Transcript: Community and Accessibility with Joe Devon

by Tim Wright

This is a transcript for The Dirt episode, “Community and Accessibility with Joe Devon.”

Steve Hickey: Man, I have no idea when to shut my mouth. You guys could feel
free to disagree with that.

[music]

Tim Wright: Hello and welcome to The Dirt. I’m your host, Tim Wright, and today I
am here with Steve Hickey.

Steve: Hello.

Tim: Mark Grambau.

Mark: Good afternoon.

Tim: And special guest, all the way from the West Coast, Joe Devon.

Joe Devon: Hello.

Tim: Welcome to the show, Joe.

Joe: Thanks, Tim.

Tim: So, we met probably five years ago? I would say?

Joe: Yeah, like five, six years ago.

Tim: Okay. So, for those who don’t know, I think we’ve mentioned Joe on
the show before and Accessibility Day and everything. But, about five years
ago I had moved, well, probably, yeah, five or six years ago I had moved to
LA and I started joining some of the local web MeetUps and one of the ones
I joined was The Semantic Web and Joe was the guy, the organizer, for that
MeetUp and he sent an email out that I think the way it went, correct me if
I’m wrong, but you wanted to do a talk on RDF and I said, “Oh, I’ll do it.”

Joe: Yeah. I mean, basically Semantic Web.

Tim: Yeah.

Joe: And a lot of developers confuse semantic markup with Semantic Web.

Tim: Right. Yeah, so I volunteered for it and then shortly after that I
had to learn what RDF was. . .

Joe: Right.

Tim: . . . so I could give the talk. And it was cool and, yeah, and we’ve
been kind of in contact ever since. And that kind of brings us to what we
want to talk about in the community. I know, Joe, you’re involved in, what,
70 or 80 MeetUps in LA, something ridiculous?

Joe: Well, I guess it’s about six or seven.

Tim: So, I know Semantic Web, Web Speed, PHP?

Joe: PHP, MySQL, MongoDB. I started a new one because I didn’t have
enough, Los Angeles Digital Media Usergroup. And then I got asked to do
Free Lunch Friday which is a different style that’s less technical and
more, like around the start-up community.

Tim: And what is that? It’s just, like meet, getting together an talking
sort of a MeetUp?

Joe: Yeah, it’s basically one speaker who will just speak for about 20
minutes and just it’s an interest to start-up community.

Tim: So that amount of MeetUps is unbelievable. For one person to manage I
guess is beyond the, “How the hell do you find the time for all that
stuff?” Like, what was your motivation for doing that sort of thing? Like,
we all believe in community of the web and everything and we attend MeetUps
and, you know, speak at them, we host some events here. What is, like, why
did you start doing all those MeetUps?

Joe: Well, basically it was scratching an itch. I had come in from New
York, I moved to LA, and in New York there was three, four, five MeetUps a
night to choose from and I come to LA, there was maybe like one technical
MeetUp and when I went to it it was a bunch of people meeting at a pool, it
was basically a pool party.

Tim: That sounds very old.

Joe: The drinks were great, the food was great, but it wasn’t really
providing what I was looking for, which is great speakers and a lot of tech
talk. So I just started a bunch of the groups up and joined them in a
monthly MeetUp at Panera Bread, just over coffee. And we could not get ten
people to show up. And, but you know what? It was the same people that
showed up and eventually they became organizers themselves and it’s not
like I’m running all these groups by myself, we have a group of organizers,
we’re all friends, and we all help each other to run it. And so, it has
really grown. I mean, since you left, Tim, you have no idea how huge it is
here. It’s way bigger than New York was when I left.

Mark: You were really holding it back, Tim

Tim: I’m really missing out.

Mark: Yeah, you were the reason it hadn’t, you know, grown and matured but
now that you’re gone they can prosper.

Tim: Now that I’m not up front- . . .

Mark: Your acidic personality.

Tim: . . . yammering on about- . . .

Mark: Things you learned about over the last week.

Tim: . . . forcing my beliefs on people at MeetUps, it’s really grown.

Steve: Now you just come to them and sit in the back row and ask
awkward questions.

Joe: How’s the MeetUp community in Boston?

