Panel: Developer Happiness through Getting Involved

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Panel: Developer Happiness through Getting Involved
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We have amazing skills and abilities, but for a lot of us the missing piece is finding a way to give back. We have an amazing panel of people who have used their skills and talents from both previous careers and current to make the world a better place. Learn how they got involved, and in turn what you can do to get involved in areas you’re passionate about to fill this missing piece that will keep you happy throughout your career.
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hi thank you so much for coming from better really great can all of people who have some wonderful information to share with you we all know that since we're here today to talk about develop a happiness and and we all know that the best way to make developers happy is techniques
right very very cute kitten so we have to include some ketones and we
beyond that we have to get involved in our community and stealing of your time to do a great thing for somebody else is and the really Austin way to keep you happy and keep you from running out in your job I'm lucky to have these wonderful panelists I want to give us and reformation about how to get started so i'm policy and or but during my last week of boot camp I went to it an event called ready forgotten and it's a 3 day server treats and we work on projects for nonprofits during the day and then we have dinner together and in the evenings we play games we need people waybill community and refinement worse that's where I found my mentor and is just a really amazing place has to be and so met some of these people through the forgotten and ends I was really excited about that experience of on several times this year I'm actually in around a project and this is something I feel really passionate about and I wanted to share with you so and have been penniless introduce themselves the anterior and and and polyester forgetting can also shined some people I think here formally and our work forgiveness this and other ways that I get involved are and on a core co-organizer of gender roles in Portland and also to the rate of intro intermediate programming workshops like once contemplated take that job I am on as a roofer I think this is an aside for pattern shook some work for the government federally things better for the Government despite the person in charge the of I
think it could go but instead of acting of Pictionary before good at all I've never been it's been on my list of things to do for years never actually bend to it maybe maybe next year which this year it's during the last because school for my kids so those something no connection yet right he as I and she consulted that mind ends and my non-profit work tends to take the form of at this conference and we become and am part of the organizing team for that and I also in 2009 founded an organization called rails bridge which was 1 of the 1st groups that started to do and workshops aiming to get women under other sort of underrepresented folks into their rails community through workshops insistence that there's a lot of other groups that taken that model and then really interesting things that both within the Ruby community like with a real skills of and also outside of the Ruby communities so for example the Django girls is a similar idea and there been smaller ones right script and so on and so as I recently we formed an umbrella organization because that if you're a developer you don't really wanna figure out how to be a for a nonprofit organization is why do workshop rate and so now we've got an umbrella organizations and how it that 1 we got like go bridge in mobile bridge which differ Stalybridge as so we've been trying to help other communities take them all do that also and the so known in a chat and severance names of their authors remember I necessarily we start with you and I am keep or some advice on how do we figure out something to get started with many years yeah I and so several interesting question I think that for
me I wanted to uh I wanted to create the workshop that I wish had existed a couple years previously so I was coming back into the workforce after and and my daughter was born and I did a job at and and I have a couple years gap on resonance suddenly no 1 would interview me and there's like and so would it be also if there was like a workshop where I could direct all of my mom friends the in the very similar situations once they get to the point where they 1 work again so they can update their skills and then they could come back into the workforce and do this like hot new thing and and so that's that's where rails with physically came from for me was like I want this to be I I wish that it is this that existed 2 years ago so I think I wanna make it now and that's where a lot of the motivation for myself comes from the of I like to say to you that it's really easy involved it like you don't need a but you're right and if you even if you would camp like you you have the skills right now that's like a home what we worked with a lot of non nonprofits and generally the kind of things are building them just like really really simple like right up so we're replacing processes that are you know being done on pen and paper and just just horrible processes like I tell stories of just trick and thus far is getting started volunteering and my experience i coming out of college like really really whiny getting older like getting more women and other Honourable represented folks attack and I just went to a million units like as people who need help and Dougal too much initially by I want all the notes I like found out the things that I like doing a thing that did not like doing and and the more they like the last thing that in life I think that's a really good points of finding things that sparked a fire and can get you excited about a really good ideas so terion have you ever experience some obstacles getting involved in something that you were excited to get involved with then you came across some obstacles and put it you on His obstacles a the 1st groups that I handled and were mostly dealing with a getting young girls interested attack which