Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

Lack of documentation is one way that gate-keeping happens

Because I guarantee you there are people who are explaining it to other people; it's not just that the most cleverest 1337 haxors are figuring it out on their own

But when this kind of explaining is done informally, and not through good documentation, it just means that the developers get to choose who uses/builds on their software

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@bgcarlisle This post makes me sad.

Because you're right, that is one of the consequences. But broadly insinuating that it's an intended one, or even a welcome one, is very unfair.

I doubt I'm the only developer who is sad about the state of his work's documentation.

Suggesting that we do it deliberately to keep people out... well, on the list of demoralizing things demanding users might say, that one ranks pretty high.

Web 2 1 2

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@HerraBRE @bgcarlisle i feel both of these posts - i really don't think it's deliberate malice (except in cases like @hcs mentions where companies are trying to drive paid support / hosting / subscriptions or whatever), but it does feed into some bad patterns all the same.

similarly, a lot of assumptions about what people already know serve as unconscious, unarticulated constraints on who can participate in a technical space.

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@HerraBRE @bgcarlisle @hcs like we could say "you must know this much to participate, here's how to get to knowing that much and we'll help", but often instead we just don't say anything and people wash out of participating because there's nowhere to get ahold of the ideas and tools and bootstrap from.

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@HerraBRE @bgcarlisle @hcs (i think these are genuinely hard problems to solve well and a lot of us are trying in good faith, but that doesn't make them any less hard to solve even if we had a tech culture without a bunch of other problems.)

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@brennen @bgcarlisle You can make the case that almost any limitation in a software project is excluding someone, somehow.

Lack of docs. Lack of translations. Lack of themes for the visually impaired. Accessibility. Performance. Instability. Cost. UX. Platforms.

Raising awareness of these factors is fine. Get them on the radar!

But the reason this stuff doesn't all get done isn't "gatekeeping". It's because it's a huge f'ing amount of work.

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