I don’t work in the tech industry. I work on the Web. Every day I read about the sorry state of the tech industry. Stories about bubbles, sexism, IPOs, prejudice, elitism, drama, and get-rich-quick schemes fill my feeds. This is not the world I live in, even if technically (see what I did there?) the Web is part of the “tech” industry. Every day I communicate and collaborate with my peers on the Web. We share links we find interesting. We have conversations both trivial and important. We publish thoughts we think need written. We create tools we think might be helpful to the community.Every day people from all over the world give me advice, provide feedback, share resources, and even fix my code. It’s absolutely incredible.Now I don’t care where they come from, what they look like, what their political affiliations are, what their religious affiliations are, or anything else. They made my life a bit easier, and for that, I’m extremely thankful. That’s all that matters.I believe in the Web and what principles it stands for: openness, transparency, inclusiveness, collaboration. I’m fortune enough to travel all over the world, and everywhere I go I talk to people who believe in these same principles.We work in a medium that requires intense collaboration. Big, messy collaboration. We certainly don’t agree on everything, but there’s a general understanding that we’re working toward a common goal of making the Web a better place for ourselves and for others.Now I’m not going to pretend that everyone in the Web community all joins hands and sings kumbaya together. I’ve heard far too many awful tales from too many people to believe that. But I do think that those that help create the Web understand and appreciate openness, collaboration, and inclusiveness simply because they rely on these things in order to do their jobs.Every day I see people pouring countless amounts of hours into projects they turn around and give away for free, spending nights and weekends writing blog posts and tutorials, sharing resources and thoughts openly. They do this not for fame or fortune, but because they want to contribute to something bigger than themselves and make the Web a little bit better.I am an optimist? You’re goddamn right I am. I’ve stopped apologizing for that a long time ago. I actually think this optimism and the values of the Web matter now more than ever. As I scroll through my feeds littered with stories of deplorable behavior coming from the tech industry and beyond, I rest assured knowing there’s a massive community of people working on the Web that value honesty, openness, and collaboration. I’m so incredibly thankful to be a part of such an amazing community, and hope that in time the values of the Web permeate every aspect of society.
The Values of the Web
30 Mar 2014
I am a web designer, speaker, writer, consultant, and musician in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. Author of Atomic Design. #resist #raisethatflag