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Businesses Programming Idle

Autism Traits Prove Valuable for Software Testing 180

Back in 2009 we ran a story about a Chicago based non-profit company that trained high-functioning autistic people to be software testers. Two years later Aspiritech has grown to offer services in Belgium, Japan and Israel. Autistic debuggers are used by large clients like Oracle and Microsoft and have proven to be so good in fact that companies are now recruiting to meet demand. From the article: "Aspiritech's board of directors includes social service providers, therapists, a vocational expert and a software engineer. The nonprofit also received start-up advice and consultation from Keita Suzuki, who has co-founded a similar company, called Kaien, in Japan. Aspiritech has hired and trained seven recruits with Asperger's syndrome. These recruits have since worked on software-testing projects for smartphone and cloud-computing applications. Aspiritech now offers functional-, compatibility- and regression-testing, as well as test-case development, with experience in cloud-computing platforms including Salesforce."
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Autism Traits Prove Valuable for Software Testing

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  • Re:And.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by RobinEggs ( 1453925 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:32PM (#37620174)
    We don't have the faintest idea, when you get down to it, what causes autism. There's a whole damn pile of candidate genes, but none of them have been linked to a mechanism or even definitively linked to a particular mutation or other defect within the gene itself.

    We know about as much about autism, really, as alchemists knew about chemistry. Just because we understand genetics and ecology on a limited level doesn't mean we've made even one firm, proven conclusion about the source of autism.
  • Re:And.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:51PM (#37620532)

    But we do know that autism isn't caused by vaccines.

  • Re:And.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Diamonddavej ( 851495 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:03PM (#37620680)

    Dozens of identical/fraternal twin studies, initially carried out in the 70s, prove unquestionably that autism is up to 92% genetic. While it's been hard to point to specific genetic anomalies that cause it, it does not invalidate its genetic roots. The genetics of autism is more nuanced and complex than we realised, as are other inherited conditions, it's not genes but also involves e.g. copy number variations.

    Bailey, A., Le Couteur, A., Gottesman, I., Bolton, P., Simonoff, E., Yuzda, E. & Rutter, M. 1995. Autism as a strongly genetic disorder: evidence from a British twin study. Psychological Medicine 25(1), 63-77.

    Glessner, J.T., et al., 2009. Autism genome-wide copy number variation reveals ubiquitin and neuronal genes. Nature 459(7246), 569-573.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.