Of course this, represents solely my personal opinions, and such. No finger-pointing or anything.
I’ve recently stumbled across an excellent piece of writing about “quite developers” in short those little paragraphs define a quite developer
So I decided to steal half the name of that article and write about something that has been bothering me for quite some time.
The quite developer article made me think about a problem that I’m facing myself in particular among many others in the developer community. The dying passion for being part of the technical evangelism world.
And it all comes down to one question one might ask: why don’t we see as much tech speakers from African and 3rd world countries as much as we do from Europe and similar regions?
And the answer would be it’s either no one there is born to be a tech evangelist/speaker. Or there’s a problem that’s preventing most of them (if not all) from being as visible as their colleagues in other places.
For me, I think it’s the second, there might be a slight problem.
The biggest obstacle Geographical borders make it harder for many of us to do pretty much anything, if you’re a Tech Evangelist based in the Europe or the Americas, you have far less hassle to deal with if you’re going to speak at conferences. But if you’re — say from Africa — you’re gonna have to need a visa for every 3 inches you walk on planet terra. So you’re gonna reach a point where you just give up. Go to local conferences you say? Well that’s the thing about developer world minorities, not only it’s super hard for you to travel around, but it’s also rare to find local conferences (if any) that serve your goal (say you wanna make a better brand out of yourself) or your topic.
Unfortunately the problem is way bigger that the tech industry, it’s all in the hands of governments, politicians and their countries’ deals with each other to open or close borders, require a visa or make it visa-free. I personally have been lucky to never been denied a visa or entry to a country, although I know many of my very talented friends who were. But this eventually made me decide start a long process to move out and settle (with my partner) somewhere else where jobs, conferences and chances of being visible are more accessible. Because I often feel buried in my country, and invisible.
And I’m not being a whiny little B here, trust me when I say those words are echoing the frustration and hopelessness of so many of my friends and colleagues in our little developer communities that are usually never heard of.
So, while blog posts that present a challenge or a problem usually also present a way to fix it, mine does not, because even after 6 years of being involved with local communities in my little town, and in Tunisia as a whole, I still don’t know what might fix such an issue. Or how to make it more bearable.