Wanted: Employees with autism

Autism Can Help You Land a Job, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Germany-based software company SAP believes people with autism may be better at certain jobs. The company wants up to 1 percent of its workforce — 650 people — to be autistic by 2020, according to Jose Velasco, head of the autism initiative at SAP in the U.S.

People with autism spectrum disorder—characterized by social deficits and repetitive behavior—tend to pay great attention to detail, which may make them well suited as software testers or debuggers, according to Velasco, who has two children with the condition.

. . . “They have a very structured nature” and like nonambiguous, precise outcomes, Mr. Velasco said. “We’re looking at those strengths and looking at where those traits would be of value to the organization.”

“Autistic employees at SAP take on roles such as identifying software problems, and assigning customer-service queries to members of the team for troubleshooting,” reports the Journal.

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  1. Thinly Veiled Anonymity says:

    There’s a certain degree to which one could hear this as “We want autistic people because they don’t seem bothered by these god-awful jobs.”

    But, of course, that’s be basis of economic production: shifting things around to maximize happiness.

  2. Current data suggest that 1 in 66 people are autistic, so even having a goal of having 1 in 100 employees on the spectrum is not enough.

    I am not putting too much stock into “estimates” that come out during Autism Speaks’ fundraising season. But ASAN already estimates that about 2 to 3 percent of the population is autistic.