Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
To hire neurodiverse workers, one firm got rid of job interviews (bbc.com)
297 points by nkc407 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 415 comments



As an Aspie/ADD, I have never passed any formal interview, even for an intern position (sic!). (You can compare and contrast it with my GitHub/Resume/blog to make a judgment.)

Fortunately, many times (even for mid-size companies or research institutes) the hiring was less formal. For small startups, where it is informal, I didn't feel at a disadvantage. For big, I don't believe I can pass through the first filter.

It seems that there are so many hidden assumptions people take on: what should be on Resume, how should one present oneself, where it is fine (or de facto expected) to exaggerate one's accomplishments or hide one's weaknesses. And that an irrational feeling of being weird is often an instant no-hire. Moreover, many symptoms od ADD are taken for laziness, sloppiness, or lack of motivation. Many symptoms of Aspie are taken for rudeness, ill intentions or trying to dominate (breaking a social rule => (s)he thinks (s)he is above it).

(I've heard it so many times about people interviewing others, as "(s)he is smart, passed all test, but weird, I don't like to work with her/him". At this point, it is systemic discrimination. I the same places, remarks about one's ethnicity or gender wouldn't pass (rightfully!). Sadly, other areas of discrimination like age or class are given a pass.)

At the same time, I know a lot of people good at "big talks", and making a good impression, who got hired almost everywhere. Also, they make it easy to persuade the right people to give them recommendation letters, even if their collaboration was minimal.


I had the opposite experience. I don't have Asperger's or ADD, but I'm shy and struggle with eye contact and small talk. I interviewed at about ten startups, and despite doing well on the technical questions, I got rejected every time. I began to suspect it was because of "culture fit" -- will this 35 year old introvert fit in at our frat house/office?

I was getting pretty depressed after all that rejection, but I got a random call from a recruiter at a big-N company, and figured why not give it a shot. The interview ended up being more professional, and at the same time the interviewers seemed friendlier and less antagonistic. And I ended up getting an offer.

In any case, I'm mentioning this because I went in expecting what you described -- that startups would be easier for me, as a socially-awkward person -- but that's not always the case.


I don't really understand this dismissing about "culture fit". You describe it yourself as a frat house, which, I assume from the rest of your post, is not what you want.

Work is not always only about output and skills, especially in a small company run by 20-something whose only social life is their colleagues. It says nothing about your skills, just that both sides would probably be miserable in case you were hired, so it makes sense to find someone who would fit in the mold, even if less experienced/skillful.


I think the point is that companies shouldn't be frat houses full of brogrammers.

If you want to hang out with your friends and wrestle to decide coding patterns, then that's all well and good. But the second that it becomes a company that employs people it should be more mature, equal and accepting. Work is indeed not always only about output and skills, it's also about respecting each other and collaborating with different people and their opinions & experience to produce the best outcome.

Anecdotally, I have worked at a company whose unofficial hiring mantra was "hire people you'd go drinking with". It did not go well! Luckily some adults got hired and the company started functioning better.


> I think the point is that companies shouldn't be frat houses full of brogrammers.

Usually the founders/owners decide what a company is. Often it seems to me that there are plenty of other motivations to run a company. The founders hire people who they like to hang out with, maybe same hobbies etc.

However I personally have never came across a company that could be described as a "frat house" or even which would have that kind of hiring policy. However I find it entirely understandable that people do hiring decisions on various reasons which are not only about job throughput.


> Often it seems to me that there are plenty of other motivations to run a company. The founders hire people who they like to hang out with, maybe same hobbies etc.

There are laws against employment discrimination, and I suggest to you most people aiming for "people who they like to hang out with with" will result in an outcome, intentional or not, of illegal discrimination.


If you look at the set of all the people in the world you like to hang out with, and somehow, incidentally, nobody from a discrimination-protected group is in that set... I have some bad news for you about your personal biases.


Does it mean they grew up in a different, more homogenous region than you? If you were never really exposed to black people, doesn’t that change a person? Shouldn’t we have sympathy for those who are underexperienced with blacks and other minorities?


>However I personally have never came across a company that could be described as a "frat house" or even which would have that kind of hiring policy.

Here's a recent example, if you need one:

https://kotaku.com/inside-the-culture-of-sexism-at-riot-game...


Culture fit in a nutshell:

> “There are all these generic terms used to find things wrong with women that aren’t specific,” she said. “When I hear ‘She’s emotional,’ I’d say, ‘Okay, why do you think she was being emotional?’ ‘Well she seemed to get intense and was pushing back on this thing.’ The other candidate did that and you liked that because you thought he had ‘grit.’ Why is that different? Is it because this person is a different gender?”


If you don't mind a sidequestion:

I have worked with and met with probably close to 100 start/scale-up companies in the software domain. I have not yet met a 'brogammer' shop. Some hipster dens, and yes, when the founder is a twenty something you will be hard pressed to find anyone over 30.

So is this 'brogrammer frathouse' a regional thing? Or is it maybe a B2C thing as I mostly work with B2B companies?


every startup i’ve been involved with that is compromised of mostly first-time employees (either little work experience in general or no previous startup experience) has exhibited similar tendencies:

1. emphasis on drinking: “gotta have happy hour/get a keg”

2. off-site team building exercises that eat into personal/family time

3. disparaging competition, especially incumbents, often based on superficial things like the dated look of their UI or branding

4. periodic episodes where potential investors or current board members are brought to the office and the staff is expected to all be on-site and “look productive”

for context, i’ve been in large enterprises and a number of startups. the startups where the core staff had been through the process before lacked what often gets pegged as the “brogrammer fratdev shop” vibe.

also, almost every shop that got a keggerator or pingpong table ended up using those items to store things...

[note: edited for formatting]


Just a Keg Light weights - I recall our small core network team got through £400 of sake at a Christmas do and that was in the mid 80's


#2 #3 #4 are common at big companies that employ all genders.


If I can't play some ping pong during my interview, I'm not interested.


I'm no expert and I've mostly been in Europe with marginal time in the US, so I don't know the frequency of occurrence.

I think what's slightly more common is homogenous teams within companies that form an overwhelming culture, rather than entire company cultures. Teams do form their own ways of working and their own cultures, and this is fine: it's human and it can be positive. Healthy teams adapt to new members and vice versa.

But I have occasionally seen teams develop an impenetrable culture and reject anyone that wasn't a perfect fit for their existing culture. They also tend to reject any company-wide initiatives for change & improvement, not even engaging with the process or contributing to the discussion. Typically the way to solve such a team is to rebuild it by removing at least half of the members, after which everyone usually goes back to working normally.


So is "frat house full of brogrammers" just a meme then? I have always wondered since I first heard the term, as it seems so remote from the reality I experience.

And yet, it gets punted around so much you wouldn't think that it would be hard to find a brogrammer shop. On the contrary, going by the 'reputation' you'd think they would be so numerous as to almost be hard to avoid.


Yes, it's a meme. It's a quick and easy way to dismiss a of predominantly/exclusively white male team in a way that will get most people to say "Ugh, yuck!" without having any substantive criticism.

After 10 years hopping between Austin and San Francisco, hipsters with impressive beards and flannel seem at least 100x more common than brogrammers.


It's socially acceptable to hate / slander fraternity members (see the rolling stone rape case,) but it's not socially acceptable to hate hipsters, only to casually poke fun at them.


Just an observation, frat houses do focus very heavily on mob mentality, while hipsters are just a trend group. No one is going to get lectured by their fellow hipsters about being insufficiently loyal to the hipster brotherhood. Hipsters don't organize and intentionally seek to forge mob mentality and loyalty obsession. That is a significant difference just considering human psychology.


I agree that this isn't common and the use of a memified word was not useful. I think the mental image of "brogrammers" is often literally coding jocks, which is inaccurate. It is often badly used to equate to a homogenous and closed culture within a team, often young and male. However same can indeed happen with other group of people. The example of alpha-maleness I can think of is Paypal: https://twitter.com/SaddestRobots/status/1184885797419401216

A better way of describing the problem from the original article is that infleixible & homogenous teams make it harder for people who don't fit a personality type to contribute to the work & work culture.


>The example of alpha-maleness I can think of is Paypal: https://twitter.com/SaddestRobots/status/1184885797419401216

The linked post literally accuses PayPal employees of being too big of nerds to talk to (and therefore hire) women. And that's supposed to be an example of alpha-maleness? Maybe it's just bad writing, but if they "could and would" wrestle over disagreements, it sounds more like doing it on a lark rather than "alpha-manly" escalation of disagreements into physical violence. I don't practice combat sports, but - as I understand it - two people sparring for the hell of it is fun. Might as well have said they solve disagreements with a round of Rocket League.


That text is all over the place. They go from not hiring someone because they play basketball, to having wrestling as a meditation tool. I'm not going to make assumptions about their wrestling motivations but he openly admits they were gate-keeping based on an internal concept of male "alpha male nerd" culture. This doesn't fit the view of a healthy workplace for those who think diversity brings resiliance & strength to a company.


It's performative hypermasculinity.

In the 80s and 90s (and to a slightly lesser degree now still) nerds were generally portrayed as effeminate and unmanly. However they would still retain similar toxic ideas about manliness while dismissing "jocks" or anyone too popular or outside their culture. Basically the "while you were busy partying and having sex I studied the way of the sword" meme but played straight.

This means that e.g. "girly" hobbies might be fine and only earn you some mild mockery but being openly gay or seriously empathising with women could easily render you an outcast because you're disrupting the peace unless you "keep your head down".

The idea of solving disagreements through competition is an example of this. Instead of trying to get to the root of the disagreement and resolve a conflict through mutual understanding and dialogue, it determines a "winner" who comes out on top and the "loser" has to roll over and be humiliated for even daring to speak up.

A "play fight" or a round of Rocket League may not result in physical injury but it's still an aggressive display of dominance rather than a cooperative exchange. It's easy to see how this fits in with other ideas of "bros being bros" (or "boys being boys").

Of course nothing in this has anything to do with manhood. You can be a woman and utterly "destroy" someone at Rocket League or wrestle a man into submission. But not only is this behavior "male coded" (i.e. we're socialised to look at it as masculine rather than feminine) but a woman behaving this way would still stick out simply by being a woman and even more so if she doesn't fully commit to performing masculinity in every other way too (i.e. if she ever isn't playing along as "one of the guys", she'll stick out as an outsider again).

TL;DR: being male doesn't mean you think solving disputes through silly competitions is a good problem solving skill but doing so can be comforting if you feel insecure about your peers judging your masculinity, even if you're all nerds.


>A "play fight" or a round of Rocket League may not result in physical injury but it's still an aggressive display of dominance rather than a cooperative exchange.

Spoken like someone who was taught a “lens” to read everything in the world. We can just as easily invent the opposite meaning: that they were both insecure about looking bad at their job, and punted on the question of which design is better and settled the question of which design was used with competition neither of them would mind losing. Armchair phsycoanalysis that assumes all men are still 16 year old boys is lazy and insulting.


I'm a man. I explicitly said this is not about men vs women but about performative masculinity.

That said, did it even occur to you that suggesting a dispute between two grown adult men should best be solved with wrestling or a competitive round of video games is in itself infantilising?

This doesn't resolve the dispute, it just uses a feat of strength to establish literally unquestioned dominance (even if that dominance is purely situational and would require re-establishing on the next dispute).

Resolving a dispute involves, y'know, actually talking and understanding each other's point of view. But that requires empathy.


>Resolving a dispute involves, y'know, actually talking and understanding each other's point of view. But that requires empathy.

History would disagree, and then hit you with a stick until you agree with its disagreement.

Resolving a reasonable dispute (aka, a debate) can be done via talking it out, but this requires both parties to agree upon the rules for "winning" this dispute. Typically, in regards to physical confrontation, resolving a logical disagreement isn't the goal. It's about imbalance of respect.

Two people wrestling things out in an agreed upon match, builds camaraderie. You learn to trust one another, and how to defend yourself at the same time. Which can be extremely beneficial for people working together on a team.

Also, take note. Nothing I said included terms like "man", "masculinity", or being an "adult". There's no need conflate these terms with this type of action. Women, and children, also exhibit these social mechanisms.

pluma 7 months ago [flagged]

Holy shit, I can't believe I even bothered trying to reason with someone on the Internet who seriously thinks an impromptu wrestling match is a good way to resolve a disagreement at work.

You're either a troll or larping. "Wrestling things out builds comradery"? We're talking about a disagreement about a work issue in a software company.

Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A: kempbellt.

EDIT: I'm eagerly awaiting being challenged to a duel now.


Please don't cross into flamewar, regardless of how wrong or annoying another commenter is. It only makes things worse.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


You are sensationalizing and taking things out of context.

