Asperger’s In Silicon Valley
I have always thought about the amount of work and insight it would take to become a decent programmer. Usually I begin to shudder at the thought of spending hours cranking out code on my computer. Maybe a lot of coffee and Paul Kalkbrenner can keep me going on Excel, but I don't think that formula applies for programming.
So what type of person really enjoys coding away for hours?
Recently, Gawker and Wired came across an interesting hypothesis on the type of person Silicon Valley attracts.
To get to the point, Asperger syndrome has been on a "staggering" rise in California by the Valley. Apparently the issue is not just central to Silicon Valley, but other technology hubs across the country as well.
The disorders seemed to cluster in other tech hubs, too. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft was the first major U.S. corporation to offer insurance that covered autism-and-Asperger's-related behavioral training. In Rochester, New York, the local school district advised the mother of a child with Asperger Syndrome to move to the northwestern part of the city, because there were a large number of affected kids there. The northwest quadrant is "where the IBMers congregate," the mom told Wired.
Bill Gates has always been pinned by the press for having some form Asperger's, and recently, Mark Zuckerberg's social awkwardness has come into the diagnosis as well. There definitely is a very specific culture to Silicon Valley, as there is with high finance. But do the cultures of these tech giants attract people with Asperger's Syndrome?
"You have all these Internet companies over the past decade," he said, "and the people who run them are sort of autistic. These mild cases of Asperger's seem to be quite rampant. There's no need for sales-the companies themselves are weirdly nonsocial in nature"
Basically, is it a Pull or Push effect? And does this make Mark Cuban right in saying "[firms in] Silicon Valley have very specific cultures that I think can be more limiting than freeing."?