As Enfys, the PHP Diversity Elephpant, I try to promote Diversity and Inclusivity within the PHP Community, and those Communities based around PHP products like WordPress, Symfony and Drupal. I believe that Inclusivity is a moral imperative, as well as beneficial to the Community as a whole. I believe in actively promoting Inclusivity and Diversity within a Community, and that as the Community recognises the benefits, then it will change for the better; but I also recognise that there are toxic individuals who will always resist that change (“Haters gotta hate”), and that there are times when it is necessary to be proactive. A good Code of Conduct is one way of being proactive, especially if it is clearly enforced, so I’m always pleased to see Communities with a public Code of Conduct as a sign that they are Inclusive and welcoming to everybody.
This time next week, I’ll be freshly returned home from the PHPBenelux Conference in Antwerp; then 2 weeks later I’ll be getting myself ready for the PHPUK Conference in London. There are a lot of benefits to attending conferences: I always feel invigorated and enthused after spending time at a conference; I learn a great deal from the talks and from the “hallway track” (just talking with other developers); it can provide new job opportunities (I hope it does this time, because I’m looking for a new role); and it’s also good to meet up with old friends and make new friends within the PHP Community.
I’ve been thinking about the diversity of attendees at PHP conferences for a while, and started putting the notes together that form the basis of this post last Summer; so it really is time that I completed the article and published it.
Why Diversity Matters
Diversity isn’t simply a matter of opening our companies and communities to those from different backgrounds to ourselves; it’s about listening to their voices, their ideas. And while being a Diverse community is a worthwhile goal in itself, it is also something that will benefit the community or business, as well as ourselves as individuals.
IT’S HAPPENING! Finally, the kickstarter is happening! And I’m ecstatic.
I’d so been hoping that the kickstarter would be launched last Friday, and it felt frustrating when the day ended, and I hadn’t heard anything back from the kickstarter review team. And then I was twiddling my toes all weekend because I knew that I couldn’t do anything until the next working week; but then Monday arrived, and the kickstarter was rejected because of its potential charitable aspects. It was such a disappointment!
But Mark has since reworked it, ensuring that it conforms to all the kickstarter guidelines, and submitted it to appeal; and now I’ve had the good news from kickstarter, and the launch is happening… and I’m so happy again, because it’s the next step in my plans for world domination spreading the Diversity message throughout the worldwide PHP Community.
Promoting Diversity within the worldwide PHP Development Community regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, nationality, disability, religion and technology.
So the kickstarter campaign is about to go live, and will run until shortly before midnight on December 8th (UTC) and I’m a very happy Elephpant. Here’s the kickstarter link: please help make me a success.
I’M REAL! I’M REAL!
I know that I shouldn’t shout; but I just want to tell the whole world that I’M REAL! I’M HAPPENING! I’M A REAL ELEPHPANT!
When Mark got home from work this evening, he found me sitting in my travelling box, just waiting for him to arrive.
The picture doesn’t really do me justice, the lighting makes me seem darker than I really am (I’m really a bright and cheerful soul), so I’ll sort out some better pictures of me in natural light tomorrow (or over the coming weekend). When I do, you’ll see that I’m a little different to those original photos of me from back in June: the factory clearly took note of Mark’s comments back then; and (even though I do say so myself) I look even better than he’d ever imagine that I would. And (of course) this final prototype me has my PHP logo and my toes.
But the final arrival of the prototype me is just the latest thing to happen. It’s been a very busy week, with all manner of exciting things happening, as the launch of my kickstarter project approaches at a rush.
It’s been a long, slow, lazy summer; but it feels as though things are accelerating in my life at the moment as we approach the launch of the PHPDiversity kickstarter. Mark promised himself that he wouldn’t proceed until he had all the costs associated with making me a reality (and knew that I was financially viable), and until he’d held the prototype me in his hands (rather than simply seen photographs of me) to assess that I really was what he’d expected.
Well, he’s been able to put those final figures into his spreadsheets now; and the prototype me is on its way to him even as I type. Assuming that it matches his expectations, he reckons that the kickstarter to make me real will launch toward the end of this month (October) or early November at the latest.
Enfys, the PHP Rainbow Elephpant, is intended to help promote Diversity within the PHP Community: but what exactly is Diversity? What are the benefits of Diversity? And how can Diversity be achieved?
I’m reminded that it has been quite a while since I last posted anything here, and that people might be forgetting about me… but an Elephpant never forgets. I’m still in a fever-pitch of excitement, as I have been ever since I first saw those photographs of the real me. But Elephpants are also patient: when Mark was originally talking about a kickstarter to help fund me into reality, he was expecting it to happen around October. Then the first photographs of me were sent from the factory in China, and he was hopeful that the timescales could be brought forward; but things do seem to have been moving slowly over the Summer, so it’s likely that it will be in October. However, whether it’s in September or October, it is certain that it will be going ahead before very long. All the costings are looking good so far
In the meanwhile, I’ve been keeping myself occupied playing Pokemon Go, and watching the Olympic games. “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, “Faster, Higher, Stronger”… you humans can really achieve quite incredible feats of skill, agility, power and endurance.
“A week is a long time in politics”, apparently. I’m not sure what that means: every time I’ve asked Mark over the last week or so, he’s been reduced almost to tears, mumbling something about “being proud to be a European”, but “no longer allowed to say so out loud”.
But what I do know is that a lot can happen in just one week; and a lot has been happening here, as Mark starts to put together costings and estimates in spreadsheets. The pictures that I posted last week show that it’s technically feasible to create me as a real Elephpant, and prove that there will always be at least one of me. Now he’s putting some numbers and costings together to show whether or not I’m financially viable; and he tells me that it’s all looking good so far, though he needs some more numbers to be certain. And it will need at least 1,200 of me to work, because that’s the minimum run that the factory will do; but I shouldn’t cost much more than any of the other Elephpants out in the world, despite the extra overheads of the colouring process.
That’s all very good news for me. It’s important that there are lots of me all around the world, spreading the Diversity message wherever they find themselves.
Mark’s away at the Dutch PHP Conference where (apparently) he’s talking to people about cats; but while he’s away, I’ve had the most incredible, incredible news. It’s really been a very busy day here.
Not only is there a new PHP User Group in Denmark, PHPJutland, that’s only just been announced today – waving “hello” to all my new Danish friends; and I have a new cousin to welcome to the family of Elephpants; but I’ve also seen the real me… I mean, I haven’t actually seen the “real” me yet (my eyesight isn’t good enough to see half way round the world, and the real me is still at the factory in China), but I have seen photographs of the real me, and that’s nearly as good, because it means that a real me now exists in the real world. I am now officially a prototype!
And I’m so excited about seeing me for the first time ever, that I just have to share some of the photographs with you all to show you what I look like.