With the increasing use of automation and overlap between roles, many network engineers will end up writing software, or likely already have. If you write a bash script to automate something, you are a developer and that means you can benefit from learning how to do it right.

Originally written for RIPE Labs and the APNIC blog, based on my RIPE 79 presentation.

I have seen plenty of cases where some person wrote some code ages ago, left the organization — leaving nobody knowing how the code works — and it became a business-critical component, that nobody dares to touch.

Most events in tech involve alcohol at a social event. Although it can be a social lubricant, it’s also a catalyst for bad behaviour, Code of Conduct violations, harm, and exclusion. How do you build a better alcohol culture at your event?

Content warning: this article talks about excessive alcohol consumption and subsequent harassment, assault, addiction and similar concepts — though without great detail on individual occurrences.

Travelling to many conferences, I go to quite a few social events and speaker dinners. As far as I can remember, 100% of them involved alcohol. I do enjoy drinking moderately from time to time, and I see how alcohol can make social interactions between strangers a little bit easier. But at the same time, excessive alcohol consumption is fairly common. …

Being an experienced conference speaker, I’ve found that talks about communities work much better in single-track than multi-track events. Why is that?

The talks I currently submit to conferences are about happiness, well-being, empathy, Code of Conduct, and cryptography. I’ve done these talks at both single-track and multi-track conferences, and find that in many events, except for the cryptography talk, my talks just don’t do that well at multi-track conferences. They have fewer attendees, and also less diverse attendees. This is not unique to my talks — I’ve seen this happen to many others as well.

Whereas my crypto talk is purely informational, the others are written to push people a bit out of their comfort zone. Some more than others. The…

Why I helped the open source community eat over 50 kg of this delicious Dutch treat at events around the world, and how it relates to my next conference talk.

If you’ve ever met me at a conference, you may have seen me walk around with a little bag and a strange stamp, asking questions like “stroopwafel?” or “would you like to join the secret society as well?”. What’s the story behind this?

Image by Takeaway from Wikimedia commons, CC-BY-SA

Over the last several years, I been involved with handing out about 54 kilograms of stroopwafels at open source events. Stroopwafels are a delicious Dutch treat with sweet syrup filling. They are particularly popular in the European Django community. …

A CoC is ineffective unless the organisers handle reports well. For DjangoCon Europe this year, we adopted a public response guide to help us.

I already wrote about how we restructured our Code of Conduct this year. Especially in the stressful and fast environment of a conference, it’s also important to be able to respond to incidents in a professional way, and reduce the risk of mistakes. Having a Code of Conduct (CoC) and then not responding properly can be even more harmful than having no CoC at all, so the response process is an essential part of our event.

Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash

To help with that process, I proposed a Code of Conduct Response Guide for DjangoCon Europe 2018. …

Community event organisers are held to an increasingly high standard, with good reason. But how far can we stretch our volunteers — and where does it lead us? On why I’m withdrawing from major unpaid conference organising.

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

Recently yet another conference showed up in my twitter feed that had an all-male lineup:

All-male lineups are becoming less common, but there are many other diversity & inclusivity that are still widespread. There are conferences that don’t have a Code of Conduct, are unable or unwilling to act on CoC violations, conferences with a nearly all-male lineup, panels about women in tech without any women in them, and so on.

One of the responses to the tweet above was this:

I do not agree that having an all-male lineup is excusable by saying “we have so…

For DjangoCon Europe 2018, we restructured our Code of Conduct in order to better reflect our intentions and values.

Image by Rane.abhijeet

For quite some time, DjangoCon Europe, along with many other conferences have used a similar Code of Conduct. Originally based on the example from Geek Feminism Wiki and earlier versions from PyCon US, this almost identical text is used very widely. For DjangoCon Europe 2018, I felt it was time for a refresher.

The changes were initially written by me, and then refined together with the rest of the conference team. I also took a lot of inspiration from the Django community Code of Conduct, including changes that I already pushed there.

Why was it time for change?

In a way, I felt that our Code…

Sasha Romijn

Python dev, public speaker (empathy, well-being, inclusivity, CoCs), inclusivity advocate & community organiser. To me, the hardest problem in tech is people.

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