I said wrestling is an effective team building tool. If you are trying to settle on which version of React to use in a project, weigh out the pros and cons in an office. If you are looking to work more effectively with some of your coworkers wrestling, or any other form of grappling martial-art (I've enjoyed BJJ), is a valid option. In case you aren't aware of what this is, it's essentially playing three-dimensional chess with your opponent until someone ends up in a physical checkmate. It's fun, respectful, good exercise, and great for building camaraderie - as I mentioned. I'm not talking about scrapping things out in the parking lot like a couple of high schoolers. If you'd rather play actual chess, that's also a valid option. At a previous company, my team did a break-out room together. Do what works for you.

"Eagerly awaiting a challenge" from someone you are disagreeing with on the internet is inciting a challenge, in a very childish way.

Also, Google larping. It doesn't make sense in your sentence.


Please don't cross into flamewar, regardless of how wrong or annoying another commenter is. It only makes things worse.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


bros'll be bros


Is okay, bro apparently didn't read any of the context he replied to and hasn't heard of the colloquial meaning of "larping".

EDIT: BTW did you try out the HN Block List browser extension? Makes the site a lot more bearable than the vanilla experience.


A couple notes I wanted to point out. First, the competitions do not have to be physical. Most commonly I see intellectual sparing. Attempting to be so quick intellectually that the aggressor pushes their idea through by not giving anyone else time to think is a very common tactic.

Second, play fighting is one of the quickest ways to learn how to check your ego and gain humility. I've met plenty of very smart people with egos so big it got in the way of finding the best solutions.


I'm not saying that domination can't be useful in subduing uppity individuals.

I'm saying that thinking workplace disputes are situations that should be solved through domination rather than understanding is emotionally immature.

Even if the disagreement is entirely irrational, the severity of the disagreement alone can indicate more deeply rooted problems with the current dispute just being used as a proxy war. It might not even stem from a work related problem.

As much as programmers (I'm one btw) tend to complain about managers, this is actually something a good manager is aware of. If a conflict arises or an employee is unhappy it's their job to figure out how to best resolve not just the current situation but also prevent it from recurring -- a bad manager would simply enforce policy and enact punishments, a good manager will try to improve the environment and working conditions.

"Competitive sports" (including team sports which really must be co-operative at the team level even if the teams compete directly) are good for gaining humility and building mutual respect, yes, but the PayPal talk wasn't about that.

It was about using domination (whether literal physical domination through impromptu wrestling or metaphorical) to resolve work disputes. The very idea evokes testosterone-fueled high school bullies, not fully-developed grown adults.

HNers tend to cheer for the idea of meritocracy but this is the worst kind of meritocracy: you're not even filtering for being good at the job, you're just filtering for being good at whatever mechanism you're using to establish dominance (whether it's physical altercations or as you suggest Ben Shapiro like dazzling).


Name a thing and you summon it into existence.

'Brogrammer' started as a witticism and has become a social phenomenon that people discuss as though it was based on rigorous observation and not just a joke.


In college I knew a number of "brogrammers" (frat boys, who did fratty things, and banged their head against coding as best they could). None of them are programming today.


Many are in banking, finance, etc., though.


It originally started as a Joke as far as I remember, it's now being used as short hand for certain aspects of SV life that are negative or are perceived as negative.

I would bet that 90% of developers are not the classic "jock" member of a frat (which is specific to America Univerities) - we are the ones that got bullied by those types at high school.

Lets be honest CS students are going to get invited to join the skull and bones (Harvard) or the Bullingdon club (Oxford)


> skull and bones (Harvard)

Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale, not Harvard.


Oops my bad apologies to any Harvard Amumni


Did you mean are or aren’t? Bullingdon is for rich future Conservatives reading PPE, not for CS students.


Sorry aren't - that's the point nerds don't get invited to those sort of elite clubs we would get oil on the furniture don't you know


It's meant as a cultural shorthand for the kind of companies like early PayPal. They wouldn't hire classic "jock" people of course but they were very much about what nerds thought was cool.

The "bro" label is more about performative hypermasculinity than athletics.

What seems to surprise most about nerd culture is that for many nerds the problem with bullying wasn't that bullying was bad but that they were on the receiving end of it, resulting in a revenge fantasy (both against the actual bullies as well as outsiders in general) rather than simply a desire for equality. This is also reflected in the kinds of jokes you used to hear on IRC and later 4chan as well as gaming (even before it became "so mainstream").

For context: I say this as a recovering nerd myself.


whiteboard swirlies


I've worked at a few and what they had in common was that they were sales-driven and the technology portion of their products tended to be on the simple side.


I think it's just a shorthand way to criticize companies that turn people down for whatever reason. As I mentioned in another comment, a shop does not have to be a brogrammer shop for someone to fail the culture fit test.

To your point, there may be brogrammer only shops out there, but I've never seen one. And, as someone who has always played sports, power lifted, and now trains BJJ, I wouldn't want to work for a non-professional brogrammer type shop if I ever came across one. I've wondered before if I didn't fit a culture because I'm not the stereotypical software person.


> I've wondered before if I didn't fit a culture because I'm not the stereotypical software person.

Note the following isn't directed toward you specifically, but because you mentioned that you think you're not the "stereotypical software person" I wanted to write why I think that it is more likely - today - that you are...I think part of what we're seeing is the software development "culture" filtering out into "regular culture"? Those aren't probably the right words, but...

What I mean is that - when I started "programming", it was right in the middle of the "home microcomputer" era - mid-1980s. I was 10-11 years old, and I had my own home computer in my bedroom hooked up to my TV. I had always been "science inclined" - but that was where I really became a "nerd".

I didn't really like sports or anything like that, I didn't like much of what was considered "popular stuff" - except arcade games; couldn't get enough quarters. But all I really wanted to do was program.

That's where I started - and that's where a lot of people started (both older and younger than me at the time) - on home computers, typing in junk from magazines and books - and some of the older ones went on to turn that in a career in short order. But they all were "nerds" in their own manner.

Prior to the home computer, you either had to be an engineer or something working at a company with it's own computer or system(s) - or work for one of the computer companies of the era - to even come close to "touching" a computer in any manner. Or maybe have been lucky enough to teach or attend or otherwise finagle access to a university's system(s). There were also a few other very limited ways too (public terminals connected to dialup shared systems that you paid to use and other similar means). But really, only the really hard-core geeks and nerds were in that camp, and they tended to be few.

Prior to that - mathematicians and engineers, mostly.

But soon after when I started - in the early 1990s - computers started to become a tool (and entertainment) for everyone. It was no longer seen as nerdy to have a computer in the home. And then very soon after that - the internet was opened for the public to use (before, access was restricted to certain commercial entities for research, and to educational institutions, and the government - with little allowance for consumer access, and almost no allowance for commercial exploitation - with the exception of research, mostly).

That brought in people of all stripes - also, there was this change; difficult to pin down - but it seems that kids no longer (or far fewer of them) have an interest - or develop the interest - or have the means to develop the interest in front of them - for "software engineering".

When I was growing up with my computer - and this was most computers of the time - you turned it on, and on the screen (which was usually a television) you would get a short "message" of what version of BASIC was running, and a prompt blinking maybe - where you could type. If you wanted software, you had a few choices, in descending order of cost:

1. Purchase the software - on cartridge, tape, or floppy

2. Type the software in from a book or magazine

3. Write the software yourself - usually in BASIC

Many, many people turned to number 3 - usually with help from a manual included with their computer. Many also went the route of number 2 in conjunction with number 3. Some found they could sell the software from number 3 to magazines and books - or to publishers (number 1). That isn't to say nobody bought commercial software - tons of people did (but there was a lot of piracy back then, too). It was a large mixture, but mostly as a kid, you relied on number 3, and maybe number 2 if you had understanding parents who could afford to buy you the books and magazines.

But later - especially with the internet - those programming sources dried up - and today's computers (and phones and tablets, etc) don't start up to BASIC; you get an entire magical operating system, and any means to code software is fairly hidden away.

Even in the early 90s this was evident; Microsoft DOS used to come with at least some form of BASIC, but gradually this has fell away - today, out-of-the-box coding is limited to shell interpreters, javascript and such in the browser, and maybe other scripting interpreters built into some applications - plus maybe .NET stuff on Windows, but I'm not as sure on that last one.

Ultimately, the tools for some kind of "software engineering" - when they are included with a machine (operating system), they are kept fairly "hidden away" - there's nothing there to even entice a kid to "program"...

...hence the rise of "sandbox" style games, that allow a similar kind of "open ended" play. But this is stuff that has to be bought - it's just not "there" for kids like it was when I started.

And so you have a lot of kids who don't experience computing in the same manner, who don't get an "early bite" by the programming "bug" - and who (something else I have noticed) typically are forced in some manner into playing sports via organized team things parents shuttle their kids around too (I often wonder if there are parents out there who realize how lucky they are to have a "geek child" who has figured out the system to get a programming environment going on their machines - and doesn't go for such organized activities?)...

So they kinda grow up with sports or similar activities as "the thing to do" (and I understand why this kind of thing grew up - but I don't think it was completely organic, either - I think some parents became (overly?) concerned about "predators", and moved their kids into these supervised programs, and fewer are left in the neighborhood for other kids to play with, so to "play" kids had to join those teams and activities, etc - and the circle was complete). That is the "normal" thing - sitting at home programming on the computer isn't "normal" - or even really thought about at all.

...until university/college - and so you have a bunch of people, who have interests in things "non geeky" who find out later that they are good at programming, and that they like it. But they also like "normal things" - things that people like me, having been nerds and geeks from an earlier time - maybe don't enjoy as much, or at all?

I'm not saying anything of this is bad - I just think this is how things have turned out, and probably this is a better thing? Also, there is the growing thing of "STEM" and "STEAM" stuff going on in school (coupled with FRC/FIRST) - which helps to introduce kids earlier to these concepts, but it doesn't seem to extend as far back as grade school (or maybe it does?).

I think it's just all part of a balance; in my day as a kid, it was tilted way far in one direction - toward "nerds" - and today it is tilted past the middle point toward "non-nerds" - but ultimately it is shifting back toward the middle?

Well - that's my ramble - take it however...


Sounds like we're about the same age. I did #2 and #3 and was science inclined, etc... But, I also did sports and was outdoorsy. A single TV in my house meant no computer time if my dad was home, so I had to do other things.

I started undergrad as pre-med, and programming was just a fun hobby. I remember one night while studying for some insane biology test from an equally insane teacher that while I was interested in being a doctor, I loved programming/computers/technology. I pushed through that semester and switched majors.

Even today, I feel not nerdy enough in some situations though my wife would disagree (she thinks I'm very nerdy).


"Home" computers in those days used to be creation devices by default for nerds. To turn them into something that provided consumer entertainment took real work and in-depth knowledge.

Personal computers today are entertainment consumption devices for the masses. You can still use most for creating, but only a tiny, tiny fraction will ever go there.


> I think the point is that companies shouldn't be frat houses full of brogrammers.

Don’t you think that this should be up to the founders to decide? I would personally much prefer a frat house atmosphere than the more common geeky introvert culture that most technology companies have, but I would not like there to be laws about it.


No, I don't think it should be. Companies are afforded protections and benefits under the law. They owe society something in return for that. One of the things I think they owe is a responsibility to act in certain ways with respect to the general public, which includes their own employees.


Unless it's written in law, no they don't.

There is no one size fits all "company" structure that works for everyone. If we can't have frat house brogrammers why can we have "remote only" companies? One person may hate said brogramming culture, others may love it, still others may hate remote only due to lack of physical interaction with their colleagues while others love it because they hate offices.


> Companies are afforded protections and benefits under the law. They owe society something in return for that.

I don't like this way of thinking. Individuals are also afforded unsolicited "protections and benefits". Therefore, individuals owe society? That's basically like the Mafia offering you protection, at a price.


Of course you owe something to society. Without it you would probably be sleeping naked under a tree in the forest. The system depends on people contributing back.


[flagged]


I disagree, but let's accept it as true for the sake of argument. This is civilization. The question is, is it still right and good? Being born into civilization automatically makes you indebted towards it, because of all its affordances?

I think that's morally wrong, and I don't like this attitude as a matter of principle.


Each of us is born into some structure that human animals impose. Some groups afford more or less ability to individuals to contribute (e.g. by voting, putting themselves forward as potential leaders, etc.) to a discussion about whether the existing structures are appropriate. Couching it in moral terms isn't interesting, from a practical perspective.


I don't really get your argument here. Are you sure it's not an thinly-veiled is-ought argument?

Moral terms shape politics, politics shape laws, laws shape civilizations. How can you say they're not interesting?

Of course there have been lots of societies that put people in their place with no social mobility, which has the benefit of not burdening them with the choice of what to do with their lives. This is very practical, but it's immoral - from my point of view.

Luckily, we don't live in one of these societies, but maintaining that "privileged" status doesn't come for free. That's why I don't like your attitude, I am worried you will make extremely poor political decisions because of it.


Of course companies have obligations to society but why the particular obligation not to have a loud, boisterous atmosphere? Why should they then be allowed to have geeky introvert cultures? That also alienates a lot of people, including probably a lot of women.


