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Part Two: Culture and Connecting to Our Work with Pamela Vickers

Published 4/23/2015

Pamela Vickers and I sat down at Ancient City Ruby to talk about culture, conferences, and ping pong. And it was awesome.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone and welcome to Developer Tea name is Jonathan Cutrell and today is the second part of my interview with Pamela Vickers Pamela and I sat down at ancient city Ruby and we discussed a lot of different things including culture and all of the different parts that go into making a good culture but we also discussed a little bit about conferences Pamela speaks at conferences and we talked about what we enjoyed about ancient city Ruby a little bit in this part of the interview. I hope you enjoyed the second part of the interview with Pamela Vickers and while you're listening to this episode make sure you go and subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or whatever podcasting application you use. Now let's get to the interview with Pamela Vickers. I loved your talk I thought it was really interesting and Ernie and I were actually talking earlier about how much we love the fact that this is a developer conference but we're talking about things that aren't just development. It's like you said this this applies whether you're talking about the workplace and it doesn't even have to be a tech workplace for that matter or your personal life like your personal relationships and I think this is something that's somewhat unique to the Ruby community. Would you well I mean when I say unique I say that a lot of other development communities in their conferences are probably going to focus more on you know cis admin or whatever. But we're industry focus. Sure yeah which is fine. I think we get some of that from what is it minsoir? You know Mott's is nice so so we are nice. Yeah yeah. So I think we have maybe from the start then kind of inward looking as well. I mean some some to a fault like I I actually just unfollowed Ruby dramas because I realized that's kind of a negative thing. It's funny that it existed but then it wasn't funny when I really thought about it so. I've never heard of that. Okay well there's a website that was there is just I feel like one summer where conferences just kept doing boneheaded things so there was a website called Ruby dramas and it was like there have been you know five days since the last Ruby drama and then it would have update so that's fine. There's the Twitter handle for it and I followed it a long time ago. I guess the good news is I'd forgotten about it completely so we haven't had a scandalous thing to happen but I think we are very aware of community and which is what I loved about it when I got started was I came from a see background where if you google for a problem with a see problem well I mean you're just not going to find much unless it's something very very common right with the Ruby community even if you had a problem that was of your own making there was usually someone that was willing to at least take a look it might not have an answer but there were answers there were there were people who were willing to look for an answer. So I think that is very valuable I don't know if all conferences are that in tune with having you know human talks I guess but I know I just I just love it like I love a technical talk but I also love a talk that's going to improve the way I interact with co-workers so and it's awesome that we have both like we had the darker talk just now it's just great and and so we aren't you know it's not lost on us to talk tech for a significant portion of the conference but we also have what Ernie called you know most people call these soft talks. Sure right but I would say that they're just as you know applicable as any other talk is so it's great so here's here's perhaps the most obvious topic to talk to you about which is something that Hampton actually pointed out this morning in his Ruby surveys what is it 75% or maybe maybe more but 75% of Ruby developers and I would say this acts sort of as a proxy for the development community in large but I'm not sure about that but they identify as as male and you're working on something that's specifically for women developers right well um so Rails Girls has been targeting women or would be women developers or developing developers as we like to say and but it's always been open to you know men want to come they just need to bring we treat it as you have to have a woman with you and choose your admit one car but we're doing a Rails bridge workshop which is kind of cool I don't know if a Rails Girls group has ever done a Rails bridge workshop but what's cool with Rails Bridge is they really target just kind of underrepresented people in attack in general so while it's mostly women we're really happy to have any other sort of smaller minority group join us as well sure it's kind of fun to see how having other people in the same room that they actually recognize each other and say oh look you're like me and I don't often see that at tech events it's cool to see how that can build confidence and confidence ask questions yeah that's that's what we're working on sure well and so I ask you that because I am perhaps in the largest majority or one of the largest majorities of programming in terms of demographics and so you know as a young white male who is also a programmer I want to see the same diversity that you want to see and I would love to know what I can like what I and when I say I I mean all men of my like same demographics what is the best way for us to kind of support these efforts and encourage you know STEM and all of these things in not just in women but also in other like types of or demographics rather that aren't our own well so there's kind of multiple stages I guess that you can do always if possible whatever company you work for if you can talk them into sponsoring you know maybe a local meetup of you know women's meetup or there's one I think based in California called coding while black I heard I've heard of this actually yeah I there's a great article on model view culture from the founder and it makes me laugh it's a little it's a little