Most of us have heard it at some point. “WHAT? You use X framework/tool/OS/language?! So… you’re a bad developer then?”

I did not come from a Software Development background into this industry. I was an outsider, but it’s what I wanted to do my whole life. This is my story: how I refocused and retrained in my career to be confronted with a nightmare of gatekeeping, elistism and aggression. I saw what I thought was a problem, and I’d like to propose a solution.

What we do is hard. We’re in a young industry full of contradictions and opinions, and sometimes it excludes people, it shapes new developers’ attitudes poorly and it causes people to walk away. In this talk I’ll focus on what I’ve experienced, what others have experienced, what is harmful to your business with this culture and what can be done about it.


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Lucia Velasco at 20:05 on 11 Sep 2019

I love that you started with the history of "computers". Excellent use of tone and pace to paint a story.
Bit speedy for me at times when the pace is setting the tone (e.g. the bit about using frameworks).
OH MY GOSH! I loved the WordPress example... You've definitely called some of us out with that.
Great use of imagery. I'm realising how tool shaming I've been about Apple vs Windows.
I don't dig the self-deprecation so much. Theatre and standup comedy is awesome, not painful! We're fortunate! Yay!
Wow, this is such a great talk and I know a lot of people I want to see this talk. Thank you!!!

Michael Bush at 20:32 on 11 Sep 2019

Great talk that addresses alot of the issues I have experienced myself in the industry. I can't think of anyway you can improve this talk. Very well done.

Dan Ackroyd at 21:04 on 11 Sep 2019

_What no questions? This is an outrage!!1!_

I enjoyed the talk.

One possible improvement, I think the message of the talk could use a tweak. It's not enough telling people not to be toxic. There are always going to be toxic people, no matter how well behaved the rest of the community is.

I think people should be taught how to handle a-holes (block them instantly), and how to opt out of conversations that are not productive ("thanks for the feedback.", "your feedback is noted", *laughing in the face*), as that is an empowering thing to know.

Also, apparently I need to go back and study acting to learn to be such a confident speaker like Jim.

Jim's talk was well-structured and very well-delivered, and the message gave me pause for thought for some behaviours that sometimes creep into our environment (not tool-shaming, specifically, but tangenty). I guess the challenge for me was that I found the delivery a little combative at times (and I mean a *little*, not a lot)... possibly that was based on my experience of the PHPSW group mainly being one of the more nurturing communities I've seen, and therefore less likely to need the "hard sell".

Content-wise the only things I'd echo from other commenters was a slight over-selling of Jim's non-credentials: when a key message of the talk was that everyone who develops is a developer, I felt he maybe over-did proving to us that he wasn't one.

But overall it felt like a talk that only needed tweaks rather than an overhaul, and the main line of it was very valuable, so thankyou!

Adam Evans at 11:38 on 12 Sep 2019

Haha this was a really fun talk! I see shaming all the time, it’s good to see a talk that brings this to light in a fun way. It certainly makes you think before speaking!