Well, if you're one of first five then it's practically like joining a band and the idea that you wouldn't discriminate in making your band is outrageous. Like if someone sued because they're a fine enough drummer but the band didn't really feel like jamming with them, they'd look kinda dumb.


>>I think the point is that companies shouldn't be frat houses full of brogrammers.

Why not? If it's a private business, it can be whatever the owners want it to, unless illegal. I wouldn't have a tiniest inclination to work in such a company, but that's beside the point.


Companies should be comprised of whatever works best to build the product effectively that people want to buy.

Your argument could be used to ban beanbag chairs, nerf-guns, and kegs from the office because it doesn't meet your "maturity" standards. I've worked at places that have all of these and we made a productive and effective team.

If you don't like the company culture, complaining that they aren't "mature enough" is childish. It's their company...

Find a company that suits your temperament and everyone wins - which is what I believe OP was getting at.


I think that what underlies this fear of apocryphal “brogrammers” is the fear that, if everybody is left alone to do as they please without being brought to heel, every company will grow into a place where they, personally, don’t feel they fit in. It says a lot more about the authoritarian mindset of people who use the term brogrammer than it says about programmers and nerd culture.


Brogrammer is so amorphous it is basically a term for "I don't like them or their company so lets assign arbitrary sins to their strawmen as the other."

I have seen it used countless times as a term of economic envy in a "they shouldn't be allowed to do better than me" way.


I mean... you don't think that BroBible.com (for example) has the right to hire a particular type of person for their front end engineer? I don't think they should be obligated to hire an artsy introvert type for that role.


GitHub?


The way I like to re-frame it is that picking someone to be on your team — to join your company — is very much like picking a housemate to live in your personal space. It’s a huge risk for the person or company hiring, so of course they’re going to trust their gut feeling.

If you had to pick a housemate, how impartial or emotionless would you be, honestly? (not referring to any particular ‘you’ in this conversation — it’s just the hypothetical question I’d ask to demonstrate the re-framing).


>It’s a huge risk for the person or company hiring, so of course they’re going to trust their gut feeling.

What makes SW so special?

This is as true for most small businesses that are just starting out (e.g. real estate work, etc). Yet I do not see an emphasis on culture fit there. They are very picky and will filter for one/two traits, but they're clear and up front about those traits. They don't not hire people because the person had differing hobbies, etc. Partners, maybe - but not employees.


Some had frat house vibes, some didn't.

In any case, I think I'm pleasant and easy-going at work, and I do a good job, which makes other peoples' job easier. If someone would become "miserable" because I was hired... well, OK, but that might say more about their personality than mine.


Yes, absolutely it says more about their limitations or concerns than it does about your own!

Unfortunately a mismatch in expectations is probably a reasonable (but not good!) reason not to hire.

The hiring party gets to choose, and if their choices are for what they think are local maxima that you don’t fit, they get to own the consequences of not hiring you.


The demographics of start-up founders is generally biased toward young, affluent members of a community's ethnic majority. If you want to work for one of these companies, and "cultural fit" is high on the selection criteria, most start-ups will end up being staffed or run by the same sorts of people.

Working with diverse people that are interested in things that you're not is not predetermined to actually be a miserable experience. But it does require that you're open to integrating yourself with many other folks / cultures / etc.


As a person who was a young developer in the .com boom and a middle-age programmer now, I think youth puts too much focus on this and lack experience in this area. I think there is a general opinion that the old guys will ruin everything and serious up the environment. When my experience has been the exact opposite, the old guys usually bring in some good practices the young guys find are good ideas but they really don't care about the culture or changing it. At my age now, I enjoy the antics and find them amusing, joke with my younger colleges and tend to get along well with them. I just don't hang at the bar with them until 3 in the morning. I think a lot of younger programmers would be surprised at how much older developers don't infringe on their culture, they may not be an active participant in all circumstances of said culture but a lot of them, lived it, and have a boys will be boys attitude about it. If anything I would say that many older programmers are a passive cultural fit for a youth oriented company.


Indeed it is not true that all older engineers will cause this culture clash, but when it happens it’s dramatic and I think that’s what prompts cautiousness when hiring these individuals.

It’s an anecdote so take it with a grain of salt, but I’ve had an experience like this with at least a couple of former colleagues on the higher end of the team’s age distribution — they were great people, but none of the younger team members knew how to relate with them which made day to day interactions a lot more awkward than they would have been otherwise.

Of course, it could be argued that the awkwardness could’ve been avoided had the company started off with a wider age range, but then you run into the issue of attracting older candidates, which can be difficult given the volatility and reduced concrete compensation associated with early stage startups.


> "none of the younger team members knew how to relate with them which made day to day interactions a lot more awkward than they would have been otherwise."

If they're out of school and in the workforce, and they don't know how to interact with people older than themselves, that's honestly kind of pathetic.


To them not participating is the same as refusal. I have also been rejected from a startup like this for not being "enthusiastic" enough.


If that is the case then consider rephrasing it in your mind from rejected to spared as that is the way I would see it, if they really are that focused on insignificant details, then the company as a whole is going to chase rabbits. That does not mean they won't be successful but they have already indicated to you that they are not focused on the important details, which is going to make the battle for success that much more difficult.

I guess it would bother me more if we competed in a constrained market but given that development talent, has historically been, is currently and will be in the future a under-supplied market. I tend to look at these entities as just shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to the competition for talent. They are doing more harm to themselves than to the prospects of the rejected candidate.


"Work is not always only about output and skills, especially in a small company run by 20-something whose only social life is their colleagues. It says nothing about your skills, just that both sides would probably be miserable in case you were hired, so it makes sense to find someone who would fit in the mold, even if less experienced/skillful."

Right, so better not hire any married people, older people, people of the opposite gender of the founders, people of the wrong political party, people of the wrong religious persuasion, the wrong class, or any other characteristics that risk interrupting the frat party...I mean "work environment".


If it’s a frathouse with 20 somethings who don’t have enough time except with each other, how does sexuality come into play? Not at all?


> especially in a small company run by 20-something whose only social life is their colleagues

So you'd discriminate against introverts because the team are awful at socializing? Apart from how sad that sounds and how awful it is for people (you're whole life has single point of failure), it also sounds very self defeating.

> Work is not always only about output and skills

Treating it that way is basically the foundation of what's considered professional behavior. I hate when that gets taken too far, but the core idea is good.


> So you'd discriminate against introverts because the team are awful at socializing?

Aren't almost all companies?

> Apart from how sad that sounds and how awful it is for people (you're whole life has single point of failure)

It's not as much of a choice. Unless you've built and are above average good at maintaining a social network prior to work, workplace tends to become the primary part of the social life. It's a trend in the west.


>you're whole life has single point of failure

wontfix, working as intended. The startup wants you dependent on them for everything and to spend nearly all your waking hours inside their office so they can coerce your loyalty.


I don't know if it's to coerce loyalty. I would presume that the main motivation is that they know that you are what generates profit. So if they can exploit you as a profit-generating resource, and get away with it, they will do so. This isn't novel. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was common for entire families, children included, to work 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, and barely earn enough to survive. That was not done out of economic necessity. When the government stepped in and required companies to pay 1 person enough to raise a family for 40 hours of work in a week, that essentially amounted to requiring them to give a greater than 960% wage increase. (Going from getting 384hr of work out of a family of 4 in a week to getting 40hrs of work from that same family, just to keep that family at the same subsistence level would require paying 960% more for that 40 hours.) And they survived. In fact, they thrived, as did all of society when they were forced to do that. But, the type of people who created that situation in the first place are still being born. They're still running companies. And they will still attempt to wring every valuable moment out of the lives of human beings to take for themselves. If we let them.


Yeah, that's one of the big problems with capitalism. The laws of microeconomics state that in a free market, the market will produce as many widgets as possible, using up all possible resources to do so. This isn't good for human happiness or for the environment. Who really wants to live in a world where we are buying and producing as much as possible?


I do think there are certainly problems, but I don't agree what you describe is any rational conclusion of the principles of a free market. No one wants to live in a world where all resources are consumed to make widgets. Therefore, those people will not pay to buy that many widgets if they're informed enough to understand the true price of things. Most models of capitalism have weaknesses like this surrounding the need for information to be universally and equally available for their conclusions to hold, which can produce some incentives to obscure or hide information that makes exploitation easier. The issue with modern day overwork, though, isn't a lack of information but more a change in cultural values which needs to take place. Currently, the 'work hard and you will be rewarded' mindset which was productive (and often honest) in the factory-oriented past is being misapplied in modern environments where it is both counter-productive and false. 'Salary' doesn't mean 'paid for completing the work' as it was supposed to when legally created as a category, it means nothing more than 'required to perform large quantities of unpaid work'.


>I don't really understand this dismissing about "culture fit"

You should understand that what you wrote sounds like discrimination by age (and sex, "frat" means male), which is illegal - and for good reasons.

EDIT: specifically, the only way a 35-year-old is not a "culture fit" in "a small company run by 20-something whose only social life is their colleagues" is if that company is discriminating by age. I don't have better words to explain that being 20 is not "culture".


Is it? It's discrimination by things that correlate with age, sure, but many things do.


A rose by any other name is still a rose.

"I don't discriminate by age, only by gray hair!"

"I don't discriminate by sex, it's just that we have a no-birthing-kids culture!"

Um, no.



What if instead of discriminating by race, you don't hire people who live in mostly-black neighborhoods?


You hire based on university "prestige" instead.


Codes of law aren't software. It's not a loophole, it's just an overly naive interpretation of what the law says based on your layperson understanding and applying programmer logic to non-software.

If you explicitly don't accept applicants only from select neightborhoods that all just "happen to" be almost all-black, you're still discriminating by race and it's still obvious and obviously illegal. You'll just waste more of everyone's time in court.

Just look at sovereign citizens and their inane shenanigans like "I'm not driving, I'm traveling by car and therefore don't need a driver's license and can ignore speed limits".


The comment you are responding to is highlighting the ridiculousness of the comment above it.

However, everything you wrote does apply to the level-up comment.


Legally speaking, age discrimination can not exist if you are under 40. There is zero protection with respect to age discrimination prior to 40 years of age, and the younger you get, the more enthusiastically age discrimination is accepted. Get under 18 and discrimination based on age is fully supported and actively encouraged.


Culture is something you have a certain amount of control over. Age/sex/w/e isn't.


Exactly, and the way the parent didn't seem to fit into the 'culture' was by being older.

"Frathouse culture" is an euphemism for "group of mostly white young male people who exclude people who aren't like them" - because this is what fraternities literally are.

(Recall: by definition, fraternities are young, male, exclusive - and statistically, white).


It's not (only) statistically white, it is racism inherent in the language we use. A black fraternity is called a gang instead.


Black fraternities (well, historically black) do exist, both at HBCUs and at other colleges and universities. And one thing that's particularly notable is that historically black fraternities tend to be more public-service oriented than historically white fraternities, which are more purely social clubs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_frate...


I know they exist, and my comment was tongue in cheek, not to be taken literally.

But in every joke there is a core of truth. People use language to disparage minorities or downplay the transgressions of the majority all the time.

E.g. nationalist extremist violent acts are done by "lone wolfs" or "mentally ill" people while the exact same atrocities by other groups are done by "terrorists".


I’ve heard that lone wolf vs terrorist meme so many times, are there actually any studies on this, or even examples?

I’m also not sure if being a “mentally ill” mass murderer is much better than a “terrorist” mass murderer.


If you are not sure, consider the same notions without mass murder attached to them.

They are socially (and legally) in different leagues.

>are there actually any studies on this, or even examples?

Yes, there specifically are[1][2][3][4][...].

I'd suggest [1] as a start, and then Google is your friend.

[1]https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/when-do-peo...

[2]https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-48477-001

[3]https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03050629.2018.15...

[4]https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/18/...


The conclusion in 1 seems to be "These findings indicate that stereotypes are not the only force at work when someone is labeled either mentally ill or a terrorist.", which is highlighted in a large font. I thought you were arguing the opposite?

And in 2, the question they examine is "whether people with negative attitudes toward Muslims perceive Muslim mass shooters as less mentally ill than non-Muslim shooters". That seems like a very biased group to ask, to say the least...


Thanks for the links, I’ll have a look.

If you remove the “murder” part from terrorist you basically just have a disgruntled crackpot, but one with political motivations.

I know that I’d rather be a theoretical, non violent terrorist than just mentally ill.


An unsuccessful (victimless) terrorist is still a terrorist (e.g. someone who blows up a building, but nobody dies, or the bomb doesn't go off), not merely a disgruntled crackpot.

On the other hand, Osama bin Laden is a terrorist, but very far from being mentally ill. His Letter to America[1] clearly outlines the intent and consequence of his actions.

Terrorists are, by definition, a threat -- but mentally ill people are victims (of mental illness, of society, etc); one is fare more likely to feel sympathy for an ill person vs. someone who is deliberately inflicting terror (as a means to an end or otherwise).

Terrorists can be affiliated to a group, but 'mentally ill' is not a group.

