Finding Solid Ground on Day 591 of N*

*where N=unknown I used to think there was nothing more stressful than being in the midst of a stressful thing. When you’re in the middle of something, it’s all raw and electric and the ways out aren’t always a sure bet. In the past nearly 600 days, I’ve learned that there is something more stressful—being…

On recent news about the FSF board of directors

I want to take a moment to respond to the recent news of Richard Stallman’s return to the Free Software Foundation’s board. In short, I do not support his return as a board member.  It makes me proud that the WordPress project embodies the best traditions of open source and retires outdated traditions, or shibboleths,…

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…

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…

Compliments for 100 Dollars

I walk past a middle school at lunch every day. Most days we all just carry on with our own work (mine: dog walking, theirs: game playing), but today was different. As I walked by the school yard, one of the kids kicked a ball over the fence and across the street. She asked if…

Fostering Collaboration Across Cultures

Diversity doesn’t come without tension. The key is to know how to make it into jazz and not discordant noise. Stereotypes are shortcuts our brains use to make fast decisions (especially when there is too much information or potential unknowns). We tend to infer a lot about others based on our past experiences, whether it’s…

Empathy vs Altruism in Modern Leadership

The concept of empathy is one that has become popular as a leadership ideal. We expect empathy from CEOs, ask designers to join empathy challenges, and tell people to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Empathy is, at its simplest, knowing what someone else is going through. It’s often identified as a counterpart to sympathy…

Building a Culture of Safety

When I think back over the many communities I’ve been part of over the years — whether at work, as a volunteer, or in a church — those that were most vibrant had many things in common. They had leadership that was engaging, they had regular gatherings, and they were clear about who they served….

To All Women in Tech*

There are many “right ways” to be a woman in tech, and I hope that people have learned to welcome you with open arms. But at the same time, I worry that some women may not feel brave enough to ask if they are welcome. I have something subversive to share with you. I once…