I'm not one to be opening my mouth about these types of things. Let's get that our there right now:

  • I'm super unlikely to identify any of these concerns
  • I'm not gonna be affected if nothing changes
  • My lack of being bothered has zero impact that others are

I want emphasize the last point there.

Me not seeing an issue/concern doesn't mean it isn't a affecting others.

I've worked hard to not be a giant inconsiderate ass. I'm sure I've got A LOT more I can learn; and I hope people are gonna be willing to help me.

I don't expect to blog much about the social issues in our industry. I'm not one to see the problems. Anything I have to say will be all referencing what others have said.

I am 100% behind the efforts to make our industry more inclusive, less excluding.
There are problems.
Some are impacting more people than others. Unless you want to "Dear Muslima" this; all issues are worth addressing even while "bigger" issues aren't resolved.

Twitter is where I see most of this, it's fun.

I like how Sarah Mei puts it here

When a member of a marginalized group tells you that something you’re doing is exclusionary, here’s what you should do:

  1. Listen
  2. Shut up
  3. Listen more
  4. Think of alternatives
  5. Consult with members of marginalized groups about your alternatives
  6. Make changes

There are two points I REALLY try for are 2 and 6.

I don't have their experiences to understand how they might be impacted by the something. I'm an outsider, and I doubt there's much of value I'll be able to add to the discussion. Honestly - I don't even know HOW to wave a flag in support. I may actually; and normally intially have; disagreed. I support the discussion regardless of my view because discussion is the only way we get better.

Poor Choices

One of my early influences on how to be a better programmer was Bob Martin. This was particularly for his Clean Code book.

I'm disappointed in his stance for acceptance issues. ... Nah; I'm a bit repulsed by his views on how we can be a more inclusive industry. I accept that he's genuine when he says he wants to be more inclusive; I just don't see him being good at it.

He's one of the loudest voices I see on twitter (I follow him) around these issues. Which is why the examples are going to be from him. I know there are others, but I don't think their comments or blogs have stood out quite so painful to me.

A huge first comes on the discussion of "Craftman". Craftsman is sexist. It's explicitly masculine which is explicitly exclusionary towards women.
It got quite a bit of space on my twitter feed around May when Java by Comparison came out with the unfortunate subtitle of

Become a Java Craftsman in 70 Examples

A simple congratulatory tweet from the previously mentioned Sarah Mei

Congrats on the book! Unfortunately your editor (I assume) gave it a shitty subtitle, which means I and thousands of others will never buy it.

Bob Martin wrote a post about the ensuing discussion around the term "Craftsman" that doubled down on what he was saying on twitter. And ends in a painful way

In any case the term “Craftsman” is in such common usage that I feel I must continue using it.

He uses "Craftsman" and "Craftswoman"... This is exclusionary. Litterally saying there's a difference between men and women. This is stupid. It an explicit rejection of equality which he says he isn't doing.

So many professions have updated their terminology to be gender-neutral that refusal to do so is to refuse to get with the times.

Personally, I lost a lot of respect for him as a person. Not that he'll ever know or care what my respect for him is.

Remember kids - Never get to know your heros; they're probably assholes.

Something came up recently that Bob wrote a post about it. This is where I decided I'm not gonna stay publicly silent. Not sure if that's the right choice; as a reminder of step two - SHUT UP! If it's not the right choice; sometimes we gotta go wrong to find the right way.

Sarah Mei has a tweet.

the term “domain driven design,” frequently abbreviated “DDD” - which is a common large bra measurement in the US, & often part of dirty movie titles.

For me; "DDD" in a software context is "Domain Driven Design". The number of times I would have considered it a "softcore porn reference" is zero.

Guess what though

Things that are completely irrelevant here include:

  • whether you personally thought of it
  • whether it personally bothers you
  • whether it personally bothers women who are involved in the concept

Talking about this point Bob's post brings up a tweet by Sarah Mei "Wondering why all the agile/XP stuff (like pairing, TDD, etc) doesn’t seem to work for a heterogenous team?" that mentions the agile manifesto was "developed by a bunch of white dudes".

I've heard some signers of the Manifesto, Ron and Chet talk at conferences. Always fun to hear them bash Agile at an Agile conference.
One of the things they've brought up is that there were A LOT of other things that were part of their working agreement that didn't get put on the manifesto.
Perhaps these un-recorded practices would help heterogenous teams? Their absence could be because they weren't part of the criticality to a non-diverse team.

Were or weren't - I don't know. Maybe? Maybe.

Bringing this tweet up; and the rest of the hyperbole of the post annoys the shit out of me.
Hyperbole bullshit like this:

the true goal of the software SJWs [is] outrage – for the sake of outrage

Bob brings up the Declaration of Independence

if the race and gender of the authors was the sole determinant of effectiveness, then one would have to condemn the Declaration of Independence

Well... Yeah. I'd kinda condem it. Not all of it; and there's not a call to throw out everything learned from XP and the Agile Manifesto; but there can be problems...

the merciless Indian Savages

Even in the best of intended documents.

Personally; I don't see where/how the Agile Manifesto fails on a diverse team... Of course, I've not actually been on a particularly diverse team... I'm gonna take the advice that it doesn't matter if I see the problem, if someone does; we should be obligated to look into it.

I want my industry to be more inclusive and remove things that could be a stumbling block that could be perceived as felt exclusionary. I don't see it, but that doesn't mean "it was clear to most of us that this was a truly dumb idea."

Not My Problem

Let's assume best intent for this; that's the case most of the time I've encountered it.

If someone is perceiving a problem; there is a problem. That I don't see it, or don't understand it doesn't mean the problem isn't real.

Let's be professionals and help our industry resolve the problems people have.