‘Adria Richards, PyCon and how we all lost’

Let me get this out of the way: I don’t like Adria Richards. I think I have good reason to not like Adria Richards. So I should be feeling some major Schadenfreude right now. Instead, though, I think what’s unfolded in the developer community in recent days has been a tragedy. Here’s why.

Adria Richards is at the center of an Internet firestorm this week after she attended during a conference called PyCon. She overheard developers making sexual innuendos during one of the sessions and used Twitter to complain and shame them. One of the developers lost his job over it, and so did Richards.

The incident underscores the pervasive sexism in the tech industry – not to mention the ugly, sociopathic behavior some Internet crazies engage in – and raises questions about how best to handle problems like this in the future.

Blum (who’s a friend of mine) pulled no punches in her observations and looks at both sides of the issue.

Bottom line: This was a lost opportunity – what could have been a “teachable moment” instead went horribly, horribly wrong.