Last week I noticed that we have way fewer women engineers than we used to, and I started a company conversation about it. Or tried to. It's hard to know how to participate in that conversation.
Here are my thoughts:

1. This is on leadership to an extent, but not fully. Company culture matters, and we've clearly stumbled into a culture that made our women engineers feel less welcome.

2. This is more of a conversation for the men at work to have.
3. We can and should do better, and we want to, but it's not clear how.

4. What thoughts or observations do folks have?
The result was that a few people weighed in -- a bunch of leadership weighed in thanking me for starting the conversation and explicitly hanging back to hear what other colleagues had to say.

One or two folks chimed in, other than that crickets.
My question to you, Twitter, is how I can make this conversation easier to have? It's still an open Slack thread, I can stir it up again, but I'm not sure how.

Are there direct questions I should ask? Are there resources I could employ?
I will say that the phrase "pipeline problem" has already appeared, which I know is a red flag, right?

My understanding is that there is no pipeline problem, it's a question of creating a culture that feels safe and then explicitly seeking out underrepresented folks.
And Mode did that work, and had a culture that felt safe, and I think during the Pandemic with layoffs and priorities that safety crumbled a bit and we lost a lot of the employees that made Mode special.

But all is not lost, we can turn this around if we make the effort now.

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More from @mykola

9 Oct
I learned to debate by arguing with the campus street preacher bigot at Ohio state. My goal was never to convince him, but to reveal how ignorant his arguments were to the other people gathered.

I learned a lot.
I learned that it’s powerful to cede as many ancillary points as possible to avoid distraction - just focus on the main argument.
I learned that when someone gets into a position where they have argued themselves into a corner there’s no final fantasy victory music that plays from the heavens, and they are free to ignore their own failure. That’s fine.
Read 6 tweets
6 Oct
If you're looking for new engineering opportunities please consider joining me at @ModeAnalytics. It's a great place to work with a solid, well-positioned product. We need good engineers to help us improve our offerings.

Look here then hit me up via DM!
We've got open roles for Java, Ruby, Go and Typescript.

Our Ruby is a monolith solving interesting problems.

Our Typescript is an Angular app.

Our Go and Java are used for standalone services.
Why is this a good place to work? A lot of reasons, and I don't say that lightly. A flexible schedule, fantastic colleagues, challenging but solvable problems -- and my manager and I are working on a promotion path for ND people specifically.
Read 5 tweets
6 Oct
Are you fucking kidding me?…
For a long history of predatory "medical" professionals selling snake oil to desperate terrified parents (who they are explicitly terrifying) re: autism treatments, pick up @stevesilberman's Neurotribes.
People hate autism so much that parents will make their kids drink bleach, will subject them to chemical chelation, will put them on highly restrictive diets, etc. All to "cure" the autism.

But the autism can't be cured. The TRAUMA can sure be addressed, though!
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
I’ve done this in the past. I learned. That’s what it means to grow.

If you’ve also done this in the past - either publicly or just in your own thinking - take a moment and think about how you’ve stopped.

If you haven’t stopped, this is your chance.

Appreciate the growth.
I know so many autistic people who have been traumatized into “I was never wrong, this was just misinterpreted” and I get it.

But: its not scary to be wrong, and people can generally see through the thin denial.

You are scared to be wrong because you have been punished for it.
But nobody is going to punish you if you admit to yourself that you weren’t born fully informed about the nuances of race relations, for instance.

We MUST be ok with having been wrong otherwise we can never leave that state.
Read 5 tweets
5 Oct
This was helpful to me. Hey fellow white #ActuallyAutistic folks, give this short video a watch to get a tiny bit of context into what our Black friends are dealing with. We need to do better.
White autistic privilege:

1) If I start stimming or otherwise acting "Autistic" in public, many people have a framework for understanding what's happening.
2) When I talk about my experience being autistic I'm going to have a lot of (white) people telling me they share my experience, because they have the privilege of recognizing and diagnosing (or self-diagnosing) more easily.
Read 10 tweets
11 Sep
We did it. They are stopping, for now.

Activism works. Making noise works. Being generally annoying works.

You know what would work really well, though, next time?


I wish autistic people had allies. We don’t, we do this ourselves and exhaust ourselves every time.
Thank you especially to @AnnMemmott and @AutSciPerson for leading the charge on this. They are both leaders in our community and you should follow them if you don’t.
Read 4 tweets

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