Most people working in technology, especially the ones who write code, don't understand the underlying needs and use cases that drive their work. Under the guidance of an effective architect/manager, a few of those get it right despite their low level of communication skills.

I've worked in IT and related fields for a while, as have many of the people who call themselves my friends. I've seen and discussed a lot of getting it wrong and getting it right, and mentored a handful of folks along the way to improving their empathy, communication, execution, and humility. You don't do good work by acting like a bro. If you don't understand why someone's upset about an action of yours, you may have committed a bro behaviour -- even if you are not a bro. I myself am not entirely free of bro nature and sometimes err.

The development of this site so far has, from the multiple perspectives I can access through the miracle of conversation, been uneven with respect to listening to, understanding, and meeting the needs of anyone other than the principal developer. Fortunately, the skills that need to be developed can be learned by a person internally motivated to do so.

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9/27 '14 9 Comments
That's interesting, Dawn. In our exchanges, it's seemed very much the other way. You've been all "you MUST do exactly THIS now," and I've been all "I'd like to do that but I have to balance it with other concerns, let's think about it, hey how about this which actually accomplishes all or most of them."

Then I made a mistake, as people do when their websites are in beta, and you responded as if a faceless corporation had intentionally sold you into slavery. I apologized profusely and made changes; you reduced me to a nonperson, and then decided I'm a person but I'm a "bro."

How would you respond in my place?
Thomas Boutell 9/27 '14
<blockquote>you reduced me to a nonperson, and then decided I'm a person but I'm a "bro."</blockquote>
What information led you to the conclusion that I have categorized you as a nonperson and them a "bro"?
Dawn Keenan 9/27 '14
Go back and reread these exchanges of which you write and their context. Reread the post to which you're responding and identify your assumptions.
You have been making a lot of assumptions, Mister Thomas Boutell.
Dawn Keenan 9/27 '14
Oh yes, it would be a terrible thing if either of us made assumptions.
Thomas Boutell 9/27 '14
The tone and immediacy of your response indicates you are responding purely emotionally. Please, Thomas, take the time to look at the context and ask three questions:
Am I doing things right?
Am I doing the right things?
How do I know what is right?

There are people other than you in the world. Their opinions and experiences are different from your own, though similar in some ways.
Dawn Keenan 9/27 '14
Certainly. I ask you to do the same. From the start you've acted as if your concerns were the only concerns. You've denigrated the process of balancing them with other concerns as a need for more "hammers."

You continue to imply that my intent is dastardly, even though this whole dust-up began when I (wrongly, blunderingly) tried to help. That's the stumbling block for me. If you can't acknowledge my good intentions, I can't dialogue with you.
Thomas Boutell 9/27 '14
Go back further, to conversations involving multiple actors recommending changes to improve usability and your responses to everyone. Go back to the beginning and consider.

I wrote above about best practices in design and operational principles. Since the time you initiated a message to me rooted in your misinterpretation of your site's user interface, you have treated me, repeatedly and publicly, as though I am on some kind of personal vendetta against you.
Dawn Keenan 9/27 '14
Yes, in this particular thread I've been angry. There's a reason for that.

You rushed to judgment while beta testing a brand-new website. You responded to my ill-judged attempt to help you by telling people not to trust anything I do— "repeatedly and publicly," in you phrase.

So yep: angry now!

But prior to this thread, when did I imply you had a vendetta against me? All I can find are apologies and attempts to make the situation right.

Again, the problem of intent. If you really believe my intentions are not good, then I'd be wiser to just get back to work on improving the security of the site.
Thomas Boutell 9/27 '14
I did make several assumptions in reading this post. I missed the conciliatory tone and unpacked my anger instead regarding some of your earlier remarks. That was not helpful. I apologize.

I am a human being and undoubtedly "uneven" in my consideration of everyone's needs. I will endeavor to listen better.
Thomas Boutell 9/27 '14