I really care about but I realize after doing that for a couple years that I do not have the energy level for getting little girls and attack and and like keeping them away from citizen 11 stuff so does obstacle of ultimately now I work with a growing who know how usages that so an obstacle a like a learning situation is that with a bullet yet the for me I so I started out in my volunteer work by doing working with an organization does like a summer camp for high school girls and there was really wording in some ways but there are other ways like it was they want to write a curriculum for class and then you know I did it again it is that a similar situation it was like I didn't you know that high school girls in their own interest species I feel like almost uh and I almost have 1 so you have to be exciting of daughter's 11 Reno and an it I found the there's a lot for me to learn a just about dealing with kids and at the same time is run on about how you teach technical topics because I'm not done that before you the and in so you know I kept at it for a while because I felt like a sort of obligated to work as I said I would then as started getting muscle was out of it and then eventually society you know what should probably just let someone do it who's got the who wants to do this right who's got the energy and the drive to specifically do this and they're gonna be way better at it than I am the not that so 1 we have heard a lot about ready for bed enhancement and but it's sort of this year and so if people wanna do rude forget that way all the way to next year so did some ideas for other things that people being involved if so you can get involved remotely like we have we give if helping non-profits as and and then there's a fully about from popular are channel we have where good or get a page look at all issues we we take them wanted and the trigram swallowing newbie good 1st commit and M. and and jump in there because the elegant goal all our stakeholders retrying at them in their commenting as well so you'll you'll see racial from the DARPA bank saying like a could is as possible and this is really wonderful feeling to him getting that director interaction FIL popular think during 92 I do that I mean I think you're afraid you with your friend you of there is a Python offshoot ever before good happening in Portland in July of I camarilla website his code for greater I 0 and that's that's happening soon I think it's your fragment and and so on sometimes money it started in something it's a little difficult to figure out how much commitment is involved in how much time you might have to dedicate to its austerity have any tips for sort of upfront trying to figure out what level of commitment is going to be required I think that some the 1 thing that that I found helpful in the number of a group so the work is that they have these things like you're saying it's like the 1st letter like easy thing to start with um I find that really useful and what what is assisting that is not necessarily that like I wanna do that thing but what it says to me is that they've thought about which pieces of work they could sort of break often give to someone who's new which I think is about process the lot of groups of i times don't really go through and so I AER bills bridge we've been we've tried hard to and have a revolving door meaning like if you're a student this time we explicitly encourage them to come back the next time as a TA is it's here you don't have to teach the class you just sitting in the class with the instructor and you're role is just to provide another voice another interpretation another way of thinking about the concept that they're trying to work on and we found that to be incredibly valuable just because a lot of times the folks who come back the very next time as a TA R and they're they're closer in mind set to the people in the class than the instructors and so they can often offer you know perspective so that the teacher can offer anymore ends and so we try hard to make that of really low commitment deal right just show up for the day use in the class you sort of comment on things and then the teacher may ask you to give your perspective on things once in a while and so we try to have this sort of ratcheting up level of commitment as you as you want to do it I also think it's OK further you come and go In a project in Banja work in general and sometimes I have a bunch of room for it in my life and sometimes I don't so I go through cycles for sure of I'm really involves I'm on the board I'm going every meeting and then they'll be 6 months a year and a slight in New case Yocum handle this for a while right because I've got a kid in middle school of an hour something like that something will happen and I think that that dead you it's a lot like an open source project all of these things and that that we do need to be cognizant of people's web waxing and waning availability and energy and interest in helping and so on so I think that if you've got a group that is the thought through that and a lot of the times and these groups that are unlike open source projects because open source has already sort of gone through that thought process and our that that that that does actually exist and so that for me it's a process of like sort of looking for these levels of a set up the and the that's really good and like being honest with yourself with how much time you actually have an arms terrorist lay went through a situation with the group that I'm on for and I volunteered to help run a class and it kept getting delayed and then it was running into other things I had volunteered Fausto at some point had to say you know what I am not gonna be available to do this but this time maybe I can do it next time or something like that so I think being honest yourself and just just being really opened with that other organizers of the thing that you're doing it's really helpful think that those are the likelihood under community like we have probably the best community of any other with the Jade shot with that like with the becoming the rails me it just for loss of people and so we could have it it said is open source project like as the person maintaining it's like you will this is too hard for me I can I do this this is my skill from if you wanna build something for for someone go to a made up past people like andromeda of builders sort of all people the errors can help also sometimes instead to pick the thing that's too hard and then find someone who appear with you and then you can learn and it's like a win-win situation share your hoping someone your learning you're growing and you're developing a mentor relationships to be helpful but is wanted at a thing about the gender roles we really try push not like show like encourage people who just went through the tutorial that they should become that like sir mentioned on that the next workshop and there's July reluctance thereby people who are very close to 0 at the beginning
