The Code Manifesto


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Bobby DeVeaux at 09:53 on 18 Feb 2016

Great talk - equality in our industry, as in any other industry/life is vital.

Thank you! :)

Chris Levy at 10:13 on 18 Feb 2016

This keynote was a pleasure to sit for, delivered naturally and passionately.
On a subject where it is easy to preach or make "bad guys", Kayla skilfully managed to do neither.
I am now sitting here thinking about the talent that this community might be missing out on, purely due to ignorance.

Top marks from me, I will be carrying this with me for a long time.

Yes! This! A thousand times this! While I was afraid this was going to be anorther rant or suggestion to give all sorts of privileges to minorities, but it turned out to be based on common sense and actual equality. Extra kudos for touching on where the preconditioning starts from. I'd love to see that extended to cover more periods of life, to help people open the eyes to the wrong things we do without thinking about it.

Daniel Mason at 10:35 on 18 Feb 2016

There's an elephant in the room and it's not our mascot.

The talk was passionate and empowering, and managed to cover a sensitive topic without being aggressive or condescending.

I doubt there would be a single person in the room who left without wondering what they can do to help.

Jon Acker at 11:18 on 18 Feb 2016

Made very good case for addressing sexism in hi tech

Liam Wiltshire at 11:19 on 18 Feb 2016

A really important topic, the tech industry has been broken far too long. Well presented, and I hope something everyone will take to heart.

Tess Barnes at 11:19 on 18 Feb 2016

A brave talk on a challenging subject. I found Kayla very articulate describing scenarios I find hard to explain. The pace and timing is something I will be trying to live up to in my own talks!

Matt Dawkins at 11:28 on 18 Feb 2016

Good talk, but I found it quite a depressing topic to start the conference with. At times it sounded like you had a bee in your bonnet, which isn't a bad thing in itself but it made it difficult for me to connect with. Felt more like a slap on the wrist rather than an inspirational or aspirational talk. Don't get me wrong, perfectly valid points, I just wonder if it could have been presented from a slightly different perspective to bring out the positives.

Presentation style might have benefitted from not reading word for word what was on the slides.

Plenty of confidence though, clear voice, obvious passion. Thank you!

Riya dennis at 11:30 on 18 Feb 2016

Great talk on a very sensitive subject :)

neve never at 12:19 on 18 Feb 2016

I agreed with you on a fundamental level, but the entire talk was extremely negative, nagging, and guilt-inducing. I think much more benefit could have been brought from this talk if it focused on the positive aspect that having more women in computer science would bring.

John Noel at 12:54 on 18 Feb 2016

Powerful and heartful, a great way to kick off PHPUK 2016

A great talk with plenty of food for thought. It's been a wake up call in many fronts.

I will be looking into the code manifesto and might add a translation too :)

Thanks again for sharing.

Tom James at 13:35 on 18 Feb 2016

Very insightful, good talk!

Excellent keynote on a challenging and important topic. Thank you.

Top marks. Don't have any constructive input to give.

Great keynote on an important topic.

I liked the amount of personal detail Kayla brought to the talk, and the manifesto seems a great idea.

Mark Bennett at 14:33 on 18 Feb 2016

Great passionate talk on a subject that, as a white privileged male, I don't give nearly enough consideration to. Conferences like this are a great place to start making grass roots changes in mind sets in our industry.

Filip Golonka at 19:17 on 18 Feb 2016

Diversity is important topic, but I encountered, that you sometimes are too sensitive. I don't think, that comments like "You write a pretty code, because you are a girl" can be sexist - it can comes from fact, that we treats female as "the gentle sex" and - in men opinion - you are more exact. But - once again - your talk was about really, really important topic :)

A great way to start of the conference. I really liked the fact that you brought some personal reasons into this to explain why you make a stand. The rules of the code manifesto (I signed it already a long time ago) are great!

I've come to expect that PHPUK will deliver powerful keynotes. This was no exception.

It's a hard, emotive topic, and the talk was well delivered and made me consider things I hadn't previously.

Great talk. I am just not sure it was the right way to start to the conference.

Carlo Guli at 09:17 on 19 Feb 2016

Good things to hear. Very few of us are bad by design, but can be bad through ignorance. Very complex subject and difficult to treat but always worthwhile exploring. Best thing is just to speak about it and raise awareness like it's been done on this well articulated and enjoyable talk.

