[Pdx-pm] Ask For It

Addie M amdemew at gmail.com
Thu Jan 15 18:01:09 PST 2009

I should just mention my own reasons for not going to more meetings, which
unfortunately doesn't make finding good solutions any easier.  Sorry :-)

The main reason is balance - I need a lot of not-coding time (like with yoga
classes), despite my desire to better immerse myself in the local tech
community.  In college, I was never able to take more than one or two CS
classes at a time, or I'd get burnt out - I took liberal arts classes to
balance those out, usually, and it worked nicely.  I've only been working
for two years - just spending a full day working on code was an overwhelming
thing to get comfortable with; involving myself in "extracurriculars" will
take even longer, despite my desire.

That leaves so much of the responsibility in my court - growing up,
learning, adapting, etc.  But it is the honest reason I'm not more
involved.  I currently only regularly attend Code N Splode (hi Selena) and I
suspect that once I get really comfortable with those meetings I will feel
less overwhelmed by the prospect of tacking on another monthly meeting.

Like I said, not very helpful in terms of increasing participation, but
perhaps a reason to not get down on yourselves, either ;-)


On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:59 PM, Selena Deckelmann <selenamarie at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM, chromatic <chromatic at wgz.org> wrote:
> > On Thursday 15 January 2009 14:35:23 Addie M wrote:
> >
> >> I'm willing to change myself a bit to accomodate the culture, but the
> >> culture has not changed at all to accomodate me, and that's why "the
> sooner
> >> they learn this stuff, the better off we all will be!" hit a wrong note
> >> with me.  Until there's a little give on each side, expect to see a
> >> persistent lack of diversity in this field.
> >
> > I wish I had something better to add to this discussion than what Addie
> has
> > said, but it's satisfying to agree completely.
> >
> > With that said, are there specific ideas or practices that PDX.pm (or
> other
> > communities of which we are part) can do to encourage everyone who may be
> > interested but isn't a middle-class white male age 21 - 45 to participate
> more
> > fully in the community?
> First, +1 to Addie's comments.
> Active networking with technical women and direct, specific
> recruitment to projects and meetings has worked the best for me.
> And before we all go off and flagellate ourselves for totally sucking,
> Portland does better than many other cities w/r/t female attendance
> and participation in the open source/user group community. I guess
> that just tells you how bad it is other places.
> It is quite possible to get more women to come to perl-specific
> activities. One thing to think about is having lunch get-togethers, or
> events that are more friendly to people who have after-work
> commitments (like Addie) that consistently conflict with our meeting
> time. I don't know if you've noticed, but none of the user group
> leaders (of the groups I've attended) have children.
> Also, I've found that once I prove a meeting is worth attending (and
> fun!), people re-arrange their schedules to fit the meeting.  Or we
> move our meetings to accommodate them (Hi David!) :)
> I'm not saying that Eric has to do any of this -- but those of you who
> feel passionately, and want to help the gender balance change, there
> are things you could be doing.
> -selena
> --
> Selena Deckelmann
> Open Source Bridge - http://www.opensourcebridge.org
> PDXPUG - http://pugs.postgresql.org/pdx
> Me - http://www.chesnok.com/daily
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