Empathy Driven Development: ReactJS Girls Conf
In early May 2019, I traveled to London, UK to speak at a new community conference called React.js Girls. As soon as I heard about the event I knew I wanted to be there, as I work with React every day on the Gatsby team and I LOVE being in spaces created for women and allies. At the conference, I did a 20-minute version of my live accessibility debugging adventure, and had a great time seeing light bulbs go on for people in the audience and on the livestream.
It was pretty much impossible to cover everything I wanted the audience to know in that short amount of time, but I hoped to open everyone's minds to how accessibility testing is the start to supporting people with disabilities. I don't know that I'd do a talk with this title again, as it's more about compassion than empathy, as Tatiana Mac pointed out in her excellent talk on How Privilege Defines Performance; we aren't our users, and our own experiences as developers will will always be biased. But in any case, I got some of the most awesome feedback from that talk than I have in years, with multiple people saying they were going to adopt new techniques at their jobs "on Monday". Sounds like it was a success to me! I also wore an avocado shirt I found in London, in honor of Sara Vieira, coiner of the term "developer avocado" (developer advocate). ;)
Project repo: http://github.com/marcysutton/empathy-driven-development