Tim: It’s actually, it’s pretty good. We have the Boston PHP I think is
one of the biggest in the country, there’s something like 3,000 or so
members and that’s pretty good. 3,000 don’t show up every time but- . . .

Mark: They’re on the list.

Tim: Yeah, they’re all on the list. But that’s like the standard one. The
Front End Dev MeetUp is really big here, there’s a CSS one that- . . .

Steve: That’s pretty new but they’ve been doing well from what I’ve
seen.

Tim: You know Andy from Cascade LA?

Steve: From which company?

Tim: Cascade LA, the MeetUp, the CSS MeetUp.

Steve: Oh. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tim: She, her and the guy who runs the CSS MeetUp here got together and
they made it a Boston version, so we have Cascade Boston now, and there’s
Cascade San Francisco.

Steve: Refresh Boston.

Tim: Yeah, we have the Refresh, Refresh is nationwide I think.

Steve: Oh, yeah, yeah. They do have a whole bunch of locations, don’t
they?

Joe: Yeah.

Tim: It’s a pretty good community.

Joe: Yeah, I would expect that in Boston but it’s good to hear.

Tim: Yeah, I remember when I first moved to LA. You’re right, there was
like nothing. And then all the sudden I started joining these MeetUps and I
see “Joe Devon, organizer.” I’m like, “Oh, I’ll join the Web Sped one. Oh,
‘Joe Devon, organizer.'” I’m like, “Okay.”

Mark: But I’m thinking, you raise a really fascinating point that, you
know, we are constantly harnessing the size and the power and the pure
scope of the web to get things done but when, you know, all these things,
when they snowball they got to snowball starting from somewhere and it
really, all it can take is, you know, say, “I want to do this.” Throw a
shout-out out there and if you get enough people who are really dedicated
you can grow a real, physical, living community and it makes a huge
difference in the way that people experience the work that they’re trying
to do in getting in.

Joe: Oh God, yeah. I wish more people understand because most of the
people still don’t show up, maybe once in a blue moon. And if you’re a
developer, what you get out of the MeetUps is just mind-blowing. You might
get your next boss, you might learn something that will allow you to enter
a whole new field, you know, you might get, you know, your business
partner, client. I mean, it’s just mind-blowing, between the networking and
learning how to do your job really well. And then the other thing is you’re
connecting up with who’s who in the community, if you have a core developer
who’s speaking at a MeetUp and all the sudden, you know, you strike up a
conversation with him and you share contact info and now you have a problem
to solve and you can hit up the core developer, I mean, it’s a no-brainer.

Tim: What do you think the reaction, or the result of all these MeetUps
you started up has been in LA, just in either the community or just
spreading knowledge?

Joe: I mean, I know personally I’ve connected up tons of people to jobs,
to gigs to jobs, they’ve learned tremendous amount and been able to take
things to a different level. It’s, you know, but it’s really given me more
than I’ve given. It’s like, if you get involved in the community it will
definitely give you back more than you give. And no matter how, I mean,
it’s a lot of work, no question about it, but it’s very fulfilling and when
you help people it feels good too.

Mark: So we’ve talked a lot about, as you said it is a lot of work, but a
lot of our discussion upfront as been just, you know, it got started and
boom and here’s this big community. What were some of the struggles and
hurdles you faced in growing the community and the ones you face now in
really reaching a diverse set of people and serving the community at large?

Joe: Well, I guess in the beginning the problem was venue and the co-
working spaces started to pop up and that really helped a lot. So once you
have a regular venue, that’s really helpful. Sometimes you’ll get venues
that’ll come in and they’ll offer it to you for free in the beginning and
then once they’ve built a community on top of you then they’ll start to ask
you to charge and stuff like that and then you have to move your venue. So,
that can get a little bit tricky. And then, you know, I kind of like, you
know, I think it’s pretty normal at a MeetUp to expect some food there,
some drinks, and sponsorship is not that easy. Usually there will be a
recruiter that will sponsor them but nowadays there’s just so much
competition every night for MeetUps that you can’t always get the
sponsorship. So once in a while, you know, we have to cover that ourselves.

