In this episode, Allie and Michelle share their favorite websites and resources that underrepresented people in tech may find helpful. And not to worry. These are also helpful for allies, too!
Links mentioned include:
Allie Nimmons (00:02):
Welcome to the Underrepresented in Tech podcast, hosted by Michelle Frechette and Allie Nimmons. Underrepresented in Tech is a free database, but with the goal of helping people find new opportunities in WordPress and tech overall.
Michelle Frechette (00:15):
Allie Nimmons (00:19):
Hi, Michelle. How are you?
Michelle Frechette (00:23):
I am hanging in there. How are you?
Allie Nimmons (00:25):
Same. I am alive.
Michelle Frechette (00:28):
Yeah, some days that’s the best it gets. And, that’s okay.
Allie Nimmons (00:32):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). But yeah, today, episode 51 over the hill.
Michelle Frechette (00:39):
Allie Nimmons (00:39):
Yay! I thought it would be really fun to talk about some other resources out there in the WordPress world that fall into the same bucket as ours does, right?
Michelle Frechette (00:53):
Allie Nimmons (00:54):
Resources that I think all have the goal of helping underrepresented people in WordPress to succeed, either directly or indirectly. Right? I think, there are some things that were made specifically for that purpose. And there are some things that just happen to serve that purpose, because they’re useful. And we talk a lot about us, and our thoughts, and our approaches to things, and our database. And, there have been things recently that have come up that have just made me think, “Wow, there are more things around that, than I appreciate.” And, I think it would be useful for the people who listen to us to make sure that they’re aware of all of those things in addition to, right, the allies that listen, because a great way of being an ally is recommending something to somebody that could really help them.
Michelle Frechette (01:45):
Allie Nimmons (01:48):
Cool. And also, the fun thing is, our new site design is coming soon.
Michelle Frechette (01:52):
Allie Nimmons (01:53):
And, I wanted to tease, we will have a new page, a whole new part of the website that’s a mini-database with resources like this. So, that is definitely something to look forward to. And when the site comes out, I hope all of you check out that part of the site, because yeah, our goal is to be useful, and helpful, and that definitely doesn’t end with us and what we can do. There’s so many other people out there doing amazing things.
Michelle Frechette (02:20):
Allie Nimmons (02:22):
So, I have a little list here, but I wanted to know Michelle if there were ones that immediately come to mind for you. Or, I know that you’re actively involved in some of the ones that are on my list. So, I definitely wanted to give you the chance to speak about the ones that you know more about than I do maybe, or that you feel passionately about.
Michelle Frechette (02:41):
Sure. Well, one of the things that I don’t think you even had an to see yet is, at [inaudible 00:02:47], we’re restarting the Get Hired podcast.
Allie Nimmons (02:50):
Michelle Frechette (02:50):
And, I am the host of it.
Allie Nimmons (02:52):
Michelle Frechette (02:52):
So, I get to interview people. And, for this next year, so the next 12 episodes, we’re going to do one a month. I say, “we,” I am going to do one a month. And, it’s all going to be speaking to people who are in positions of hiring. And, for me that’s super important, because if you are looking for a job, you don’t often get an opportunity to pick the brain of somebody who is in the position to hire the jobs you’re looking for.
Allie Nimmons (03:20):
Michelle Frechette (03:21):
So, when you come to listen to the new episodes of the Get Hired podcast, if you’re looking for a job in marketing, for example, what is somebody who’s doing the hiring and marketing, what are they looking for? What’s important to them? Is it important to have a portfolio? Is it more important your body of work, or the fit for the company, or is that equal? And, today I actually recorded the first episode of that.
Michelle Frechette (03:48):
And, let’s see… On the Black Press Slack channel Other Opportunities, I posted in there that I’m looking to find more people to interview over different things. So, I talked to Josepha yesterday. And, she’s going to find me somebody who hires in happiness engineers. So, we can talk about if you’re interested in working in support at WordPress, what are they looking for there? What’s that process look like? But I’m looking to interview more people. That’s only two months out of the year, so I got 10 more people I want to interview, who do hiring. And so, I posted there. I want to make sure that I’m not just interviewing white people.
