On Tuesday Night I went the the NYTech Meetup. They get 800+ people to come once a month to watch demos of the latest thing. One of the presentations was from "Hackers Union". I was cringing because it was like a caricature of how to present an uninviting impression to anyone who wasn't white, male and 20-something. Complete with jokes about how to pick up girls in bars. In front of an audience about 30% non-male, 40% non-white, and 50% non-20-something.

I thought to myself, if they did that at Code4Lib, it would NOT be received well, to say the least.

And this morning I happened to scan through many of the recent threads on the listserv.

And the thread on what is coding, including the existential digressions.

What makes Code4Lib different from any other group I know of in the library world is that it rejects fear of code. Much of the library world fears code, and most of that fear is unfounded. And the code we need to fear is not so scary once we know how to fear it.

The threads about having anti-harassment policies is a good thing because we want to remove fear that surrounds code. Talking about it is a big step towards addressing fear. Let's try to make sure that having a policy doesn't stop us from talking about the need to eliminate the fear.

As to who is a part of the Code4Lib community, I think you don't have to be a "coder", you just have to reject fear of code. A big part of the conferences is creating space to help people make the transition from being oppressed by fear of code to being liberated by the possibilities of code.

OK, back to work for me- unfortunately not the code part.


Eric Hellman
President, Gluejar.Inc.
twitter: @gluejar