of line a program are often the best resource because they know what it's like to be the and might be less inclined deal about you notice like the genus secular the so that's like our teaching especially the really great way for someone is turning out intact involves the 1st sign that areas which were traversal for assigned hot anybody programming and we went along for about 20 minutes before 1 of the women women because like ask a dumb question was like Sharon don't fashion is demolished puts a variable and I was like well although I mean it's a amazing and your program where the name and that was pretty much the quality by explanation and but fortunately there was another person in the room who had more recently a is at that point it had been 20 years since I've process with a variable was and I just couldn't really on and dig get out from underneath everything in there but the other but the presenter was more recently uh become farmer was able to just be like OK so imagine you're in preschool and you've got a big wall of countries and 1 for each kid right and like what it is is you can put different things in it and I was like wow that's a great explanation actually that's really cool and it resonate with the people there and so I learned a bunch about have about how to teach these things just based on the state had other people explain it call sign x questions for adhering to even get started and petty recognize on its times take a break and why why's are important on FIL easily applied a programming specifically belly in your life when you're doing something that makes you unhappy you should probably subterranean it sounds really obvious but like FIL like as programmers and people who want to help it's it's hard for it that's the back the this is not good for us but but had on ensuring like you can you can take a step back from open source and and the community in it will it will continue to survive without you and you can always come back the it also feels pressures programmers when a lot of pressure that there's always something new to learn new jobs for framework to a new language knew everything and you you see those those charts of what it takes to be a full stack developer and select all these inter connected things that you can get pretty overwhelming we plot a pressure on ourselves to unitar to feel like we have to know all these things but um the I don't think it's good just to disconnect to read a book re letterbox and I get again said that and think about it it 1 of the sensors that interesting theory is to figure out that uh that there's a lot of different ways to help end that some of them I'm better at it than I am and others at the end the ones that give me an over time and you know I think it's a especially uh because it's not in the and oftentimes there are issues of our job or a project we don't like the the ranking grumpy my corpus of taking energy out of my life and a lotta times the volunteer work I do is part of what puts energy back it's part of what gets me interested again just intact in general In QC going when all parts of of my life our draining energy and what happens any job rate will be periods well happen and and and 1 thing that to be well the figure out those that like that drinking go the other way if I'm working on a volunteer project that is not giving the energy and there's always going be period 3 like archaicism since I'm scared go through these 8 billion issues like tag them or whatever but I think that they you know the the overall it's it's it's good to sort of assess once in a while like is this work that I'm doing still feeding into an energy cycle in a positive way or doesn't feel like it's training and I know I was reminded I would 0 same by non THH this morning talking about is 0 and now there's an element of G 0 working everything that you do and I feel like that's often less so in that community involvement so you can go to work and work on your your juice revived and in all interior and nodal can helping someone's life become better and industries useful so and I'm sure can you talk about some of the benefits to the person themselves or to their career maybe it some of the proponent of of the other the benefits of of getting involved in Suffolk this and I think most handle 1 is it's open source and you know whether it whether we like it or not can I get a bizarre as minor and so like whatever that's true yeah like you well as little attention lately you know you can apply for a job and like if if you're just out of the camper something you know this is this is something tangible you can you can point you that that they can look at what is that this really hard to get value from you know doing the coding Fibonacci years or something with someone and you know if you if you've actually build something that they can look at the talk about in a lecture or section disagree if we had had a little bit like the if official code you have of the world when people you can even having a conversation with someone who in mind you have I do think that it is really useful especially as a starting out right to have some stuff that appointed have that is that programming challenges in our school and new bouquet projects and things like that and and I do think tho that we tend to overvalue code contributions and just in general in terms of and when we talk about volunteer work we talk about giving back when we talk about public personas and remember that I said the there Lisa do and I think all the ruby heroes award 1 thing they would do is they would put up everyone's get have contribution graph of the people that won the award and they