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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Thursday September 20, 2007
05:47 PM

The Myth of the Easy Answer and Women in IT

[ #34499 ]

My friends inspire most of my articles. Thanks, friends.

One friend works at a company that built it's IT infrastructure on Microsoft products and salesforce.com. They're adding SAP to the mix.

Friend in question is a she.

She was hired for a fairly high level position and a as you'd expect, a lot is being asked of her, but she's very smart and capable of working hard.

She keeps wonder what's she's supposed to do. This question is flawed -- there isn't some particular thing she needs to do. And even figuring out what to do isn't enough. Nor is going a step further beyond that and implementing some solution.

The problems are mostly social, even though it's easy to get hung up on the depth and severity of the technical problems.

What's needed is someone who is...

Arrogant enough scheme something up that throws out the mess that everyone is clinging to and replaces it with something else.

Manipulative enough to coerce other people into going along with a plan.

Subversive enough to ignore the official dictates from the people who created the mess in the first place.

Some jobs call for a dick, in the bad sense of the word.

You have to conduct yourself in the nerd equivalent of a football player or ape. It's you against them, and you're in charge, or you're going to try damn hard to be, unless they decide to help you, which they won't do willingly.

The mess was created by people selling simple solutions to complex problems. The primary benefit to doing this, besides people really this non-existent ideal, is that you can be nice about it. Java developers but a nice facade on the brutal practice of software development. Letting non-technical people attempt to create IT for data driven companies using Access or Excel is extremely nice -- it's completely hands off. Just give them the rope and let them do the hangin'. The Java people put a nice facade on through excessive professionalism and formality and ritual; Perl people do it through over friendliness and inappropriate levels of agreeablility. I'm not saying that if software development is treated like the brutal practice it is that success if assured, merely that failure courses aren't dealt with properly otherwise.

Oh well. That's all boring stuff.

A whole bunch of sales people want reports, often custom, on data that comes in through ftp, very un-fresh, and gets imported into salesforce.com and sometimes re-exported and run through Access to make reports. It's pretty manual and hard to customize. So they're adding SAP.

-scott

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  • dress like a guy and feel comfortable for being labelled a bitch for being like a guy. Few professions have more emotionally retarded guys and guys with more screwed up ideas about women than IT does.
    • Oh, airline captains have IT guys beat six ways from Sunday. Especially airline captains who hit 60 (mandatory retirement) and get rewarded with a desk to fly, and haven't grasped the fact that managing is different from being PIC. How certain of them survived to retirement without having been pushed out a hatch by a flight attendant was a source of continual puzzlement to me.
    • I've met some women who wouldn't have been sugar-n-spice in any profession. Some people are just unpleasant to be around.

  • Been there, done that. It can even be great fun, if the people you're being A Big Meanyhead to *deserve* it.

    In my case, they did. When your department (of three people) has worked 24/7 for a week to come up with years' worth of records required by federal law that another department wasn't keeping (or rather, wasn't keeping in the legally-mandated method and format - no making up numbers involved, just reformatting), they should say "thank you."

    When they not only don't, they come to you three months later a
  • I don't really understand this "women in IT" problem. Most of my bosses have been women. This is atypical, you'll tell me.

    Maybe these women who are having mythical problems in IT are just themselves socially retarded, and that's why they're having difficulties? I guess it's impolite to say that, even though there's apparently no problem saying it about men.

    "Don't know what to do next", uh yeah, neither do I, and I have a penis. Should I also be blaming others about not know what I want to do?

    Seriously, h

    • I guess it’s impolite to say that, even though there’s apparently no problem saying it about men.

      So two wrongs make a right? Has it occurred to you that maybe you should say it about neither gender?

      Maybe we’d have fewer of the problems we have if the debate wasn’t reduced to clichés on all sides.

      Talk about myths…

      You’re kidding, right?

      Story time. When I got back from YAPC::EU, my parents were curious about what I got up to (it’s actually the first

      • Go to any venue at all where computer people convene, and take stock of the gender balance. It’s at least 10:1 in favour of men, very nearly everywhere.

        This is by no means limited to IT though.

        I was talking to a casual acquaintance of mine once who works in the Events Management industry.

        Her complaints sounded like a mirror image of IT. It's ALL women, there's bitchiness and back-stabbing and drama queens everywhere. The few men in the industry are all gay, and even BIGGER bitches and drama queens tha

        • The way I see it, the problem consists of two pieces in every case:

          1. A particular predisposition in that industry/societal fraction.
          2. A general principle that amplifies this into severe gender imbalance.

          Approaches to the general principle can be shared, each group has to tackle its particular selective forces on its own. In this, IT differs from tenure, which differs from event management, etc.