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To Really 'Disrupt,' Tech Needs to Listen to Actual Researchers | WIRED
We all have a stake in shaping the future of technology. The last thing we need is a new set of experts. We need to learn from history and the previous contributions of others.
20 days ago by zryb
The New Wilderness (Idle Words)
No two companies have done more to drag private life into the algorithmic eye than Google and Facebook. Together, they operate the world’s most sophisticated dragnet surveillance operation, a duopoly that rakes in nearly two thirds of the money spent on online ads. You’ll find their tracking scripts on nearly every web page you visit. They can no more function without surveillance than Exxon Mobil could function without pumping oil from the ground.

So why have the gravediggers of online privacy suddenly grown so worried about the health of the patient?
facebook  google  politics  privacy  techculture  siliconvalley  latecapitalism  surveillancecapitalism 
6 weeks ago by beep
bletchley punk on Twitter: "*attends event with 100+ women* ME: ugh I want to shave my head *sits in meeting where everyone is called "guys"* ME: ugh I want to paint my nails"
*attends event with 100+ women*
ME: ugh I want to shave my head
*sits in meeting where everyone is called "guys"*
ME: ugh I want to paint my nails
for people saying "both," yes of course

it's not that I can't do both, it's that both are efforts to be properly Seen
there's this Thing I keep running into, at the intersection of the tech industry and gender

I think it's mostly impactful in cultures where your job is a big part of who you are
I go to women in tech events and, invariably, I'm either the only woman or possibly one of two women who works in the infra space

most other women work in frontend or management or (sometimes) backend services
the number of women I know, in my local community, who do what I do? that is, infra and systems engineering and C and assembly and security and networking?

I know a few from the Internet and some I've met in person!

but still, very very few
and because What We Do is so entwined with Who We Are, there's this odd...gendering that happens

tech roles have been gendered by history (a whole other discussion) but in turn I'm seeing/feeling Gender Defined By Tech Role
I attend events for women and none of them do what I do

and so I feel like I don't belong

and I I not a woman?
because all these women write JS or manage teams and have career paths that look similar

and mine doesn't
and WHY aren't there more women like me? because they're not wanted! there's no in-roads. no retention. no encouragement. if you make it in, you're either held at arm's length or pushed out altogether.

I know this

and yet
it's far easier to feel awkward at WIT events and think "I feel awkward because I'm not a woman" than it is to think "I feel awkward because women like me are systematically culled"
because the latter part is far lonelier
because the latter part acknowledges that I will always be a bit lonely and a bit behind, compared to my WIT friends
gender  womenintech  techculture  misogyny  career  infrastructure  by:alicegoldfuss  twitterthread 
8 weeks ago by dirtystylus
Uber’s Path of Destruction - American Affairs Journal
If Uber’s growth had actually resulted from superior efficiency, there would be ample evidence that it could provide taxi service at significantly lower costs than traditional operators. The opposite is true; Uber has higher costs than traditional operators in every cate­gory other than fuel.

The cost structure of any urban car service company has four components: vehicle costs (typically 18 percent of total, including acquisition, financing, maintenance, and licensing), corporate costs (15 percent, including dispatching, advertising, overhead functions such as IT and legal, and returns to shareholders), fuel (9 percent), and driver compensation (58 percent, including benefits).
10 weeks ago by zryb
Andy Bell on Twitter: "If we bake React into the browser, do we bake the toxic masculinity, links with a cesspit social network and the under-representation of folks who aren’t CIS-men? Or was it just the component model and diffing that you want?"
If we bake React into the browser, do we bake the toxic masculinity, links with a cesspit social network and the under-representation of folks who aren’t CIS-men?

Or was it just the component model and diffing that you want?
reactjs  browser  techculture 
11 weeks ago by dirtystylus
Always Own Your Platform
You know, it wasn't that long ago.

There was RSS.

There were blogs.

There were sub-groups and communities. The weirdos found each other. The non-weirdos found each other. It wasn't perfect. But it was distributed. It was ours.

It was yours.

Now? The original dream of the web is dying. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Medium, and YouTube entice us to give them our creative work.