Stave: Do you have any major tech companies with offices out there
that are supporting the MeetUps? Or is it primarily recruiters?

Joe: Recruiters are doing most of the sponsoring.

Steve: Okay.

Joe: 99 percent of it. And since then I’ve started a dev shop and
basically my office manager manages most of the MeetUp work now so that has
made it a lot easier, we’ve done a lot more regular MeetUps. So, that’s
been helpful. And I’d like to do a shout-out to Caroline for doing a great
job.

Tim: So you’re actually, is it officially in Diamond Web Services? You
manage the MeetUps there? Like, you now get time to doing that?

Joe: Well, basically I have our office manager do all of that work but,
you know, we’re a bit low-key about, you know, it’s not like officially a
Diamond Web Services thing, it’s still a community thing but, you know,
this just makes it a lot easier. Because then the speakers speak, you know,
organizing the speakers, coordinating, coordinating the venues, that type
of thing.

Mark: Yeah, it sounds like, with anything else, it’s about building habits
and a structure and a system so you’re not reinventing the wheel every time
you’ve got a email someone, you’re not just handling things in these
sprawling email threads. It’s about building a system around it, really
makes a difference.

Joe: Absolutely, and one thing we do that’s a little bit harder in LA than
in other places is we don’t have a regular set date because we’re pretty
close to Silicon Valley and we want to get the best speakers. So, what will
happen is somebody will be coming to Silicon Valley to do a talk, a
conference, and we’ll be like, “You know what? You’re a great speaker, I
don’t care if it takes a year, two years, next time you’re in the area just
drop us a note and then make more out of your California trip. Stop by LA
and do a talk.” We’ve had many like that, you know, I forget that they
exist, two years later, boom, “I’ll be in town, can I do a MeetUp?”

Tim: Yeah, that’s awesome. So what are some of the challenges of like,
other than the time constraints obviously, but just putting on these
MeetUps? Do you get people that email you about speaking all the time or do
you have to solicit?

Joe: Well, oh, here’s one trick that I’ve learned over time. In the MeetUp
page where they’re filling out the questions, just ask them, “Would you be
interesting in presenting?” And a lot of the speakers come out of there.

Mark: Oh, neat.

Steve: Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea.

Joe: Yeah, and then, so systematically somebody says that they’re willing
to speak, I’ll connect up with them on LinkedIn and say, “Hey, anytime
you’re ready, drop me a note.” And they’re rarely ready right away but it
just builds the pipeline.

Tim: Right. Yeah, not everybody, you know, like me could just get up there
and talk, I understand.

Mark: Not everyone has your just natural charisma?

Joe: I mean, you know, you thought you were talking about CSS and I threw
RDF at you and, you know, you nailed it.

Mark: Tim is just a beautiful, unique superhero.

Tim: Well, that was the first time I was in the Yahoo! building too.

Joe: Yeah, that’s a great, you did great too, that’s a great space.

Tim: Yeah, the second time I was in that building actually I was getting
my code torn apart in an interview.

Joe: Oh, yeah.

Mark: Good times.

Tim: It was, it was bad.

Steve: I’m just imagining somebody taking Tim to task the way he takes
our apprentices apart. I just want to see the look on his face.

Tim: Yeah, so we have an apprentice program here, then we take in, I don’t
know what to call them…

Mark: You made it sound like we take in stray dogs off the, “We take them
in.”

Tim: We hire? It’s not hiring though.

Mark: It’s a three month- . . .

Steve: They’re selected.

Mark: Yeah.

Tim: Yeah, it’s an apprenticeship program in UX and we send them through
miscellaneous challenges and everything and one of them is actually an
accessibility challenge.

Joe: Oh, nice.

Tim: We make sure they can code up a forum and make it accessible as it
should be. That actually brings up another thing, Global Accessibility
Awareness Day.

Joe: Yeah.

Tim: You and Jennison are behind that, right?

Joe: Yes. So… Sorry.

Tim: So what’s the story behind, like how did that get started?