And that's a part of the reason why the labels get attached. 'All ____ are terrorists' is a trope where many will easily fill the blank with <group du jour>. But that won't work with 'All _____ are mentally ill'. A mentally ill person is a one-off, an accident. We don't have to solve that problem because there is no systemic problem. It just happens. The best we could do is think how we could help those people, how we could catch them before they slip.

But terrorism, that's warfare, and we respond to warfare with warfare.

That's the connotation. If you are not seeing it - well, the articles discuss this. Overall it's a part of a greater pattern of how politics shapes language, and language shapes thinking. Orwell had it down back in the 50's [2], and not much has changed since.

[1]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver

[2]https://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_poli...


I do know the difference, I'm just not convinced that it is much worse to be politically motivated in your killing rather than just crazy.


Do some research there are plenty of black fraternities at any major university in the US.


> specifically, the only way a 35-year-old is not a "culture fit" in "a small company run by 20-something whose only social life is their colleagues" is if that company is discriminating by age.

So you, as a 35 year old, want to work in a company that has a 14 hour days, including at least one weekend work culture which is what created a nearly forced socialization with one's coworkers who are in their early twenties?

If so, I'm pretty sure you would be accepted in the open arms if you

a) take their kind of salary ( i.e. take a pay cut )

b) work the 14 hour days (i.e. take another pay cut )

c) tolerate their social quirks -- those that do not socialize with others outside their tiny world for 14 hours a day 6-7 days a week are going to be rejected by the randos they meet in random places, repeating the cycle.


I am not the person who wrote the post, BUT they didn't mention anything of the unusual working hours or a pay cut (that they wouldn't take).

And in any case, this is something that's discussed outright (hours) and while extending an offer (salary).

Socialization outside of working hours is nobody's business, and reaches into illegal land (I don't care if one doesn't socialize with old/black/other gender people; but making hiring decisions based on that is illegal).


Startups pay less money in fact significantly less than established companies. That is known.

Thirty five year olds rarely agree to work for the amount of money twenty year olds agree to work for. That is also known.

This means that a thirty five year old going to a startup of twenty year olds is going to take a paycut.

Startups push people to work more hours. Young people are OK with that because they do not have a social life apart from finding someone to have sex with and having sex with that person. That is also reasonably well known. That means their life is sleeping/working/having sex with people. Long hours at work by people who do not have anything else to do act as a filler. That's why startups that have lots of young people working in them tend to push long hours. If you are there just to get a paycheck then it would mean getting an effective pay cut.

> Socialization outside of working hours is nobody's business, and reaches into illegal land (I don't care if one doesn't socialize with old/black/other gender people; but making hiring decisions based on that is illegal).

If you are working 14 hour days with group of same people those are going to be people you would be socializing with. It is the case everywhere -- be that oil rigs, armed forces. It is a matter of proximity and logistics.


See, the parent applied for this job, and never wrote they they weren't ok with working in a startup.

That's all that matters, and everything else you wrote is an attempt to justify discrimination by age.

Please reconsider your views.


To be fair, I don't think that its only big companies that discriminate (e.g. too many are agist, classist, or have a bias against parents). Though, small companies vary. And even if one is biased one way, it's likely that there are some (as in "any") that are not.

For social awkwardness - there are many kinds of that. For some corporate interview process may be not an issue. For others, a road blocker.


> I began to suspect it was because of "culture fit" -- will this 35 year old introvert fit in at our frat house/office?

The job does not have to be a frat house office in order for a candidate to fail the culture fit. Unfortunately many programmers think programming is 100% writing code, when often times it is more about communication and relationships. If you were missing a certain technical skill what would you do? Now apply that same mindset to being a little less socially awkward. No one is saying you have to learn to be Dale Carnegie himself, but even just a small amount of people skills goes a long way.


But let’s imagine for the moment a candidate was actually rejected for being “too introverted”, as an example for the sake of this argument. Disclaimer: I’ve not seen anyone rejected for this reason explicitly, but I have heard an instance of a self-identifying extrovert reporting “organizational culture problems” to upper management which when asked for details became “while there was no bad or unwelcoming behavior of any kind (not even indirectly), the majority of engineers are too introverted and that makes me uncomfortable”.

In such a case, how is “too introverted” as a reason for rejection or even as a negative cultural connotation not overt discrimination to exclude neurodiversity?

I’d even be willing to concede that such personality-based discrimination may need to be made for customer-facing roles or roles if being charming or extroverted is explicitly part of the job description. But other than that, it seems odd to reject an engineering candidate for reasons like this.


[flagged]


I can certainly relate to coming off as weird or socially awkward or unintentionally rude, and it has affected my job interview performance. People diagnosed with ADD/Asperger's don't really have a monopoly on that.


Plenty of neurodiverse people don't have a formal diagnosis BTW


Autistic people are not awkward in the way that you are awkward, unless you're an undiagnosed autistic.


This was what I meant although my comment was socially awkward! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


This was a totally unnecessary comment.


Just so I'm getting this straight, in a setting where your entire goal is to make a company want to work with you every day, it's discrimination to turn you down because you did not make them want to work with you? Listen, companies have their own cultures, and if you're not a fit to that culture, bringing you on runs the risk of ruining the culture they have been building and making their employees quit. I turn down every single person who acts in a way that convinces me I do not want to deal with them day in and day out, and I haven't regretted it once. Sure, we probably miss some good people, but we have a specific culture in place that we all enjoy, and I don't want to feel uncomfortable or have to walk on egg shells around my team.

These cries of discrimination are getting a bit out of hand. You may just be rude in an interview, and that will 100% result in me turning you down. It doesn't matter much to me if you're an "Aspie/ADD" or if you just found out your wife cheated on you, I don't want you around me all the time based off the only data point I have. To blame the interviewer for your behavior, whatever the reason, is outrageous.

I think interviews aren't the best way to find out if someone is a going to be a good engineer, but to be a good team member, you have to have good interactions with the team.


I know it’s not a popular opinion in today’s environment, but I tend to agree with you… I struggled with social interactions when I was younger, so I worked on getting better at social interactions. I don’t know if I have Asperger’s or ADD, I just know that talking to people makes me uncomfortable and I always feel like I’m doing it “wrong”, but I’ve figured out enough patterns and templates to apply to enough situations that I can fool them into thinking I’m doing it the way other people do. Now, I’m willing to concede that it’s possible that there’s another level of “uncomfortable around people” that I can’t even comprehend (although I also wonder if I and OP are actually “normal” and everybody else goes through this, we just complain about it more). It’s hard for me to believe, but there are lots of things that are hard for me to believe that are nonetheless true. But even if it is, it’s beside the point. I also concede that there may well be people who, due to genetic unluckiness, are doomed to be overweight no matter what they do. They still can’t work as airline stewardesses because weight matter on an airplane, just as some baseline level of social interactions matter in an office environment. If there really are people who are genuinely unable to comprehend the difference between rudeness and politeness, they’re few enough that it’s not fair to everybody else to have to compensate for them.


"Listen, companies have their own cultures..."

Peter Thiel once used "culture fit" to exclude people who liked playing basketball:

"PayPal once rejected a candidate who aced all the engineering tests because for fun, the guy said that he liked to play hoops. That single sentence lost him the job. No PayPal people would ever have used the world “hoops.” Probably no one even knew how to play “hoops.” Basketball would be bad enough. But “hoops?” That guy clearly wouldn’t have fit in. He’d have had to explain to the team why he was going to go play hoops on a Thursday night. And no one would have understood him."

https://blakemasters.com/post/21437840885/peter-thiels-cs183...

Gee, which racial demographic has an affinity for basketball? If you wanted to discriminate based on race, you can always find a "culture" proxy, like a hobby, fashion, speech pattern, etc. to use as an excuse, without citing race explicitly.

Or gender. Or class. Or "neuro-diversity". Or almost any trait you want to discriminate against.


This seems like an extreme example, to be clear, I don't think you should determine culture fit based off the word you use to describe basketball. So do you think there should be no thought on if someone will get along well with your team? Or is that counted as discrimination? Should we all just hire the first person who can answer a coding challenge that we run into? That seems like the other extreme end.


> companies have their own cultures, and if you're not a fit to that culture, bringing you on runs the risk of ruining the culture they have been building and making their employees quit.

You can justify any kind of discrimination that way. I can come up with a number of reasons that would make women, people of color, foreigners or literally any other group a "poor culture fit".

> Sure, we probably miss some good people, but we have a specific culture in place that we all enjoy, and I don't want to feel uncomfortable or have to walk on egg shells around my team.

So you'd reject a candidate because of comfort and enjoyment? Even though the candidate could make you tons of money? That's very discouraging.

> You may just be rude in an interview, and that will 100% result in me turning you down. It doesn't matter much to me if you're an "Aspie/ADD"

There's a difference between having Asperger's and being an asshole. A person with Asperger's communicates differently than a person without Asperger's. You chose to interpret that difference as rudeness. Instead of understanding the cause of the differences and adapting to it, you simply eliminated the candidate for the sake of your own comfort.

This doesn't matter to you but it should. Especially if you want to claim you don't discriminate based on factors the candidate can't change.


> You can justify any kind of discrimination that way. I can come up with a number of reasons that would make women, people of color, foreigners or literally any other group a "poor culture fit".

Do/would you hire any person who can answer your questions? There are plenty of smart people who are entirely unenjoyable people. Not liking someone is not discrimination.

> So you'd reject a candidate because of comfort and enjoyment? Even though the candidate could make you tons of money? That's very discouraging.

You seem to be implying that someone who is smart can obviously outperform people who are less smart. A good team is more than smart people, and a successful company is more than smart people. There is a big difference in the effectiveness of teams that are happy versus miserable. If a brilliant individual makes the rest of your team miserable, that's an awful tradeoff. If you think it's okay to do that, that's very discouraging.

> There's a difference between having Asperger's and being an asshole. A person with Asperger's communicates differently than a person without Asperger's. You chose to interpret that difference as rudeness. Instead of understanding the cause of the differences and adapting to it, you simply eliminated the candidate for the sake of your own comfort.

So instead of feeling insulted or threatened due to rude behavior, you should ignore it because it's your fault? If a guy is aggressively hitting on a girl, is it her fault? Should she change her behavior? Of course not. If you behave in a way that diminishes a collaborative work environment, why would the work environment be responsible for just putting up with the way you behave? You don't have to be the life of the party, but you have to at least act professional. If you can't pull that off for a single interview, you probably can't pull it off indefinitely in a professional environment.

This does matter to me, but the reality is that not everyone is a good fit for every setting. The whole point of interviewing is to find people who are going to help you move forward in the best way possible, and if you come into an interview and upset everyone you talk to, there are no data points to indicate that you being a smart asshole is going to help us move forward.


>Not liking someone is not discrimination.

I've heard the same by some individuals who say they don't like people of color. Perhaps your line of reasoning is not complete.


> There's a difference between having Asperger's and being an asshole.

Someone may be rude because they're aspie or because they're assholes, but the end result is the same: dealing with rudeness. I rather not.


That's distressingly close to rejecting people because they sound rude for speaking AAVE instead of Received Pronunciation.


Or assuming that people from $COUNTRY are bad people when they merely communicate differently.


> Listen, companies have their own cultures, and if you're not a fit to that culture, bringing you on runs the risk of ruining the culture they have been building and making their employees quit.

This is the same reasoning that has been used in the past to deny opportunity: to people of colour, to women, to LGBTQ+... to people who didn't attend the "right" university or college...

This kind of active bias is harmful to the candidate, creates liability to the interviewer and the company, and also reinforces monoculture in an industry where being flexible and responsive to change has direct impact on the bottom line.

> These cries of discrimination are getting a bit out of hand.

I have often heard this from people in real life, from the cisgendered/male/caucasian/heteronormative/neuronormative, as if making space for people who aren't exactly like them is going to drive them into some lower social caste.

> You may just be rude in an interview, and that will 100% result in me turning you down.

That's fine, and your prerogative.

> It doesn't matter much to me if you're an "Aspie/ADD" or if you just found out your wife cheated on you, I don't want you around me all the time based off the only data point I have.

Do you and everyone at your organization always present a level-headed, calm, non-confrontational demeanour, or are you or anyone else ever ruffled by anything? Including lack of sleep, lack of caffeine, family crisis, friend crisis, personal crisis, unplanned bill, crashed computer, or anything else big or small? If not, perhaps there are unnecessary risks with making a major judgement based on a single data point.

> I think interviews aren't the best way to find out if someone is a going to be a good engineer, but to be a good team member, you have to have good interactions with the team.

How are you allowing the candidate the best chance to evaluate if you and your team will have perfect interactions with them?


Expecting a minimum amount of professionalism to join a professional environment is not the same thing as discriminating agains people because they are a part of: women, people of color, LGBTQ+, etc. That's a pretty extreme comparison. It does not lock a work culture into a monoculture or degrade flexibility and responsiveness to change, and it does not directly impact the bottom line, that is a ridiculous leap to make. It actually does the opposite. Having a culture where people are collaborative, professional, and respectful allows you to get things done faster and take feedback and criticism in a more productive manner.

