We’re a week away from our inaugural Hack’n Jill hackathon and would love to share the environment we want for #HackYourSummer.
We want an environment that is friendly and fun, where people feel welcome to participate and inspired to create. To that end, we have adopted two HackerSchool rules: no “well, actuallys” and no feigning surprise.
No “well, actuallys” means you shouldn’t correct minor inaccuracies in things others say when it has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. If you code something that’s almost but not entirely correct, it won’t compile. 1 If you say something in conversation that’s almost but not entirely correct, it probably doesn’t matter. Programmers have a bad habit of saying, “well, actually…” when people do the latter. That can be obnoxious, particularly when the inaccuracy is irrelevant to what’s being discussed.
No feigning surprise means you shouldn’t act surprised when you find out someone doesn’t know something, even if you think it’s “obvious.” If someone asks, “Who’s RMS?” don’t say, “You don’t know who Richard Stallman is?!” It adds no value, and only serves to make one person feel better by making the other person feel worse.
As HackerSchool says, we don’t think of these as rules to make the hackathon “female-friendly”. We think that these rules are good for everyone, regardless of gender.