mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark

One of our volunteers, [personal profile] kaberett, published an article today.

It's a really great post that captures one of the things that I really think is crucial to Dreamwidth's success as a project (and business), and it's the idea that anybody can contribute, everybody is valuable, and yes -- mistakes can and do happen and it's OK.

To pull out a bit from the article that really resonates with me:

[I]nstead, we work towards fostering tech confidence, through creating a culture where babydevs know that senior devs have their backs; a culture where people feel able to ask questions of the broader community, in public as well as in private; a culture where people learn how to test and debug and Not Give Up; a culture where our co-founders own their mistakes, and do so publicly, so that nobody has to feel alone. When people get discouraged, we give them pep talks. We remind people that it's okay to learn visibly, instead of having to pretend to be entirely competent all of the time. Everyone can learn from the mistake that anyone makes – and mistakes are caught soon after they happen, so consequences can be minimised.

Yup. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Contributing to Dreamwidth isn't about how much you bring to the table when you get here. We don't care how much experience you have or what your resume says or if you even have one. The fact that you're here and that you want to contribute? That's all you need. The rest can be learned.

Date: 2013-07-08 11:13 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
Question: I am thinking about trying to turn this into a talk. Thoughts on whether it might fly as a proposal? (In general - I haven't got anywhere in particular for submission in mind yet.)

(And, seriously, thank you so much - I am kind of in slightly flappy tears about how much it means to me that y'all think I'm doing you justice here, and that anyone else thinks it is a useful articulation of the concept.)

Date: 2013-07-08 11:48 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
I thought it was all kinds of brilliant myself, fyi.

(And I count myself very much in the category of babydev working her jaws experimentally every time you do one of those bait posts, wondering if this will be the time I'll bite.)

Date: 2013-07-09 03:43 am (UTC)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
From: [staff profile] denise
I think it would be a great talk proposal! The confidence vs competence divide is something I haven't really heard articulated in exactly that kind of way before, and it's one of those "oh, of COURSE!" things once you hear it :)

(LCA extended their deadline if you want to possibly go to Perth...)

Date: 2013-07-09 02:39 pm (UTC)
misskat: A castle with rockets and fire cannons with the DW D on it. (Castle Dreamwidth)
From: [staff profile] misskat
I think it'd be a great talk. :)

Date: 2013-07-09 05:13 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
Oh. Oh. And actually this ties into my stuff about Neurodiversity In Volunteerism, and why non-code tasks get devalued because code is placed at the top of the hierarchy of skills and coders then feel like they're "wasting time" on non-code volunteering, but people who can't code aren't going to do jobs unless they - and their work - are valued equally! Yes. Okay. I am not going to have any problem filling 45 minutes with this. ;)

Date: 2013-07-09 02:32 am (UTC)
princessofgeeks: Darren from Slings and Arrows, with the text, I might go to Berlin; they understand me there. (Berlin by Curtana)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
thank you.

Date: 2013-07-09 04:56 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Thank you for helping make this community awesome. I don't say this enough, but you bring a lot of amazing things to the table, and one of them is your determination that this will be a diverse and inclusive community, paired with your follow-through in making it happen.

Date: 2013-07-09 11:21 am (UTC)
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's pale face, with a yellow and green stripe over her right eye (Default)
From: [personal profile] ninetydegrees
And, in what could be a paradox but really isn't, you guys also constantly reinforce the notion that volunteering is not a full-time, long-term commitment. It's ok to unassign, it's ok to leave and come back (or not! :), it's ok to do part of a big project, it's ok to pass things along to somebody else, it's ok not to learn all the things, and that's not 'giving up'. That's just being a volunteer. This has been incredibly helpful in making me want to learn and do things because I knew I could put into this exactly what I wanted to and it would be valued anyway.

Date: 2013-07-09 07:53 pm (UTC)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
From: [staff profile] denise
Absolutely! This isn't anyone's full time job (well, except a few of us...) and too many projects expect their contributors to essentially work a second shift of full time employment. That locks out a ton of people (people with disabilities, working parents, people with existing volunteer commitments, people with active social lives, that's just thirty seconds off the top of my head...) and narrows your contributor base to a very tiny range of people! That's no way to get a diverse set of contributions, voices, and experiences.

Everything somebody does to make DW better is a contribution, period, no matter how big or small. :)

Profile

mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith

July 2013

S M T W T F S
 123456
7 8910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 21st, 2014 09:36 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios