Post Context: Here are the tweets that led to my diversity post

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One rule I’ve had for myself since I started this blog is to do my best not to write posts in direct reaction to what someone else has said.  This blog is about me.  It is my writing.  It shows what’s on my mind.  There are very few situations in life when I can unabashedly and honestly say, it is all about me.  This blog is it.  There hasn’t been a post about diversity before my previous one because I’m not thinking about gender stuff most of the time.

I broke my own rule with my last post, and I did it for a good reason.  If you want to know why I wrote that last post, please take a look at this twitter transcript put together by Rick Scott.  He also saw the whole thing happen and has blogged his own reaction to it.

I was pretty angry as the tweets unfolded, but most of what I said stands.  The only tweet I would change is the one where I said the context school is a pile of crap. That was wrong of me. I know many people involved in the context school of testing who have much more fair-minded ideas about diversity and gender than those expressed by the Bach brothers in the transcript.  Unsurprisingly, James Bach has blocked me from his twitter account.  Jon Bach has also blogged his version of what happened on twitter.   I hope people draw their own conclusions based on the actual conversation rather than relying solely on one person’s account, and I do feel that it is important for people to have an opportunity to draw their own conclusions.  That’s why I’ve stayed pretty silent about this for the past week.  I love my blog and if I can’t write with respect, I don’t see any point in writing at all.

The irony in all of this is that I still think James Bach’s contributions to software and software testing are brilliant.  We do not, however, see eye to eye on diversity or even, as the transcript points out, workplace ethics.

Thus, I am officially hoisting my own pirate flag of agitator for women’s empowerment in technology.

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4 thoughts on “Post Context: Here are the tweets that led to my diversity post”

  1. I started this thread because I felt it was sexist (and possibly condescending) to women to be recognized for great ideas *because* they were women. We should be equals, not singled out or rewarded because of our gender. I tweeted to get others’ opinions on that.

    I defy someone to look at a test plan created by a team of testers and tell me which test ideas came from a male vs. a female, so how are my ideas about gender unfair as you say above?

    If you’re going to say such a statement, you need to cite why. Otherwise, that’s unfair.

  2. Studies and Research may show or prove that female brain and male brain work differently,but I believe every individual brain is unique so I don’t believe in diversity by gender. I obey what my brain\sapience\heart\ gut feeling says than research by someone else. So I don’t support diversity by gender, all homo sapiens are unique by their own way,all are wonderful colleagues and lovely friends

  3. Jon, I respect you. I respect you a lot.

    In all of your discussion about how you think this “Diversity in Agile” program is a reward for being a woman, something important has been lost. Please have a look at this story

    I hope that you can see the value in showing the girls of the Roshni Academy that Agile is a place where they will be welcome. As I see it, after having discussions with Lisa Crispin, the “Diversity in Agile” program is not some shallow award for having the right parts, but an attempt to show that despite Agile software being a pre-dominantly male space, women are welcome too. In fact, women are thriving in this space, despite the fact that they are not well-represented.

    The discussion on twitter took a turn away from just being about the “Diversity in Agile” program. It took a turn that I found quite inappropriate. Rick Scott did a great job of articulating what I could not (because I was angry) on his post under Gender & Biology 101.

    This has been a damaging discussion. It took me quite a while to even know how I wanted to respond to your comment. I used to think, “It’s so great that I don’t have to think about gender in testing, I can just be a tester.” I still think that, but I now know that “experts” in our testing community think it’s ok to veil me in someone’s arbitrary and personal definition of “woman” before I even say a word. I also feel that I have been vilified for thinking otherwise.

    Seeing someone through a definition you’ve created for them is a way of stereotyping. I am not a woman in the same way that Lanette is a woman. I am not a woman in the same way that Michelle Obama is a woman. Besides providing some visibility to the fact that there are women achieving success in Agile, my hope is that “Diversity in Agile” will expand the definition of being a woman in tech by showing the diversity among women.

    I’m not going to tell you that I think “Diversity in Agile” is perfect. As with anything else, there are things that they could be doing differently. My guess is that those involved are learning some pretty harsh lessons and doing their best to cope with negative press they never in a million years expected. It’s a volunteer effort, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a non-military, volunteer effort take such a public beating and soldier on the way that they have.

    My expectation is that, in a few years, we will all have more perspective and wisdom on the huge discussion we’ve participated in around this topic over the past few weeks. I include myself in that.

  4. Wow. I can’t believe I missed that entire thing somehow. That conversation was just awful. It’s interesting when people show their true colors.

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