A community of technology community managers, leaders, and builders.

Age-ism and community (CLS15 session)


CLS 2015: Ageism
Session 4, 3:30 PM Saturday

Notes: Raines

facilitator: 42, seeing how tech community fetishizes very young people to the exclusion of everybody else.
Diversity initiatives at companies. “we’re doing a great job. 3 women, POC.” As they get older “now you’re old and not new” - positions go elsewhere. IDing how that goes.
intersection of other isms like sexism, racism

Community Manager in Universities: the opposite.- scholarly are doctors, professors. They hold all the power. Trying to bring folks together. All of us will translate across - a good “translational” conversation starter. Ask old people what new people need to do to get up to their level. This conversation could easily get into an us versus them, a troll war.

Deb Bryant: I have gray hair. Often more than most i work with. I have a big stake in the OS community. Average age is falling off. Difficult to engage. Hiring manager for a large company. Want advice/perspective on how to engage. Also don’t want to adopt an acerbic attitude. Tim O’reilly “the cool kids” phrase bugs me. Innovation from a younger crowd. Let’s make sure people don’t become invisible as they age. In the tech industry there’s no such thing as tenure.

Bill Wright: LinuxFest NW senior organizer. Retired from professional life, do this as volunteer. More curious to see how conversation goes.


Raines: aging in community. senior cohousing. Conscious Elders Network. Make it about inspiration, empowering vs. limitations.

Robinson: LibreOffice. average older. quite young people getting into the community. Self-selecting. How do we get more diversity?

Michael: OpenMRS = international health care. How do we tap people’s assets & experience, balance with skills and talents. Ageism is a manifestation of not taking advantage of skills & talents people have.

Paul McGuire: getting up there. Younger folks don’t listen “you’re old, what do you know” Don’t understand that older people by still being alive have had more experience… university of life. Nobody graduates.

Pat Allman, Google OS programs office: in established project how bring in younger people when you have reputation of a lot of older people in charge

Joel Spector: how as older person get younger folks involved. Some things I know I’m not as good at as I was 40 years ago.

Gloria, You Relic. Feel like environment around me changing. “rolodex” triggers concern about reputation.

Susan. community manager for games magazine. Started our own think tanks, went out to millenials, boomers, etc. So we can understand, find things we have in common. People believe stereotypes unless they see counter-examples.

Lucas perry. Gap, harder to retain younger volunteers.

Scott, HP: community moving to OS software development. Perceived barriers for established teams, How do we manage that transition?

Hen, help organize OS at Amazon & Apache

Tamo Yak

Kathy Klees: interested

Charles: work w/variety of communities, AA, LGBTQ, “the older crowd.” We can complain, but unless we get management buy-in, will be a slow process

__: open sector market

fred: reached age where have to worry about __.

overall: dispel assumptions,
who reaches across age groups?

A: remote work doesn’t have feedback “old fogey words”
“burn a CD”
Q: what happens when people meet F2F?
A: first LibreOffice conference. Perceptions different re demean
most are not from English-speaking countries. Talking to people in person, even over vieo chat, phone, much more comfortable. People suddenly more personable.

A: I’ve seen

A: in our group we appreciate the younger people. enthuses. new ideas. If only 1 way burnout. Keep in tune w/pulww;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

A:elusive community building go

( Community Leadership Forum - nOtes )

include people new and experienced.
people outside you r
dhqnte the way you think you relate to people in the industry.

bumper sticker “I’m still having sex”
stigma of aging - don’t think about it
we’re still alive, we’re still engaged

becoming invisible - people stop seeing you
a verizon store or REI - stand and wait for someone to talk to me

A: engagement. MeetUps. Young people. respect, honor. asking questions - more knowledgeable.

tabletop D&D RPGs. Gary Gygax. Starting community with that name - people loyal through tough times. Ask people to share their dice. Social, asking to each other.

evolution of computer science, industry - changes every year.
how do you stay relevant today?

Q: generation gaps
A: a lot of stuff is vapor today, history.
They put more weight into things

what makes it tangible? things like the dice

how do you find a good mentor?

translational conversations

“voting off the island” - didn’t’ know wt that referenced

traditional mentor - knowledge sharing.
today bringing older into OS world - reverence

at times “does your mother know you dress that way?

related fridays ‘please wear something”

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)

“not dead yet”

“you just missed vint cerf” - > examine assumptions about age

everybody potentially has useful information to impr

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