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Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]
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Handcrafting Community [Steel City RubyConf 2013]

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Community-building can seem like a herculean effort that must be coordinated among many. But it doesn’t have to be. One is plenty. …

Community-building can seem like a herculean effort that must be coordinated among many. But it doesn’t have to be. One is plenty.

How can we handcraft a fulfilling code career? How can we support peers in developing theirs, whether newcomer or artisan? How can we contribute, without having to be expert? How do we develop social capital among community members, and channel those investments into people who are just entering? How will we craft a thriving community, using only simple tools & scarce local resources?

We’ll examine the history of major successes — in Ruby community, Python, and well beyond — and extract lessons to apply generally. It’s a story that weaves in personal narratives of rising into that, both well and clumsily. It’s about transforming minor ambitions & frequent iterations into a scope of change that looks amazing. By making choices to do small things well and thoughtfully, rather than with concern for how they scale.

META:
Where: Steel City Ruby Conference 2013, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: 2013-08-13

Published in: Technology
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  • 1. Handcrafting Community Carina C. Zona Good morning. [As JEAN said,] I'm Carina Zona. At the speaker's dinner last night, we started realizing that many of the talks this weekend will touch on themes of community. I can't wait. Because it's a topic I'm personally passionate about. So. That means: communities and passions are how we'll kick off this day. This one is called: Handcrafting Community.
  • 2. Community I'm a developer. But my career didn't start with any of the startup stereotypes. I spent my whole career working alone in the suburbs. Where user groups wobbled along and rarely outlasted the attention of a founder.
  • 3. Community So I assumed that some places just have too few people for us to build community around. But that doesn't hold water when you look closely enough. I've watched vibrant communities form from the efforts of just one person, or two.
  • 4. Community So I started to get curious...
  • 5. Community "Community" is a word we throw around a lot. We apply it to many things. The communities I've grown curious about are the old-school kind: they're in-PERSON, and have a geographic location.
  • 6. Community Community members' identity and social ties are grounded in certain qualities:
  • 7. Share They share: [SLIDE]
  • 8. Share • intentions • values • beliefs • resources • needs • sense of purpose • cohesion They share: [SLIDE]
  • 9. Builders [SPACEBAR TO BEGIN]
  • 10. Bouchard Adam Burlington RubyConf Burlington Web Application Group Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 11. Cardarella Brian Boston Ember User Group Boston Ruby User Group RailsCamp New England Wicked Good RubyConf Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 12. Neugebauer Chris PyCon Australia Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 13. McAdam Desi DevChix RailsBridge Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 14. Lehnardt Jan Berlin CouchDB Berlin JS JSConf EU OpenTechSchool Swhack Berlin Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 15. Noller Jesse PyCon U.S. Python Software Foundation Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 16. McKellar Jessica Boston Python Workshops Python Software Foundation Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 17. Remsik Jim Madison RubyConf MadUX Conference Snow Mobile Conference Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 18. Pagano Julie Girl Develop It Pittsburgh Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 19. Leahy Liana Boston Ruby Women Open Source Code Crunch RailsBridge Boston Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 20. Haught Marty Rocky Mountain RubyConf Ruby Central Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 21. Allan Pat Melbourne Ruby RailsCamps Australia Trampoline Day Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 22. Brown Peter BurlingtonJS BurlingtonRuby Burlington RubyConf Burlington Web Application Group Curiosity leads to interesting places. I've gotten to know many builders of our coding communities. Asked how their communities started. And how those have grown. How they've survived rocky periods, and become self-sustaining. I've observed, chatted, interviewed, and listened. Asked about their successes, as well as regrets and failures.