Joe: Well, some years ago I had seen this video by Victor Tsaran who is a
blind accessibility programmer, he worked at Yahoo! back then. And I was
just blown away by how he was surfing the net. And so imagine like you’re
going to CNN.COM and you have about, massive links, you know, underneath
pictures or just headlines and, you know, when you can see it’s easy to
like just kind of… the part of the page that interests you just pops up.
But when you’ve got a screen reader reading that all out to you, you have
to read that entire page of links and then choose one of them as where you
want to surf.

It just blew me away watching this demonstration. And it kind of
stuck in the back of my mind and I always thought I should kind of learn a
little bit more which, like most developers, I never really did. Then years
later my dad had had some hearing issues and vision issues and he was
surfing Citibank, he had gotten phished once, and he could not see, you
know, he needed something done, he could not see that there was a new
message. And I’m looking at the screen and I’m like, “This is, this is
atrocious.” If you’re a major bank or if you’re some kind of utility, you
know, you really need to make sure that everybody can access your site.

You know, when my dad tries to call, you know, he would try call in
on the phone, he couldn’t really hear anything. So he couldn’t communicate
on the phone, the web should be the answer and it wasn’t. So I just wrote
this blog post saying that as developers we really need to understand
accessibility and that we should do a Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
And it was just a rant, I do that from time to time and I was expecting
everybody to ignore it as they usually do, but Jennison had seen the post
on Twitter and he’s like, “This is a great idea, you’ve got to do it.”

And I didn’t have time, he didn’t have time, but a few months later
it happened and it just went global, it was insane. And just to give you a
little background on Jennison, he’s a blind accessibility evangelist and
he’s just an amazing dude, he’s so much fun, he’s really cool, and knows
everybody. And between our networks we just, we just made this thing
happen. The first year there were events around the world, you did one as
well, Tim.

Tim: Yeah, we had one, Carroll School for the Blind here in, outside of
Boston.

Joe: Yeah, and we had it, we had it in India, we had like a semi-
governmental event in India. It made my hometown paper on Montreal, I mean,
I couldn’t believe it. And then the second year it really went crazy, the
FGC blogged about it, they tweeted about it all day, and there was like a
tweet a minute for 24 hours.

Mark: That’s fantastic. It’s really more than anything else that we’d say
in tech, I think the word evangelist gets thrown around a lot for people
who are evangelizing anything, your evangelizing mobile, your evangelizing
anything, but this is the kind of topic that really needs evangelism and
awareness is the right word because you could think of Global Accessibility
Awareness Day or anything like this. It’s Bias Breakdown Day, it’s, you
know, Get Yourself Out of Your Own Corner of the Way that You See things
and, you know, Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes for a Minute Day because you do
not realize until you have these things pointed out so you see. As Tim is
always cited, his, you know, big wake up on accessibility was a similar
thing to you, Joe. It’s, he saw a presentation by a, was it a blind user?

Tim: Yeah, it was actually at the Carroll School when we did the Global
Accessibility Awareness Day event.

Mark: Yeah, and it totally wakes you up because you’re like, “Wow.”
Something that you completely take for granted.

Joe: And devs usually are pretty, you know, earnest. So, you know, if
we’re not doing this, I don’t think it’s because we don’t care, it’s that
we don’t know.

Mark: Yeah. It’s, I think, empathy is an essential trait for any designer
or developer because you’re trying to put yourself into the mindset of your
users and it just means, you know, if you really want to be a great UX
designer or developer you’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to be empathetic
and you have to know what to be empathetic about, you have to know that
this is an issue in the first place and understand those experiences.

Steve: We should should start asking more accessibility questions in
the job interviews we conduct. Like, get a feel for a person’s empathy off
that.

Tim: For our listeners, anyone listening, we don’t interview people.

Steve: You interview us. No.

Tim: Yeah, But I mean, I always describe accessibility as, to a, you know,
because we’re a UX agency, when we do weekly sessions where a developer
will teach designers something about development and vice versa and I think
we did a couple on accessibility. And it’s, you know, I treat it as user
experience for the people with disabilities. It’s still user experience,
just because you don’t experience something that way doesn’t mean you don’t
have to deal with it. Everything from color blindness to motor skills to
total blindness, everything.

