The One Where I Might Be Wrong

I thought some more about a few things Kevlin Henney said in the talk I watched yesterday. One thing that stuck with me is that software developers are eternal optimists although they should know better. I’m not. I’m anxious although I should know better. I worry about tiny details. I always think something will go wrong although it never really has gone terribly wrong. Am I in the wrong place? In the wrong profession.

I’m an idealist. I don’t think the world and software/product development is going to change but I want it to. And I’m not happy with the tiny steps I’m being presented with. The beach handball women don’t have to wear bikini bottoms anymore, they can not wear short, tight shorts. Wow. Thank you very much. The patriarchy is finally dead. We are not doing 5-year waterfall projects anymore, we only have to commit to the next half year and we are really going to talk about the problems of the users first before presenting our solution. Gee thanks, we’re so agile.

“But can’t you see how much has changed?” Yes, I can. But I don’t think we should celebrate the tiniest possible step that others have already gone years ago. Or am I not in the wrong place but just plain wrong? Maybe my bubble is too tight. Because everything I read and listen to sounds like the others are wrong. Why are we measuring output everywhere instead of outcome? Why are we measuring progress by numbers we know are shitty, can be gamed and can force people into destructive processes?

We know from studies that true diversity makes companies and teams better. Why is it so hard for us to progress faster into that direction. Yes, there are amazing non-cis-white men who now do conference talks and get high up and the recognition they deserve, but why do we still see so few women among software developers in the audience of great conferences or participating at meetups? Why is there still so much blatant misogyny everywhere around us? And why do so few men speak up?

And why am I writing such a disillusioned post when I’m actually quite okay for the first time in a while? I know it’s not all bad. We have cool things going on at work. I’m leading some great initiatives and I do get recognition for it (from some people). And my 2 favourite coworkers are actually awesome when it comes to recognising and fighting against misogyny.

Maybe it’s the bleak news around Covid from the past days. I was really looking forward to our team day next week. I don’t think we are going to do it. I was so happy to have found a routine of going to the office and having nice lunch dates every once in a while, but I guess that will have to be paused for a while. Tomorrow, I’m going to a workshop and then there is a conference on Tuesday. I’m not sure about going yet, though.

But I guess all will be fine, somehow. I have also established a good work-from-home routine now. With lots of videocalls and working alongside my team or the other team (or both teams, actually, we have more people now who go into the other team’s video room which is really cool). And some day, software development as a whole will get better.