Demographics of Development in DFW

As a Software Developer in Dallas, TX it is very obvious that the demographics of my profession have absolutely nothing in common with the demographics of my city. To be frank, it’s mostly Caucasian males (~65%), Indian males & females (33%), the later weighted towards immigrant workers.

This is just a mind dump on something larger I’m working on. Please forgive the formatting.

Dallas and Fort Worth have a rough population breakdown of 50% White, 24% Black/African American, 42% Hispanic / Latino (this classification spans races), and various Eastern Asian races making up 1-2%  of the remaining. For these totals I’ve settled on the data found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Dallas%E2%80%93Fort_Worth after checking with many sources, and it’s a great average on those.

To get employment data on my industry in my area I used http://qwiexplorer.ces.census.gov/. I included the Dallas, Tarrant, and Denton counties as the industry is spread across these three.

The numbers you are about to read are preliminary, and therefore skewed. I’ve listed a few areas which seemed odd to me, why so, and my current hypothesis as to why that area may be wrong.

       Ind      Avg             Ind    Area     Population
       Emply    Salry           Emp    Emp      D/FW
 BLK   12,642	57980 (-35%)	17%	17%	24%
 WHT   53,454	86124		73%	73%	50%
 HIS   10,593	50541 (-41%) 	14%	21%	42%

Strange Point:
The percentage of persons employed who are black in the area changes almost nothing when filtered down to just my industry didn’t change at all. My hypothesis is that this is skewed because my filter is “Information” workers, and there are large call centers here for mobile phone support which one will find a statistically large population. These jobs don’t pay very well, which may in turn have a loot to do with the salary difference from the Caucasian numbers.

The Hispanic numbers at first surprised me the most, but I believe cultural differences adequately account for the population strangeness. The same biases are expected with Hispanic numbers as Black, but the fact that they are significantly lower isn’t in line with industries.

It’s my belief that my local industry should reflect my city demographics. There’s enough of a under-employment problem here that it certainly seems like an area of interest. If employers feel they need to pursue HB-1 workers, that means they can’t find those educated to do the job here (in theory).

Secondly, but perhaps more importantly, software development, design, and project management have evolved in these fields through the concerted effort of those in it to bring their own culture, knowledge, and experience to improve these systems. Every last one of them is in a rutt, even after Agile was supposed to be savior. Agile is great, but even it teaches at its core to be flexible and evolve when challenges arise. I believe the entire process is lacking underlying cultural and cognitive paradigms from these underutilized brethren. No matter how much technical accuracy we’ve designed into our processes and designs, not one person working in this industry hasn’t heard about the importance of a new hire being a good culture fit.

When you fail to merge branches before building, dependencies are silently lost.

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