Leading at Any Level

The concept of leading at any level comes up frequently and focuses on the idea that leadership isn’t the sole responsibility of those at the top of an organization. This idea happens to fit well with my definition of leadership in general, which is that you are a leader if you have anyone who looks…

Purpose Driven Projects

One of the hardest parts of working in open source projects is figuring out how to incorporate product management. In my experience, product management requires opinionated direction that doesn’t always seem to fit the open source ideals of “good ideas can come from anywhere” or the egalitarian ethos of a do-ocracy. Since any contributor can…

Six Years in WordPress

Today is my six year anniversary of becoming a full-time, sponsored contributor to the WordPress open source project. There are many ways I would describe it—rewarding, complex, cutting edge, difficult, ever-changing, meaningful—but at the end of the day, I want to be able to describe it like this: For the past six years, I have…

A WordPress Dinner Party

At the top of 2020, I observed my fifth anniversary of being a sponsored contributor to WordPress, and am proud to say I led the first all-women and non-binary release team in our project’s history. When I applied for the position I was an advocate for diversity in technology, and I hoped this was a…

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s good to practice a bit of gratitude throughout the year, but it feels like we could all use an extra helping in 2020. So, here are a few things I’m thankful for, and grateful to have in my life! A network of family and friends who are generously supportive. The ability (and time) to…

Mental Health Journaling for Today and Tomorrow

It’s World Mental Health Day! According to the World Health Organization: World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental…

Gardens are Just Zoos for Plants: my sabbatical in the garden

I’m from rural Arkansas and all my life my family has had a garden. The gardens varied in size and purpose, but tending to plants is something I saw my parents do all my life. So when COVID-19 knocked us on our heels and confined us to our homes, it made sense that I should…

Making Hard Decisions Easier

Over the course of my career, especially as I was learning to lead, I made a lot of mistakes. Most turned out fine in the end, but basically all of them required me to go and find an adult. And as I became more proficient as a leader, there were two truths that used to…

Leadership Basics: Ethics in Communication

It’s often said that if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. It is meant to suggest that people are always seeking confirmation for the things they already believe. And it turns out that I really believe in the use and application of good communication. Communication is something all living…

The Power of Vulnerability

In 2010, Brené Brown delivered a TED talk that changed the way I understood leadership. She talked about the importance of sharing our failures, and the power of vulnerability in leadership. It’s an exceptional talk, and worth a listen if you’ve never given yourself the time. Three of the most remarkable concepts she shared are…