Joe: Absolutely, and, you know, the initial goal, I mean, that’s just
really awesome and, you know, hopefully, you know, it’ll grow a lot. But
one of the things that I was hoping to come out of it is people that create
framework, people that create tools that others use, if they had
accessibility baked in it would also bring a lot more awareness. So I’m
really hoping to hit some of those people’s brains and affect some change
thee as well.

Mark: Like Bootstrap.

Joe: Actually we used Bootstrap to create the website and the designer
there, you know, we had a couple of minor accessibility issues. Needless to
say, the entire community was looking at every single page and providing
lots of feedback. So, the couple of minor issues there were, the Bootstrap
designers, they personally fixed it, they sent to me, you know, everything
to make it work perfectly, so they’re pretty cool.

Mark: And that’s great to see the power then. I mean, that right there, now
you’ve got however many thousand or million people using Bootstrap, now
you’ve got an example of how just a little bit of awareness, a little bit
of, you know, bring this before, can affect change. As you said, I think
going after the tools is a great way of thinking about it. As we move
towards more automatic downloads and automatic distribution of software,
you know, if it takes, if you can get 100,000,000 people onto a new
operating system overnight just by virtue of an automatic download, imagine
if, you know, what you can change. If you can give everyone, you know, a
better accessible experience, you can give everyone push notifications,
whatever that little technology, you know, that you can do. We’re getting
to the point where if you target the right way you can have enormous reach
very quickly.

Joe: Yeah, we’re living in a great age, especially good time to be a
developer.

Tim: So how do you deal with accessibility internally at your web shop?

Mark: In the process, you mean?

Tim: Yeah, well, in the process and also making sure that everyone is up
to date with everything and implementing the practices.

Joe: Well, basically we’re doing more back end than front end so we don’t
have as much to worry about but basically I hired Joseph O’Connor who was a
pretty big name, I think his Twitter is @AccessibleJoe. So, I told
everybody I want every single page that touches the front end to be
accessible and run it by Joseph and he’ll make sure that it is. So, they’ve
learned a lot and they were also very helpful on Accessibility Awareness
Day. One of our front end programmers that designed the logo actually and
made the front page of our .Net Magazine, and I’m like, “Now you’re a
designer.” It’s pretty cool.

Mark: Yeah, so it’s really a matter of, like anything else, making it a
priority, making it, you know, not an afterthought but a tier one issue to
address.

Tim: Yeah. I mean, and it should be. I mean, I tell this story often, but
back in 2004 when I first started making things accessible and being aware
of, you know, basic stuff like all text. It was something at the end of the
process, it was, “Let’s do this thing and, okay, let’s go back and now make
sure.”

Marl: You’re retrofitting.

Tim: Yeah, retrofitting accessibility. And over time it just works its way
into a natural flow of development which is really nice because you don’t,
it’s just a thing that you do now, it’s like Web Standards, you just make
things accessible. So, I mean, I get super frustrated when people are, when
I find someone still retrofitting stuff like that.

Mark: Well, inevitably it just means you’re opening up to error, you’re
opening up to, I mean, aside from just straight up structural problems
where you might have to re-tag the entire thing if you were using headers
incorrectly and all this stuff that’s causing a screen reader to just flip
out, to just maybe your structure’s perfect but if you’re tagging out the
end you’re going to miss something. I mean, it’s really asking for trouble.

Joe: Yeah, and it’s really just a matter of good habits. So, if you have a
good habit and then this won’t pop up later. Something else, by the way,
that I’ve kind of been working on a little bit but, you know, got a lot of
projects going on, is a book about this and my real goal is to kind of do
for accessibility what Jeff Zeldman did for Web Standards and write this
little book where we get, you now, the core developers and, you know, big
names in our industry to really put in a chapter or a paragraph or even two
sentences saying why accessibility’s import or to provide a little, or
teach people how to do accessibility, this type of thing. And I think that
might help us take it to another level. What do you guys think?

Tim: Yeah, that would be awesome.

Steve: I’d love to see it considered that way.