Allie Nimmons (04:29):
Michelle Frechette (04:32):
So, I want to make sure that there’s diversity in that. And, also make sure that we keep inclusion and diversity as something that’s part of the threads of hiring within all of the WordPress hiring things that we talk about. And so, yeah. So, there’s an opportunity there if you are interested in being on the podcast with me. And certainly also, if you are somebody whose job searching, listening to the podcast to get some insider tips on what people are looking for. Also, I just shared with you in our little chat here, diversifytech.co.
Allie Nimmons (05:07):
Michelle Frechette (05:07):
And, I get their emails, and they’re constantly posting jobs. And I get those emails not because I’m looking for a job, but because I want to make sure that if I see things that I think other people who I know are looking for jobs would be a good fit for, that I share those opportunities with them, because even if you’re not looking for a job, keeping abreast of what other people are looking for helps you help your friends. And so, I think that, that’s another good resource.
Allie Nimmons (05:32):
Yeah, for sure. And, Diversified Tech is such a huge resource as well. They have a job board, they have stories, they have information about scholarships, and events, and speaking, and communities, and deals on books, and things, and so many different things. So yeah, I highly recommend subscribing. I think, I’ve subscribed to them for a little while and they didn’t survive a un-sub purge that I did in my inbox, because I was like, “I get these and I never have time to look at them and they’re piling up.” But I should resubscribe, because yeah, it is a great publication. And a great one too, because it’s not specific to WordPress, sometimes, I know I get caught in the WordPress bubble and I forget to look outward. So, if you’re working in WordPress, you’re interested in WordPress, but also interested in other tech things. That’s a really, really great resource for that as well.
Michelle Frechette (06:28):
Absolutely. It turns out there’s life outside of WordPress.
Allie Nimmons (06:32):
What? Oh, my gosh.
Michelle Frechette (06:34):
Allie Nimmons (06:39):
Those are two of the ones.
Michelle Frechette (06:40):
So yeah. So anyway, two of the ones. And then, you’ve mentioned a bunch of other ones in our chat here, I’m going to let you talk about this and I’m going to chime in with ideas I have.
Allie Nimmons (06:47):
Okay. Cool. Well, the first one I’ll mention is Big Orange Heart, because I know that you are very, very involved. You are a chairperson. I want to say.
Michelle Frechette (06:57):
I’m the president of the board, baby.
Allie Nimmons (06:58):
You’re the president of the board. I mean, yeah, that counts, but you’re the president.
Michelle Frechette (07:03):
Allie Nimmons (07:05):
Yeah, can you tell us… I mean, you talked to Dan maybe two episodes ago, episode 49 about Big Orange Heart. In case someone missed that one, can you give us a 100 words or less of what Big Orange Heart is?
Michelle Frechette (07:18):
Yep. So, Big Orange Heart is a mental health charity, a wellbeing charity, specifically designed to reduce those feelings of isolation that come with working in a remote world. And most of us in tech work remotely, even if we work in small teams, as I sometimes am working in an office with two other people, it’s still remote from my company. And so, if you are a remote worker, there are feelings that can come up of feeling isolated, feeling othered, feeling marginalized, just because you’re not in physical space with other people. And, at Big Orange Heart, we want to make sure that that’s not something that’s affecting you in a negative way. And so, you have online events and we have a huge Slack space. And, membership there is always free. So, if that’s something that you struggle with at all, or something that you think you can help other people with, please join Big Orange Heart.
Allie Nimmons (08:09):
Nice. Cool. Definitely. And, by the way, I will make sure to link all the stuff that we’re talking about, when we post this on Twitter, I’ll make sure to share all of these links so people can find them.
