Code of Conduct talks to make technology spaces more inclusive for all

Uber in last few weeks have been trying to figure out different ways of handling and trying to improve the conditions in its workspace. In an attempt to improve its workspace atmosphere, it introduced a Holer’s report which tried establishing some of the Code of Conduct prinicples which a company can introduce to have more diversity, inclusion and better work-life balance.

Code of Conduct principles are generally a set of rules that an organisation introduces to make a workplace lot more comfortable for all its staff . These principles set the tone of an organisation and help in building a great work culture.

Hidden Pockets in its attempts to discover and talk about inclusive spaces, have been introducing the concept of Code of Conduct in different spaces. In recently conducted RHOK Bangalore Hackathon , Hidden Pockets gave a talk on Code of Conduct, and the need for different spaces to introduce these principles to have a much more holistic experience. The hackathon was attended by around 30 people from various backgrounds.

The coders came from different backgrounds and were coming together to create a product as a solution for a cause that they believed in. In an event, which was mostly attended by male coders, it was important to emphasise on the fact that there were not enough women coders in such hackathon spaces. In a makers space, it was important for us to raise some of the questions around how could we make these spaces more inclusive so that people from different genders, class and caste would find it more encouraging to attend these events. For most of them, gender was a new topic that they were getting introduced to, and they were trying to understand how this concept could be brought into our daily spaces of work.

User experience was another issue which was picked up during our conversation. Does the user and the maker have a dialogue before creating the product, and how does this help in creating a better experience for the user?

Since most of the coders were working on issues that they were interested in, it was important for them to realize that there was diversity in the room and to acknowledge at some level that this diversity would be a great added bonus to their work experience. Code of Conduct helps the participants and the employees see value in diversity and makes spaces more inclusive by bringing in experiences from different backgrounds and connecting these experiences to different themes.

The coders worked on these different themes :

  1. Accessible public transport to enable visually impaired persons to identify bus stops. (Cheshire homes)
  2. Early warning system for earthquakes and other natural calamities (Opencube Labs)
    Reduction of usage pesticides in the agriculture sector. (World Merit India & Opencube Labs)
  3. Water conservation in agriculture sector. (World Merit India)
  4. To improve the user interface of an open source application used to map trees ( Gubbi labs)

Technology spaces are the latest spaces where more and more people of colour, people from different backgrounds and genders are interacting. RHOK hackathons is an initiative that bring makers and users on a common platform and make technology more inclusive. A nuanced Code of Conduct and enhanced work space atmosphere would definitely help in creating finer products and will encourage more people to come forth and be part of such spaces.

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