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Microsoft Wants Autistic Coders. Can It Find Them And Keep Them?

Source |Fastcompany .com  |  BY:VAUHINI VARA

The day before Blake Adickman was scheduled to start interviewing at Microsoft last spring, he called his parents and kept them on the phone as he walked from his hotel to the building where his meetings were set to take place. His parents, back in Boca Raton, Florida, zoomed in on Redmond, Washington, on Google Maps and followed along. When he arrived at the building, he took a photo of its entrance and texted it to them. Then he turned around and retraced his steps to his hotel.

Adickman is autistic. He is 26 years old, with a full beard and a broad-shouldered build, but his affect—chatty, guileless, and eager to please—makes him seem younger than his age. One of the features of his autism is that he gets frazzled by unfamiliar experiences, and the practice walk to Microsoft was meant to try to diminish the newness of his surroundings. This was one of the most important moments of his life, and he didn’t want to mess it up.



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