Programming Friendly to Those on the Spectrum?

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zacb
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14 Mar 2021, 4:21 pm

I remembering watching a documentary on Netscape where they contacted someone in (I think) Iowa and he kinda came off as autistic. He would contribute so much to the Netscape browser that they hired him. I know this was about 25 years ago or so, but I still get this impression that this is still possible. However whenever I have seen a discussion about this I hear that programming is a "team sport" and that social awkward people need not apply. While I can get along with people I like to build my own stuff. I already have a business degree but I find that my growth prospects seem thin outside going on my own (I am in financial services). I already have a few projects I have completed (about 10) and I am thinking of doing a certificate in my spare time. I just worry worry that if I go into this it will be like any NT oriented careers where BS is rewarded above results. Can anyone shed light on this?



Mona Pereth
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14 Mar 2021, 6:56 pm

zacb wrote:
I remembering watching a documentary on Netscape where they contacted someone in (I think) Iowa and he kinda came off as autistic. He would contribute so much to the Netscape browser that they hired him. I know this was about 25 years ago or so, but I still get this impression that this is still possible. However whenever I have seen a discussion about this I hear that programming is a "team sport" and that social awkward people need not apply. While I can get along with people I like to build my own stuff. I already have a business degree but I find that my growth prospects seem thin outside going on my own (I am in financial services). I already have a few projects I have completed (about 10) and I am thinking of doing a certificate in my spare time. I just worry worry that if I go into this it will be like any NT oriented careers where BS is rewarded above results. Can anyone shed light on this?

Yep, in many companies, programming has gotten to be less and less autistic-friendly.

We need more autistic-friendly workplaces. Perhaps you, with your business degree, might eventually be in a position to help create one?

Please see:

- The Wrong Planet thread on Autistic-friendly workplaces
- The "Longterm goals" section of the Autistic Techies of the NYC Area page on my website.
- The Autistic Workers Project page of my website.


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zacb
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14 Mar 2021, 7:57 pm

I have been curious about Microsoft as they have support programs for those on the spectrum. Overall I want to make decent money to insulate myself from the general BS in the US.

As far as creating a company, I have had a few ideas, but the code base for the one project I have been working on has been a pain and so I have set that aside but with some luck I will eventually publish it, but we shall see. Honestly I read about the Wild West mentality of places like Atari and Apple and makes me wish labor law was not so contentious. To me I fee like there does need to be more startups as things seems like they are solidified and not as fluid. In other words it seems like conventional thinking has taken hold and anyone outside that tends to have a bad time. Thank you for those links and I will take a look at those.



mohsart
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15 Mar 2021, 11:42 am

As always, it depends.
I worked as a programmer for a couple of years at a fairly large US based IT security company in the early 2000s.
In Sweden we all had our own offices, but in the US most worked in cubicles. I would never had been able to work like that.
Most of us were working alone with a distinct module, but of course all modules had to fit together so a bit of teamwork was required.
Some thought there were too many (unneccesary) meetings, but IMO around two meetings a week is quite acceptable.
What disturbed me the most was that some of the top programmers were a bit snobby, they were soo important and talanted and deserved higher calaries and couldn't be bothered to do basic things like empty their own trashcans or install the O/S on their computers.
But that's just me and my experience with one company.

/Mats


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