They control what gets amplified and what gets monetized. A few conference rooms in Silicon Valley dictate our online culture.

It's time to take it back.

Stop giving away your work to people who don't care about it. Host it yourself. Distribute it via methods you control. Build your audience deliberately and on your own terms.

Be in charge of the relationship with your audience.

Deliver value and then ask for money. Avoid unnecessary middlemen.

Always. Own. Your platform.

Do you see someone in the wild, not owning their platform? Let them know:
rss  techculture  list  service  socialmedia 
12 weeks ago by dirtystylus
Matt Klein on Twitter: "Last week I sat for an internal interview about my career progression to high level IC engineer, with a focus on how I've never felt I needed to become a manager to gain influence. I thought I would share some of my career advice f
Last week I sat for an internal interview about my career progression to high level IC engineer, with a focus on how I've never felt I needed to become a manager to gain influence. I thought I would share some of my career advice for aspiring IC "lifers." Thread!

When asked for IC career advice the first thing I always say is: YOU grow your career and influence. Not management, not the company, YOU. This means constantly advocating for ways to grow: subjects to learn, projects with increased scope, and sometimes new teams or companies.

This also means "managing up" is critical. Don't assume your manager is acting in your best interest. Hopefully they are (when your interests *and theirs* align), but sometimes they aren't, and it's important to recognize that early and correct it, or eject if it's not fixable.

The job market for engineers has never been better. DO stay in a job if you are growing, learning, increasing your scope, and generally happy.

Do NOT stay in a job solely to get a promotion or more money, or if you are hungry for more growth, but finding it difficult to carve out opportunities. In these cases, consider switching jobs as a way to fast track your growth with less politics.

Speaking of promotions, the last time I got one was back in my early 20s. I have never seen a promotion process that is not subjective, political, and biased (I say this as a privileged white male, I shudder to think how others fare).

If you are growing in your abilities and generally happy at a job, and a promotion is a side effect, that's great. If your growth is stalled, consider switching jobs, and you will very likely get a promotion and more money, with less political heartache.

I recognize that not everyone can easily move jobs whether due to finances, visas, health, family, etc. and that it's a privilege to be able to do so. If you do have the ability, it provides a significant amount of flexibility and leverage to keep your career growing.

At higher IC levels, you will generally need to choose between focusing on "breadth" versus "depth." Breadth means having wide influence over the technical direction of a business. This typically requires staying at a company for a long time to build context/relationships.

Depth means working towards becoming an industry expert in a specialized field. I have chosen to become a depth IC. It's what I enjoy and I also think it allows for more job flexibility and leverage per above.

Finally, I will reiterate how critical networking and building relationships on the job is. Every job I have moved to (save 1) has been via previous colleagues. Finding people you like working with and for, and moving through the industry with them can be a great growth tactic.

Let's come back to the original subject of the interview which was influence as an IC vs manager. Influence is poorly defined, and situationally dependent, but to me it boils down to scope of impact.

At the highest levels, having large impact as an IC universally requires excellent technical and communication skills. Breadth ICs achieve large impact via cross org relationship building and technical leadership based on intimate knowledge of a business.

Depth ICs achieve large impact via company or industry leadership in a specialized field, therein advancing the state of the art, and having wide impact via novel technological outcomes.

^ requires finding the right opportunity that lets you visibly demonstrate your technical prowess to a wide audience. Determination and job switching if necessary helps, but luck is also a factor (i.e. I was in the right place at the right time with Envoy and executed well).

One last thing: don't let anyone tell you that the tech/engineering is the easy part. It's not. It's hard. Soft skills are also hard. It's ALL hard, and both are required to succeed.

In summary: focus on personal growth, learning, and relationships. Advocate for yourself relentlessly. Think about impact via breadth versus depth. Stay an IC If you like it. If switching teams or jobs helps realize your goals, and you have the ability to do so, make the leap.

P.S. It seems that "IC" is not a common term everywhere. It means individual contributor. Someone who has no direct reports and is not a people manager.
career  techculture  management  leadership  interview  via:polotek  by:mattklein  twitterthread 
may 2019 by dirtystylus

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