> I have often heard this from people in real life, from the cisgendered/male/caucasian/heteronormative/neuronormative, as if making space for people who aren't exactly like them is going to drive them into some lower social caste.

There is a significant amount of people crying discrimination for everything being said that they don't love. People are less willing to join in discourse, and people are less willing to disagree about something and remain cordial. There are definitely people who are suffering from discrimination, but there are also people saying they are not succeeded because they are being discriminated against, while they actually suck at what their doing and need to work harder.

> Do you and everyone at your organization always present a level-headed, calm, non-confrontational demeanour, or are you or anyone else ever ruffled by anything? Including lack of sleep, lack of caffeine, family crisis, friend crisis, personal crisis, unplanned bill, crashed computer, or anything else big or small? If not, perhaps there are unnecessary risks with making a major judgement based on a single data point.

Nope, and no one expects anyone to be at their best 24/7. But if I get 1 hour to talk to you, and in that brief period of time you've shown me that you're rude, then I have to draw from the data points I have available to me. At the end of the day, there are a lot of people and not a lot of data points to make judgements from. This is a competitive environment, you have to be better than the other people being interviewed. If you're not, you don't get the job, even if you're having a bad day. A bad hire is really expensive and damaging to an organization, which makes red flags really important data points.

> How are you allowing the candidate the best chance to evaluate if you and your team will have perfect interactions with them?

There isn't a really good way to do it, you just give as many people as possible the chance to spend time with the candidate. No one expects all perfect interactions, just positive enough interactions that the team is okay with them. The team takes priority, not the candidate. It doesn't matter if you're smart, the team decides if you're an option to bring on.

On top of that, everyone gets this opportunity. It doesn't lean to everyone's strengths, but then some people will do better in the interpersonal parts and worse in the technical parts. There is a reason interviews involve multiple stages and multiple types of assessment. None of this is perfect, and you don't have to be perfect to get hired. You have to be good enough to enough people, and you have to be better than the other options.


Good hiring managers will recognize that everyone doesn't have to like everyone. Work isn't a social club, it's a business in the market of delivering products. If candidates aren't measured on a metric of their capability to deliver and instead is measured on their metric as a drinking buddy, your company needs better managers.


I think this is an over-simplistic view.

Of course work isn't a social club, but it (usually) is a team environment, which means working closely with others to achieve a goal. And if a candidate can't avoid offending one person for one hour (with a strong incentive to do so!), it's a sign that they probably aren't going to be able to work as effectively in that team environment as someone who exhibits at least a baseline of social skills.

In a working environment where each developer can be siloed away to work on an individual module/task, document it, and toss it over the wall, then I'd agree it probably would make sense to go strictly off the performance numbers. But that doesn't look like any working environment that I've encountered (yet).


If a team is a good team without the assistance of a team manager, the manager is superfluous. A good manager can make a good team out of a diverse group of individuals.


Work actually is a social club. You don't need to love everyone, but you shouldn't feel uncomfortable. If you're unhappy at work, your work will suffer. If you're excited about what you're doing and you have your team's back, then you will deliver more value. Excellent engineers can be a good find, but teams build excellent things. There is a reason everyone doesn't work in isolation.


Unless you own the company, you don't pick all your managers, coworkers, and clients. It's an exceptionally valuable team skill to be able to work with someone you wouldn't invite out for a beer. Learning to work with different viewpoints and behaviors builds character and makes one more competitive. Effective managers know this.


You don't need to pick all of your managers, coworkers, and clients. That's the point of vetting a company culture before you join. In general, the culture should be a reflection of a shared ideology for business and interpersonal behavior. There is a ton of room for variety within that, but it pins some underlying important traits.

Being a good culture fit does not mean you have to like them so much that you're inviting them out for a beer. And in order to really be a long term competitive company and team, you need to be able to be unified first. If there is significant internal turmoil, or people are unmotivated, uncomfortable, threatened, etc. you will never be competitive. "Building character" is generally code for "deal with this crappy situation", and life is too short to make people miserable. You can get a diverse group of people without making all of them unhappy if you select for people who can work together.


More important than any culture fit is for a business to make a profit. Without that, there's no business to begin with, and while I concede that different traits can make that easier or harder, a good manager can make a team where none would have emerged without them. It's repeated often that employees don't quit bad jobs, they quit bad managers.

A good manager will inspire motivation, bring comfort, foster a nonthreatening environment with an appropriate level of conflict, and shape a competitive force to be reckoned with. This does not mean creating a hug box. Not having a hug box doesn't mean employees have to be unhappy. It's bad managers whose ineffectiveness allows negative traits (which everybody has) to impact other employees.


>Good hiring managers will recognize that everyone doesn't have to like everyone. [...] as a drinking buddy,

In every thread where people go through great pains trying to clearly articulate why creating a cordial, amiable, and friendly work environment is important, people don't read that with charity. Instead, it's always twisted into "drinking buddy".

Let me try some different examples as models. Penn & Teller magicians are "not friends" or "drinking buddies".[0] However, they are friendly and cordial in their working relationship.

Another example is Golden State Warriors basketball teammates, Steph Curry & Klay Thompson.[1] They are very friendly with each other as work associates on the basketball court but they are also not drinking buddies. Steph is a family man with 3 small children. In contrast, Klay lives a bachelor lifestyle. Obviously, they don't need to share beers every week to be deadly effective as a team on the court.

It's perfectly acceptable to try and create those levels of employee camaraderie without being drinking buddies. The gp was talking about rejecting "rude people" that disrupt office harmony and that's acceptable to create cohesive teams like Penn & Teller and Steph & Klay.

[0] https://www.google.com/search?q=penn+%26+teller+not+friends

[1] https://np.reddit.com/r/warriors/comments/6avmse/ama_w_marcu...


Given their history, I would say they aren't friendly and/or cordial. I'd say they're professional.


>Given their history, I would say they aren't friendly and/or cordial.

There are various interviews with them throughout the years and they are quite genuinely friendly with each other. However, they have different personalities and they are not drinking buddies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv_Xkz9zepI&t=21m0s

They said their enduring relationship is based on professional respect instead of socializing.

Regardless, I still don't understand why not hiring "rude people" who you feel may disrupt the workplace is "discrimination". There is no special protected class of discrimination against unpleasant rude people! It also works both ways: if the candidate determines that the hiring manager and/or coworkers interviewing them is rude, they have a right to reject the company. There is no ethical standard to tolerate rude people from either side.

Again, to emphasize, the gp was talking about rude people; not black people nor women, etc. So the sibling comment twisting the gp's comment into racism and misogyny is putting words into his mouth he never said and degrading the HN discussion.


Are disabilities not a protected class?


>Are disabilities not a protected class?

Ok, I see your confusion. Yes, disabilities are a protected class. However, being in a protected class does not provide the job candidate a free license to be rude and force other employees to suffer their rudeness.

And likewise, black race is protected class -- but the law doesn't require employers to hire "a black rude person".

Same for women or older-aged job candidates. Being a rude and disrespectful 65-year old female job candidate means the company can still reject on the grounds of being rude. This separation of reasons is allowed and is exactly how the discrimination laws are spelled out:

- may not Discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or political affiliation.[1]

Note that Equal Opportunity Employment does not protect on the basis of rudeness. There are plenty of black applicants to hire who are not rude, and likewise, plenty of ADHD/ADD/Asperger applicants who are not rude that can be hired.

[1] https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/no-fear-act/protections...


I'm not sure if you're intentionally misrepresenting his argument but he is saying he doesn't want to walk on eggshells around coworkers, not that he wants to like them enough to grab a beer with them.


They state they are a hiring manager. If they can't manage difficult but productive employees, they may need some aid learning how to manage effectively.


It's very easy to manage them: don't hire them. Bringing on someone who is a disruption to an already productive team because they seem like they may be a good individual contributor, based off the extremely limited exposure you have had to this individual, is a bad idea.


It is exceptionally easy to manage when there's nothing to manage. At that point, managers are superfluous, and the company is wasting money and not maximizing their profits that could benefit from a good manager working with excellent contributors with imperfect dispositions.


Well from my perspective if I don't get a job I can just fail to have the money to manage my disability and die. As soon as I read your post about how if you hired a disabled employee, you feel like you might have to walk on egg-shells, well I instantly sympathized with such a gravely serious concern.

I notice how much of your post washes the managers hands clean of making these decisions. Not getting hired is the fault of disabled people who are behaving rudely by being incapable of certain things like eye contact. It's the fault of other employees who will quit. You know... that's almost the same rationale used to keep gay people out of the military. It's the COMPANY who wasn't convinced the employee was worth working with.

Have you ever had your job threatened because you didn't want to leave early, arrive late, take extra breaks, socialize instead of working, and wanted to work hard because you believed in the companies vision? Or because you didn't want to steal time? Because you wanted to learn your job? Oh man, it really made the other employees not like me. I was pulled aside and told what a bad culture-fit I was being. I was told my co-workers were going to tell my bosses I should be let go because they didn't like me. In the end I bent to the pressure and went half-way, messed up, and got singled out for punishment. At which point the culture I didn't fit changed for the better because everybody felt so damned guilty.

In my entire time in the workforce I have never seen "culture-fit" being anything other than vague opaque bullshit used to discriminate against the disadvantaged and hard-working.


>Listen, companies have their own cultures, and if you're not a fit to that culture, bringing you on runs the risk of ruining the culture they have been building and making their employees quit.

"Culture" has been deemed the #1 important in hiring in the startup culture in the last 5 or probably 10 years. Even large old-school companies seem to go for this. The reality is this: just open Glassdoor, a newspaper or talk to people directly and there are always people who can tell you how bad a place is. And if it's not that, then people might be in complete denial, wondering why things don't work, why the company is not able to reach any business or technical goals.

The reality is that most workplaces are pretty bad places to be, that's probably also why so many found their own companies or just freelance. That said, places with strong cultures seem really attractive to new employees but the places with the weakest (=non-existing) cultures are usually those where employees get most opportunity to develop and stay the longest.


I have no research to point to, but my personal experience is very different from this. Sure, everywhere has it's own downsides, but that does not mean that a company is either terrible to work for or everything is failing. That's a really naive stance to take, and it's very defeatist.

> ... that's probably also why so many found their own companies or just freelance.

Fair enough, if you're in a work environment where you feel this way, I suggest trying to find a better work environment, or doing like you said: start a company or freelance.

I personally know a lot of places where they have had almost no churn in 5-10 years, they're having a lot of success, and everyone is happy and mission driven. I'm totally willing to say they may be the exception, but don't write off the work environment as a whole. Or do and go find your own thing, but don't just be unhappy.


Weird may be a simple emotional feeling people get because they sense you will mistreat them. (likely based on previous experience)

What I have found dealing with people that are Aspie/ADD (father and brother) is they expect others to change behavior to adapt to themselves, but refuse to change their own behavior to adapt to others. (even when directly told their behavior is not acceptable)

This means that many social problems (like work interactions) only have a one sided solution, and this turns into a simple form of abuse acceptance.


they expect others to change behavior to adapt to themselves, but refuse to change their own behavior

That is something that is always overlooked. What about the mental health of the rest of the team who are expected to just smile when someone is obnoxiously rude to them over and over and over again? With no recourse to report it to HR?

Every “aspie” probably actively harms the mental health of a dozen ordinary people, but that’s invisible.


>the rest of the team who are expected to just smile when someone is obnoxiously rude to them over and over and over again

Is that really a thing that happens?


It's not always that extreme, since aspies can learn to improve their behaviour. But in my experience, even after some improvement there are still cases where they get away with behaviour that would cause more trouble to other people.


Definitely. As someone with a father on the spectrum the current trend of "Autism acceptance" drives me nuts.


I have worked with a lot of people with Asperger's over several years, I don't recall anyone but neurotypicals being rude to me.

While I'm sure there are rude people with Asperger's out there, rude neurotypicals can potentially be damaging in a far more efficient manner by knowing how to twist the social norms to give the pretence of staying within their boundaries.


>Every “aspie” probably actively harms the mental health of a dozen ordinary people, but that’s invisible

Replace "aspie" with "black man" and your entire response is blatantly prejudiced. In my experience this is a boogieman people fear will crawl out from under their bed at night. All but one of the autistic ("aspie" is outdated) people I know understand their shortcomings and adapt as best as they can. There will always be assholes in every group; if you're not prejudiced, you judge the asshole rather than stereotyping the entire group.

Nearly all autistic people know they act weird and would like to act normal but don't know how. You have to weigh the costs and benefits. What's worse: you are occasionally made uncomfortable, or an autistic person gets fired? Are you willing to make no compromise in this conflict with coworkers? If so, it would be hypocritical.


Replace "aspie" with "black man" and your entire response is blatantly prejudiced.

Not remotely comparable unless you are implying that black people “expect others to change behavior to adapt to themselves, but refuse to change their own behavior” which by the way is pretty racist.


