Diversity in PureScript Community


Continuing the discussion from A PureScript community Code of Conduct?:

@joneshf brought up the topic of diversity in the PureScript community in the Code of Conduct thread. I think it might be worth spawning a different thread here to collect thoughts on improving the diversity in the PureScript community.

Relevant quotes from the article follow:

I came across this Quartz article, “The programmer who created Python isn’t interested in mentoring white guys”, about Python’s Guido van Rossum and his thoughts on diversity in Python’s community. This point of view might help the PureScript community as people work to improve PureScript’s communication with new-comers and new contributors.

In a rare interview with the programmer in October last year, which was recently published on YouTube, he was asked about the lack of diversity among the people working on open-source programming languages. He noted that it was an issue, and said that those who ignore it, because open-source projects are available for anyone to contribute, are not seeing the full picture.

“It’s not just joining a project that’s the problem, it’s staying in the project, which means you have to feel comfortable exchanging emails and code reviews… with people that you don’t know personally but you communicate frequently with online,” he said. Van Rossum thinks that these exchanges can be difficult for women because of unconscious bias and male-driven cultural norms within open-source communities.

“It’s not just about writing the code, but you have stand up for your code and defend your code, and there is a certain male attitude that is endemic in many projects where a woman would just not feel comfortable claiming that she is right,” he explained. “A guy who knows less than that woman might honestly believe [he is right], so they present a much more confident image.” In his experience, van Rossum sees incompetent men’s ideas gaining acceptance more often than merited because they are more forceful in how they present them.
~ https://qz.com/1624252/pythons-creator-thinks-it-has-a-diversity-problem/

And here is the solution that Guido is applying.

He believes the key to making open-source communities more inclusive is establishing (and enforcing) codes of conduct and mentoring. Van Rossum says that he now mentors women and underrepresented minority programmers. “But white guys can forget it,” he said. “They are not the ones who need it most.” (In typical programmer speak, he calls mentoring a “completely distributed, democratic approach.”)
~ https://qz.com/1624252/pythons-creator-thinks-it-has-a-diversity-problem/

So, I guess the key strategy for accomplishing the goal of ensuring diversity in the PureScript community is by helping members of minority groups feel comfortable joining and participating with the community. I guess having a mentoring strategy would be an effective way, but the mentors would need to also care about improving and enforcing a welcoming and helpful environment in the PureScript community.


I would support adoption of a CoC for the core org (which likely would extend to community channels). We’ve tried to encourage more contributions by using shorter release cycles, which I do think has worked, but there is a core social aspect that is missing which I think would also help. However, I don’t feel as comfortable being overtly restrictive around mentorship (at least as a core maintainer) since I think we need all the contributors we can get.