make these kinds of generalizations?

Perhaps you should actually take some time an