A very impassioned talk; there are a lot of behaviors that I am privileged to not be the subject of and it's important that we raise them to where they are visible.

Alex Briffett at 13:31 on 19 Feb 2016

Interesting talk which sparked a lot of discussion among my colleagues.

James Dunmore at 13:46 on 19 Feb 2016

Sorry to say I didn't enjoy this - as per Jenny's talk last year, I found the style aggressive and condescending and the style alienated a lot of people in the room (from where I was sitting anyway); I've not often seen that many people in a key note zone out and check phones/laptops.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't cover important items like this in keynotes and we need to raise awareness, but at the same time, I like keynotes to be more technology focused.

Anonymous at 14:47 on 19 Feb 2016

A deeply personal talk delivered with great passion and bravery. I wasn't going to leave a review but then I scanned through the reviews here and it's crap like Filip's comment here that shows just why this talk is needed.

Beata Burczyk at 20:27 on 19 Feb 2016

I still have mixture of different feeling in my head... In general completely agree with the main subject. But a little to personal for me.

Will Gibson at 21:25 on 19 Feb 2016

Great talk. Triggered quite a long discussion with colleagues over dinner.

Karol Wnuk at 21:33 on 19 Feb 2016

Sorry, but I think a depressive and a bit too aggressive speech about sociology and politics was a mistake for an opening a technical conference. I've expected something more motivating.

Tony Porter at 23:22 on 19 Feb 2016

I am clearly in the minority here but I did not like this talk one bit. I feel it would be unfair of me to rate it a 1 and then not explain myself, so here goes...

There are two main reasons.

Firstly, I found the talk and the manner in which it was delivered to be offensive, and I do not use that word lightly. Sexism == bad. Guess what? I already knew that before the conference even started. With that in mind the general tone of the presentation made me feel like I was being talked down to and came across at times as extremely patronising, condescending and sometimes accusatory. I do not deny that there is a problem with sexism in our industry (the numbers you presented do not lie) but it is not something that I have personally ever taken part in or witnessed, so to sit through a talk where I am being told that sexism is bad (which I already know!) was a frustrating waste of my time and I found it insulting to my intelligence that a speaker would need to lecture on this point.

Frankly it felt a little like being at school or having someone from my HR department tell me off. This could have been fixed by spending less time labouring the point about how sexism is evil and spending more time than you did on how we might fix this problem and more practical steps that we could all take today. In the end the talk felt more like a rant than something that I could learn from.

The second major problem that I had with this talk was that it dwelt on sexism far too much when the topic of the talk was supposed to be about diversity and there are many other equally important diversity issues than just sexism.

I was very pleased that you mentioned mental health as I think this is an extremely important issue with a lot of unnecessary stigma attached to it but it was only a brief mention and racism and ageism barely got a few passing comments. Further, there was no reference that I noticed to the problems faced by LGBT people, which is a crying shame as I have worked in "professional" environments where LGBTs were casually denigrated almost daily. The talk could definitely have benefited from widening in scope to a more general diversity and inclusion talk which I think would have been a lot more powerful and wouldn't have subtracted from any anti-sexism message.

As someone already said the general tone was quite dispiriting and in my view this made it a bad choice for an opening keynote session, it did not get me motivated for the rest of the day, if anything it was the opposite. I applaud you for trying to address an important issue but just wish it had been approached in a different manner and I feel it was a missed opportunity for other minorities.

Paul Maidment at 01:32 on 20 Feb 2016

I do think that diversity and equality are both important topics and given recent studies gender bias vs actual approvals on github, there is evidence to suggest that more could be done to address bias and diversity issues. I agreed with a lot of the themes within and will definitely check out the manifesto.

With that said. I felt that this talk was a little on the condescending side and had a general feel of "talking down" to the audience. Use of words like "vagina" when speaking in public seem unprofessional and aggressive, I felt that more tact could have been used in the delivery of the underlying message.

Phil at 02:21 on 20 Feb 2016

This talk made me uncomfortable, perhaps deliberately.

As with all emotions it's truly hard to gauge if your reaction is too much or too little to any given input.

I suspect the talk was over engineered to solicit such a reaction.

Having spoken with both male and female colleagues it certainly seems to have been about a non issue in London.

I don't know. Maybe I'm too white and male.

