building a tech community people want to be a part of

1 minute read

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So, I want to talk about assholes in local tech communities because I’ve seen them drive people out over and over. Let’s be clear, most communities have their assholes, but tech is already intimidating enough for many people. You are gaining nothing by continuously sheltering these assholes and doing absolutely nothing when they act out. Your local community events should all have code of conducts and you as organizers need to act when someone violates that.

It’s awkward and terrible sometimes to call people out on their bullshit, but you’re actively losing a lot of good people because of it. I’ve seen so many talented and interesting people leave local tech communities, because they didn’t want to deal with the assholes. You all have to take control. Recognize that you’re all responsible for the local community and call people on their bullshit. When you exclude those that are toxic to your community you are not being mean.

If someone is consistently toxic and won’t respond when called out, you need to make sure they know they aren’t welcome anymore. You already know who they are. I know you all already know who they are, because some of you have spoken to me about them.

A better community starts with action. Step up.

originally posted on twitter starting with this tweet cleaned up and reposted here.