The one actual Black guy talks to the white diversity say-gooders

A friend is the One Black Guy at a Maskachusetts tech company. The white say-gooders in management describe their heartfelt yearning for more diversity at the company. Business is great now that so many non-online things have been rendered illegal by state governors. Thus, it is time to hire some entry-level programmers. Management described plans to recruit from elite schools such as Harvard and Yale. One Black Guy: “If we’re serious about making this company more diverse, why not hire someone from Bunker Hill [Community College] who might turn out to be great? It’s only an entry-level job and we can’t know whether someone from Harvard is actually going to do well.” This suggestion turned out not to be helpful…

25 thoughts on “The one actual Black guy talks to the white diversity say-gooders

  1. Why was it not helpful? Because hey refused to do it or because they followed it and it didn’t work out?

    Harvard grads are often no good at programming, and guys from random third world countries or state schools are sometimes great at it….

    • The diversity experts in upper management did not consider the suggestion worth implementing.

  2. A long time ago my father was the head of an MIS department at a rather large company in one of our illustrious Northeastern states. He was charged with basically reinventing and rewriting their order entry, inventory management and other backend processing systems. Everything was IBM mainframes, and he was in charge of hiring good system programmers to support him in all aspects of this very large project, worth several million dollars at the time.

    Who did he hire first back in the 1970s?

    One guy from India whose family had scraped and saved their money to emigrate to the United States.

    One guy from Haiti who had almost died getting out of Haiti and was working with every fiber of his being to accumulate enough money to buy the rest of his family out of that hellhole. His name was Andre and he was a very good programmer (in several languages including Assembly) and a great worker and team member. Also a really nice man – I loved him as a kid, always walked in to see my Dad and the first thing I said is: “Where’s Andre?”

    As far as I know Andre did not go to Harvard or MIT or Yale. But he was one hell of a good programmer. My Dad could choose anyone he wanted from a rather large pool of talent and he chose those two guys.

    The operation was a success and all of them received rather large bonus checks for their work.

    • P.S. –> The company is still in business today, even in “low manufacturing” America. My Dad and his team saved them more than a million dollars at the time, which was a matter of great importance to their upper management. I remember him working 18-20 hour days. I slept more than one night on the raised floor / halon equipped computer room housing, among other vintage hardware, a System 370/165 (and later the 4300/4800 series machines.) I have seen the voice coils on the 3350 disks many times.

    • @Nancy: My Dad is a lot more conservative than I am. I’ll never be exactly like him – we process information differently, but he set a very good example for me as a child, and he didn’t think twice about it, it wasn’t a “PC decision.” He was Woke before it was cool, in the best sense.

    • Alex, conversion to the period-correct PDP 11 would save more millions!

    • @LSI: Maybe, but it wasn’t an option at the time. He liked DEC PDPs, but the company was heavily invested in IBM mainframe hardware and there was no switching them. My dad thought of it, proposed it. Negatory.

      Ever seen a Series/1? He did buy one of those for the company (I don’t recall the specific use), and we had one ourselves, later on. That was Don Estridge’s machine, before the PC (the PC did much better as history knows.)

    • @LSI: I visited Atlanta at a young age with my family, so he could attend “Series/1 School” and we stayed in the Peachtree Plaza Westin (which I believe was a Hilton at the time.) Rode in the exterior glass elevator, played Space Invaders in their video game room. You could see Stone Mountain (very controversial place today because of the big bas relief Confederate sculpture) from our room.

      He met Edward Yourdon there and found him to be (at least in his opinion): “Very talkative, but he didn’t say much I didn’t already know.” I remember that vividly. Ed Yourdon was one of the big talk-a-tons on the Y2K Armageddon that was going to send us all back to the Stone Age. We’re still here! Maybe a different kind of Stone Age, though.

    • @LSI: At one time or another, he also met An Wang – in his office. I’ll ask him about that story again tomorrow, he only told me once or twice a long time ago so I don’t recall the exact date or reason why he was there. But he was impressed by Mr. Wang, liked him.

      I am sorry to the moderators for “hijacking” this thread with family history. LSI got me going. Lol.

