Let’s Get Technical

The first time I create an issue on someone’s project on Github, I got yelled at. So I haven’t contributed anything to anyone else’s open source project until last week. Yes my solution to a long standing bug got the nod of approval, and I have to say it felt redeeming. I almost didn’t say anything, I was nervous that I’d be told my solution was dumb, that I didn’t know anything, that I should just go away.

Because honestly, that’s the part of our community we don’t like to acknowledge. We talk about how open we all are, how much we like to share, open source, etc, but if any unsuspecting poor soul voices an opinion about anything online, prepare to be massacred. A friend of mine yesterday mentioned that she asked a question to Twitter about CSS prefixes. I thought to myself Use autoprefixer but she said she wasn’t using a task runner.

Not. Using. A. Task. Runner. OMG! Let’s all tell her what an idiot she is! She’s crazy! She’s not a real developer! She should quit and be a barista! None of us know why this is the case, maybe it’s just impossible given the set up. Who knows, who cares? If you know the answer to her question, then answer, otherwise keep scrolling. No one wants to hear your self-aggrandizing tweets.

Like her, I never want to give a super technical talk that actually involves showing code. Why? Because I’m afraid of being lambasted. I don’t want to have Uber Nerds telling me that I’m doing it all wrong. And thus we lose out on many people, especially many women, sharing their work with the world.

This whole attitude that everything is black and white, that I’m always right, the jumping on the latest bandwagon and then feeling the need to tell everyone else why they are so behind, is REALLY off-putting. It makes me feel like I’m in high school again, and not in a She’s All That kind of way.

Is this the kind of community we really want? We make the internet, so let’s make it better, not worse.