Google Firing Engineer: Thoughts?


You’re doing it wrong.


I was surprised to find a mostly balanced view from CNN.

I appreciated this statement: “To me, if you read it and are completely outraged or uniformly in favor, then you are part of the problem. If you can read anyone’s opinion, spread out over 10 pages, and find nothing with which you agree, then you’re almost certainly not thinking. Similarly, if you can read this guy’s entire memo and find yourself blindly nodding, then you probably aren’t using your brain either.”


Cool, will check out for sure :slight_smile:

Maybe I misphrased my suggestion earlier (yup, thinking about it now, I definitely did). I mean more of a guided conversation amongst those sharing a common experience rather than a ‘panel’. Given the casual nature of the show I’m not sure the obligations of a formal panel exist and it might be an opportunity to explore the aspects of the issue time constraints and goals of other venues might not allow for. I’m thinking more of a /r/talesfromretail feel. I know I’ve always had some less pertinent questions regarding the issue (i.e. what role does the over gamification of tech culture play in motivations, why do some people think that just because they’re being mean they’re being taken seriously?, could the person attacking be suffering serious mental illness and if you suspect that what is your duty of care?, has anyone else sometimes gotten the creepy feeling the person attacking them was ‘typing with one hand’?, etc. etc.) and I’d be interested in hearing thoughts on those from others. I guess I meant more of a chat covering the “everything else” bits that rarely get covered in depth elsewhere due to the importance of addressing the primary problem.

Much agreed. It may be later than we think, here’s hoping we have time to evolve.


Of course; let’s not think about the actual content of the memo or what he actually said. Let’s instead work out how the things he didn’t really say make us feeeel, and base our reactions on that.

Seriously, if trying to have a sensible conversation to determine the points of disagreement, so perhaps evidence can be adduced to resolve them one way or the other, is “doing it wrong”, what does doing it right look like?


My thoughts. He was crazy to write that stuff in this super-sensitive age in which we live where everybody is a coiled spring, just waiting for the opportunity to get outraged over something like this. There is an economy of outrage and this kind of thing is the fuel.

He should not have been sacked. Just not a sackable offence. He should have been heavily admonished and given serious warnings and possibly counseling. Giving in to the lynch mob was a spineless move. And to this kid’s credit, the one thing he was not, was spineless.

I have no idea why women are under-represented in technology. I have worked with lady programmers plenty of time. Some absolutely great devs. You just have to mind your Ps and Qs a bit more than usual. It is not rocket science. And not a problem.

In conclusion, I want to draw your attention to a similar controversy which made me angry where a company objectified their own resource (as a promo girl) in a campaign on Linked In and then cried foul when the inmates in the asylum went a bit crazy - article here . This kind of thing drives centrists like me nuts and shows the inflexibility of both sides of the debate to give an inch in the views. Too many heroes in this world. “Call em out”. Be a hero! Congratulations, you’ve just earned a cape.


Uh…just going to point out here that most heros have origin stories and preexisting aversions to injustice. Like my personal fave, Jessica Jones:

But seriously, I just wanted to drop back to say thanks for inspiring the Cagney and Lacy binge I’m currently on. I mean

HA HA HA what the hell was that?!?! Was that like how people used to say"lady cop" in the 70’s? Holy shit, man. Anyhow, I totally forgot that show existed so thanks for making my Sunday :slight_smile:


OK, formal warning, @NonLinuxUser. You see where at the bottom of the page it says “don’t be a dick”? This is what it’s talking about. You are welcome to disagree, but do so politely. That sort of comment is what gets you banned for violating the code of conduct.

Personally, I thought that @Sarah_Scarlett called out your position in a more amusing way than I would have done. “You just have to mind your Ps and Qs a bit more than usual” suggests that the baseline state of how you act is “do things that women find offensive” and that when you work with women you have to try a little bit harder to not be offensive. How about not being like that in the first place, rather than making a special effort to do so just when there are women around? But, anyway, that’s all in the arena of “we disagree and that’s fine; let’s talk about that”, and there’s no problem with disagreement. But keep a civil tongue in your head when doing so, please.


Seconded. Disagree, but do so respectfully.


Could not agree more I would have posted something similar to to Stuart’s reply had he not posted first. I’m all for debate, and we can’t debate if we don’t disagree from time to time, but it has to be done with respect.


I’m sorry, who are you again?

(yeah, yeah, ok, now really I am being a dick (sorry, couldn’t resist)…I’ll see myself out of the thread)


For the benefit of others following this thread I have deleted a message from NonLinuxUser who I felt was being offensive.


While not as inspirational, Barney Miller has to be the best police show ever!

Sharon Gless is good. Did you see her on Burn Notice?

To treat women as people? Don’t tell that to a Ferengi! :smile:


Going a little further back, there’s Angie Dickenson’s Police Woman (


We could hijack this thread and discuss old tv shows! :smile:


Still further back, there’s My Mother the Car. Literally, a woman in tech.


I’m just realising now. I watched the show when I was a kid so a cross of nostalgia/new (intended) interpretations occurred revisiting it. Strange, but very enjoyable :slight_smile: I have not seen Burn Notice at all :frowning:

Tee hee, I expect it was only a matter of time before the Ferengi were mentioned ITT :smiley:


While I am the King of Digression (All hail the King. Ah Hell), and quite easily distracted (Cake? Is that CAKE?), the thought of turning a discussion of something written, by a man of no great significance, to tv shows was amusing. However, maybe I really shouldn’t go that route in his thread.

Well, (insert old man’s quavering voice) back in the day, if a woman was referred to as a ‘lady’ or a man a ‘gentleman’ it was considered a complement. I take it that is no longer the case? I almost had used that term. whew! :slight_smile:


Yeah, well I’m Queen of unmedicated ADHD, so yeah, sorry about that. Whoops.

I think you can make just about anything pejorative given proper surrounding context, co-opted common usage, etc. etc. In this case, I think the use of ‘lady’ as a prefix is what made it so (as in the common intended meaning was not a real xyz but a lady xyz). Saying something like “ladies and gents” etc. etc. is fine because it doesn’t carry any societal connotation.


So, Tom Jones is still ok? :wink:


As some of my friends in Cardiff would say: Tom Jones is,was, and always will be fab’lous.

The problem with using a term like ‘lady’ is that it can be used as term of affection or as a modifier:

“She is a great ‘lady cop’” could be interpreted in three ways: she is a great lady (who happens to be a cop), For a lady (she is a great cop), She is a great cop (who happens to be a lady).

I’m sure we can all see the distinction here: one is downright offensive, another a back handed compliment and the third is a true compliment but gains nothing by mentioning the gender twice ‘she’ and ‘lady’.

I’ve tried to stay out of this conversation as much as I could up till now but I think some clarification is necessary.

I don’t like using the word equality when it comes to gender because equality implies sameness and men and women each have something unique to bring to the table. We should be celebrating this diversity because it makes life awesome,

Are there careers where one gender is typically better than another? Yes.However, skills tend to follow a bell curve and when it comes to gender differences these curves tend to be quite wide and have a significant overlap.

As some of you are aware we recently had issues with one particular user who I suspect would not find himself disagreeing with me too strongly now. His problem was that when challenged he got frustrated and could not find a suitable way to express his views.

I hope with time for reflection this user is able to rejoin the conversation

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.