Last Friday, I attended a course on managing people led by Meri Williams and learnt a lot. I highly recommend booking her next course if you can. During the Q&A session, there was a question about hiring for diversity and Meri had some very interesting thoughts. I won't try to reproduce them all here as I'll be doing her a disservice. One comment that resonated was that ideally you want your team members to be… continue reading.
It's that time of year again where I look back at what happened over the past 12 months. Obviously this is mostly an excuse for me to look at the photos I've taken over the year and share some of them as I've done previously. I attended a lot of conferences this year, though one thing that was different this year was that I attended more than I spoke at. I also spoke at a… continue reading.
There's been a discussion on Twitter this evening about ad-blockers now that Apple has enabled users of iOS to install ad-blocking plugins into their Safari browser. Note that this is not at the OS level and there is no default ad-blocker. The user has to choose to go to the App Store, install an ad-blocker app and then go to Settings->Safari and enable the app. As we all know, Twitter isn't ideal for conversations requiring… continue reading.
Today marks 20 years since PHP was released by Rasmus Lerdorf and Ben has been asking for how we started our PHP journey. My first use of PHP was to write a website for an online computer gaming guild for EverQuest, back in 1999. A friend recommended it when I asked him how people programmed webpages in something other the C! That first website is still going and I'm not proud of the code. I'm… continue reading.
Wikipedia defines a role model like this: A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others All my life, I have identified people that I perceive to be a little better than I am in some facet of life that I want to get better at and I emulate them. I've been doing this all my life. They have been my role models. My first recollection… continue reading.
One thing I've noticed as I try to learn how to become more aware of the diversity issues in my world is that it's really hard for someone to "get it" if they don't "live it". I think this occurs at all levels. For my position in society, I don't get how it feels to be a black man with the constant assumption that "I'm up to no good". Similarly, I lack that fundamental understanding… continue reading.
2014 is coming to an end, so as usual, let's look back at the year as highlighted by the photos that I've taken. This year, I took at least one photo every day, so there's been plenty for me to choose from! I've done this recap in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. January As usual, there was flooding in Worcester, but clearly the biggest personal event of the month was breaking my elbow… continue reading.
I've just come across Andy Baio's Middling post and this bit really resonated with me: Twitter and Waxy Links cannibalized all the smaller posts, and as my reach grew, I started reserving blogging for more "serious" stuff — mostly longer-form research and investigative writing. From around September 2013, I found that I was in this situation. I was only posting here once or twice a month, mainly as I felt that I should only blog… continue reading.
An online friend of mine once said this about a sexism incident at a conference: "If I had been there, ZERO chance I would've sat idly by and let someone treat you like that" I like to believe that I have the same policy: If I am there when some casual sexism occurs, I will call it out. It turns out that this is untrue. One I have witnessed a number of incidents of sexism… continue reading.
tl;dr I want every conference to enthusiastically champion their code of conduct in order to publicly reassure attendees (women in particular) that any issues will be dealt with. I want all of us to actually notice jokes and conduct that make conferences uncomfortable for women and call out or report issues if we see them. I'm still learning how to do this, but the rest of this post goes into detail on why I think… continue reading.