They’re comparable because neither autistic people nor black people “expect others to change behavior to adapt to themselves, but refuse to change their own behavior.”


It’s still not comparable because blackness is not a behavior at all.


There are accents and colloquialisms spoken mostly by black people. Does that not count?


No it doesn’t


There is nothing inherent to the pseudoscientific divisions of people by race. Autism is a medical diagnosis. The OP was in the wrong to say "Every Aspie", but let's not dig this hole deeper.


What I have found dealing with people that are Aspie/ADD (father and brother)

How transparent you are in the fact that you are applying a completely anecdotal and personal experience to the largest possible generalization of ADD/Asperger's.

That is very unscientific, and to people like me who deal with ADHD and a few other mental illnesses, downright offensive and prejudiced.


Aspie/ADD affected people often times accuse others, through technical language, how someone's feelings aren't important.

Yes, it is unscientific. It's my own personal experience that Aspie/ADD people often can't understand how much pain they can cause other people.


How do you know it's not a symmetric relationship?

It always seemed inherently weird and self-contradictory to me to accuse someone of lacking empathy. How can failure to understand another person's feelings be other than mutual?

Everybody ignores the feelings of others on occasion due to lack of understanding, but also when their own feelings are powerful enough to take precedence. I think it's best to assume that any time someone is causing pain, or even awkwardness, it's due to one of those situations or maybe a combination. I'm doubtful that there are really any other kinds of people.


The fact that you are even conflating Asperger's and ADD like this betray how little you know about the disorders. It's not just unscientific, it's insensitive.

It's my own personal experience that Aspie/ADD people often can't understand how much pain they can cause other people.

You listed your father and brother as evidence. Add maybe half a dozen more and that's your entire sample pool. It's amazing that you think this enough for your generalizations to be valid enough to share with others publicly before doing real research about these disorders.


My personal experience is valid to share. And it's not insensitive to share it.

If you feel you have data that counters my experience, it would be good to share. Then we can discuss both sides.


Lol, you can't wrap your naive opinions as "personal experience" and then apply them to a generality of millions of people. You passed off this claim as real. Just because you frame it as personal experience doesn't suddenly make it not a form of prejudice, and doesn't suddenly make it correct and valid.

I don't need data to counter your "personal experience" a.k.a. anecdotal evidence, because it was never valid to submit as a claim in the first place. There is no "both sides", there is one side: the objective truth: ADHD is too complex for you to make ridiculous unbacked claims like that.

I have quite advanced ADHD, OCD and bipolar II disorder and I don't have problems with empathy; in fact, in my circles I'm known as an especially attentive listener. I'm a walking contradiction to your baseless claims.

So please, try again, this time without insulting an entire class of people by claiming we all fit your incomplete behavioral model.


Are you saying your own personal experience is a counter to mine? I accept that. There are all kinds of people out there.

Sharing personal experiences is how normal humans learn about each other.


Are you saying your own personal experience is a counter to mine?

You keep trying to twist this situation with carefully crafted language into something that it isn't.

I'm not offering you "personal experience", you are attempting to equate our statements here in order to maintain a level playing field. Unfortunately, you are trying to pass off as a generalized fact something which my very existence disproves. You can study me independently to reach this conclusion. I am a data point. It has nothing to do with my own experiences, but the very real and measurable phenomenon that is my actions in the world.


There are exceptions to every rule. Are you claiming you are an exception or the rule? If so, how do you back up your claim?


Are you for real? How can you sit here and make such outrageously anecdotal and uncited claims and then turn around and say that any proof to the contrary needs to be backed up? Lol dude get the heck out of here.

The fact is, you are literally talking to someone who could help you better understand what life with ADD is like, and instead of taking the chance to learn and grow, you're trying to convince someone who literally has ADD that everyone with ADD behaves a certain way, and trying to make the claim that I am not qualified to talk about my own disorder.

How prejudiced and narcissistic can you be that you ignore what is right in front of you? How can you not understand how insulting this is to me? What if your dad was black, would you go around saying all black people are unempathetic, too? No, you wouldn't, because someone would put you in your place reaaaaaal quick.

Sharing personal experiences is how normal humans learn about each other.

I like how you try to go further and insinuate that I am "not normal" because I am not accepting your anecdotal nonsense as evidence. Do you treat everyone whom you argue with this way? That's just sad.


I didn't make a claim in my last comment, I just asked this:

>Are you claiming you are an exception or the rule?

This is a valid question to help me understand where you are coming from.


No, you are trying to be wily and ask a loaded question in order to shape the language of the conversation and position yourself as simply in search of the noble truth and I as someone who doesn't wish to see eye to eye, but it comes off as an obvious and hamfisted attempt.

Honestly, this kind of self-victimizing behavior leads me to question whether you are entirely self-aware of the nature of your interactions with your father and brother and can even trust in your own interpretation of them. You and I are not even able to have a meaningful conversation because you are bent on framing me as incapable of reasoning with you while ignoring everything I'm saying.


I know it's not intended, but this comment comes off as very mean. I don't know your father and brother, but that kind of assholish behavior is completely different orthogonal to having Aspergers or ADD.


This is the difficulty with Aspergers/ADD. They seem to not recognize that it's healthy and normal to call them on their bad behavior.


That is a narcissistic thing period. When I do it I am justified - when others do they are assholes.


That is more about entitlent and what they generally value. I knew both neurotypical and aspie like that. And you are right that it amounts to abuse acceptance

I knew also aspies (two) that did their best to listen and once we adjusted to his communication (e.g. learned to be extremely direct), it was not like that at all.


I agree that there are all kinds of people that act this way. But in my experience, aspies seem to have less ability to self reflect or alter behavior. Or more fundamentally admit they have anything to reflect on or alter. The very starting point of conflict resolution therefore is muted.


Yes, I agree. But when the situation is at abuse acceptance level, then we are beyond that. I brought entitlement because absent that, it is possible to directly say to aspie that this or that crosses the line. We are not talking about making him not awkward, just not abusive.

At that point not just aspie failed to listen, but also neurotypical people around failed to protect whoever is victim of that abuse and set proper boundaries.

At the abuse level, improvement should not be dependent at the self reflection of the one doing the abuse.


An ancient torture method was small water dripping on the forehead.

Persistent small events over time can be abuse.


The small drips are possible only because victim is tied and unable to move of shield head. A water dripping in the same room is not torture assuming you have option to move own head or put hat on it.

So it is pretty good analogy. When people both peraon with asperger and working with one having asperger can talk back, reorganize work tasks, move tables, prevent the one having asperger from doing juniors code reviews, torture don't have to happen.

It is when having asperger is treated as license to abuse or sign of "being the one that is more logical/technical and therefore right" when it becomes abuse acceptance. It is the "he has asperger therefore it is ok for him to do it and you have to be subjected to that" that makes it so.


The problem is that if you are aspie not being awkward and rude takes 100% of your brain for conscious analysis, whereas for neurotyoical people it’s the opposite it takes a conscious decision to be rude. So it’s impossible for an aspie to change permanently while working.


This is a pretty important thing for neurotypicals to understand.

Socially, having Asperger's is an uphill battle. When I'm around people, I spend about 75% of my cognitive ability trying to appear to not have Asperger's. I've gotten pretty good at it. Great! One problem: whenever I slip up, it comes across as unbelievably rude. Probably worse than if I were just a "weirdo."

The right answer is a combination of people who are forgiving, but also a work environment that doesn't require constant socializing. That way I can minimize the negative mental health impacts I have on my peers that are a natural byproduct of my existence.

But asking someone with Asperger's to be "less rude" is like watching a short guy struggle to reach a high shelf and then telling him to just be taller.


Well, that's why the "reasonable accommodation" standard exists in the U.S. Simply demandimg all of his colleagues to passively accept speech and behavior that is rude, abusive, or caustic to team building, or paying monthly consultants come in to analyze the new work frictions and host workshops isn't likely going to pass muster. These people need and should get help, but they aren't entitled to a workplace that disproportionately revolves around their quirks.


Which totally explains why some teams dont want them.


There are many jobs that require certain mental characteristics to be employable. A person can't be acrophobic and work as a high-rise construction worker.


> Weird may be a simple emotional feeling people get because they sense you will mistreat them. (likely based on previous experience) What I have found dealing with people that are Aspie/ADD (father and brother) is they expect others to change behavior to adapt to themselves, but refuse to change their own behavior to adapt to others. (even when directly told their behavior is not acceptable)

I would say the exact same thing applies to the neurotypicals but they are completely oblivious because it is "normal". I have no doubt that if proportions of population were reversed being neurotypical would have its own syndrome.

Do something that better coping autistic people do and apply empathy manually and look at it from their perspective.

They flip out at violations of the most trivial norms and exclude over irrelevancies without a thought to the feelings of others.

Accepting the abuse is the standard "desired outcome" for those with autism. They are often accused of lacking empathy by people who do things like depict an autistic child as a puppet and considered only a burden.


Having empathy goes both ways. If one party has empathy and the other does not, it makes the relationship difficult.

If 'difficult' is the cut off point for a working relationship for a person, team or business, then that is ok. There are plenty of working environments where difficult relationships can work. But certainly not all of them.


That is completely lacking in selfawareness, showing no empathy while insisting others lack it while giving only a weak rationalization furiously insisted upon. That is peak neurotypical denying that /they/ are the problem because that is impossible - they're the "normal" ones.


I will concede that everyone _can_ lack empathy at times. But "normal" people (if that is the phrase you prefer) don't lack empathy towards everyone at all times.


It's almost as if an inability to just "change" their behaviour is a part of being on the spectrum, or something...


At my startup we did a round of "come in for an interview, pass FizzBuzz on a whiteboard, if you passed FizzBuzz you can come back for a 4 hour trial where you solve a small task representative of normal work in our normal work environment". We only hired students for 10-20 hours per week, so fairly low risk for both sides.

My main takeaway from that was that the actual talking was close to useless for judging candidates. One of the best people we hired looked horrible in the interview, while some others were great at talking about themselves but were at best mediocre otherwise.


In my experience interviews are less effective with students because they rarely have relevant experience to talk about. At the mid level and above tests and technical questions become less useful, but they can talk about meaningful past projects. I don’t know of anything else that’s predictive without weeding great people out.

PS: It’s odd, but I suspect a random process may actually work better because the great people actively looking for jobs are likely to be bad at getting them.


When I was nearing graduation and doing interviews, the biggest question that stumped me was a "Where do you see yourself in five years". I was a few months away from finishing my masters, so between that and looking for a job, I was pretty overwhelmed. I answered basically by saying "I honestly don't know where I see my self in the next 6 months with everything going on. I am just focused on graduating and landing a job". I didn't end up getting that job, so I am not sure if they liked my answer, but it was truthful, so I don't feel bad about it.


Its kind of a BS question. But I think it holds water, at least a little. You went through a lot of school -- why? What career path were you trying to open that would not otherwise have been available, and how do you see yourself progressing in it? Truly not knowing is a sign that you haven't looked into the career and progression much. It means the hiring manager has less of a signal on if you'll be happy at the company in 1, 3, 5 years, because you can't tell them what you are looking for.

I was asked a similar question when I was applying for Medical School, and told my non-answer was BS. It frustrated me at the time. 10 years after quitting medicine, I can't say that person's viewpoint was wrong.


>PS: It’s odd, but I suspect a random process may actually work better because the great people actively looking for jobs are likely to be bad at getting them.

Somebody should almost build a toy startup around that random process eg Chatroulette for hiring. that might make sense.


However you would either need a great process for quickly terminating bad hires or keep this strategy very secret. Otherwise word spreads and your hiring pool quickly turns from "random" to "every freeloader in the industry".


Yeah, you would probably add some weighted sampling to it eg overweight those candidates who have lots of Github contributions.


'open-source contributions' might be what job postings are trying to capture with this ... presumably the longer a good developer is unemployed the more likely they are to contribute to open source


> because the great people actively looking for jobs are likely to be bad at getting them.

Why do you estimate it as "likely" (i.e. more probable than being average/good at getting the jobs)?


I assume they are mostly unrelated skills, my mental assumptions work something like:

Suppose the top 10% of developers break down: 1/3 are noticeably worse than average and take 6 months to find a job, 1/3 are average and take 3 months to find a job, and 1/3 are above average and take 1 month to find a job. Each month 3000 people or 100 good 100 average and 100 bad start looking for work and the number of people looking for a dev job is 10,000.

Our of that 10,000: 100 are great developers skilled at finding jobs so 1%. 300 are great developers that are average at finding jobs so 3%. And 600 are great developers that are bad at finding jobs so 6%. That’s still 10% of applicants but most of them don’t look as hot in interviews.


Interesting! I've never before considered the dimension of time, which will lead to accumulation of brilliant interview flunkers.

The only assumption that remains to be tested then is that our current practices do not identify developers that belong to, say, top 10%.


Yes! You aren't the first to make that observation.

