What would you say if an organizer of an IT conference offered 50 free passes to the software developers of Jewish descent? I “d say that this guy is crazy. There is no shortage of Jewish people in IT.
What would you say if an organizer of an IT conference offered 50 free passes to women? This is exactly what was offered by the organizers of the FITC Toronto conference.
Talking about women in IT is a very sensitive subject. One little mistake and you “ll be branded a sexist. Still, in my opinion, the organizers of FITC are not doing a favor to women. It “s quite opposite. Technically they say, “Do a little dance for me, and I “ll let you in for free “. OK, it was not dance ndash; they wanted girls to record a video to get in for free. Interestingly enough, some women don ‘t mind to have special treatment when it comes to being accepted as speakers at the conferences (see this blog ).
John Wilker, the organizer of the 360Flex conference didn “t like this initiative stating that “conferences aren “t dance clubs ” . He gives the right analogy that giving 50 free passes to Canadians would be considered borderline racists.
What about gays? Should 360Flex give free passes to gays and lesbians? No need to record a video. Just wear a little rainbow pin. That “s all.
How about giving a little something to Muslims? Don “t we need more senior Flex developer practicing this religion?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Giving freebies to people that fit some profile is wrong. There “s no need to offer specials based on gender, race, religion, or sexual preferences.
Five years ago I was also complaining about the shortage of women at IT conferences. I ‘m for more women in technology, but against affirmative actions of any kind.