Mark Smith's Journal

Work related musings of a geek.

Tech confidence vs. tech competence

[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.

08.07.2013 11:13 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Posted by [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.)
09.07.2013 02:32 am (UTC)

(no subject)

princessofgeeks: Darren from Slings and Arrows, with the text, I might go to Berlin; they understand me there. (Berlin by Curtana)
Posted by [personal profile] princessofgeeks
thank you.
09.07.2013 04:56 am (UTC)

(no subject)

azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Posted by [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.
09.07.2013 11:21 am (UTC)

(no subject)

ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)
Posted by [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.
26.05.2015 08:26 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Posted by [personal profile] jazzyjj
I'm replying here in hopes of generating some more discussion, as this is a somewhat old entry and we'll see what happens. Also, the person who was scheduled to come meet with me this afternoon hasn't shown up yet. But I'm okay with that because he did call and he's actually probably waiting for like eternity at his previous appointment. But anyway, I would be happy to contribute something to this already fantastical web platform other than my own journal entries. The problem is, I don't know any dev code or anything like that. I'll repeat what I've said here before though. That is, thanks a million for creating this thing and making it all-inclusive. It means a lot. I'm a bit surprised that none of the so-called disability-rights organizations in my state have joined or even heard about this site. There's a lot on here they could learn.
09.11.2015 10:07 am (UTC)

(no subject)

peoppenheimer: A photo of Paul Oppenheimer at the Australasian Association of Philosophy meeting. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] peoppenheimer
Dreamwidth is a model for respecting and valuing all contributions and all contributors.
01.12.2016 04:52 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] zorkian
Test, please ignore.