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Microsoft Wants Autistic Coders. Can It Find Them And Keep Them? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Job interviews can be especially hard if you’re autistic. A Microsoft effort aimed at a wider spectrum of the workforce wants to solve that.

Source: Microsoft Wants Autistic Coders. Can It Find Them And Keep Them? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

This article, posted originally by Microsoft Careers on Twitter, excited me. I could related to this article on so many levels, especially with the non-disclosure part, and the tracing my route before I got there. I did that yesterday with my son for school. We were allowed to come in a day early, see his schedule, and do a dry run of his day, meeting the teachers one-on-one rather than a busy, hectic, first day with all the kids. Thank goodness we did that–his bus never showed up, so I had to drive him to his school, and he was a half an hour late. At least he knew where to go. Even on the way home, I knew that a place where I may be interviewing was nearby, so I passed by on our way home, just so I knew where to go when the time comes.

Microsoft really did an excellent job with this article, and appropriately told the good and the bad of being an autistic employee. Autistic people usually are very good with technical things, so naturally a fit with Microsoft makes sense. The method they use of letting the candidates hang out and help for a few weeks before the real interview is something I wish all employers did with employees. I know I’d benefit from it, for sure! I hope that other companies adopt similar plans for autistic workers, whether they are coders or tech writers or anything else. It gives me hope that my son has a chance to get into a job that can be fulfilling to him, if he chooses (he’s more of a computer hardware guy, but still–there’s a need for guys like him, too, at a place like Microsoft!).

Read this, and let me know what you think in the comments below.



Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

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