There are some things that i’m willing to say are “non-controversial”.
i don’t believe that the following need to be discussed, in long form, where dissenting ideas need to be heard out.
- Humans require oxygen.
- The moon exists.
- High voltage electricity does not taste like candy.
There are lots of other things that can be proven readily and also do not need to be discussed and rationalized to a dissenting party.
- JFK, Elvis and Tupac are all dead.
- The earth is an oblate sphere (“round” also works).
- Millions, mostly Jews, were killed in the Holocaust of WWII.
It is quite safe to consider anyone who does not hold those facts as true as a lunatic, someone willfully disassociated from reality, and not really worth having a discussion with.
This is not to say that there are some facts that are worth discussion, or that there’s not nuance that can be argued. We can spend hours or days discussing the finer points of how to best reduce global CO2 and other heat trapping gasses. Likewise there are areas that i gleefully state i have no knowledge that i’m happy to learn about, such as the horsepower differences between a hemi vs standard piston v6. Gravity, while undeniable and present for a mighty long time, is still very much an unknown force.
One thing that’s been pretty <Insert multiple expletives here> settled, however, is that brains are brains. i can’t, with any certainty predict your level of musical talent, pool acumen, or skill at balancing dual carburetors by knowing your sex or race. i can’t tell how well you’d solve for X by knowing your nationality. There may be other factors that contribute to your level of skill, including your background or even the way your brain happens to be wired, but none of those hinge on the configuration of your core chromosomes.
And things get even worse when it comes to programming computers.
i have colleagues who have studied computer science for decades who learn new techniques from folks who just started coding a few years ago. Coding is collaborative. If it wasn’t, sites like github or StackOverflow wouldn’t exist. To deny or somehow refute that fact is equivalent to saying that California doesn’t exist.
So here’s one more irrefutable truth along the lines of “Glowing red iron should not be licked”:
- Race, gender, national origin, sexual preference, language, hair and eye color, number of useful limbs or anything else does not make you a better or worse problem solver. Solving problems makes you a good problem solver.
Everyone has the potential to write code. Should they find it worth while, some will go on to become great coders, and should they have true talent, a very select few will go on to become legendary. They will come from all walks and a few rolls of life. i work on internal plumbing which has zero glory. i kid that i do the digital version of a Dirty Job. If it works, you’ll never know, but when it doesn’t, i will.
And let’s face it; most of us are not writing code that cures cancer or delivers clean drinking water to 60% of the planet. Most of us are writing glorified string manipulators or adding machines. We make electrons and silicon do neat party tricks that turn a profit for someone else. i welcome anyone willing to dive in and help, particularly someone who doesn’t look or think like me for the same reason that i don’t live on only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
So, welcome all you weirdos that want to learn and write code. The days can be long, frustrating, and deeply annoying, but the bursts of pride and accomplishment once things are working are phenomenal. If you love learning and teaching, you will absolutely love this industry. Everyone in the industry started by not knowing how to code and got better. Many have been in that position multiple times as new tech, languages, and designs were created. Find someone who understands that and is willing to help you get better. They had someone do it for them, this is how they can pay that back.
And if you find someone who doesn’t think you could ever do what they do?