Oprah Winfrey saying “Let’s have a talk” in a yellow shirt while gesturing with her hands

We Are Engineers: A Manifesto

We aren’t your average engineers, and that’s a good thing.

When we read James Damore’s memo, we were outraged. The royal we. The INTERNET we.

“What kind of person would make such a disgusting argument?” We screamed into the twitterverse.

Then, to ourselves, we corrected the question. “Who would ADMIT to believing such an argument? ” we asked incredulously. “Who would put it in a memo?”

We corrected our question because the original question is naive. The entire tech industry makes James Damore’s argument, by who it hires, by what it values, by what it builds*. Just never out loud. Never in a memo.

But we aren’t here to talk about James Damore. We are here to talk about engineering. Because we are engineers.

We aren’t your average engineers. In fact, we aren’t your average anything. We are people, with different experiences and perspectives, who have decided to learn to code so we can build careers and products.

We aren’t your average engineers, and we think that’s a good thing. Our perspectives and presence in the field of engineering are valuable, and they aren’t that well represented. That’s why we’ve decided to write about them.

We aren’t a DEI initiative that got tacked onto a white male tech company five years ago when it became important to signal that said company did not in any way subscribe to CRAZY ideas about engineers being white and male. We are the actual engineers that those initiatives seek to include!

We don’t have all the answers to questions about diversity in tech. We do have a lot of questions — for ourselves, for each other, for the hiring managers who we hope will hire us, and for the broader tech community.

What does it really look like to enter the engineering field without a computer science degree? Who is building our world through tech and who are they building it for? If we are the sum of our experiences, what does it mean to let our world be constructed by those drawn from the same narrow pool?

We plan to use our blog to examine these questions and search for answers.

We call ourselves Intercode because this name encapsulates the ideas at the heart of our work. We chose the prefix “inter-” because it refers to our intersectional identities, which are integral to how and what we code, and because it reflects our interdependency as engineers and as people. We chose “code” because it represents so many things relevant to our discussion: not just computer code, but also how we codify our society’s structure by what we build and who gets to build it.

We are Intercode. We are engineers exploring topics that matter. We hope you join us.

*James Damore’s memo came out in 2017 and was almost universally panned by tech companies. Google fired him. In their 2021 diversity report, Google stated that men occupy 72.1% of their technical roles globally. This is the standard across the tech industry as a whole.

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Intercode

Intercode

Intercode (www.intercode.blog) is a collective of voices exploring how the intersection of identity and privilege impacts every facet of the tech industry.