One True Tech Tweet Visualized

I conceived of an idea for an interactive performance that could take place in the context of The Art of Python at PyCon2020―the latter was graciously accepted to their hatchery program―and would have led directly into a collaborative workshop designed to encourage more original dramatic works from the lived experiences of technologists had the COVID-19 pandemic not shut down all things.

I have a longer post that went into the details at the time―and there were many―but the short description is that I was interested in collecting short statements of truth, particularly from the tech community about aspects of their work and life in tech to become a part of a live performance at PyCon2020 that sadly failed to happen. (Some things, like theater, really do benefit from being in-person).

At the time, tech twitter was filled with such wondrous quotes of knowledge. It was sometimes funny, sometimes sad, often woefully accurate―but almost always resulting in gained knowledge about some sort of lived experience shared with the broader community.

In order to write about the project I needed to demonstrate the types of quotes I expected to receive, and years of following some wonderful technologists had provided many examples of the incisive wisdom I hoped to receive in my own survey (which you can see here).

At the time we’d only received a few responses:

  • Learning on your own is hard.
  • I don’t work in tech, but I make tech work for me.
  • End-users are incapable of following simple instructions or describing accurately what is on their screen.
  • All the free snacks didn’t make up for being fired by a boss who couldn’t tell me what my job was.
  • When you say only 1% and mostly vulnerable people will die, the disabled community is preparing to mourn the loss of many in their community.
  • I want to be a minimalist, but can’t afford it
  • our work and world are tiring and the best thing we can do is do good for one another
  • Ignore Gatekeepers. There’s no one perfect background or degree or experience that makes you a “real developer.”
  • Many of our tools are not convivial because the corporations that design and sell them Don’t have our interests in mind, only profit.

    I thought visual examples might be helpful. Finding nuggets of wisdom from public tech twitter was not very difficult. I combined these with public domain art.

    It never resulted in much beyond the above because the pandemic dramatically changed everyone’s plans. Some of these images have been sitting for so long unused that when I came across them again over the new year I felt compelled to share. I have to admit that I’d occasionally remember them and look for them on my blog and not find them. (Future historians take note: the pandemic and lock down and everything was really weird with respect to memory and the perception of the passage of time, among so many other things).

    To be honest, I’m not even sure I could find or link to the original tweets anymore considering the incredible changes over at Twitter/X. After so much upheaval I’m not going to try. You’ll just have to trust me that these handles said these words at some point in a tweet and I thought they were worthy of enshrining with public domain art to encourage participation in a live performance art project at a tech conference.