This I do know - the best talk at phpuk16 was delivered by an aol employee that got the respect of everyone in that room.

It was a good talk, confidently delivered, on a very important subject with lot of important and practical information (I liked "anti-patterns" the most). But from the opening keynote I would expect to be more positive and motivating and this one was, unfortunately, depressing.

Mark Baker at 10:15 on 20 Feb 2016

Perhaps a shade too negative.... while the problems are very real, and need repeating again and again, we really need more on solutions..... what is being done to offset *ism in the industry? what is working and what isn't? More on the how can we as individuals do our bit more proactively rather than simply highlighting the holes we should avoid falling into

I think it's such a a shame that the limits we have imposed on our industry is stifling creativity, innovation and limiting our collective contribution to the wider world. I join Kayla and many attendees that would love to see more diversity in my work place. Kayla delivered a very personal talk on an important issue which was emotional and sincere. Thank you for the talk!

I was not aware of all those problems. I can agree that stuff like quotas does really works and many bad stuff we are doing is related with our upbringing and culture. I would like to hear more about: how we can do code reviews and how we can learning without offending anyone (criticism sometime is good thing imo). BTW good job we need such topics/discussion in the community :)

An amazing talk from Kayla covering a really important topic.

Jo Carter at 18:54 on 20 Feb 2016

Very powerful talk. I was so happy that this was the one to open the conference.

This topic is supposed to make people uncomfortable, this is why it is vital to talk about.

Shaun Walker at 11:41 on 21 Feb 2016

Brilliant talk that does a great job at highlighting some of the key issues with diversity in our industry. The overall tone and the emotion that came across in the talk made it very powerful.

Jenny Wong at 12:25 on 21 Feb 2016

A hard topic to talk about with a smile on your face. It might have not been aspiration with high energy but it definitly was food for thought for the conference.

I can understand how it seemed deflating, but it made me really want to try and do better.

When talking about sexism, it missed mentioning the struggles trans and non binary people have to also endure.

It was great how Kayla showed it wasn't just a technical issue and that the pre conditioning happened way early on.

James Titcumb at 09:25 on 22 Feb 2016

Good insight as to the sources of these kinds of discrimination; as a parent with a son and daughter as well, I see this all the time as well, it's difficult to get away from :/

Tom Cameron at 10:30 on 22 Feb 2016

I felt that this talk was perhaps not the best way to open the conference. While I appreciate some of the sentiment, a more positive talk (like the closing keynote!) would have been a much more uplifting start.

This presentation is clearly borne out of some difficult experiences for the presenter, and I did feel that some level of bitterness came across which soured the actual content for me somewhat. The presentation felt a little bit condescending, and the over-use of emotive words like 'gross' and 'disgusting' felt a bit pushy.

My take on this is that we need to do more to make the software industry welcoming, that's undeniable. But all of the discussion of quotas - 25% women being bad - made me uncomfortable. We should be meritocratic and hire the best people for the job, whatever their race, gender or disability. To me, if we have the best people, it shouldn't matter what proportion of them come from those various groups.

Overall, good content, and I'd've been glad to see this presentation - not as the keynote - elsewhere in the schedule, though maybe from a more 'birds-eye-view' than 'from-the-trenches' as it was.

Gary Fuller at 12:28 on 22 Feb 2016

I personally disagreed with Kayla about positive discrimination. I think it can be a good thing, but is often mismanaged by people who don't really buy into the concept of truly addressing discrimination.

That said though, Kayla made an incredibly strong and well structured case for tackling discrimination in the industry, in an engaging and interesting fashion. An excellent key note that I'm sure made people think.

Very relevant, and actually doing something about it, which is the next step towards balance. Great start to the conference.

Really good keynote to kick off the conference. Possibly aimed at the wrong audience some might say but got your point across with passion and personal experience which always gives good depth to a talk

Jack Segal at 10:01 on 25 Feb 2016

Really enjoyed the talk and the speaker was very honest.

It was an interesting talk. I like hearing things like this. It made me think about how I approach people in communities more than I already think about it.

Clearly this is a talk close to Kayla's heart and life. I wholeheartedly agree with the gender division enforced on our kids from such a young age. I dislike that my two boys are encouraged to enjoy masculine things and discourages from creative style things by culture.


In terms of scheduling, this, IMHO, would have been a good track talk. It didn't feel like a keynote for such a large conference.