We Just Lost Another Tech Luminary

I turned off Twitter for ten weeks, only to get back on it to connect with other humans during AWS re:invent in Las Vegas. Today, as I was about to turn it off again, I saw a tweet from Iris Classon. Don’t know who Iris Classon is? She’s a C# MVP who writes constantly about programming and different technologies.

She has the ear of many other tech luminaries:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 10.13.47 PM

She has the passion that any company should kill for. Amazingly, she only started programming in July of 2011. She’s accomplished more in three years than most people do in 6.

When I look at what I wish tech were like, she’d be one of the people I’d model tech after. Smart, passionate, approachable, humble, positive. Those are skills every programmer should possess, and reading her blog posts or her twitter account reminds me of that. It’s not enough to be simply good at writing code, and we’ve forgotten that.

But, she’s leaving the social internet. 410, as it were:

Why? I don’t know. I do know that there are asshats out there, though:

Read the whole conversation if that tweet doesn’t make your blood boil. (Screenshot)

And there’s more. Some developer told her that passion doesn’t matter. That developer is dead wrong:

But, of course, that’s not all. She also has to deal with dick pics (Seriously guys, who ever told you it was acceptable to send a picture of your junk over the internet, *to anyone*?)

I’m angry.

At tech. At us. We let this happen. Crap like #Gamergate is appalling enough, but the daily harassment we give to our own is even worse. There are so many instances of this happening that I can’t even do them all justice.

This is not your club, your fraternity, or your man cave. This is our profession. No, it’s not all men, but it might as well be. Either we’re blind to it, or we’re not stopping it when it happens, or we’re not compassionate enough to create a safe space where we can welcome awesome people. That makes us culpable.

It’s bullshit and it needs to stop. Now.

Any time you make a joke at the expense of someone else, ridicule another person, or put your ego before your compassion, you’ve made tech a worse place.

I’m part of the problem. We all are. Until we realize that and work to make it right, we’re going to keep losing awesome people.

Do you really want to change the world? Change tech first.

There’s one simple rule: Treat everyone the way that they want to be treated.

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