Michelle Frechette (08:20):
Allie Nimmons (08:21):
So yeah, some other things I definitely wanted to talk about and shout out, one of the newer things, our friend Aurooba Ahmed, who is based in Canada, she literally just created a GitHub repository called Sponsored WP Contributors. And, you can just go ahead and add yourself, I’ve added myself in there. Or, if you are looking to support somebody who is a contributor you can visit. And basically, it’s a list of people who volunteer part of their time to contribute to the WordPress open source project, and they’ll include a sponsor link. So, I have my, “Buy me a coffee” link in there. And if you’re like, “Hey, Christina Workman does amazing work. I’m going to click this GitHub sponsor program link that she’s included and I’m going to send her a little bit of money to help her out.”
Allie Nimmons (09:14):
And, I think it’s such a great way for folks to monetarily support people who are spending their time doing this work. Especially, if you’re not able to… So, we talked briefly the other day about… And this is another thing I want to talk about, the WordCamp U.S. Underrepresented Speaker Sponsorship program that just launched.
Michelle Frechette (09:37):
Allie Nimmons (09:37):
So, if you’re not in a position where you could completely sponsor somebody’s travel, you might be able to connect with them through this GitHub and say, “Hey, maybe, I could send you just a couple hundred bucks to help you with your flight.”
Michelle Frechette (09:50):
Allie Nimmons (09:50):
Or, “This much to help you with your meals while you’re there.” Working out with them what you could help with, even if it can’t be the whole amount. And I think that, it’s going to have options, right?
Michelle Frechette (10:02):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. And the other thing is that I love… We talked about that, I love that. Helping out underrepresented speakers get there. But, I would love to also maybe help somebody who just wants to go, and glean all that they can, and make those connections. So, having opportunities to support people, whether they’re speaking there or not.
Allie Nimmons (10:26):
Michelle Frechette (10:27):
And you can do that through Aurooba’s GitHub thing. I don’t know what else to call it besides the thing.
Allie Nimmons (10:32):
I think, technically it’s a repository.
Michelle Frechette (10:32):
It’s a repository?
Allie Nimmons (10:33):
It’s a repository. Yeah.
Michelle Frechette (10:37):
Through her repository, you can support other people and they don’t have to be speakers.
Allie Nimmons (10:41):
Michelle Frechette (10:41):
Which also is a very good thing. And I’m not saying don’t support speakers.
Allie Nimmons (10:43):
Michelle Frechette (10:45):
Absolutely support speakers. But let’s support more people than just speakers.
Allie Nimmons (10:47):
For sure. And yeah, Aurooba’s list is a great place to do that. So if you’re looking to sponsor somebody, help them out, or if you would like to add yourself… This repo is not just for underrepresented people, right?
Michelle Frechette (10:59):
Allie Nimmons (11:00):
I’m seeing straight white men that I know on this list, because they do also volunteer their time. So, you can sponsor anyone you’d like. You can add yourself to this, whoever you are. It’s just a great little resource to help people. But, I think it’s extra, special sweet for underrepresented folks who need a little bit of extra help as well.
Michelle Frechette (11:22):
And you said something a minute ago, that’s actually not on the list, and that’s the “Buy me a coffee” link.
Allie Nimmons (11:25):
Michelle Frechette (11:26):
So, I think, no matter who you are, if you’re doing good work, put something on your website akin to “Buy me a coffee.” Now, on our website, we have a Give WP form.
Allie Nimmons (11:39):
Michelle Frechette (11:39):
But you can do something as simple as linking to “Buy me a coffee.”
Allie Nimmons (11:42):
Michelle Frechette (11:42):
And having that. So I have both, right?
Allie Nimmons (11:44):
Michelle Frechette (11:46):
On my podcast, I have Give. But on my other sites, I just have the “Buy me a coffee” link. And it works, right? And so, I’ve received a couple hundred dollars over the last year through “Buy me a coffee.”
Allie Nimmons (11:57):
Michelle Frechette (11:57):
Because people want to support the stuff that I do. The stuff that I do, the work that I do in WordPress. So-
Allie Nimmons (12:04):
It’s very handy. Yeah, I just have a little button. It’ll give you buttons you can embed places. I have one in my newsletter. And, every once in a while, yeah, someone will just tap in and say, “Here, have three coffees.” And it does the math and sends you the money. And it’s like, “Wow, that’s so handy. I don’t have to fiddle with forms, or code, or anything like that.”