bittersweet what he's doing because sure but it's it's a great one so if you if you work for a company that has a budget to really support or maybe not even monetarily if you offer space for them to meet um also you know mentors for their groups like that's it's great whatever you can do to invest in your own local developer community you just receive back just in sure in spades but and another thing that I'm seeing more and more value in the more I see it done is I guess amplifying the voices of people who might not be in the majority group and allowing other people to know that these people exist because I just use a meetup as an example but let's say let's just say just for gender diversity you're you're a woman and you go to a meetup well you might not meet a lot of women there so you're already maybe a little bit uncomfortable asking someone to your left hey I don't understand what that means because there's just not that familiarity that you might have oh we've had probably some shared experiences so versus a man going to a meetup who knows nothing he's already seen people who have made it right there's a big difference in going in and seeing someone who's already where you want to be and if you see someone like you that has done it that's very exciting because really it will someone else is on it so by making people that are in you know minority groups more visible and heard more often more people who are just getting into it they can find that sort of that beacon of like oh yes that person they've done it so I can do it too sure yeah it's kind of a amplify voices sometimes just listen and instead of inserting yourself into a conversation maybe you can just let it happen around you just read it and and glean from that I'm not about that too though because I just want to jump in because I want I feel like I should be educated but sometimes you have to do the legwork yourself to educate and my other people just have the conversation they're gonna have anyway right which I think is particularly that's that's a useful way of approaching this for me because I know that quite often these conversations turn into flame wars right they can and and my my intent is not to say that I understand the issue right my intent is just to support the people who are trying to fight the issue and so sometimes your intent isn't always accomplished by what you do right so it may be better for me to just be quiet about right it's hard when you want to help because not doing anything doesn't feel like helping right but sometimes it's it's the best thing you can do but it's the hardest thing to do yeah yeah yeah I'm trying to learn not one myself sure yeah let's great information for me and I'm sure for a lot of the people who are listening so I like to ask all my question or all of my guests a question about about what you would if you were to think here's the question if you were to meet a new developer or a experienced developer either one and try to give them some kind of advice in about 30 seconds uh what would that advice be that advice would be ask questions more quickly than maybe you think you should um or we as it's to the experienced developer to the junior developer actually yeah man how do I come up with one and you can split it okay with this is not a strict format so that's a good one um let's see what would I recommend um I I would just say just it might sound like a fortunate cookie type type thing but um remember that there's a person writing the code that you're reading so that person might be you or that person might be a co-worker but and remember that people are just remember the person instead of just the code that you're fighting I guess that would be that would be my advice yeah that's good and what Ernie is doing is very similar to he's talking about basically human uh he made yes humane uh develop our human coding so human development human development yeah uh so he was talking about that that concept as well remembering the human comes first it's great and and he actually I what you first started to mention he mentioned as well he said uh basically be quick to ask questions um never be afraid to ask a question it leaves you you feel vulnerable when you ask a question I remember I actually would save out the question to try and get the wording just right because I wanted to make sure that my question didn't make me sound stupid but you just waste time and maybe you just are looking at the slightly it might just be a very small thing that's holding you up so yeah um yeah quicker questions don't worry what the question is going to expose because most of us have been there so that's great awesome well thank you so much Pamela for being on the show and uh do you have anything any site or anything that you want for visitors to sure um they can find you on Twitter right they can find me on Twitter um I'm kind of I've like I've squatted like all of the accounts with this one user name so I thought it was so clever um and I'll put it in the show now so it's so you can't you can't really like pronounce it perfectly yeah but it's one that I it looks great written right then I'm like I don't know do I say Poonala do I say Poonala I don't know but yeah I'm not even a gamer so I don't really really perfect perfect well we'll put in the show notes and uh I'm going to start asking all of the listeners to just barrage uh Pamela and other guests with tweets and follows and thank yous for the work that they're doing and for being on the show thanks again thank you thanks so much for joining me today for my interview with Pamela I really appreciated her time and I appreciate your time as well one of the most important parts of the success of this show is the iTunes ratings and reviews system if you would like to help the show out and if you've been enjoying the show if you look in the show notes there's a link to iTunes that will let you leave a review for the show that is a huge help and the reason it's huge help is because it helps other developers find the show and that's because they trust your word they trust other developers it's an incredible part of this industry is that we help each other out thank you so much for listening to the show and until next time enjoy your tea