Computing is notorious for not having a worthwhile professional association. Some practitioners join the IEEE, the IET or the ACM. However, membership typically costs hundreds of dollars per year and offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies. If you're working for government or a large corporation or you're a super programmer in a well funded start-up then you probably have a union or you don't need a union. However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?
Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences, you require local experts who have first-hand experience of local employers and local employment problems. How can this be achieved reliably and cost-effectively? This is where our expertise should shine. Firstly, union entry should be at least as stringent as the conceirge union. Secondly, there should be a web-of-trust within each metropolitan region (and ideally between regions). In the best case, the network distance between all members should be four or less. Thirdly, an obligatory website should incur less hits than SoylentNews and therefore an upper bound for costs can be established for a volunteer effort. Essentially, it should be possible to run a union from donations of US$3000 per year or significantly less. Indeed, the major cost to members would be food and drink expenses when informally meeting other members.
So who wants to join a computer professional union with sensible fees and obligations?
(Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:51PM (2 children)
Obviously, Cafebabe shouldn't have used the trigger word “union.” (OMG unions! Fees! Corruption!… hmm… gonna have to work on that one.)
Doctors are licensed and have the AMA. Lawyers are licensed and have state bar associations. These aren't blue-collar people. We aren't blue-collar people. The knowledge we need to do what we do is comparable to a doctor or lawyer. I've personally seen more than enough times that it is simply not possible for somebody to go “I wanna be a programmer!” who has been convinced by the media (especially when management has likewise been convinced by the media) that all they need is an hour of code to be able to do what I do and succeed.
A professional association is what we need to establish to the public that we are experts with years and decades of experience, and that somebody cannot expect to be at the skill level of most here after an hour of code—they themselves will need years and decades of experience themselves. I also feel that for the person who does go “I wanna be a programmer!” but actually has some dedication, having a clear image in the public eye that gaining proficiency at what we do takes years and decades will help them understand just how dedicated they must be.
Of course, the minute we create something like that, the media will begin lobbing nukes our way. The misogynerd narrative will go absolutely fucking nuts, because like fucking shit anybody can make the cisfemale programmers precipitate out of the æther if I can't. We have to be prepared for it and stand firm. We have to absolutely dispel the notion that there's some secret that all assigned males, in a global conspiracy involving 3.5 billion people acting as a hive mind, that we refuse to reveal to cisfemales because we just “hate women.”
…we do have one nuke we can lob back at the media. I'm not the only very talented (and good looking!) trans woman out there. (Brianna Wu doesn't count, especially since she seems to have completed some kind of magickal ritual to become cisgendered.) Forcing the media to recognize that trans women do just fine in our field ought to cause them to attempt to divide by zero in an “ohshi—” moment. I suspect they'll side with TERFs, but that leaves them wide open. What other field can point to a profusion of trans people in their ranks?
Eh, but what the fuck am I thinking. It'll never happen. Sooooo many reasons it'll never happen. Good luck, misogynerds!
(Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:46PM (1 child)
Your first three paragraphs were spot on and had you stopped there your post would probably be modified +5 insightful or such by now. After that you wandered off into some sort of confused rant that seems to reveal some deep personal issues or something. Hopefully you feel better having gotten that off your chest.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:08PM
That's the part where he admitted some support for unions as a concept and it triggered you.