It’s been such a pleasure getting to know Tatiana Mac over the last couple of years, ever since I saw their talk at the New Adventures conference in Nottingham in 2020. This month, they explained their journey through coding, building, and fixing things to make the world a better place for the ReadMe Project, a project that showcases members of the open source community and their contributions to “move the world forward every day”.
In your twenties, you think you need to show all your credentials and diplomas and experience to prove you can do everything your job entails. Another option is to just try and do it. You might mess up, or it might be fine. Given all my experience, I was confident that I could learn the engineering side by taking on projects. I also recognized that if I looked different, or had a different background, I wouldn’t hesitate to take this chance. So I learned as I went and sort of faked it a little—except I wasn’t even faking because I delivered the product.
Now I’m self-employed as a software engineer and I usually integrate independently with teams to engineer their design systems and products. The rigorous world of tech is usually dictated by the mindset to “move fast and break things,” but I prefer to see it through an accessibility and performance lens and frame my work around the mindset to “move intentionally and fix things.”
I credit Tatiana with the concept of intent not erasing impact. That goes beyond saying something offensive to someone; it’s built into every action we take that could impact someone’s life, regardless of what we intended. Intent is never implicit and clear for everyone to understand and it can’t wash away potential hurt and grief. So, you heard them: move intentionally and fix things.