Welcome to my PinkLetter. A short, weekly, technology-agnostic, and pink newsletter where we cultivate timeless skills in web development.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to co-organize the Code Retreat in Krakow with four fantastic folks. It was a success!
The event’s main value was diversity. I’m tired of meetups filled with people that look like me and think like me, so we wanted to send a message. This is why we focused all our energies on designs, copy, and initiatives that would help with inclusion. And let me tell you, it’s a shit ton of work.
The Global Day of Code Retreat is about crafting code and free food. Trust me, we could have filled all the spots by asking friends to come. I know many nerds who’d join such an event in a breeze. But what would we achieve by gathering people who know each other, already coded together, and probably participated in similar retreats multiple times?
Again, diversity requires a lot of effort. Not only that, but it’s a balancing act. At the orga kickoff meeting, I proposed having only “diversity” tickets, and I also said I wouldn’t go on stage because I’d project a “non-diverse” vibe.
Luckily, I was surrounded by people who know better and who reminded me that sometimes participants choose a regular ticket even when eligible for a “diversity” one because they are not “diverse enough.” So pushing it too strongly on diversity would have made it less inclusive! Also, by saying I didn’t want to be in the spotlight, I made it hard for other co-organizers whose diversity is less apparent.
So how did we score?
We ended up selling (for free) 15 diversity tickets and 9 regular tickets. Also, participants told us we should extend it to an entire weekend and asked if we plan to do more. I even heard somebody say they finally understood what TDD is all about. Yay!
On top of that, I’m proud to say all of our sponsors decided to support us because they wanted to help make IT a more diverse industry. Not to count, one company gave us money anonymously, which means they were so all-in on the inclusivity that they didn’t even think of marketing!
If you got this far reading, I’m sure you have a question bouncing in your head: what the hell does “diversity” even mean? This is how we spelled it out on the event page:
To increase the diversity of the event, we have an additional quota of tickets reserved for people of underrepresented groups in technology.
This includes, but is not limited to:
people of color
people from abroad
people with disabilities
Select this ticket if you feel you belong to such a group—we will neither ask you to provide evidence nor will it show up anywhere (e.g., name tag).
And here’s one picture of me from the event while enjoying people suffering because of the constraint. Can you tell I’m a VIM user?
More photos will come to our Facebook page.
Your cover letter is usually the first impression you make to the people at a company. Even if you got your foot in the door with one person, a bunch of people are going to see your cover letter and resume before you actually get hired, and that’s going to be your first impression with many of those people. First impressions matter a lot.
Riccardo: Simple and powerful formula for a great first impression.
Most lean startup books advise something like “look for patterns” which seems sensible, but how, with a hundred pages or more of text? Without a plan, it seems like an impossible task at best or like a recipe for confirmation bias at worst.
Riccardo: Perfect if you want to look for patterns, but keeping a door open for a different look later.
#Tech Twitter was all abuzz recently after DHH boldly proclaimed and explained why [37signals is] leaving the cloud. A lot of people cheered, some of us jeered, and everyone else just pitched web3 as an alternative solution. DHH’s success has earned him a giant platform and a tremendous amount of influence, and while I often disagree with him, it’s clear that many others do not. I spent quite a bit of time reading through all the retweets, reposts, comments, and hot takes, and I came to a fairly simple conclusion: these people are using the cloud wrong.
Riccardo: As always, the truth is in the middle. And DHH never misses an opportunity to make some noise!