typically it was all green meaning like they had interviewed all stuffed always projects and that's super cool and then and then I 1 1 and they put up my get have had vision graph and there's like 1 little green square on ever like last year at a the and here we don't necessarily have ways to measure sometimes the impact of the work that people do outside of contributing code and and and I know they could have is thinking about this and there I know that you would know better than I do if I to go over this point in time doesn't like outside of the world get over this funny can everyone uses the lake know there's not want you to treat your contribution graph is like a measure of your worth as a human being like it's supposed to be like a fun little game early all the line a green square is that if I got out this of and so series such a little bit about and the contributing to projects that are like training you instead of fulfilling so what you do when you get involved in a project and it's just not a good fit anymore I I think that uh a lot of projects are used to the idea because we all are coming from this open source world reuse the idea of like kind could reduce the gonna come and go and the project itself is to be resilient to that movement just like are projects that were key to be resilient to turn over rate in the same way and uh and I think that and you know there there's a there's certainly been occasions when people just have sort of drop out and just stop true of this lecture on and then you stop attorney knows and stuff and I generally tend to take that as a sign of it is overwhelmed right that they have but I let it get to the point without checking in with them that they got over won't so I don't tend to think that bill like bad people or whatever but I tend to think that and it's got overwhelmed and they couldn't handle it anymore and they checked out and so I tried to you know I tried it checking with people and as a result of that and then you would be like a so how does this feeling for you do you want you know this and what are you enjoy what you doing you're using different I think that and more and more projects uh people about these projects are are in that boat race so they're going to be pretty sympathetic to be like a I'm overwhelmed right now I can't really take the sign and I'm having trouble keeping up with whatever it is and I would love to you and just hands off and do a clean hand off and if you find someone you want me to sit with them for a couple hours a week in the Arkansas Maduro whatever but i in I think that the most patterning here's if you like and both in sort of open source code related things but there also in teaching and other things are our not so expecting you gonna stay forever and believe me just you know like anything else it's a communication cycle then I think a lot of sense of a grateful here like they are overwhelmed it just disappear on me and it had enough notice to try and find someone who so when I said I am make surrealist enough time if you guys have questions there and any questions answer more questions at the end there's there's anything you want OK so the question was where do you start when it's not when you're in a
community that's not obvious where a star of the and so are easily visited my college which is in the middle Iowa and and there's not a whole lot of tech going on there and so I told sincere they wanna get more involved in programming stuff that using new remotely and like the other called students in Keller video games with the most part I planned and likable game James on and things of that nature but there's also a line really and things like that the I else than you might be surprised if you like hell to meet up in in the DC area we we scale up for out in the eastern shore of Maryland which was a tuna miles away just don't that told me up with a friend of ours who lived up there and so like me it was coming to him rather than incoming amino but the strangest thing happened because we held me about their and it showed up on me about com but do all these local people just showed up do so you may you may be surprised but there's a lot more people are swept svmiso so many people working remotely these days I think that a of times there may not be an explicit community in a rural area but a bachelors power with a couple of folks patterning working from home and sometimes a barrier super excited see like you know 5 and uh uh a friend that lived there for a while in eastern Washington and so uh she would go to meet ups from basically any technology even when she was working with necessarily considers ones like hanging out with tech people like bounce ideas off them in general and so it can be and it can be eliminating to have to try and have a technique of and see what happens the may pull some people out of the woodwork you were expecting or you may find in your community that there are people who were interested in learning Ruby on Rails so you might it was a small thing even if you and they can a small workshop and then you can introduce some people to this whole new like career and they might have some interest when I checked in here the other day that last nite at the hotel then the General behind dust like I'm really interested in this coding thing and so he like really wanted more information about that I think you know that exist everywhere and so that's an opportunity and then also and just getting involved in volunteer work like in whatever capacity so I volunteered their the pantry in a soup kitchen and others like crazy Excel spreadsheet database by keeping track of things the hand count things and so were doing a project this year ready for granted further on the soup kitchen and amount here format I'm sure if you got involved involves in some sort of voluntary royal quickly find lot have money to like buy acts and things turn around to make the process better and easier and faster for all the volunteers they have so there be a huge opportunity then maybe you could recruit some people in your community you are even remotely to do something for something that's like a local in your community OK so the question was how do you recognize the people who are in your group have you give back to them and recognize them for contributing lots of punks and also I