Python for Ada

Last year I wrote about why I think it's important to support diversity within our communities, and about some of the work the Ada Initiative does to support this. The reasons I talked about are good, and (sadly) as relevant today as they were then.

I'd like to add a few more reasons I care about these issues:

  • I'm tired of wondering if I should recommend a local meetup to a friend: what if a known harasser shows up?
  • I'm tired of having people come up to me at conferences and tell me "this whole feminism thing might be going too far".
  • I'm tired of having thousands of people show up to leave angry comments because I merged a pull request.

I'm very tired of being tired. And yet, I can't even begin to imagine how tired I would be if I was a recipient of the constant stream of harassment that many women who speak up receive.

For all these reasons (and one more that I'll get to), I'm calling on members of the Python community to join me in showing their support for working to fix these issues, and foster a diverse community, by donating to support the Ada Initiative.

For the next 5 days, Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Carl Meyer, and myself will be matching donations, up to $7,500:

Donate now

I encourage you to donate to show your support.

I mentioned there was one additional reason this is important to me. A major theme, for myself, over the last year has been thinking about my ethical obligations as a programmer (and more broadly, the obligations all programmers have). I've been particularly influenced by this blog post by Glyph, and this talk by Mike Monteiro. If you haven't already, take a moment to read/watch them.

Whoever came up with the term "User agent" to describe a browser uncovered a very powerful idea. Computer programs are expected to faithfully execute and represent the agency of their human operator.

Trying to understand the intent and desire of our users can be a challenging thing under the best of circumstances. As an industry, we compound this problem many times over by the underrepresentation of many groups among our workforce. This issues shows up again and again with service's such as Twitter and Facebook's handling of harassment and privacy issues. We tend to build products for ourselves, and when we all look the same, we don't build products that serve all of our users well.

The best hope we have for building programs that are respectful of the agency of our users is for the people who use them to be represented by the people who build them. To get there, we need to create an industry where harassment and abuse are simply unacceptable.

It's a long road, but the Ada Initiative does fantastic work to pursue these goals (particularly in the open source community, which is near and dear to me). Please, join us in supporting the ongoing work of building the community I know we all want to see, and which we can be proud of.

Donate now