There is a stereotype of programmers as being antisocial and difficult, and unfortunately many of us take on this attitude as if it comes with the job – but it doesn’t have to be this way! I know it from experience, because I’ve been an angry, judgmental know-it-all, and I’m ready to tell you how I completely changed my attitude and refactored my life.

In this talk I’ll explain how anger and fear are the root causes of our aggressive behavior, how these feelings manifest as judgemental comments online, bullying in the workplace and ultimately keep the tech community toxic and stunted. I’ll show you how embracing compassion, respect, and empathy will make you a better programmer and a happier person.


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Wonderful talk! Great subject manner on common IT stereo types that NEEDED to be addressed. Thanks for the honesty too!

Steve Grunwell at 17:37 on 4 May 2019

I've had the pleasure of seeing this talk evolve since it was first presented as an uncon talk at WavePHP and it just keeps getting better. Full of very real truths, emotional stories, and great life advice, this is a must-see talk.

Michael Price at 17:42 on 4 May 2019

Awesome talk about something that plagues us all to some degree. Very helpful and insightful.

Regine Gilbert at 17:43 on 4 May 2019

Great talk! I really appreciated Jessica's honesty and the sharing of her story and her evolution as a person and a developer.

Roger Creasy at 21:18 on 4 May 2019

This was my second time seeing this talk. It moved me just as much this time. Jessica is a great speaker and delivers much to her audience. Everyone in tech needs to see this presentation.

Darren Wright at 22:31 on 4 May 2019

Wonderful topic and message, good execution in delivery and lots of food for thought. I've lived similar experiences and taken better paths myself, but still learned some lessons from this talk.

TJ Draper at 23:19 on 4 May 2019

Wonderful presentation on an important subject. We as developers need to remember to encourage others rather than tearing them down.

What a set up! You got me. Almost skipped your talk. So glad I went.

Eric Poe at 22:54 on 13 May 2019

This is a talk that I mentally review a week later. We go around thinking that others think like we do, yet some of us have no concept of "orange" or think that Beethoven's 5th Symphony smells like rain. This talk is also a great reminder that we all start from a state of ignorance and that we should remember this when we speak with or work with the relatively ignorant.

At points in this talk, I could tell that Jessica was fighting emotions just to talk about the importance of being someone who helps rather than someone who tears down.

This is a keynote that I am glad is a keynote.