Michelle Frechette (12:22):
… I’m going to challenge you and everybody listening, if you have a “Buy me a coffee” link tweet it today, put yourself out there, tell people they can support the work that you’re doing outside of your day job. And see if you get a couple of cups of coffee over the next week.
Allie Nimmons (12:36):
We’ll see. That’s a very good challenge. I will definitely do that. And there’s alternatives. There’s lots of different things like that. Someone just told me about something called, apparently it’s pronounced coffee, but it’s K-O-F-I.
Michelle Frechette (12:50):
Allie Nimmons (12:51):
And I was like, “That’s really cute.” And, confusing, because I would’ve said Ko-fi. But, I guess, it sounds like coffee.
Michelle Frechette (12:57):
I would have said that. Like WiFi.
Allie Nimmons (12:59):
Yeah. So, I mean, there’s that, there’s Patreon, there’s all these things out there that you should definitely check out.
Michelle Frechette (13:03):
Allie Nimmons (13:05):
I definitely wanted to shout out to very specific groups that I’m a part of, the Black Press Slack group, and the WordPress Women of Color Slack group. Those are two places that I do some co-organizing, co-running with a couple of other people. And yeah, they’re what they sound like, right? Black Press is a Slack channel, specifically for black WordPressors. So. African-American, African, anyone of black descent if that’s how you identify, it’s just a place where we can talk about WordPress, and talk about our businesses, and our goals. And with just the added benefit of like, “Okay, everyone here looks like me.” And we’ve all had similar experiences.
Allie Nimmons (13:52):
And yeah, it’s been a really enriching for me to spend some of my time. I don’t have to worry about things like code switching, or we can share very specific memes that we all get. And it’s just a place that has a little bit of additional sense of belonging that I really appreciate that exists. So, if that sounds like something that you would like, you can go to blackpresswp.com. The same applies to the WordPress Women of Color group. It’s the same thing, but for women of color in WordPress. And I don’t remember the URL off the top of my head, but I will definitely make sure to include that. They’re free to join, and both of them host regular meetups. We just had the WordPress Women of Color meet up yesterday, where we talked about 6.0. We’re going to have a Black Press meetup, actually, this evening to talk about 6.0, they accidentally overlapped this week. But yeah, they’re both really great places.
Allie Nimmons (14:51):
There’s an airplane in my parking lot. It’s so loud. I also wanted to mention a site that is very near and dear to both of our hearts, which is HeroPress.
Michelle Frechette (15:02):
Allie Nimmons (15:04):
Which in the past year or so has really expanded into the HeroPress network, which includes also others sorts of things. But, primarily, HeroPress started as a blog that a developer named Topher DeRosia started, as a way to give people from all around the world a space, a post on this blog to talk about their journey with WordPress, how they found it, and how it changed their lives. And, it’s the most inspirational thing I’ve ever heard. And, I feel like there are lots of WordPress blogs out there that people just put out. And, they’re nice, they’re fine, they’re great. But, I think HeroPress is so special, because it’s such an equalizer in my eyes. You have people on here who are maybe very well-known in the WordPress community, or have very elevated jobs, and things like that.
Allie Nimmons (16:05):
And then you have, people who just build their lives with WordPress. And, I don’t know, I’m not exactly sure what I’m trying to say. I don’t want to make it sound like there are people in here that are lesser than other people. But, I’ve definitely like read stories on HeroPress written by people that I’d never met, or heard of, or probably will ever meet in my whole life. And, it’s this constant reminder of, even though the WordPress community can feel really small on Twitter and on Slack. It’s such an enormous thing. And I always, always have to keep that in mind.