still yes so it ever before reducing Jason people down what you know this is something that we uh have not have not done a great job with and summarization so they're part of I think because maybe we come from uh must has come from a programming background and that so many of us from and nonprofit administration background where and where that kind of stuff is is more universally understood that is necessary and so similar scenes event is likely printed special T-shirts for people leave and uh we made like little necklaces with the rails but logo on it for a board members uh and we give people hoodies if they were and if it's hot and knowing so of free what it was like teach by workshops and will send you the Canadian and ends and but I think that like that is definitely an area in which most of us could use help because I think that uh you know that cycle of like we appreciate you we know you're doing this and you don't have to and I think is important and is a loop that that we should then declares better I and had a similar sort of strengthening the world where and we had almost 5 workshops and I wonder recognize people who coached it 1 2 3 4 workshops and so we have a budget for like that so we bought floppy disks and painted them like gold silver bronze The different like number of ticeable volunteered like for price of the land that the the thing this rhinestones I would have to like the better than the value here where it hurts and but it will settle them and and also like the loss of of a physical manifestation of your appreciation dislike reaching out to people like a I really really appreciate you helping us so many times the often like antecedent applied to be a coach this time is it CSI I life really worried integrated as a great of so saying little things like that are really great so and Chris is giving a talk on organizing armies in a into panel talk on organizing and so I would highly recommend going to that but as many as you answer the question that they'll be they're gonna go way more into depth and the last sponsor is then organizing and all that sort of stuff so I think that would be a great resource for him leaving aside the question the question was and how do you manage if you do get people to come to me up how do you manage the made up I think really interesting but I question for me is is what's the difference between managing folks on a team for work for pay intervals she managing it's uh between Ottomans into volunteers and and I have found that there is a significant amount of overlap and the mean difference that I see is that and volunteer work tends to be much less real time in terms of the interactions and the reaction to it and had whereas you can have a meeting 1 day and things shifts the following day I work all sizes much of much longer feedback loop you go will have this e-mail chain and then we'll figure something out and then a week later we'll do it and for me that that and sometimes it's a hard for me to pick up and remember kind of where where we were on this journey of trying to make this thing happen and and the other thing is that people do kind of peace in and out it in more than they would do at work and maybe this is the advantage of living in the go bubble that happens on my teens and services go to and I just expected right like people are gonna In other work that you the average tenure of someone tech job and services go right now is under 18 months In so people it was like 0 my buddies doing start up and they go work on that for a couple months may know they just get another job and come that can work with me again they want to after the start up you know crashes and burns sold Twitter and it's always the hope right that in so I think that um yeah there's the I think almost converging right this sort of this uh we've we've been working in in the tech community on building teams there is a way to turn over which has a lot in common with building a team and and sort of Herding volunteers along it the I have never been a a real familiar play the limit that seems to be important to those folks I think is important in volunteering is on what the boss vector you're familiar with that of where you have someone gets burnt our decides that do this anymore what's going to happen and I think in both those situations just documenting religiously is very important and I was very fortunate that the former or a nite eraser being a roles Portland and West so many e-mails I can copy and paste and this documentation on the way that she organization so it's not confusing a mysterious ever have yes so the question is on are the examples of companies who have been have done a good job of integrating arms some of us volunteer work into their company very it into the products OK so I can kind speak to the little that they handle get have actually areas February it you want your mom what's the 20 per cent of the time to just work on the open source projects and In over before it's benefited from that well point them at room for him needing help cover with your contributions we have people which is awesome I know custom Incas skills based on during which is really cool that um another often company that's doing it we shouldn't do that cover the my many gave us like 1 1 day a month which is not a whole lot but at least and it helps us get more people like in the company involved and and stuff like that of In a sales force and ownership this case are old like work we always stuff evocable France organ sales force proper and so was actually gives them a certain number of days per year is sort of like vacation time but like it's nonprofit work time so they can use that to volunteer their could school or they can use it to work on a project and so what often happens there is that people will and schedule to use that time at the same time so they can work in a group on a project that they're interested and and and so you'd sometimes even just providing that time and in discussing what people do with can can be interesting the so I think that's all the time we have that thank you so much for coming in a fleet of had some ideas stock and you can go out and make the world a better place thank you thank you few and random was the suppose over but it was a good thing or not but
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