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Why kindness is so important in the development community

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

Do you intend to keep your iOS knowledge? And how do you handle some of the harder times you hit when streaming to your audience?

Mayuko Inoue: I still do want to keep my iOS knowledge up. Part of me is the stubborn part of it, where I'm just like, "I've worked too hard to let this go down. I can't let this knowledge go to waste." And so I try to keep it up, but it's definitely not anywhere near the cadence that I was at. Last year I was really curious about SwiftUI, because that's what the iOS community is doing now, so I'm going to try it out. And I used so many of your tutorials because I was like, "SwiftUI! I need Paul to explain this to me."

But I think it's not maybe my top priority anymore, because most of people that I'm making content for is not going into iOS development specifically. But I still have this knowledge and I was still want to be plugged into the technology because that's where I came from. So yeah, that's one of the side things now, actually.

Paul Hudson: It just figures – you spend six years working in old UIKit, then you leave and bang – there's a new way of doing it. Hooray!

Mayuko Inoue: I know! But it's going to be a while before it's fully adopted, but from what I have played with I am excited. It's fun, I really enjoy it.

Paul Hudson: It is a lot of fun. One of the things I like about the way you make your videos is because you don't just focus on code. You know that people aren't coming to learn SwiftUI or Swift from you. So you talk about desk setups, you talk about career tips, you talk about what it's like growing up as a Japanese-American. And even your haircare routine, everything is in there somewhere. In fact, in the middle of a video you stop to make lunch, then eat lunch, and that's brilliant. You get a real slice of life of just being you, alongside coding, tech, career; all normal stuff.

"Not everything is rosy, perfect all the time. And I think it's important to know what happens behind the scenes."

But a month ago or so you posted something that I thought was actually quite hard to watch. It was actually quite upsetting for you obviously, and us as well. It was a really emotional account of you streaming a coding's toil on Twitch. Trust me, I've done a lot of live streams and I know things catch fire immediately! And predictably you had a lot of folks try to help, but some were quite pushy about giving you advice and you found it overwhelming with their approach. You’ve worked at huge companies, and you've got a massive following. Do you think having that response, even when it's you, just puts off a lot of people, particularly women, who genuinely don't want to be mansplained to live on a stream?

Mayuko Inoue: Yes, definitely. It was hard for me to decide whether to actually put that in a vlog or not. But like you mentioned, one of the things I try to put in my videos is a level of honesty and authenticity. Yes, a lot of my videos are about tech being cool, coding being great, and software engineering being fun. But not everything is perfect all the time – I think it's important to know what happens behind the scenes. I'm not trying to warn people, "This is the kind of thing you might have to deal with." But it's just, this happens, to me, to you, to anybody. Sure, maybe I've had this career and stuff, but I'm still just a human being that has feelings and reacts to people saying stuff.

"A lot of our work is online and through text and through websites and chat stuff, it's still really important to treat each other as human beings."

It's honestly weird because being an influencer or YouTuber, you see these numbers and stuff but at the end of the day I'm just a human who just happens to post things online. I think that's one of the things I try to keep integral as part of everything: I am human, I'm just a person who's trying to figure out life like everybody else.

I think I wanted to put that in a vlog. Just because I've had this experience doesn't mean I don't feel things, and it still happens. I realized after a while that a lot of the reaction I had to the people who were being a little bit pushy on Twitch was really thinking about, “why did that upset me so much? Why was I crying?" And it was because it reminded me of times that I was at work and coworkers or senior managers or people who were more experienced than me, had done something similar to me.

And I don't think I've ever thought of those times as like, “wow, that really sucked and it really bothered me." But I think the emotional reaction that I had after the stream reminded me that it's like, "Yeah, that stuff did hurt and that stuff does happen. And it's not uncommon, especially for women to feel that." So it was a hard thing to share, but I feel like we sometimes often forget that developers are people too. Especially because of a lot of our work is online and through text and through websites and chat stuff – it's still really important to treat each other as human beings.

"Don't say things that you wouldn't say to people in person. Just because you're online and anonymous and people don't know who or where you are, it doesn't give you an excuse to be a bad person."

One of the things I often tell people in the online communities that I am a part of is this: don't say things that you wouldn't say to people in-person. Just because you're online and anonymous and people don't know who or where you are, it doesn't give you an excuse to be a bad person. I have zero tolerance for that. And so yeah, it was tough, and I realize it was hard to watch, but I think it's reality. If anything, I've been really lucky that I haven't had worse experiences, but it was a very real moment for me that I wanted to share.

Paul Hudson: But also by sharing of course, other folks who've had the same kind of experience know they aren’t alone – this person who I really respect has exactly the same situation as me. And they feel encouraged.

Mayuko Inoue: Yes. One of the interesting parts about that video, which I wasn't really expecting, was in the comments. A lot of women were like, "I have had the same exact experience. I know exactly what you think." Not just women, but people who have had their feelings hurt by other people who've steamrolled answers and solutions and stuff to them. So it was this like, "Yeah, this is not just me." And that made me feel validated to be sure that I'm not the only one who's too sensitive or something. I know who I am and I'm not going to judge myself for that. And these things do happen, and I will process them in the way that I want to.

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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