Michelle Frechette (16:41):
Yeah, absolutely. I love HeroPress for that very reason too. The first time I ever learned about HeroPress was, I think, it was either the first or second WordCamp U.S. ever in Philadelphia. And, I was sitting in the audience, I didn’t know who Topher was, nobody knew who I was. I only knew maybe two people at the entire event. And I walked up to him afterwards and I was just like, “This was so inspiring. I want to do stuff like this.” And, yeah. And, I have an essay on there. You have an essay on there. It’s exciting when you get to contribute to something like that.
Allie Nimmons (17:15):
It’s very exciting. And, that is how I met Topher. He reached out to me and asked me to write my story for HeroPress. And I was like, “What do you want to hear from me for? I don’t know.” And, I go back and read my essay sometimes because it does remind me of where I’ve been, and where I still have to go, and what my goals were when I wrote that, and how they’ve changed. And, it’s such a beautiful time capsule of all of these people’s experiences with WordPress. And I know a few people who have written two essays, right? Where they wrote one essay, and then so much in their lives with WordPress changed, they came back and they wrote an update. And I think, there’s so much cool about HeroPress and what Topher does with this brand.
Michelle Frechette (17:58):
I actually went and looked at my HeroPress essay yesterday, because somebody asked me a question. I was like, “Oh, I think my answer to that is actually in my HeroPress essay.” And it inspired a tweet that I put out yesterday, because that I’d forgotten all about that I said in 2012, my friend Rob [Barrage 00:18:15] taught me how to go from owning a domain to having a site. I only wrote down four things, “Download WordPress. Upload WordPress via FTP. Edit your WP config file and change your salt keys. And don’t use admin in the account name.” Literally, that’s the only thing I wrote down. And then, I went home and made a website, so I wouldn’t forget how to do any of those things.
Allie Nimmons (18:36):
That is pretty great. Yeah. I’m definitely going to reread my essay. It’s been a little bit since I’ve reread. I’m probably going to reread it after we finish recording, because it’s really special to me. And the title of it is a, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Which I stand by. I have no regrets.
Michelle Frechette (18:51):
I love it.
Allie Nimmons (18:53):
Okay, cool. I have two more. And then, we’ll wrap up. The next one is the Yoast Diversity Fund. We’re talking a lot about money today. But yeah, Yoast has a diversity fund. Let me pull up… “Aim to increase the diversity in the WordPress community, by taking away financial barriers for people from typically underrepresented groups in tech.” I highly encourage you to look this up and go… They have a whole page where they describe why it exists, what it does, the reason for, how to apply. There’s a lot of information here. So, I highly encourage you to go ahead and take a look at it, because it’s such a cool thing and I feel like it doesn’t get enough press. Not enough people know about this. But it’s such a cool thing. Basically, it’s primarily for people who would like to speak at a WordPress or IT related event. I don’t know if they’ve ever branched out outside of that particular use case, or if they ever will. But yeah, if you’ve always wanted to speak and need some help, it’s a very, very cool thing that exists.
Michelle Frechette (20:14):
Allie Nimmons (20:16):
And then finally, a little bit of self-promo, because we do like self-promo on this podcast. Ages and ages ago, in the year of our Lord, 2019, I think. Seems like centuries ago. Was it 2019, or was it 2017? Anyway, I wrote a blog post. Yep, July 8th, 2019. And it was updated on August 1st, 2021. I wrote a blog post called, “How to be a WordPress Ally.” Because I was having a lot of conversations with people at WordCamps, and other events, and on Twitter about what that means, and what that looks like, and what people can do. And so, when people ask me, “Well, what can I do? How can I make things easier for people? How can I be a better ally?” I now have this manifesto that I wrote about, just getting your mind right. And then, the things that you can actually do to help people. And yeah, it’s something that I’m really proud of. And I still stand by all of these ideas and all these methods. It could stand to be updated a little bit more with some more information.
Allie Nimmons (21:32):
But yeah, if you are an underrepresented person and people keep asking, “How can I help? How can I help? How can I help?” Check out this post and if it vibes with you, just send this to them, or copy and paste a piece of it out of here and send it to them. Or, if you are somebody who is looking to become an ally, I’m going to toot my own horn and say, read this post. Because I think it is really helpful. People have told me it was helpful, right? So, I’m not making that up. Because yeah, sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. And, it can be exhausting for underrepresented people to constantly explain to allies what they should be doing. So, this is a good way for you to self-educate. I already did all the work here for you. So, all you have to do is read it.
