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Ruminations. Reflections. Refractions. Code.

Sep 10, 2017 - Software dev work culture

Diversity and Inclusiveness

I came across this insightful article today, and have further thoughts on it.

Diversity comes from people with differing interests, not only those who love to hack late into the night. While there are such ‘flow’ days, 4–5 hours of deep, focussed work generally is more productive and leaves one happier. Being present during a core set of hours is better than half-working through many more hours.

Really liked the example in the article where dress code does not equate to diversity or lack thereof. Though, I personally would have trouble with terribly stringent dress codes! To me it is just another form of assumption: that professionalism is not possible without dressing stringently. Certainly, dressing like a slob is another extreme.

If people are having to work longer because there’s too much work, or the work is not spread out well, that’s a deeper problem, and working longer hours is, at best, a band-aid solution.

We might lose a certain depth by diversifying, but the breadth gained in an overall more inclusive team, internally, and a product reflecting this externally often makes up plenty, and in time, a different sort of depth is gained.

Digressing a bit on working longer hours: besides looming or unrealistic deadlines, the one constant reason, in my experience has been the existence of too much non-core work (e.g. meetings!) taking up most of the day, forcing one to do actual work later in the day.

People in managerial roles who spend most of their day facilitating work through mechanisms like meetings tend to forget that developers still have to actually do the work that came out of meetings. Their day is not yet over.

I said I was digressing, but the lack of understanding by managerial staff of this phenomenon, in a sense, is also a form of accidental non-inclusiveness. It is an assumption that everyone works the same way. The coin has two sides, as usual. :-)