Amy Stephen

Hacker Grandma



Reflecting back on 30 years in the Information Technology field, it’s clear the constant debate between the Doing it Right™ crowd and the Making it Easy™ group is scored by users. Be it Windows 3.1 versus OS/2 or WordPress versus any other full featured open source CMS, in the end, people use what helps them deliver. People Who Know Better™ can say what they will.

Our learning as technologists should guide us to build useful products for users. Our discussions and debate as a community of developers can be useful to help us in that process. But, we need to be careful that our common areas are not overrun by those who wish to use it as a stage as they duke it out for the crown of King of the Proverbial Hill.

The space must be protected for productive, friendly, collaborative conversation and debate in order to ensure members can openly ask questions and share ideas for solving problems for users.

  • Show me what your code can do. I’ll listen.
  • Give me an example of how to solve problems as a site builder using your solution. I’m all in.
  • Explain to me why you elected to use this design pattern over another and I can learn.

Too many times, community dialog becomes combative and sophomoric, be it on Reddit, through blog posts, via forum responses, broadcasted on podcasts, where a few constantly fire-hose disagree with what other developers have accomplished under the guise of wanting to help.

  • No acknowledgement of the benefit users derive from that work.
  • No example of the how to obtain the same benefit differently.
  • No code in hand.

Absent shared code, I question whether the advise is based on the kind of experience that would help me build solutions my users need.

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