My commitment to you my colleagues in the web community
Paul Boag
688

With regards to misconduct, this reads a bit like “I won’t ask if you don’t tell.” Maybe that wasn’t what you were going for, but I feel it has to be pointed out. A lot of people are going to nod their heads to what you’ve posted without considering the downsides of some of your tactics or realizing why they just haven’t worked for some folks.

“I will never criticize you in a public forum.” When you’re in a position where you have the most influence over others to really affect change? I dunno, I watch British dev rels criticize each other constantly in public, on Twitter, at conferences, and still they are glad to see each other face to face. Criticism doesn’t always mean animosity (see also: this reply). Sometimes it’s just people getting to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible and leaving their egos at the door.

“If I have an issue I will take it up with you and not with others.” You will try to solve problems behind closed doors rather than resolving them as a community? Here I feel you are writing from a place of privilege. It is often difficult or impossible for women and minorities to resolve problems privately. Often escalation has to go to HR or even out in public to make progress. Awkward, but often necessary. Then we get called “unprofessional” for having appealed to others. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The public model actually gets everyone thinking, though.

For what it’s worth, I don’t feel the industry is broken. (At least, no more broken than it was from the start.) But I do think it’s growing up. Growing up is uncomfortable and awkward. There will be days we won’t want to look in the mirror because it will gross us out. There will be days when we don’t recognize our old friends anymore. There will be days when we want to throw everything out and start over as someone else.

But if we’re *real* professionals, we can handle it and come out stronger. We can own the change. We can grow with it.