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Mark Smith's Journal

Work related musings of a geek.

At YAPC::NA 2012! (Reply)

[staff profile] mark
A few of us Dreamwidth people are at YAPC::NA in Madison, WI. Denise, myself, and one of our volunteers -- although I can't type the username from memory, alas! (Momijisomething!)

The keynote this morning, by Michael Schwern ([twitter.com profile] schwern), was utterly fantastic. If you haven't read my previous post titled The Meritocracy is Harmful, you might want to take a moment and do so.

While Michael didn't come out and make that same claim, what he did say is that the meritocracy as we like to think of it does not exist. We like to think that open source is founded on and run on merit. It's not. It is an aristocracy -- a dictatorship. (All of our pretty little fiefdoms...)

The problem with this kind of system is how much it promotes and enforces homogoneity. This is why only 2-6% of open source contributors identify as women. Yes, this is a problem. Yes, we should do something to fix this.

I am proud of Dreamwidth and what we have accomplished and who we are. It is super exciting to me to see that the keynote at one of the major industry conferences -- notably, though, non-commercial! -- is on the very issue we've been talking about for years.

So happy.

Now I hope that the rest of the conference lives up to the opening. :-)
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