On the topic of things I never learned in school.
This talk: “Things Every Software Engineer Should Know About Neurodiversity” should IMO be required viewing for everyone in the software industry. It’s just an overview (by @mykola, who has autism), but it breaks down how our brains work, and how differences in our brains affect who we are and how we experience the world. Of course computer science is known for attracting people who are a bit weird. But outside the whole stereotypical ‘nerd’ persona, there’s not a lot of discussion on the actual mental well-being of people in the computer industry. I had quite a few classmates showing signs they may have been on the spectrum. Yet this was never really addressed, besides the near-constant jokes about the collective lack of social skills & hygiene in our whole department.
This isn’t something to just gloss over though. Neurodiversity is deeply, deeply connected to the tech industry at large. I was really shocked by this article on the exploding rates of autism found in Silicon Valley (written by Donald King, who also has autism). We should be arming students with the information they need to work with people whose minds don’t work the same way as their own, instead of just making jokes about it. And maybe all of us have something to learn about how our own minds, too.