  • 23. De Voursney Renée RailsBridge So. Today you'll hear some personal stories, collectively, and in their own words.
  • 24. Allen Sarah RailsBridge So. Today you'll hear some personal stories, collectively, and in their own words.
  • 25. Mei Sarah RailsBridge So. This morning you'll hear personal stories, collectively, and in their own words.
  • 26. Laundy Sasha Women Who Code So. This morning you'll hear personal stories, collectively, and in their own words. [SPACEBAR]
  • 27. “Youcanputongoodpresentations,and havebeerandpizza.Peoplewillshowup. Butit's reallydifferentwhenpeoplestartto feellikethesearefriends.Thatthere's sharedhistorybetweenthem.”
  • 28. Small is good.
  • 29. Itstartedwiththe3ofusonmydeck.We didn'thavesetintentionforwhatitwould bebecome.Wejustwantedtohavesome interestingdialogues.
  • 30. Insmallertowns,fillingeventsisharder. Butwetreatitasopportunityto extendreachwithincommunities, through partnerships.
  • 31. Networks are a safety net.
  • 32. IknewthatIhadenoughconnectionsthatit wouldn'tbeacatastrophicfailure.Thatgave metheabilitytomakethatleapoffaiththat Iwouldbesupportedregardless.
  • 33. Build selfishly.
  • 34. Ididn't feelliketheexistinggroupswerea goodfitforme.I'macoder,butIdon'tfeel likeIliveforcoding.Thegroupsatthetime weren't thetypeofpeopleIcouldconnect with.
  • 35. Itdidn'tfeelright.Veryneckbeardy.Very reddity. Itwasn'tbad,butIdidn'tfeellikea fitwith it.ThenImetpeoplewhofeltmore like-minded.
  • 36. Iwasn'tsurewhetheranyoneelse feltwhat Ifelt,andwantedittoo.  WhatIlearnedis thatifyoufeelacertainway,youare probablynottheonlyone.
  • 37. You thinkit'slikethrowingyourselfa birthdayparty.Youworrythatonlyyour friendswillcome.Youdon'texpectanyone toshowup.Thentheydo.
  • 38. Yes, introverts.
  • 39. I'mashyperson.Butthroughthis,I've learnedtoconnectwith peopleandwhyit's important.I'vegotten goodatit.Itisall aboutthestrengthofcrowds.
  • 40. IwaswaylessoutgoingthanIamnow.A sideeffectofdoingthegroupisthatit's practicetalking in frontofpeoplecasually.It helpedmedealwithalotofstagefright. NowIfeelcomfortable.It'sbeenlike therapyinaway.
  • 41. Explicit values.
  • 42. Folksshouldalwaysunderstandexplicitly whythey'redoingthis,andseeingwhether they'reachievingwhattheywantto achieve.
  • 43. Value: • Unifying principle • Organizes choices • Beacon to others • Sets course of action
  • 44. It'sacommunitycalltoaction.
  • 45. “Challenge” (such as)
  • 46. Iwasnotusedtobeingchallenged.Not usedtobeingsurroundedbypeoplemuch moreadvancedthanme.   Itwasreallyinspiring.
  • 47. “Accessible” (such as)
  • 48. Therewasalotofdiscussionabouta potentialvenuethatwasn'twheelchair accessible.Weconcludedthatit'snotfair thatsomeonemightnotbeableto participate.
  • 49. “Pipeline” (such as)
  • 50. It'snotasingleevent. Weviewitasa pipeline.It'sastartingpoint.Before leaving,wecalloutthenextoneforthem.
  • 51. “Diversity” (such as)
  • 52. What wesetouttobuildwasforanybody whosharescommoninterestindiversifying thecommunity.
  • 53. We'retryingtodevelopadiverse communityforall.
  • 54. It'sabreakfromthemainstream.  An alternativeforthosewhowantthespace.
  • 55. “Equality” (such as)
  • 56. The"everybodypays"ruleispartofour ethosof"Everyonecomestogether, everyoneispartofcommunity".
  • 57. Networks can save your butt.
  • 58. Ipickedorganizersbrainsalot.Peoplein thevalleywhohadthemostsuccessful meetups."HowcanInotfuckthisup?"I didn'tknowpeoplewouldbesogenerous aboutthat.
  • 59. IinvitedeveryoneIknewpersonally. Then reachedouttomynetwork. Mentorsand supportersreachedouttotheircirclestoo.
  • 60. Theconnectionsyouknow—thepeopleyou canrelyontogetyourback—are exceedinglyimportant.Howdoyouknow you'renotjustrunningblind?Or duplicatingwork?Howdoyougetsupport? Howdoyouknowwhenyourideasucks?
  • 61. Networks are not mandatory.
