Paul Graham Essays Y Combinator

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A lot of what used to be computer science research is now just happening on Git Hub amongst people who don’t think that what they’re doing is computer science research. There’s niches all up and down the stack: there’s front and and back end hackers, and operating system hackers, right down to hardware hackers.

We have had non-technical founders who have run into EXACTLY this problem: they are worried if their programmer is any good and they can’t tell. Of all the startups with solo non-technical founders that Y Combinator has funded… In fact, if someone wanted to start a startup and had a choice of going to business school or learning to program I’d say, “learn programming”. Just how to be a member of the officer corps of a large company, to manage people, to do spreadsheets… Although, I really can’t tell the difference between people that left college half-way through, and people that have PHDs.

Troves of evidence exist revealing sexism in tech exists, like this year's Tech Crunch Disrupt conference, as one example.

But Valleywag highlighted Graham's comments that show he doesn't see sexism as a problem, and in fact thinks women are just naturally behind the hacking eightball.

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See, he meant to say "these women," as in the ones who didn't start hacking until college: Graham expanded his defense in emails to Valleywag.

He was allegedly misquoted during an interview for a profile on his wife.) To summarize: girls aren't interested in hacking or coding at an early age, but sometimes they start in college, and then they'll have terrible job prospects because they didn't start early enough. That's a rough outlook for any women hoping to break into tech's boys club. Tiku put it best when she said he's merely "justifying the status quo," rather than examining a real problem.

Then I read Hackers & Painters and thought, “Oh this guy totally gets it. it’s that my college is teaching this the wrong way”. And left wondering: I went to the source to find out. It’s largely installing things and piecing them together.

Programming in the last 10 years is much more system administration.


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