Compare https://sockpuppet.org/blog/2015/03/06/the-hiring-post/


>> great at talking about themselves but >> were at best mediocre otherwise

Happens all the time. There's simply no way to judge intrinsic motivation one may or may not have for the job, and without that even a smart person will do the bare minimum to not get fired. Which is not much at all, at most places.


There are more reasons than that to perform good, I guess that's what the classic "where do you see yourself in 5 years" is trying to judge. But in general this is a problem, yes.

More importantly, the fact that FizzBuzz is used to the point of being a cliche is already admitting that given just a CV and a verbal interview we are unable to reliable judge if a person can even program at all.


I like how it's always that the hire is to blame for their skill level in the organization once they are hired. How come we don't ask whether companies know how to hire? Like, publicizing firing rates, turnover, that kind of thing.

I mean, I know why, but it's never a part of the rubric. "We stopped using talk interviews and our retention went way up. We used to see 1/3 of our hires quit within two months of their first salary review." This is probably a more reliable approach the more a company promotes from within, and my sense is that many-if-not-most startups do not.


As a slightly above average dev in London (and I mean it), I feel that for many big companies the interview process always achieve on thing: to avoid hiring anyone who could really transform it for the better.


That is because in a large company you are hired to support the fiefdom of a manager that wants to claw to the top in the existing structure, not 'transform it for the better'.


Yes because in his mind he already is transforming it for the better


IDK, I'm an extrovert and a senior developer, I've had mostly positive experiences with interviews, but I think you have to give people the hope that you're the person that is going to be able to make things better.

I think except in the worst circumstances, people can be worked with positively and if you bring a certain energy to the workplace you can bring people around to your way of thinking and bring out their passion.

Some people will dead weight no matter what, but they can be identified and let go.


In a big company, "transforming it for the better" is not a thing that one hire can do until years have passed. Sometimes it takes an entire career! So, at a big company interview, revolutionary attitudes are going to be known to be a pain in the ass. Not thought, known. A desire to fuck shit up "from the inside" grows to be less of a positive trait the larger and more inertial a company is.


The UK and EU (well, France is my experience) did seem that way a lot. US companies are way better.


What sort of transformations have you been offering, that companies have been avoiding?


Are you talking about big tech companies or non-tech companies? I have ADD and work at a big tech company. I know someone else who has Aspergers/ADD.

I would say it's slightly easier to get hired at a big tech company compared to a smaller company for someone who is not Neurotypical. (Assuming both places are equally hard to get accepted at).

In the company where I work we use a scoring rubric to score candidates. The final hiring decision is not made by the interviewers, but by a hiring committee based on notes from the interview. That makes it (slightly) less likely to reject candidates just because the interviewer didn't like them.


> I've heard it so many times about people interviewing others, as "(s)he is smart, passed all test, but weird, I don't like to work with her/him". At this point, it is systemic discrimination.

No, that's a misnomer. Systematic discrimination implies the system itself codifies this behaviour - but instead, what is codified is _team fit_, which is often based heavily on intuition. Humans are capable of being good judges of interpersonal compatibility, and the best interviewers employ an appropriate amount of intuition in the process because only a limited interaction is possible and every bit of information available deserves to have some chance of being factored into the assessment.

Let's face it: for neurotypical people, a lot of autists are very hard to get along with. Their behaviour is not always predictable in the way that we need behaviour to be in a workplace; and when more pronounced, their specific needs are not something that we want to have to address in our coworkers.

It's good that small companies are often able to accomodate folks like yourself, but expecting big companies that more often than not are looking for cookiecutter, commodity employees that will fit the HR process lifecycle. If you need more input and aren't demonstrably going to produce more output than the average worker, from their perspective you're not the best choice to hire, period.

Of course, I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who vehemently disagree with me, claim that it is in fact systemic discrimination to want something like "team cohesion", and will make you a protected class soon enough.


This reads almost identical to the rationales against hiring women from past decades. Women did not fit in with the male teams; ingrained misogyny was so common. And yes, they didn't behave the same, and had special needs (they were still expected to be mothers, needed separate toilets installed, customs like having the boss over for dinner prepared by wife didn't work, weekend golf and the bloke talk was unthinkable with women along), and required coworkers to adapt and change, as acceptable behavior around the work place was not acceptable around women at the time.

Team fit shouldn't be the only criteria, and shouldn't be a criteria at all if you have a cultural problem. A company that has decided it needs to hire more women or fewer arseholes or has a staff burnout issue or high staff turnover does not want to keep hiring the same type of people, and that is what you get when you are hiring on team fit. Beyond ethical issues, a company can decide on purely economic grounds that it wants to be hiring neurodiverse workers, and that might mean losing people who are unable to adapt. And you probably want to lose them, given that there is more acceptance of the neurodiverse elsewhere and your team members will need to deal with them, even if you don't hire them yourself.


> ingrained misogyny was so common

Was? I wouldn't call it misogyny, because it isn't out of hate but out of the unique social dynamics between genders, but absolutely nothing has changed except one thing: it's now politically incorrect and against the rules to actually say what you think/feel, so everyone hides it.

Men and women still don't work well together. The attraction dynamics between them still overpower any attempts at keeping things professional. The social differences are still all there.

As a proud owner of an ADHD brain, I don't understand the victimhood narrative at all. If someone doesn't want to work with me because I feel "weird" to them, why would I want to work with them? Why should they be forced to work with me? Who says I'm entitled to a job? Who says they owe me anything?

And most importantly, I would need to be sickeningly entitled and delusional to assume that society has to adapt to fit me rather than vice-versa. That's the kind of reasoning children use when throwing irrational tantrums.

I've never had trouble socializing, but ADHD does produce all sorts of strange behavioral patterns. It's 100% my responsibility, as a human being with personal agency, to read the room and adapt my behavior to the society in which I'm participating, not for the entire rest of the world to cater to me.


> Men and women still don't work well together. The attraction dynamics between them still overpower any attempts at keeping things professional. The social differences are still all there.

This sentiment is very strange to me, coming from an IT company with lots of both men and women co-workers. Of course there is sometimes sexual attraction at work, as there probably is for any gay colleagues. Maybe it sometimes even causes tensions. But it is in no way 'overpowering' the ability to work well together, as team members, as managers or as subordinates.

There are many social dynamics that complicate pure professionalism. Feelings of attraction are nothing compared to ego or to the desire of climbing the ladder at any price, in my experience.

Later edit:

> As a proud owner of an ADHD brain, I don't understand the victimhood narrative at all. If someone doesn't want to work with me because I feel "weird" to them, why would I want to work with them? Why should they be forced to work with me? Who says I'm entitled to a job? Who says they owe me anything?

In our society, work is essentially the only possibility of leading a decent life (assuming you're not born rich, of course). As such, the right to work for any group must be protected by the state. Historically, blocking the right to work has been a favorite tactic against hated groups - black people, gay people, trans people are the most recent examples.


> Men and women still don't work well together

Citations needed. I've never had any issues working with women, nor have I heard any coworkers or friends express this belief, or raise issues about working with members of the opposite gender. I don't think people aren't talking about this because it's "politically incorrect", but rather because most people (at least in Canada) simply don't have any issues working with members of the opposite gender.

Being unable to view female coworkers as you do any other coworker is misogynistic, whether it's intentional or not.


>>>Citations needed

Women in the infantry -- The Effect on the Moral Domain.[1] Covers a lot of ground, with pro/con data points across multiple nations and several decades.

[2] Is about the Navy's struggle with the costs and effectiveness impacts of pregnancies.

Can gender-integrated work forces produce (whatever the metric is for "productivity" in a particular domain). Yes. Will management/leadership responsibilities be inherently more complicated? Yes. Does gender diversity inherently guarantee an objectively superior output? No. I think that it is domain/problem-set specific. Human intelligence (HUMINT)[3] and civ-mil ops[4] absolutely benefit from female integration in order to fully access 50% of the population. Especially important in a counter-insurgency context.

[1]https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a262478.pdf

[2]https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/12/pregnant-na...

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_intelligence_(intelligen...

[4]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil-military_operations


Do you have citations outside of the military context? I don't mean to be nitpicky, but what makes the military efficient and what makes civilian life efficient tend to be at extreme odds quite often.


I don't, sorry. I'd be interested in such results as well, mostly because I'm curious about what sort of metrics the studies would be using for productivity.


> Being unable to view female coworkers as you do any other coworker is misogynistic, whether it's intentional or not.

Indeed: gender quotas and "positive" discrimination is both misogynistic.


> have I heard any coworkers or friends express this belief.

You don't seem to value diversity of opinion that high, and expressing such opinions can be disastrous for one's career.

> Being unable to view female coworkers as you do any other coworker is misogynistic.

Sure, now what? There exists misogynistic people in the world, a lot of them in the workforce. That would imply that comment saying "men and women still don't work together" is at least worth consideration. You can't solve social issues by assigning a label.


Not at all, it would imply, perhaps, that mysogynistic people don't work well with others. And that certainly isn't a surprising conclusion.


The fact that there are so many issues in the workplace in the news / personal accounts and the fact that men and women have only been working together for a relatively short time clearly indicate to me that the jury is still out on whether men and women can truly work together and that it's best that way.


Aspies have some advantages and disadvantages. Not hiring an Aspie because, say, we need a person who is comfortable with a lot of noise and distractions, is a skill-based decision. I understand no willingness to adapt (though, if it were about other aspects of a person, there will be a lot of rants; and possibly lawsuits).

However, when there is a Resume, interview or recommendation letter stage that implicitly uses skills NOT RELEVANT for the job that people on the autism spectrum lack, it is a different story. It is a firewall, often not related to the actual workplace.

Moreover, if it is not a procedure of a single company, but a universal standard (especially in the US), it creates a system that is unfavorable for people on the autism spectrum. Most neurotypicals get when "optional" means "required" and "required" means "optional". Or, as in the comment above, that the meaning of "truth" is different for neurotypicals (usually meaning: no outright lies, but drop things that are not favorable for you, and simplify story with the favorable ones).

So, the interview process (in its very common form) is a firewall very effective against many neurodiverse people.


To the ADHD and autistic people, the definition of truth is fairly strict: no lies, no omissions, no simplification, no made-up stories.


> Not hiring an Aspie because, say, we need a person who is comfortable with a lot of noise and distractions, is a skill-based decision.

No, it isn't. It is a workplace environment problem, and if a workplace is not willing to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of a worker, or allows such unwillingness to affect the hiring decisions, then they are breaking the law.


There are some circumstances where it might make sense, like a construction site. No tech company should be one.


>Not hiring an Aspie because, say, we need a person who is comfortable with a lot of noise and distractions, is a skill-based decision

No, that's discrimination. Autism is a disability and companies are required to make reasonable accommodations. A hipster startup wouldn't get away with being wheelchair-inaccessible because that would be discriminating against the disabled. Unless you're running a restaurant or factory or operation like that you have no reasonable excuse to discriminate against the disabled.


> Let's face it: for neurotypical people, a lot of autists are very hard to get along with. Their behaviour is not always predictable in the way that we need behaviour to be in a workplace; and when more pronounced, their specific needs are not something that we want to have to address in our coworkers.

They say if you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person. As the term 'neurodiversity' implies, it is not restricted to any particular phenotype, but speaks of a plurality of diverse behavior types.

> It's good that small companies are often able to accomodate folks like yourself

Their are many high-functioning autistic people all through-out the start-up scene and across the tech industry. I'm certain it isn't just small companies that employ people on the spectrum. Some mask so well, you can't even tell - and the distinction between neurodiverse and neurotypical is not as binary as you might imagine.

You might want to give pause for thought.


You're discussing from a position that puts team efficiency (and company efficiency) above any other value. You may in fact be right that certain kinds of diversity can hurt team efficiency (for an obvious example, if you already have a team of white power types, hiring a black man on that mteam will lead to morale issues).

However, in practice, and especially for large companies, optimizing only for efficiency is simply not acceptable behavior. Since the ability to find a place to work is so important for any individual in our society to have a chance at a decent life, companies' social responsibilities must have them potentially sacrifice some efficiency to prevent discrimination of large groups.

Note: I am not in any way claiming that disadvantaged groups are less efficient at work, there is absolutely not evidence of that. I am claiming that sometimes, to accept disadvantaged groups in a workplace may create some discomfort to the people who were already in that workplace, since statistically they were likely to hold biases against that discriminated group.


> Since the ability to find a place to work is so important for any individual in our society to have a chance at a decent life, companies' social responsibilities must have them potentially sacrifice some efficiency to prevent discrimination of large groups.

I think about this often, so let me try to play the devil’s advocate: (1) why are we (the society) allowed (even encouraged) to discriminate for intelligence at almost every point in our lives (school, job, marriage)? (2) sure, companies are forbidden from discriminating because of certain characteristics, let’s take pregnancy; but why should companies be expected to shoulder that burden all by themselves? It’s more than reasonable for the society to cover the costs, as a sort of insurance policy - it probably doesn’t matter that much for big companies that can just statistically assume that a certain percentage of employees will be sick / pregnant / etc. but for a small company 1 missing employee is a big burden (even if the government covers parental leave salary)

edit: could also include "assholeness" in (1), could even blame it on neurodiversity


For (1) I think the 'intelligence' that we discriminate for in all those cases is such a vague term that it essentially means 'being good at X'.

