This post is in response to the post "The Unbearable Whiteness of Coding"
The text below is my comment to that post. I suggest you read that post first. Please leave a comment and follow me (& request follow) if you feel a need to take some action and want to join in with me.
Besides being a coder I've been a college Math instructor. Let me tell you a story. I had lots of foreign students. One was Chinese. He as not a very good student. Unfocused and maybe not much talent. While I was trying help him lift himself up he says, "You know not all Chinese are good at Math". Of course that's true, but take a minute to think about how that meme that Chinese are good at math came to be? It's cultural (i.e. systemic). Give a child the resources and immerse them in a culture where Math is promoted/revered and what happens? I've also been a public school teacher including a stint at the local juvie. I've seen first hand the affect of a poor (or unsupportive) community/school/family on students. Math was the dreaded class. When I'd meet people they would ask me what I do and I'd jokingly reply, "If you put down any sharp objects I'll tell you". That's America's meme when it comes to Math. Math sucks. When it comes to raw math aptitude are Americans (including Blacks and women) deficient. Of course not.
So you going to change that meme overnight? Doubt it. You might be able to apply some immediate band-aides that might result in a more representative staff and well one should as those folks end up being role models that will help fix the systemic problem.
What might we do, those of us who subscribe to DEV and took the time to read this article? As was mentioned in another comment we aren't going to make everyone a coder but what about those people who maybe show some aptitude but don't have the resources and encouragement they need? I think us here can begin to fix that in a realistic, doable, actionable way.
So if you tacitly agree with my observations/comments and like me you want to take some action then I guess all we need is a place to discuss. Not sure if using DEV and this post will work for this purpose so alternatively I could easily spin up a discourse site.
Here are some initial questions that could jump-start such a discussion
- How to identify those who need resources and encouragement
- How small to start (just find one person initially?)
- How to obtain/(pay for) and distribute the needed resources (computers, network connections, iot stuff, etc)
- How to connect to, support and mentor the individual(s).
- How to encourage those being mentored to "pay if forward".
Please leave a comment and follow me (& request follow) if you feel a need to take some action and want to join in with me.