Mark: Yeah, as a standard reference because we already, you know,
especially the apprenticeship program, people come in and we’re like, “All
right, here’s your syllabus, here’s your, here’s what you’ve got to read
coming in, here’s your required summer reading.” And when I came on to work
here, and I came on more as a designer and I’ve been learning sort of
development as I go, I’m like, “I’m looking for the books to read. What are
the books I want to read.” And so the A Book Apart series was kind of a
standard start for me and I’d love to have a really strong accessibility
book thrown into it.

Steve: Yeah, and if you get really lucky you could have like little
plushy dolls of you someday too for getting it started just like the little
plush Zeldmans. And you could have red beanie day.

Joe: That’s a great Idea, a plushy doll.

Mark: Plushy Devon, that’s when you know you’ve made it. You know, that’s
the developer equivalent. In Hollywood, you know, you see your name in
lights, in development you get- . . .

Joe: How about a bobble head?

Mark: There you go.

Steve: That could be your thing.

Mark: Man, success.

Tim: But yeah, when you get the details and everything I would love to
contribute to that.

Joe: Awesome.

Tim: That would be cool. So what’s next for, like, when is Global
Accessibility Day? It’s in April or May I think.

Joe: We usually do it May 9, this year May 9 is Friday, we may change the
date. And there’s a couple of other conflicts but it’ll probably be around
there.

Tim: Okay. So what’s the future of it? It’s just kind of more cities?

Joe: Yeah. I mean, it’s just kind of taken off on it’s own and I think
that next year it’ll go to another level.

Tim: How does it actually grow? Is it just organically growing? Or are you
doing extra marketing for it?

Mark: Yeah, are people volunteering, similarly with MeetUps where people in
a city, say Barcelona, they’re like, “Hey, you know, we don’t have an event
here. I’ll organize my own local one and you guys can give resources?”

Joe: Oh, it’s growing organically, it’s not even so much a matter of
resources. Oh, I mean, I forgot to mention we had a whole bunch of
corporations behind it as well. So, there was internal events at Facebook,
PayPal, I think Intuit. I mean, it got to a point where I couldn’t even
follow it all, it was, it was just too many people participating. So I
think next year it’ll pretty much be the same thing. And yeah, it’s growing
organically.

Steve: Do the companies that end up sponsoring this, do they
themselves have good accessibility practices?

Joe: Sometimes.

Tim: What if they don’t? Is there something where someone will offer to
sponsor and be like, “You know what, you guys just are not a good fit for
this event?”

Joe: No. I mean, first of all, you know, they didn’t ask permission, they
just wanted to run an internal event and we’re happy to let them, you know,
we’re happy have them a part of it and anybody that wants to join are
welcome to join and the fact is, like any accessibility and any UX, it will
never be perfect, never. So any attempt to go in that direction is welcome
but one thing that we’re very conscious to not allow is we don’t want it to
turn into one of those kind of charities that corporations throw like a
bone to, and kind of own the event if you know what I mean.

Mark: Yeah, and that’s when they’re paying lip service to a cause without
actually, truly committing to it. I think the concept of someone like
Facebook or Intuit getting involved by having their own internal set of
sessions is the perfect way to do it because let’s say you’re Intuit and,
and I have no idea what their accessibility levels are but let’s say it’s
really, they have terrible accessibility.

Tim: Let’s just assume.

Mark: Yeah, let’s just, you know, let’s make a broad, terrible assumption,
then they’re the absolute perfect people to be running an event because
they need the, they have the farthest to go. So it’s great to get all their
developers, all their designers, and everyone in the same place to say,
“Hey, guys. There’s this whole event going on this day and we’re behind on
this so, you know, let’s organize and get on it.” So, it’s really perfect
and I think it’s pretty inclusive of the folks who are big cheerleaders for
accessibility and for those who’ve got a lot to learn.

Joe: Yeah, and by the way, I got a tour of the PayPal, they have an
accessibility lab, and it would be great if more organizations would build,
you know, a lab where you have the different tools that people use and you
can say,”Hey, you know, any developer that wants, just come into the lab
and test your stuff out.”

Tim: So it’s just like a device lab?

Joe: Yeah, they have all kinds of different devices because there’s lots
of disabilities. So they have these goggle that, you know, one eye, the
other eye fish eye, to show you all different, like simulate different
disabilities so that you can see what it’s like to surf the web. I’m sure
they have a screen reader.