If that is the case, obviously we discriminate by it, because we try to choose people who are better at X when trying to find people for X. Tether there is a single underlying characteristic that makes you better at X (a pre-determined IQ) that is discriminated for is perhaps harder to know. I certainly don't think that school for example advances students based purely on intelligence - discipline, even obedience, like-ability, sometimes teamwork, are all at least as important to what makes most good students successful.

Related to 2,my answer is very simple: companies don't take the full burden, at least in most countries. In general, there is a shared burden - the employee has reduced pay, the state is paying for some or most of that, and the company is forced to keep the position open for the employee when they decide to return. In my country at least, they are also free to hire a temp to fill that position for the 1 or 2 years of maternal leave.


I’m genuinely curious, why is it a company’s responsibility (in a capitalist society) to hire someone less efficient? I agree that work is fundamentally important, but how is this not the government’s responsibility like any other welfare effort? Also, are you claiming that employment is an undeniable human right like free speech or protection from harm? And if so, what happens if there’s something like another Great Depression? (For the record, I agree that neurodiverse groups should be protected like other disadvantaged groups. I also think that they have less spotlight and protections than other disadvantaged groups despite having what’s arguably more disadvantage)


Well, there are many ways to look at this. The most utilitarian is simply this: you could have a society in which people can live a decent life without having a job and without being born rich. In this society, companies could be allowed to only hire for maximal efficiency, since the state could e sure the livihood of those who don't get chosen for jobs by other means. However, such a society would be vastly different from our own - for example, it would be essentially impossible to hire for menial labor, since without the threat of starvation few people would choose to become garbage workers or maids. For another, you would necessarily have high taxes on the employed to be able to support the unemployed, which would lead to political problems and would likely be an unstable equilibrium.

In our society we have chosen a different solution, pretty much all over the world: your ability to have food and shelter is conditioned on having a job (or being born rich), but in exchange, the state tries its best to guarantee you a job. We don't generally allow the state to operate companies, so the only way for the state to guarantee jobs is to incentivize and even force companies to employ people without discrimination, to at least some extent.

Now, my personal belief is that the justification should come the other way around - why do we allow society to judge your right to a basic livelihood by any criteria at all? But I'm guessing that would not be a compelling argument, and I can't claim to have a working picture of how such a society could look like.


The society you are thinking of is UBI of some sort


You can see it as a sort of tax. For certain categories it certainly makes sense, like young women (that will likely get pregnant and take time off) because society absolutely needs people to have children. For people with various mental issues it is less clear that the burden should be put on each individual company. Perhaps better to have programs that help them find work that fits them?


I'll be happy to disagree with this post for reasons other than claims of "systemic discrimination". It celebrates behaviors that are linked with hypocrisy and arbitrary bias. The problem isn't that you're weeding out people who don't fit in with the team. The problem is that you're weeding out people as a result of invalid, inaccurate, arbitrary biases that are more likely to stem from animal-brain genetic instincts, rather than modern evidence-based research and training. It's simply another form of low mediocrity, and you're doing yourself no favors for it. Any attempt to defend using gut instinct as a target for hiring decisions (even though some bias is unavoidable due to human nature) is going to sound obnoxiously ignorant to those who know better.


> animal-brain genetic instincts

You're discounting intuition with this dismissive label. Trusting the instincts of your team to make decisions on who they can work with is critical to maintaining cohesion on that team and keeping people happy, which is a critical competitive advantage (especially during any kind of downturn). We're not talking about "low mediocre", "animal-brain" people, we're talking about professionals who may have hired / worked with hundreds of different people.

But then, you're just using ad hominems, and not actually providing any kind of evidence, or really an argument of any kind other than "you're obnoxiously ignorant", which ironically enough is _your_ intuition about _me_. Delightful! Thanks for this crass exchange.


> and not actually providing any kind of evidence

You might want to live up to your own standards. Looking at your posts so far, you point to no evidence that hiring 'based on intuition' (for whatever that means) ends in positive outcomes for either group cohesion, or even that fuzzy end-goal: productivity.


You're going full circle here. He's not the one advocating for "modern evidence-based research and training", so it's not in his standards. And I'm not blaming him. Not everything is measurable, or at least measurable in ways that would enable researchers to extract meaningful answers or techniques. You said it yourself, productivity is a fuzzy end-goal.

If you do not believe it is possible to empirically derive a way to interview properly, then rationalism is your best choice, i.e. Intuition/Deduction. And contrary to common belief, rationalism is not a prison. It's just a decision process, in which you're perfectly allowed to question yourself using available empiric data.


I was validly pointing out the hypocrisy of core-questions.


In defense of GP, you know why we haven't replaced all hiring interviews with standardized tests and statistical models? Gut instinct. People can make a good guess about how they'll get along with an interviewee. Machines can't just yet. And this is important, because while a mediocre person that fits in well with a team is only a minor positive contribution, a bad team fit is a negative contribution even if they're exceptional in hard skills.

> modern evidence-based research and training.

Interviewing process is hard, social-sciences-style hard. Completely bullshit theories and "standard practices". This doesn't rise anywhere near "evidence-based".


Some of my interview is giving them an underspecified problem and seeing whether they can formulate questions (and dare to ask them!) that lead to solving the important part. I don't know how to standardize that, but we definitely need it.


I'm not arguing against gut instinct being a necessary factor. My point is that when it's the only factor, and when people rationalize it as being the only factor, without any quantification, then that's the problem.

How do you define "bad team fit"? Can you make a checklist of things that are associated with "good team fit" and "bad team fit", and aim to assess for those items individually, before coming to a conclusion? You don't need artificial general intelligence to make a spreadsheet and a checklist. If you don't do at least this, how do you even know in your own mind what a good team fit really is? You don't need to have perfect accuracy with this list of criteria, but not having a list at all will be less accurate than any list you come up with in good faith.


How is "team fit" different from "culture fit" which basically means acts/talks/works "like me" and without explicitness can produce a discriminatory monoculture?


In my view, companies are inherently discriminatory (they choose who to hire, that's who makes up the company) regardless of any policy that is implemented. A monoculture is often the goal! Whether that's good or not depends very heavily on what that culture ends up being in practice, of course.


Selecting for culture fit isn’t always bad. You could be selecting for good cultural values the company has.


"Team fit" mostly means social skills.


> Of course, I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who vehemently disagree with me ... and will make you a protected class soon enough.

Not asking for special privileges or protections.

Asking for the same privileges and protections afforded to everyone else.


My understanding is that the protected classes are the only ones afforded protections related to these things.


Protected classes as a legal concept in the US is two lists, one federal and then state law. In that context you are either on either of them or you are not, and depending on the answer you get certain protections.

In EU there is no such list. Anti-discrimination law is quite a bit broader here, but so is also the exceptions.


Please enhance your understanding, your world will be richer for it:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Privilege#Privilege_blindness


Please go back and re-read what I said.

I was talking about protections, not privileges. The protected classes are the only ones that are actually protected by law. The fact that other groups (white, male, etc) benefit from privileges are a reason for there being protected classes, but they are not the same thing at all.


That backfired. Hopefully, your world is richer because he corrected your misunderstanding.


>No, that's a misnomer. Systematic discrimination implies the system itself codifies this behaviour

I hate to point this out when you've written a substantial comment like this, but the comment you're replying to said "systemic," not "systematic," and the difference between them isn't just a semantic quibble.


> Let's face it: for neurotypical people, a lot of autists are very hard to get along with. Their behaviour is not always predictable in the way that we need behaviour to be in a workplace; and when more pronounced, their specific needs are not something that we want to have to address in our coworkers.

Or try it like this and see how it feels:

"Let's face it: for white people, a lot of black people are very hard to get along with ..."


Hey, if you want to make it a racial thing, that's your problem. I find people "go to the well" for this sort of argument when they can't actually argue with the real premise.


You mistake my intent.

I'm not trying to "go to the wall" because I want to win an argument with you.

What I'm trying to do is use an example of another kind of discriminatory behaviour which is socially unacceptable to demonstrate to you that many people will find your words to be obnoxious and judge you harshly for them.

But hey, if you don't care about that kind of thing then it's not your problem I guess.


GP pointed out a real, existing problem, and trying to deny it by pattern-matching into a racial problem isn't helping either of them.

> that many people will find your words to be obnoxious and judge you harshly for them.

That probably speaks more about those people than about GP.

Having worked and being friends with people who most definitely fall into the spectrum (didn't get confirmed diagnosis, though), it does present very unique challenges in terms of teamwork and workplace organization, challenges that gender or ethnic differences don't bring in. It takes special company architecture and open-minded people to make it work; your typical 9 to 5, crank out code and kill tickets off Jira software company won't.


Race has very little influence on behavior. By definition, autism has a significant affect on behavior. You are comparing pears to grapefruit.


There is a big difference between prejudging a person and their possible behavior from a known trait of their appearance, and judging a person from their observed behavior (often without any knowledge that the person is neuroatypical).


> "Let's face it: for white people, a lot of black people are very hard to get along with ..."

I thought this was a silly comparison at first, but if you ask why is racial/sexual/other discrimination wrong (and not just illegal) in in hiring then it makes sense. When hiring you're judging an individual and not the group as a whole, if that person isn't at the peak of the bell curve of whatever group you're discriminating against/for then you're probably making a sub optimal decision.

Women are weaker than men but in an interview the only question you need to ask is if this women is strong enough to do the job. To various degrees over various times black people had much worse k-12 education, but in an interview you only needed to know if the person in front of you has the appropriate education level. If you avoid someone neurotypical because "a lot of autists are very hard to get along with" then you're doing the same thing a racist person is doing, just with different prejudices.


> Moreover, many symptoms od ADD are taken for laziness, sloppiness, or lack of motivation. Many symptoms of Aspie are taken for rudeness, ill intentions or trying to dominate (breaking a social rule => (s)he thinks (s)he is above it).

To make matters even more complicated, in just the right dosage those faux pas can actually serve as countersignalling, and increase your perceived worth.

I'm speaking from experience.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countersignaling


I've learned that as well.

It felt weird that people excuse my social mistakes when they think I am dominating and don't care for others, but don't excuse it when I say "I am sorry" and explain that I didn't know (they assume wrong intentions + being caught red-handed + not admitting it).

Comparing with autistic standards, a lot of neurotypical interactions is less about being honest, and more: building one's position in the social hierarchy. (I find that disappointing, but well - it is how the world works.)


>I've heard it so many times about people interviewing others, as "(s)he is smart, passed all test, but weird, I don't like to work with her/him".

I never really understood the point of affirmative action until I was told point blank repeatedly that my co-workers thought I was good at the work, but didn't like me because of what I couldn't do, and that getting hired & staying hired is about having co-workers like you.

I've tolerated hostile workplace environments, abuse, discrimination, disclosure of medical information, and such just to cling onto a job because I couldn't prove most of it. I didn't think I could just leave the situation and get another job so I didn't want to make any enemies. Honestly one of the main things I have going for me career-wise is that this has happened so much people feel bad for me and pull strings for me.

Discrimination is so easy. Just say somebody was a bad culture-fit. If anybody is different: disabled, poor, old, wrong ethnicity, wrong gender, ESL, then they obviously don't "fit in".


I think "weird" is a bit of an umbrella term with areas of "weird" that make it pretty undesirable to work with said person.

Do you believe there should be no other criteria other than strictly strictly technical competence when hiring? Some of the more unpleasant workplace environments i've had hasn't been because of lack of peer technical skill.


The most depressing thing at the moment is that people with a bare minimum of knowledge, interest and competence with technology are infiltrating and being given desirable jobs because they meet HR's perceptions of a good employee, rather than being what the business needs. These people parasite themselves on the people that do the real work but don't happen to have a nice smile/good hair/preferred sexual organs etc.


> Many symptoms of Aspie are taken for rudeness, ill intentions or trying to dominate (breaking a social rule => (s)he thinks (s)he is above it).

Honest question: how do you find out if it's somebody with Asperger or just an asshole? I had a former colleague who maybe was in the spectrum or maybe it was just rude/uninterested all the time, and now I feel a bit guilty for him.


Well the two aren't mutually exclusive any more than other personal traits. A guy in a wheelchair can still be an asshole. The big sign for any sort of social ineptness is remorse if they find out they accidentally hurt someone. Although that definition may also be somewhat values influenced. Asian people are often stereotyped as rude for instance because of different standards. A grocer just silently bagging your goods and only speaking the bare minimum might be considered rude but for them it is the norm.


You might be interested in this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic


I'd like to suggest an easier way to say (s)he or her/him. Just replace it with they, they're, and them. It means the same thing but doesn't draw attention.


you succeeded in university though


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: