🙅 Screw The Taboos Meetup #1

Swapnil Agarwal
Dec 28, 2019 · 5 min read

A safe space for talking about taboos in tech!

😨 I don’t know how to ask for a promotion / raise!
😭 I could really use some help in dealing with jerks at my workplace!
🚫 My manager is asking me to work on the weekend. How do I say “no”?

If you are working (irrespective of the industry you’re in), there’s a good chance that you have had these questions (and a lot more!) at one point or the other.

Facing these alone can be a bit difficult.
Okay, who are we kidding? It IS difficult. Nobody taught us how to handle these real-world issues!
If you want to talk about these, you’ll probably think twice before bringing them up with your peers. What will (s)he think of me?
There’s no dedicated space which encourages discussion of such “taboo” topics - where you can talk freely without any fear of judgment. So I floated out a form to gauge people’s interest in attending such a meetup.
A couple of submissions were enough to turn this idea into reality. The folks at Hasura were kind enough to host the first-ever (experimental) edition.

The aim was to create a safe space, where we talk openly about things like the discrepancy between job descriptions and day-to-day work, coping with burnout, imposter syndrome, mental health, growth, etc.

I set up some ground rules:

  1. Attendees are expected to actively participate in the round-table discussion.

The 1st meetup took place on December 15, 2019 at The Terrace @ Hasura. The aim was to bring a small group together (max. 10 people) and we ended up with 8 (plus me and Dash!).


Since I love curation, we started with noting down our favorite songs. Here’s the list, in case you’re looking for new music to listen to:

After a quick round of introductions, it was clear that we had managed to get a diverse group and that everyone’s perspective w.r.t. work was quite different!

I had a couple of topics / questions prepared, using which we navigated through a variety of topics. Here’s the summary (names used with permission):

  • Kamlesh Chandnani encouraged everyone to maintain a “brag document” where you keep a list of what you have done. It takes just a few minutes everyday but is immensely helpful when you’re asked to talk about your work.

🤩 The highlight of the meetup was what questions you should ask your interviewers?

Asking these questions for the first time can be hard but it’ll get easier with time. Here are some of the top ones:

  1. Do you sponsor conference tickets ($100+), say twice a year?

You can find more of these questions here. Feel free to add yours by sending a PR or DM me if you want to contribute anonymously.

The 2nd meetup is scheduled for Jan 12, 2020; same time; same place. Registrations are open at dxclub.io/taboo
See you there! 👋

Special Thanks to Siddharth Kshetrapal for organizing TinyConf, the panel discussions of which served as an inspiration to start this meetup, to Kamlesh Chandnani for his awesome talk at React Meetup which inspired the panel discussions at TinyConf, and to Rahul Kadyan for his strong support in helping me bring all the pieces together.

P.S. If you’d like to volunteer for jotting down notes during the upcoming meetup(s), DM me on Telegram.
P.P.S. There’s a lot of stuff planned for 2020. For updates, follow The DX Club on Twitter!

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