Blameful Post Mortem: Surveillance Tech, Impostors Syndrome and The App Economy

by The Editor on November 13th, 2014

Two pieces out from Fast Company: a profile of Tristan Walker and a roundtable discussion with African-American tech leaders on entrepreneurship, funding, the media and other topics: “My white colleague thinks, ‘Did you hire that person just because they’re black?’ My honest answer is, ‘Yeah, that’s part of it. Yeah, because they’re black I actually gave them a bias, just the same way that because that person is white you gave them a bias, okay?’ Why is ‘Did you do this for somebody just because they’re black’ an insult? ‘Did you do this for somebody just because they’re white?’ isn’t an insult, and that happens all the time.”

New research from the ACLU discusses how surveillance technology is being bought and implemented in California, and the role of community discussion in these purchases: “None of the 52 communities with two or more surveillance technologies publicly debated every technology. We found a publicly-available use policy for fewer than one in five surveillance technologies.”

“The most magical innovation of the app economy is making the female workers it depends on mostly invisible.”

Good post on impostor syndrome, with many implications for the dynamics of tech workplaces: “…there’s something else that looms in the background, too, and that is the exploitation of impostor syndrome. Just as women tend to be gaslighted, men are also very aware of impostor syndrome and how it works – even though they may not know that it has a name – and they exploit that knowledge to suppress the women around them… Men know that women have pervasive thoughts about not being good enough, about not being worthy of respect and consideration, and they use that against them.”

The Flatiron School has announced a new web development fellowship – a program to prepare young adults for careers in web development. This *free* program is aimed at 18-26 year olds based in New York with no college degree or web development experience. Applications are now open!

Interesting new post from Rubinius on its core team, relevant to recent community discussions on open source projects and their management: “Another characteristic of the typical open source project ‘core team’ is that the members are usually the most technically skilled and have the greatest number of commits. This automatically creates an imbalance of emphasis on only technical issues and technical expertise, despite the fact that the vast majority of people using, contributing to, or impacted by a project will not be ‘top technical contributors’. The Rubinius Team is not focused exclusively, or even primarily, on the technical aspects of the project.”

On hiring and interviewing, from the Moz Developer Blog by Kelsey Foley: “The Hiring Bar perpetuates work cultures of elitism, ego, and exclusivity by sorting people into buckets: Good Enough and Not Good Enough. Instead, we should be looking along the spectrum of ability for many skills, seeing people’s careers as journeys in growth and development, and looking for places where those journeys intersect with and diverge from our team’s needs and objectives.”

Our next issue, on Hiring, will be out next week.