A year and a half ago, we talked about changing our tagline from “craftsmanship” to “crafting”, and since then we’ve made some more changes.
CodeCraft was founded in a pub. Our founders, Joe and Gary, would meet in various pubs around Glasgow to argue about technical matters. They both enjoyed craft beer, so when they formalised the meet-up and opened it for other people, the venues were always pubs that had craft beer. CodeCraft, as a name, was a play on words, taking from “craft beer” and “software crafting”.
Over time, we realised that this policy was preventing people from attending. We got clear feedback from our conference and meet-up attendees that some had felt initially uncomfortable going to a meet-up in a pub. In particular, people from underrepresented groups felt less comfortable. If we wanted to be a diverse and inclusive meet-up, and we did, something had to change.
Additionally, our logo wasn’t helping matters. It was a stemmed beer glass whose sides were formed out of curly braces (the stem is actually a pipe character, and the base is a minus, but that’s less obvious). We realised that if a direct association with alcohol was causing people to feel apprehensive, then our logo was problematic.
Changes were needed.
Firstly, we’ve changed our venue policy substantially. For the last 18 months, we’ve only run our meet-up in professional settings, such as offices. We believe this will help us be more welcoming to those members of our community who would rather not go into a bar. We’ve made good links with a number of companies around Glasgow to help us continue this, but welcome offers of hosting our events. There might be rare occasions where we can’t obtain office space, but we don’t currently foresee this being an issue. We’ll do our best to deal with these cases in a way that helps include as many people as we can.
Secondly, our logo has also changed. This took us far longer than we would have liked, as we don’t have graphic design skills, and struggled to find someone to help. We switched to our new logo a few months ago. It’s a cup with steam rising from it in the form of backticks. We believe this captures a lot of our original intent by mixing imagery for bringing people together socially, with a geeky twist. You get to decide what’s in the cup.
We don’t see these changes as an end. If there is anything we can do to help you become part of our software crafting community, we’d be happy to hear about it.
We’d also encourage other meet-ups to reflect on why we’re doing what we’re doing, and what changes they might want to make to promote greater diversity and inclusion through action.