The March Voxgig DevRel Meetup was an uplifting experience for everyone. Our speakers were Will Klien, who revealed how his ADHD has given him superpowers for the workplace. And Barsha Das revealed the secret superpower of successful communities – giving back.
Thanks so much to Contentful for their sponsorship of our meetup. Contentful offers an API first solution that enables you to create, manage and edit content on any digital channel.
Will Klein, Design Systems Developer Advocate at WorkDay
Will Klein’s role is one that he created for himself. He identified a need for a developer advocate to sit within the design systems team at Workday, to help them communicate more effectively with developers and access the support they needed.
Will quickly became a valued member of the team and excelled in his work, but this came at a cost – burnout. No matter how hard Will tried, he found it incredibly difficulty to focus on his work. His team treated him with compassion, but he continued to struggle.
Will found that he kept returning to a YouTube channel called How To… ADHD. He wondered why it was this channel that helped him so much… and then he realized. At the age of 39, Will was diagnosed with ADHD.
This didn’t mean his problems were over, but now he could understand why he was finding it so hard to focus. He could start treating himself with the same compassion that the team treated him with.
Best of all, he could let go of the pressure direct his time and energy like everyone else. This freed him up to start tapping into the strengths ADHD gave him.
Here’s how Will has made ADHD work for them.
- Will’s thoughts jump around, but this makes him brilliant at brainstorming. He’s constantly generating new ideas.
- When Will does focus, he can focus very deeply, fueled by boundless curiosity and creativity. This enables him to come up with innovative solutions.
- Will still finds it hard to manage his time, but he asks his manager to micro manage him, so he can stay on top of his schedule. He’s often early for meetings these days.
Barsha Das, Founder, The CookieButton Project
Barsha Das has gained a ton of experience managing developer communities around the world. She attributes her success to a superpower of her own – the power of giving back.
When you give back, you find out what’s really going on with your community. Don’t just hear what they say – really listen. That’s how you’ll find out what problems they’re facing and deliver real-time solutions.
How Barsha Gives Back
Barsha strives to give value in the communities she’s involved in, with no expectation of return. But she also likes to give value in on-to-one mentoring sessions, so she can give people individual attention and find out what they really want.
Barsha’s interactions with her communities help her understand how the tech ecosystem works. She can identify gaps that need to be filled, and if she can’t fill them, she can source industry professionals who can provide solutions. By giving back, she leaves a positive imprint on people’s lives.
Barsha’s talk sparked a lively discussion in the chat. Barsha talked about how her culture and family background taught her the power of unconditional giving. She also said that creating a culture of giving in your teams starts with hiring the right people. Then you can align them to your company’s values.
- If you have a neuro atypical mind, embrace it. You’ll bring so much to your communities with your unique talents and insights.
- When you’re interacting in a community, give without perspective to gain. It opens up fresh perspectives, on your community and on life.