As far as what might be a reasonable counter argument, this is much more along those lines:
I think the Medium article makes some pretty good points, and Yonatan Zunger is clearly a pretty smart guy who knows how to express himself. That said, I don’t think his characterization of the memo was particularly fair. I actually bothered to read the memo, and while it’s rather poorly written and structured it definitely doesn’t say anything like
how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, it’s just not worth it.
I think one-third of my colleagues are either biologically unsuited to do their jobs, or if not are exceptions and should be suspected of such until they can prove otherwise to each and every person’s satisfaction.
which are words that Zunger appears to be putting in James Damore’s mouth. Nothing in the memo makes either of those claims, neither directly nor indirectly.
Granted, I think it’s likely that this misunderstanding is more likely due to poor communication skills on behalf of the memo author rather than any kind of intellectual dishonesty from Zunger, but I think some extra effort was warranted to avoid this kind of misrepresentation.
Similarly, Zunger makes some valid points about the nature of engineering, but I don’t think they fully hold up in regard to the memo. Yes, engineering is, to a significant degree, people-oriented, but ultimately all jobs are about the creation of economic value, which in turn is about satisfying peoples’ wants and needs. While all jobs are people-oriented to some degree, engineering definitely classes as being more “thing-oriented” than many other jobs, especially in lower-level positions.
Also, amusingly enough, if there are indeed differences in thing-oriented/people-oriented job preferences between men and women, as the scientific literature seems to support, then James Damore is being actively counter-productive to his self-proclaimed goal of being more inclusive via non-discriminatory means when he actively perpetuates broader social stereotypes about how software engineering is solely the domain of introverts.