Michelle Frechette (22:20):
Absolutely. And then, one thing that you didn’t mention in the list too is, if you haven’t listened to every single episode of our podcast, scroll down through. They’ve got titles that should clue you in for the most part, what we’re talking about.
Allie Nimmons (22:30):
Michelle Frechette (22:33):
And, there’s some good stuff back there. We talked about some of our statistics last week, increase our numbers for us. Go back and listen to some of those.
Allie Nimmons (22:40):
Michelle Frechette (22:41):
Great episodes about the things that we’ve opened our hearts about, controversial or not.
Allie Nimmons (22:46):
Yeah, absolutely. And, as we always say, please let us know which episodes resonated with you, what things we said that you don’t agree with. If we wanted to just sit and talk to each other and have it end there, we would do that, right? We’re recording and publishing this because we want to talk to all of you as well. We want to start a dialogue, and challenge the way that people think about things, and challenge the way that we think about things through that dialogue. So, we always are really, really eager and curious to hear from you all.
Michelle Frechette (23:16):
Absolutely. And, next week I’m on vacation.
Allie Nimmons (23:19):
Michelle Frechette (23:19):
I’m actually taking a week and going to an Airbnb in the middle of nowhere.
Allie Nimmons (23:23):
I’m so happy for you. That sounds delightful.
Michelle Frechette (23:26):
I’m bringing my cameras. I’ll have my computer so I can watch Netflix and edit photos, but I’m not going to work next week. So, you’ve got a great guest that you’re going to be talking to next. The only problem with bringing on guests when one of us is interviewing somebody is the FOMO the other person gets for not being able to be in that conversation.
Allie Nimmons (23:43):
Michelle Frechette (23:46):
But, I’m seriously looking forward to hearing the conversation after you record next week. I’ll let you tell who’s going to be on the show.
Allie Nimmons (23:51):
Yeah. I’m having on Rachel Winchester, who is an amazing person, our paths have crossed many a time, but we’ve never really sat and talked. So, I’m really excited that she works a lot in… Her background is in art history. And so, I know that she’s very passionate about internet art and things like that. And, I remember hearing her talk about things where I was just like, “I didn’t even know that existed.” She’s a very, very interesting and intelligent woman. And yeah, I’m not exactly sure, pinpointed, what our topic next week is going to be. We’re still hashing out, “What does she want to talk about? What does she want to teach people about?” But yeah, she will be on next week. So I highly recommend heading over to her Twitter, she’s @visualwebmaster and seeing if she’s somebody that you want to hear more from. And if so, please tune in next week to hear our conversation.
Michelle Frechette (24:52):
Absolutely. And I will be back the week after that, with Allie for whatever topic.
Allie Nimmons (24:56):
I can’t wait.
Michelle Frechette (24:59):
[crosstalk 00:24:59] for nothing. I know. In the meantime, be good to each other and be better allies.
Allie Nimmons (25:05):
Absolutely. All right. See you all next week/week after next.
Michelle Frechette (25:10):
That sounds good.
Allie Nimmons (25:11):
Michelle Frechette (25:11):
Allie Nimmons (25:15):
This episode was sponsored by the following companies, WP Wallet. WP Wallet is a free, simple, intelligent tool that helps WordPress professionals effortlessly manage all of their license keys and invoices for all sites and clients. Never forget a renewal, lose a license key, or miss out on a reimbursement again. Join WP Wallet for free today. LearnDash. LearnDash is taking cutting-edge e-Learning methodology and infusing it to WordPress. More than just a plugin, LearnDash is trusted to power the learning programs for major universities, small to mid-size companies, startups, entrepreneurs, and bloggers worldwide. If you’re interested in sponsoring an episode, using our database, or just want to say hi, Go to underrepresentedintech.com. See you next week.