Tim: Beer goggles.

Joe: Pardon?

Tim: Beer goggles.

Joe: Beer goggles, yeah.

Tim: Yeah. Well, that’s awesome, I didn’t even know that they had glasses
that could do stuff like that.

Joe: Yeah.

Tim: It’s incredible.

Mark: And not to mention I suppose giving people access to the kinds of
hardware, screen readers or Braille machines or these kinds of things that
someone may rely upon.

Joe: Yeah.

Tim: Yeah. So, is there anything else you want folks about the LA
community? Or, when’s the next MeetUp coming?

Joe: We just did our last MeetUp last night, our last MeetUp of the year.
Let’s see, what’s coming up? I’m not sure but we always have tons of
MeetUps. Pardon.

Mark: No, sorry. Go ahead, go ahead.

Joe: We had a pretty cool MeetUp recently with the head of platform,
Twitter platform engineering which we did at the Fox studios and that had a
great turnout. So I’m kind of getting also interested in maybe doing a
little bit more and I wish there was a little bit more sponsorship where it
would be a little easier to fly in some speakers because there’s just some
awesome speakers that, let’s say once a quarter, they would totally come in
if they just got their flight covered.

Mark: All right, so all the giant, awesome corporations listening to our
fledgling podcast, if you want to sponsor the great Los Angeles MeetUp
community, tech community- . . .

Joe: Any, any MeetUp community.

Mark: Any MeetUp community, well, you know who to talk to.

Tim: Yeah, I think that’s awesome. So we’re not going to keep you much
longer but how can people contact you if they want to maybe get with one of
the MeetUps or hire Diamond Web or just troll, randomly troll, stuff like
that?

Joe: So, joe.devon@dws.la.

Tim: Right.

Joe: Or @joedevon on Twitter.

Tim: Okay. And we can link up all the MeetUps in the show notes and
everything and maybe get some more sponsors and people there and bodies,
and sharing, and community, and open, and- . . .

Mark: Rainbows is what you’re going for here.

Joe: Rainbows, unicorns, it’ll all be welcome.

Mark: It’s all Los Angeles, so the weather will be gorgeous the whole time.

Tim: Oh yeah. That was, that was- . . .

Mark: That ‘s just a given.

Tim: Yeah. So, here at Fresh Tilled Soil we have an event coming up, it’s
an experience design for developers, it’s how developers and designers can
work better together. We have some cool sessions on… There’s one on
introverts and extroverts, there’s a design developer therapy session, it’s
going to be super cool.

Steve: Literal therapy session.

Tim: Literally we have a therapist coming in and we’re going to have
designers and developers talk about their problems in front of a crowd,
it’s going to be wild.

Steve: He might not be an accredited therapist.

Mark: And that’s exactly how therapy works. You go to see someone who calls
themselves a therapist but is not accredited in any way and you talk to
them and then 50 people in an audience and you work through your personal
problems. It’s just like real therapy.

Steve: Actually it’s kind of like Jerry Springer.

Tim: It’s like The Cosby Show.

Mark: There you go.

Tim: And that is on February 27th, tickets will be on sale soon enough and
you can see more at freshtilledsoil.com/events. I wanted to especially
thank our guest, Joe, Joe Devon, thanks, thanks a ton for coming on the
show and, you know, giving us some extra insight into the LA web community
and Global Accessibility and everything, it was awesome.

Joe: Thank you for the invite.

Tim: Anytime. Anytime you want to come back let us know.

Joe: Sounds great.

Tim: And you folks can get us on Twitter @thedirtshow and please review us
iTunes or your podcasting device- . . .

Steve: Application.

Tim: . . . application. I don’t want to say it like that.

Steve: Of choice.

Tim: Your podcasting app of choice.

Mark: This is torture for you.

Tim: It is. That’s all we have for today, thanks for listening and we will
try and do better next time.

Steve: You can get up to a lot in a month and a half, he said hoping
that gets deleted.

About Fresh Tilled Soil

Fresh Tilled Soil is a Boston-based user interface and experience design firm focused on human centered digital design