1. Some idiot (a confirmed idiot, in this instance) says something potentially offensive depending on your panty bunching quotient.
2. Someone decries said idiot, flips tables, talks about how the industry needs to change, and can't believe others aren't as outraged as they are.
3. Everyone has their own opinion, and the discourse on HN is relatively polite, but there's also a ton of shadowy downvotes for rational comments that don't seem all that inflammatory.
Here's the reality - idiots say stupid things. Whether it's denigratory to women, men, blacks, Asians, the mentally challenged, furries, or yes even redditors, it will get said. There's no point getting your feathers all ruffled over something like this - I assume it's not a common sentiment among the people who don't get fired from Facebook, and there's plenty of self-aggrandizing idiots out there to give the outragist fodder to the end of days.
Finally, this is just silly:
> start thinking of computing as a professional discipline, instead of a boy’s club.
Computing is neither a professional discipline nor a boys club. Historically, it's been a sausage fest, and computing will never be a professional discipline so long as there are people out there willing to write PHP for fifteen dollars an hour and engineers are put out to pasture at 35.
Computing may be a sausage fest, but there's no reason we can't change that and there's no reason we can't aspire to being a professional discipline.
There may always be idiots who say stupid things, but when they are given a venue there is nothing whatsoever wrong with calling them out. That’s the reality.
Why are you getting your panties in a bunch by people pointing idiots out? I really don’t get that.
I would address the the actual problematic elements of your comment, but I'm afraid in this forum such communication usually falls on deaf ears. Suffice it to say its easy to have a fatalist attitude towards "idiocy" when you're not the target in question.
It's becoming quite fashionable to bring this up lately, as if its inherently a trump card to the discussion. The obvious follow up to this statement should be to ask: why did the state of things change? Without any attempt at getting to the bottom of why things changed, the statement itself seems to create more ambiguity rather than clarity.
Aside from the fact that PHP, while I personally would never use it, can and has been used to write scalable software, computing is more than just a few poor coders.
It's a bit like saying that being a doctor can't be considered a profession because there are homeopaths. Your argument is neither convincing or logical.
And it's not like saying that doctors aren't a profession because there are homeopaths, because homeopaths aren't doctors. The segment of our industry that is more EE than CS is highly professional, somewhat organized, and relatively mature for an industry only fifty years old, but they are a small, nonvocal segment of our industry and they tend to distance themselves from the people who call themselves "developers."
Let's put it another way - just because some people dig ditches doesn't stop construction from being a profession.
The fact is that Computer Science is a profession. You might not like certain things about it, but you are deadset wrong if you don't consider it a profession.
The litmus test is whether or not an occupation has a policing organisation who dictates who is allowed to practice it. Lawyers, doctors, civil engineers are professions. Homeopathers, developers and ditch diggers are not.
I'll reference wikipedia, but its more of an unwritten rule.
Here's 1 easy to find example, note the advertised rate on odesk https://www.sugarsync.com/piv/D8109283_67296521_859910
People writing PHP for $15 an hour in India are seen as the same level as people writing PHP (or other language) for $125 an hour in the US and Europe.