  • 62. Ididn't reallyknowanybody.Itwasreally weirdhowwordgotout.Peoplegot excited.PeoplefollowedtheTwitter account.Someonebuiltawebsite.Itgrew organically.Itwasreallyfreeform.Itstarted tobuildmomentum.
  • 63. Put word out beyond your reach.
  • 64. Usesocialmedia,usefriends,use networks,tostartbuilding.Starttospread word.Peoplewillhelpyou.
  • 65. Imadeitreallyeasytospreadtheword.The persondidn'thavetodoanythingbuthita buttontoshareit.Imadeitsimpleforthem tounderstandandcommunicateinone sentence.
  • 66. Tiny is exactly right amount.
  • 67. Letitgrowslowly. Getpeopleidentifying with thegroupandbeingitsleaders.
  • 68. Ithas empoweredalotofleaderswho wouldn't otherwisespeakorgetinvolved. Theystarttheirowngroups.Theydoother things.
  • 69. Build sociable.
  • 70. “Plentyofpeopleattendeventsnotforthe talksbuttomeetpeople,toconnectwith peers.Dowhatyoucantoencouragethese opportunities."
  • 71. Failure, whoooo!
  • 72. Elevators broke.Sowesqueezedeveryone intooneroom.Somewereunhappy.But thenpeoplestartedtalkingaboutshared experiences.So now we do it that way on purpose.
  • 73. Forkable community.
  • 74. Writeahow-to,sothatifsomeonewantsto dooneintheirregiontoo,theycanjust cloneitandadapttotheirneeds.
  • 75. Theframeworkistherenow.Soevenifthe current teamisn'ttherenexttime,it'llbe okay.It'llkeepbuilding.
  • 76. Make it reallyeasyforotherstocreatetheir ownevents.Theydon'thavetothinkabout howto,becausetheyalreadyknow.
  • 77. Wemadeitaworkshopinabox.So organizerscanunboxatthenextevent. Theydon'thavetodoalltheworktomakea high qualityevent.
  • 78. ForkableCommunities BerlinJS Boston Python Workshops JSConfEU Open Space Technology OpenTechSchool PyLadies RailsBridge RailsGirls Ruby DCamp SuperHappyDevHouse Trampoline Day
  • 79. Indispensability is a bug.
  • 80. Lifecircumstanceschange.Volunteers comeandgo.
  • 81. It'shardtogetpeopletodothebigwork. Stuffthat takescommitmenttofollow through. Ithinkthat'swhyalotofgroups collapse. IfIleft,Iwonderifourswould collapsetoo.
  • 82. I'vehadtroubledoingdelegation.Itended todoit allmyself.I'velearnedtoletgo.
  • 83. You doneedsomeonewhothebuckstops with.ButifIdisappeared,Isuspect everythingwouldgoaway.Wehaven't figuredouthowtonothaveasinglepoint offailure.
  • 84. What I'mdoing,I'mresponsiblefor.But thatdoesn'tscaleverywell.
  • 85. Ifonepersonisdrivingathing,isittrulya community?Orisitjust aperson?
  • 86. Onepersoncanstartsomething,butit takesalotofpeopletomaintainit.
  • 87. Self-replicate.
  • 88. You shouldalwaysbetrainingyour replacement.Don'twaituntilyouneed one.
  • 89. Itwasreallygreatgettingpeopleto becomeleadersinthecommunity.People whowereprogrammersintheirdayjob, becomingmoreleadersinthecommunity.
  • 90. Nowwegetalumnicomingbackto contributeasvolunteers.Startingto becomeorganizers.It'sallcomingfull circle.
  • 91. Thereisn'tanyoneleader. Weshare.  That's important.  Noonehastoget burnedout.
  • 92. Forcommunitiestoexist,youhaveto involvelotsofpeople,andhavelotsof peoplesupportingit.
  • 93. Ihelpedsparkit,butI'mnotinvolved anymore.Thereare30-40volunteersnow keepingitgoing,whichismind-blowing.
  • 94. Coworking He had an office for himself but others could drop by. Slowly the numbers grew. There was a growing sense of community and shared ownership. A much-loved coworking space.
  • 95. Coworking Co-Up
  • 96. Handcrafting is personal.
  • 97. Iwasdoingtheregularstartuplife.Ifelt drainedinmyworkandpersonalenergy.I feltthat myworkshouldbepositiveand sustainableandmovingthecommunity forward.
  • 98. I'mmostinterestedinimprovingthe existinglong-termcommunityoverthe longterm,ratherthancreatinganewone.
  • 99. Atonofhardwork,oftenthankless,and almostneverfinanciallyrewarding.
  • 100. Hackingcommunitiescanbeexhausting.It canbedepressing.Sometimesyoupaya highprice—
  • 101. —Butthat doesn'tmeanstop.Itmeansgo faster.Sothenextpersonwillbenefitand doitbetter.
  • 102. “Keepbuildingwhatyou'repassionate about.Keepgoing.It'llpayoff.“
  • 103. Craft the community you want.
  • 104. “Youstartwiththistiny local event.Thenitsomehow windsuphavingglobal impact...”
  • 105. kTHXBUILD.
  • 106. Thistalkowesmuchtothe communitybuildersofWebDev 42°Roundtable, &everyonewho'sgiveninterviews. Yourule.
  • 107. Lovecommunitybuildingtoo? Get in touch. @cczona cczona@gmail.com www.cczona.com

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