    • Yes Alex, Y2K was an unnecessary shakedown of everything using computers, for 2 years IT departments budgets were blown up on useless non-productive staff performed by non-skilled personnel that was hard to disassociate from with my low political skill and by political old-timers who forgot real programming if the ever knew how to do it and just performed lame code scans (that got me a raise and brought me over $100K/year since their scans counted lines of code that I put in). Worse in year 2000 IT budgets reciprocated and shrunk for productive staff that contributed to starting economic downturn. I do not blame Edward Yourdon I blame political mandate from Clinton clique. Every-time my opinion was thought on the issue due to performing systems that I developed I advised on taking at easy something to an extant ” there will be one or two minor issue that will be fixed in few days effort at most” That exactly what happened despite 2 years of preparation that found nothing of note related to Y2K. Bad enough everyone had to show up in the office on Dec 31/ Jan 1 through the night, for no good reason. The only thing that terminally failed was much touted Y2K system that were 2 years in making at 200% of regular large company IT budget and as the result it was not used.
      You’ll be surprised IBM still sells lot’s of mainframes; software usage for them comes with huge mark-up and people still getting big bonuses and raises from converting from mainframe and saving millions $

    • Interesting Alex, I did read Yourdon and am familiar with Wang’s products

    • @Alex – nice to hear the story about your Dad, thanks for sharing.

      >>> it wasn’t a “PC decision.” He was Woke before it was cool, in the best sense.

      Isn’t this what is actually needed? Instead of the continuous charade that we see in the mainstream about equality and stuff, without actually meaning much of it.

    • @LSI: Yes, Yourdon was very vociferous and verbose with his warnings and pleadings, and he made an impact in the mediation strategies. To what extent they were all necessary or even counterproductive and wasteful will probably be a subject of nerdy debate for years to come. At the time I was working for a law school in Chicago and the university’s IT staff were working nonstop shifts to patch everything in sight – going into people’s offices late at night, pushing big carts of equipment through the halls, opening up all the physical network access points, etc. etc.

      Foreshadowing Coronaplague, opinion and the level of panic regarding “what to do” varied widely. One of the law professors who trusted my opinion rode the elevator with me a couple of days before the End, just as the IT minions were pushing a big cart of new PCs out the elevator door. He looked at me and said: “Do you think this is really going to be as bad as they say?” I looked at him, paused a few seconds, shook my head and mouthed the word: “No.”

      Of course, Yourdon’s wikipedia entry says that his efforts were instrumental in getting the critical stuff patched up in time. We’re not going to re-run the experiment, and we’re all still here, so the debate will rage on.

    • Alex,
      Previous version of Edward Yourdon Wikipedia entry were close to reality and to what I remember Dr. Dobbs contributor opinions. “During the late 1990s, he was one of the leading proponents of the theory that the ‘Y2K bug’ could lead to a collapse of civilization, or at least protracted economic depression and technological breakdown on a wide scale. He wrote several books on the subject, including Time Bomb 2000 (ISBN 0-13-020519-2), and produced at least one video putting forth that theory (and offering advice on how to survive the coming crisis). Yourdon took a lot of heat when his dire predictions (vigorously refuted by many experts in advance) failed to materialize in any form. This blunder may have caused him to lose credibility with many in the software industry. ”
      But it is better not to talk ill about the deceased. And where were people with bully pulpits to proclaim insanity of Y2K Armageddon before hand? I did that but my tiny voice was drowned in a chorus of predictors of doom, not only software related. The doom was actively pushed on scared public by those in power, back than it was the Clinton clique and “the experts”

  3. What you want on the job is someone with the skill set to solve problems and is willing to get his/her hands dirty. Nothing else matters.

    The kind of a person that I would stay away from is someone who will smooth talk his/her way day-in day-out. They pitch the “big picture” but have no clue of how the nuts and bolts tie together to see if the “big picture” makes sense.

    IBM has a lot of those “big picture” guys which is why they are failing (I was a former IBM’er).

  4. You want a black with highish IQ, which means Harvard blacks beat community college blacks. But the problem is that blacks are in such demand that they can get higher paying jobs with more regular work schedules than can similarly intelligent whites.

    I’d look at Harvey Mudd, Cal Poly, or a decent HBCU or state university program.

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