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Is the iOS community getting more diverse?

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

‌Do you think our industry is getting better at welcoming newcomers into the field, or is there still significantly amounts of more work to do?

Mayuko Inoue: I think definitely we are doing a lot, like every year there's like so much progress in the iOS development community, and in the broader development community. Every year I feel like it's gotten so much better. But I still think there's always more work to do – there's always so much more work to do to get to where we want to go. Even if we were at the perfect like place where we want to be, I think we'll always see that there's work to do because we can always be improving.

I think the fact that every year we get new iOS developers from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds and stuff who may or may not feel compelled to share their journey even, or write one blog post or answer one Stack Overflow question – everyone benefits from that, not just the people who actually read the blog post or read the Stack overflow question, but we are stronger together when we help each other.

“There's always so much more work to do to get to where we want to go. Even if we were at the perfect like place where we want to be, I think we'll always see that there's work to do because we can always be improving."

And by having various people from different backgrounds who speak different languages who have different communication styles do that, we're reaching more people. If we all spoke just one language, we limit ourselves to the people who can only understand and speak that language. But in fact, if we can just broaden it more, then more people can be a part of it and more people will feel welcome. It goes back to the whole inclusivity part of it too. I think by doing that, the community just becomes richer in a sense.

Paul Hudson: So what you're saying is bilingual folks are better. For folks who don't know, I believe Mayuko may be bilingual!

Mayuko Inoue: I am indeed. I don't actually don't talk about iOS development in Japanese whatsoever, but I do think that growing up as a Japanese person, as an Asian-American in California, I have a certain method of communication. I communicate in a specific way that I think resonates with a specific set of people who maybe have never been talked to before in this way. I love to talk about technical things and analogies cause that makes sense to me. And I know that there are other people out there too. If you put a really technical document in front of me, I will just be so lost sometimes cause I'm just like, this doesn't make sense. But if you make an analogy about how that's similar to a flowing river or something like that, I will get it in an instant.

And so, I think certain parts of our identity and background inform the way we talk to each other, whether you're bilingual or not – it doesn't matter. Maybe you just grew up with someone, maybe a parent or guardian of yours was a person who talked very technically, and so you've learned how to talk very technically from them. And so you, in your communication style, can do that and make something that was hard to understand, easy to understand for others. Those are the things that I think can make a community richer.

"And so, I think certain parts of our identity and background inform the way we talk to each other."

Paul Hudson: The analogy thing explains a lot because I remember some Microsoft + Mayuko crossover videos where you asked folks to explain Git or something similarly hard using toys from around a room. It made them explain complicated things using an analogy – I think it explains a whole lot about the way you think.

Mayuko Inoue: Exactly. I believe it was called Microsoft Crash Course and it was like a four to five part miniseries I did for YouTube and Microsoft, where I was the host – it was just so fun. I was on a set with a whole production crew. There were other folks who were prominent in the community who teach programming in different technologies, and we were all called to explain complex software engineering topics using objects around us. So there was one about Gitflow, and so we used little floppy disks and a little statue and yarn and stuff. It was a fun time! But yeah, it's exactly how I think. I actually have an analogy for protocols and delegates in iOS where I like equate it to farming – who knew there would be an analogy there? But that's just how my mind works.

Paul Hudson: I think what you said about finding different ways to communicate is really important. We are all very different: how we learn, how we think, how we express, how we teach. There's the saying, if you want to build software for everyone, you've got to have everyone in the room. Nowadays there's a much catchier version: nothing about us without us.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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