The last few years of my web development journey have consisted of many ups and downs. Unfortunately, I don't remember all the ups but I know they occurred and I know I learned and progressed because of them. But I do remember every down because they tend to stand out in my mind a bit more. It is hard to forget the times you are undervalued, misunderstood and mistreated. Unfortunately, all these downs have occurred in the workplace. Because of these experiences, I have a renewed interest in mental health advocacy and psychological safety in the workplace.
VirtualCoffee.io is one of my favorite communities. It provides a safe and encouraging place to talk about life and web development and has been a game changer for me. I enjoy hearing each person's unique perspective and our weekly chats are a highlight. Twitter is also a great place to build community. I am having great conversations and making new friends every day. A few weeks ago, I decided to share my thoughts in a Twitter thread and I created a new hashtag in the process. This is a thread that I plan grow, adding new thoughts as they come up. This also felt like a worthy topic to turn into a blog post, so here we are. I plan to update here as well.
Here is my #normalizetech Twitter thread.
Let's dive in!
Normalize 9 to 5.
Overtime should be an exception not the norm. If a job lists "paid overtime" then run.
Normalize mental health days.
If we are overly stressed, anxious, fatigued, etc... the work suffers and nobody wins.
Normalize pair programming and mentorship.
Development is hard y'all. Nobody should struggle alone. Pair programming and mentorship can boost confidence and build healthy relationships. It takes a village.
Allowing one day a week for side projects, open source, community engagement, volunteering, a day of rest, etc.. can reinvigorate and make a positive impact on the world.
Normalize Inclusivity & Diversity
Although progress is being made, the lack of inclusivity and diversity in tech is still very prevalent. The more diversity the better since working alongside a variety of people and cultures increases empathy and creativity.
Normalize Psychological Safety
No one should feel unsafe in the workplace. Period! Safety leads to trust, which leads to happiness, which leads to better ideas, which leads to people doing their best work. This should be a priority!
and here are a few community tweets!
CaitlynI don't code outside of work.
I don't study coding outside of work.
I am perfectly fine with my career moving at a normal pace. I am happy for anyone who becomes a senior in 2 years, but that's not what I'm after. I'm after balance, building community and not burning out.00:50 AM - 18 Feb 2022
Melinda Golden@melindamgolden@thecaitcode I think we should normalize developers not coding in their free time. It's okay if you want to do that, but it shouldn't be seen as an expectation.01:22 AM - 18 Feb 2022
What are things that you feel should be normalized in tech? Comment below and thanks for reading!
cover image photo credit - https://unsplash.com/photos/bKESVqfxass