Diverse roles in tech will lead to diversity…?

Welcome to international women’s day.

It’s not controversial to say that technology jobs aren’t filled by men and women equally. I think that there is an opportunity for more diverse working methods and more diverse thinking producing better results. I can’t prove this, I think it is true because most of my business-facing development work would benefit from multiple points of view.

Great; so how would we attract diverse talent… And more importantly, how do we ensure that we get the benefits of that diversity? Because – in my opinion – acquiring diverse talents and then forcing them into the same suits and ties, the same modes of interaction is asking for a disappointment.

So how do we allow diverse talent chances to flourish in technology. There’s only one way to write code, right?

Well, I think that R and other data analysis languages are a chance to create some diverse roles that not only are filled by diverse backgrounds… but get woven into current roles. That type of programming is accessible because it stays close to what you already know and doesn’t require you to change tribe. So it’s not like you need to be an ex-stats PhD to use it, you don’t need to be an ex-developer…  You don’t need to be an ex-anything, you can be an accountant who uses it now, you can be a business analyst who mangles HR systems or anything else, all you need is to be motivated and believe that you can.

That accessibility actually carries through into the language, the way you use it to solve problems, the kind of problems you want to solve with it, and the kind of outputs you get (rich data, models, charts, diagrams, etc.). All diverse, all open and all accessible and attractive to newcomers.

I think that this has happened before; home computers democratised computers and took them out of university maths departments; web tech put design right in the middle of the developer job with coding tech like HTML, CSS and even javascript. I think that a web design shop has now many diverse roles from plain coder, to hybrid design/coders and visual designers all working together. That just didn’t before 1995. Probably games have moved the same way; though you could challenge me on the demographics there.

So, it might not be directly an issue for women, but it could be a factor. If you look at the number of #RLadies out there..

And now for an R pun: I’m think that we should do something with suff-R-gette?


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