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Get Out of the Back Row! A Community Involvement Primer - #OpenWest

Get Out of the Back Row! A Community Involvement Primer - #OpenWest

This talk is for the quiet ones, the lurkers - all of you sitting in the back of the room, or the back of the open source & PHP community. You’ve taken a great first step by attending OpenWest, but let’s make sure you get the most out of it by stepping out of your comfort zone and making the most of your time here. It’s also for the seasoned conference vets, though - are you talking to the same people and doing the same things? Stop it, and let’s help bring the open source & PHP community closer together to our mutual benefit.

Joshua Warren

May 09, 2015
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  1. Get Out of the Back Row!

    A Community Involvement Primer
    Presented by Joshua Warren

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  2. Don’t Worry, We Don’t Bite

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  3. PHP Developer
    Working with PHP since 1999

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  4. Founder & CEO
    Founded Creatuity in 2008
    PHP Development Firm
    Focus on the Magento platform
    Just a few of my Creatuity teammates
    demonstrating community involvement

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  5. Frequent Conference Presenter
    Occasional Open Source Contributor
    Over-Tweeter

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  6. JoshuaWarren.com
    @JoshuaSWarren

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  7. IMPORTANT!
    joind.in/14035
    Download slides
    Post comments
    Leave a rating!

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  8. Time For An Exercise

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  9. Not that kind of exercise.
    A practical exercise in community involvement.
    Find a person sitting near you and learn where they’re
    from and what they do.

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  10. Community Defined

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  11. –Etienne & Beverly Wenger-Trayner
    Communities of practice are groups of people
    who share a concern or a passion for
    something they do and learn how to do it
    better as they interact regularly.

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  12. Today, we’re discussing the open source community
    and all of the communities it intersects with.

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  13. We’re also discussing the local community that forms
    around a conference each year.

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  14. You may be part of different communities as well, and I
    encourage you to apply these lessons to those
    communities.

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  15. GENERALIZATIONS AHEAD

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  16. Every individual is unique. For sake of time, I will be
    using some labels today.

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  17. No one is a complete “introvert”, “extrovert”, “lurker” -
    these are averages to assist our discussion.

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  18. Please don’t make assumptions about what I mean - if
    you have a question about a label I use, speak up!

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  19. Community Involvement for
    Lurkers & Newbies

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  20. Can you spot the tech conference?

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  21. Don’t be afraid to sit on the same row as someone you
    don’t know.

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  22. (But to be fair, everyone in the last photo was just
    sitting near a power outlet.)

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  23. We build up seasoned community members as heroes,
    but they’re real people too.

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  24. Generally, the only difference between a new
    community member and a well-known, seasoned
    community member is time.

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  25. Just because someone has been involved in a
    community longer than you doesn’t make them
    unapproachable.

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  26. My best advice to new community members and new
    conference attendees:

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  27. Or, at least - don’t panic.
    Don’t be afraid.

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  28. I’m an introvert.

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  29. I didn’t speak to a single person I didn’t already know
    at the first conference I attended.

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  30. At the 2nd conference I attended, I talked to fellow
    attendees on Twitter, but not in person.

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  31. Then I realized two things:

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  32. 1) Conferences are expensive

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  33. 2) Conference attendees tend to be a friendly,
    welcoming bunch

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  34. So - make the most of the time, effort and money
    you’ve invested in being here.

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  35. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in each session.

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  36. Don’t hesitate to join in conversations.

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  37. Quiet?
    Use Twitter to break the ice.

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  38. Most of the seasoned community members you see
    here are humble and would be honored to help
    introduce you to the community.

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  39. At every conference and in every community is
    someone who knows everyone and is happy to make
    introductions.

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  40. Always assume the best in your fellow community
    members.

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  41. Do not tolerate exclusion.

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  42. Learn about local user groups and events in your area.

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  43. Keep the community involvement going when you get
    home - via user groups, Twitter, IRC…

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  44. Before you realize it, you’ll be one of the seasoned
    community members.

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  45. *Your results may vary. Please exercise caution when wielding light sabers.

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  46. Don’t forget what it was like to be a new community
    member on the outside looking in.

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  47. Use your experiences as a new community member to
    make it easier for the next group of new members to
    join.

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  48. Community Involvement for
    Seasoned Conference Vets

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  49. ‘Senior’ or seasoned community members have a
    responsibility to the community.

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  50. Communities that don’t attract and retain new, diverse
    viewpoints stagnate.

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  51. Events attract new potential community members.

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  52. Existing community members impact if those potential
    new members stick around or not.

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  53. Don’t talk to the same people at every conference.

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  54. Be intentionally inclusive.

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  55. Buy This Shirt
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  56. If you aren’t intentionally inclusive, you’re accidentally
    exclusive.

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  57. Don’t assume just because no one’s complaining
    everything’s fine.

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  58. Most people do not speak up if they feel excluded.

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  59. They just leave.

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  60. Don’t assume everyone is like you or wants to interact
    like you do.

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  61. Create opportunities for new community members to
    learn from and get to know seasoned members.

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  62. Provide positive reinforcement to new community
    members that engage with seasoned community
    members.

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  63. Each time you meet a new community member,
    introduce them to at least one other seasoned
    community member.

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  64. Community Involvement for
    Conference & User Group
    Organizers

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  65. Provide ample time between scheduled sessions.

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  66. Invite hands-on, workshop and other more interactive
    sessions.

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  67. Schedule an open hackathon and encourage
    attendees to work with people they don’t yet know.

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  68. Skip the contrived icebreaker and mixer events.

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  69. Understand that different people are more
    comfortable interacting in different ways and do your
    best to accomodate them all.

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  70. If your venue allows, setup rooms in round tables and
    other layouts that create more conversations.

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  71. Contact returning attendees via email in advance - go
    beyond a code of conduct.

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  72. Ask your returning attendees to actively make new
    community members feel welcome and valued.

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  73. Give returning attendees a specific example of how
    they can make new community members feel
    welcomed.

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  74. Create opportunities for seasoned community
    members to demonstrate that they were once
    complete newbies.

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  75. Make it easy for new community members to continue
    their involvement after the conference.

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  76. Publicize IRC channels and other online hangouts used
    by your community.

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  77. Promote local user groups.

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  78. A Challenge For Today

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  79. After the 11AM session ends, head to lunch in the quad
    with someone new you meet in that session.

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  80. Keep In Touch!
    joind.in/14035
    @JoshuaSWarren
    JoshuaWarren.com

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