I saw a couple people on twitter make these kind of FAQs, and I thought it was a good idea because I answer these questions really often.
- Will you help me debug my code?
- Will you retweet my thing
- Do your tweets represent any organization you are affiliated with?
- Why did you block me?
- Why didn't you respond to me?
- Will you help me find women for my conference
- Can you please explain x thing about why you as a woman exist in the tech industry?
Will you help me debug my code?
I used to actually do this for everyone who asked, and even took pride in it, but at my current follower count and the amount of open source work I have to maintain, family, work, friends, etc etc, it’s become untenable to continue. I actually really do want to but I’ve had to make some choices about my time. If your problem is interesting enough, sometimes it’s possible to nerd snipe me. Then the answer is absolutely 100% and I’ve forgotten everything else I was supposed to be doing, including whether or not I need to pee or eat.
Will you retweet my thing?
Possibly, but it does matter how you approach it. Sometimes people show me really cool projects and I’m happy to retweet. But really, I passionately hate being treated like a blowhorn or an advertising platform. I’m a person. If you talk to me like a human, and understand that I’ll retweet/tweet you if I’m into what you’re doing, chances are high!
Your chances are slim to none if you:
- Demand it.
- Are insulting and demand it (yes this happens even with fairly well-known guys in tech).
- Ask me to, and I do, and then you ask me again or multiple times without any normal human conversations in between.
- Don’t understand that I’m busy and can’t always respond right away.
All that said, I do love seeing what people are making and you’re totally welcome to share your project with me if you treat me like a person and get that I’m not under any obligation to you.
Do your tweets represent any organization you are affiliated with?
This is a fair question because I’m a developer advocate and there are mixed stories on what this entails. I do not tweet what other people tell me to tweet. That said, as a dev advocate, one part of my job is to find things I like in the product I represent and share that with people- through documentation, articles, speeches, OSS projects, whathaveyou. They don’t give me a schedule, they don’t tell me what to focus on. If I never tweeted about Azure or anything related to Microsoft, I would still have my job. But I’m a genuinely curious person and Azure is huge so it’s not terribly hard for me to find things that both excite me and that think people would like to know about.
Why did you block me?
I don’t block all that often, but it has increased a bit as I have gotten more followers. One reason- with all the voices and mentions and timeline and everything I’m parsing through on a daily basis, my tolerance for rudeness is really low. If you’re rude to me I will block you but I’ll also block for being rude to people I retweet. Especially if it’s an underrepresented person. They don’t need your shit and I don’t want to subject people I want to promote in the future to this kind of behavior either.
Why didn’t you respond to me?
I do honestly try to respond as much as I can. Sometimes I don’t see it, my mentions are a mess. Sometimes the algorithm hides it from me. No idea why, you might even be saying something totally normal. I don’t even have a quality filter on. (Twitter, why?) In extreme cases I might have you muted. This usually happens because you weren’t flat out rude but just a little condescending or pedantic at a time when I was trying to debug something.
Will you help me find women for my conference?
Sorry, no. You are welcome to look at who I follow on twitter, there is a metric ton of not just women but people of color who are brilliant engineers in there. There’s also this list from Tracy Lee. But that stuff is all work and part of your job, not mine, unless you’re paying me, which I’m pretty sure you’re not. Using “diversity” to guilt women into doing free work for you is also shady af.
Can you explain x thing about why you, as a woman, exist in the tech industry?
No. I lost interest in that discussion after the 30 trillionth time it was forced on me. I am curious and engaged in tech and that has nothing to do with my tits, or any other part of me. I do support other underrepresented people in tech, because tech has some systemic issues with this stuff and I'm trying to help others survive. If you had problems surviving in tech I would probably try to help you, too. For myself, I would like to literally just be seen as an engineer and never have these kind of conversations ever again.
I said no.