Skip to comments.Silent Technical Privilege: In Technology, My Looks Got Me Everywhere
Posted on 01/16/2014 6:31:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind
I started programming when I was 5, first with Logo and then BASIC. The picture above is me, age 9 (with horrible posture). By the time this photo was taken, I had already written several BASIC games that I distributed as shareware on our local BBS. I was fast growing bored, so my parents (both software engineers) gave me the original dragon compiler textbook from their grad school days. That's when I started learning C and writing my own simple interpreters and compilers. My early interpreters were for BASIC, but by the time I entered high school I had already created a self-hosting compiler for a nontrivial subset of C. Throughout most of high school, I spent weekends coding in x86 assembly, obsessed with hand-tuning code for the newly released Pentium II chips. When I started my freshman year at MIT as a computer science major, I already had over 10 years of programming experience. So I felt right at home there.
OK, all of the above was a lie. With one exception: That is me in the photo. When it was taken, I didn't even know how to touch-type. My parents were just like, “Quick, pose in front of our new computer!” (Look closely. My fingers aren't even in the right position.) My parents were both humanities majors, and there wasn't a single programming book in my house. In sixth grade I tried teaching myself BASIC for a few weeks, but quit because it was too hard.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
5 1/4 floppy’s and a dot matrix printer...vintage
I refuse to give Slate the hits.
Am I to assume from the title that he got jobs in the technology sector using his good looks instead of his brain?
Very amusing. The fiction story is almost exactly a description of my nephew’s experience.
Thanks for saving the click-thru but it was exactly what I suspected upon seeing the photo.
I’m not sure what this guy is all hepped up about. So... People tend to assume that Asians with a degree from MIT are smart and good with computers. Yeah. So?
It’s a stereotype. So what? More often than not, stereotypes are formed for a reason— they’re often true. So sometimes a stereotype is wrong. Yeah. So?
Bought my first slide rule in 1962. K&E Decilon, still have it. Along with other such antiques.
My first electronic calculator in 1972.
Built my first pc in 1982.
Looking back I realize I suffered from a complete lack of vision.
I’d spend hours writing hundreds of lines of BASIC code, look at the end result, and think “you could do this with a pencil in five minutes...it will never catch on!”
Actually I think mine was a Remington. It was an odd little device. Only displayed 8 digits, hit button to display right of decimal point. Last time I looked at it, it actually still worked. It was very basic, only added, subtracted, multiplied, divided.
But it was a hand held. Think I paid about $70 for it back then.
Turned out? He WAS good at programming. And now, he feels guilty about it. He’s trying to convince everyone that the ONLY reason he was allowed to succeed is because: people THOUGHT he could.
Uh.... no... actually, you ARE good at it.
Only the “rich kids” in my trig class had calculators back in ‘73. By “rich” I mean whose parents had the new split-levels in the next development over from us in our Cape Cods.
We did have “equality”, back then, though. We all had to either bring lunch or eat the bland cafeteria food. (although the pizzaburgers were pretty good)
We were not/are not wealthy, but I don’t remember any calculators in my classes in high school. Graduated in 1966.
I remember using the Wang programmable calculators in college, graduated in 1970. They were pretty nice for statistics.
Actually good looking programmers had a leg up just about everywhere in the eighties.
I think this idiot Slate liberal, an actual, but rare, stupid asian, wants to argue that asians aren't discriminated against, or flat out lie that they get special privleges just because of their asian skin color, in order to keep justifying continued affirmative action, aka discrimination against asians.
Nothing matches the drama of bashing numbers into those old calculators, except of course the older ones with the “chaaching” handles.
I still have my old clock radio with those flip-over numbers (clock part doesn’t flip, but the radio part does).
When we moved into our house a few years back, the previous owners left behind an old microwave (with the dial). We kept using it until, while watching GSN we saw it being offered as a grand prize on Match Game ‘77. My wife put her foot down at that point.
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