make better_mistakes

The work is never done

As I left Ruby on Ales a few weeks ago I was sad, sad that I didn’t hug a few colleagues, sad that we only got a few words in with each other. I was sad that our time together was so short.

For me conferences are like family reunions. I get to touch base with people I haven’t seen in a while, and see how life is treating them. Many of my conference friends bring their partners along; many conference goers’ partners are doing the same work they are.

We are a close knit tribe. When a day of talks is over at a conference, we go to dinner, we share drinks, we talk about what we are working on for work and what we are working on for fun. We stay up too late drinking in each others company.

So I get really upset when death and rape threats are made against someone telling Twitter they felt uncomfortable at a conference. I get angry when someone is doxed. And I get sad when someone loses their job because… ?

This isn’t what my corner of the tech world is, even on the bad days. The people I choose to work with make safe space for all. Maybe I’m naïve, but I believe our conferences and our companies should be safe places for everyone. For women, for people of color, for transfolk, for queers, sometimes they feel really unsafe. I’m glad that Codes of Conduct are becoming standard issue, and that conferences are focusing on increasing attendance for marginalized groups.

This work isn’t done. The work is never done. We can do better.