At CascadiaJS 2019, I had the honor and privilege of presenting my first lightning talk. This post is a recap of the content shared during my presentation entitled “What They See Is What They’ll Be.”

The goal of my talk was not only to educate people on how we can build more inclusive tech communities, but to inspire and move people to action.

Be Bout Action

While platforms such as CascadiaJS are great for spreading awareness, we must be biased towards action. At some point, we must be the change we want to see. Taking action doesn’t require much effort on our part as we can use the resources we possess to make change.

Invest in our youth

We can use our resources and invest in our youth. Some of these resources include:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Expertise

When looking back on my journey while crafting this lightning talk, I realized that my experiences are what helped me to get where I am.

  • Good experiences — we hold onto and attempt to replicate
  • Bad experiences — we remember and try to prevent any reoccurrences
  • Other experiences — in which we cherry pick the good and try to improve upon the bad in hopes of a better overall experience in the future

It is through the sharing of these experiences with our youth that we will help them to make better and more informed decision regarding their future.

Realization

Our investment in the youth will create realizations for both the investors and the your for which we invest.

  • Investor — Through our investment we will become aware of our privilege. This awareness will enable us to better understand and respect people who are different from us. When we understand that our differences do not make us better nor lesser than the next, we will be able to work better as a team.
  • Youth — With our investment the youth will be able to realize their dreams and goals. They will be able to envision a future in tech, without allowing misinformation to deter them from joining the tech community.

Challenge

Now that we understand that building more inclusive tech communities requires action. I am challenging you to dedicate 5 hours a month investing in our youth.

If you accept the challenge, I ask that you use the hashtag #TG4XP as you are investing and creating new experiences with the youth.

Lightning Talk: How to build more inclusive tech communities