Friday, January 05, 2007

Zope Haters Prove My Point About Women in IT

Yesterday, I posted an article that was the foreword to Philipp von Weitershausen's new edition of Web Component Development with Zope 3, in which I had some good things to say about Zope.

I expected the article to be a bit controversial, but I was surpised to find that it was even more controversial than my series of articles about women in IT.  The amount of flaming hatred, profanity, and sheer vitriol leveled against both Zope and me was such that I soon found it prudent to remove the comment thread altogether.

Wow.  I am so glad I had a policy of not hiring a**holes when I had Python jobs available, or I might have accidentally hired one of these dimwits!  (Nobody sane wants to work in a toxic mental environment, and women are slightly more likely to be sane than men.)

Meanwhile, remember: Zope is a tool.  Like any other tool, it has its good and bad points.  But if you can't do anything but spew hatred at someone who has the temerity to find praiseworthy things in a tool you dislike, you are not learning anything.

Everything in life has pros and cons.  Everything.  You can waste your time ranting about what's wrong with something, or you can learn something from it and move on.

If you don't, then you're being a dimwit.  If you then also proceed to rag on those of your betters who chose to learn something instead, then you are also being an a**hole.

So, again, if you want more women in IT, don't hire a**holes.  And although I never used it as an interview test question before, I would now have a new weapon in my arsenal for screening out a**holes quickly...

Specifically, I'll want to ask a candidate to describe the development tool they had the worst possible problems with, and get them to attack it with a vengeance.  Then, I'll either find things to praise in the tool (if I'm familiar with it), or ask them to now describe what positives they got out of working with the tool, or ask them to sell me on its good points.  If they can't do those things, then I'll know that their personal preferences are more important to them than the results -- and that's a "No Hire".

And there's probably no point in mentioning this, because the people who will listen to this already know it, and the people who don't know will probably never learn.  Nonetheless it bears repeating.

If I'd had only bad experiences with Zope, and no good ones, but a bright light in the Python community said, "You know, Python has gained a lot of things from Zope," and gave examples, you know what my response would've been?

I would have asked for some more information, so I could learn too.  Just like when the Rubyista Python-haters rag on Python, and I ask, sincerely, what advantages Ruby actually has over Python.  (Not many, actually; see my DSLs in Python post.)

Because that's what professionals do.  They are always learning.  Always.

Because nothing you learn about what's "the best" or "the worst" stays the same forever.  And if you don't keep up, you're just falling behind.

Of course, those of you who realize that, didn't need me to tell it to you.  And those of you who don't, are too busy crafting your next flame, to pay any attention at all.