The Advantages of Looking the Part

Even though I didn’t grow up in a tech-savvy household and couldn’t code my way out of a paper bag, I had one big thing going for me: I looked like I was good at programming.

Over at Slate, Philip Guo writes about his experience being Asian and studying computer science. Unlike many of his peers, he was a complete novice when he started at MIT, but since he “looked the part” no one ever discouraged him or second-guessed his decision.

For instance, whenever I attended technical meetings, people would assume that I knew what I was doing (regardless of whether I did or not) and treat me accordingly. If I stared at someone in silence and nodded as they were talking, they would assume that I understood, not that I was clueless. Nobody ever talked down to me, and I always got the benefit of the doubt in technical settings.

Jobs for Coders! (If Only More People Knew How to Code)

"Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today." — Mark Zuckerberg