"The road to ruin is lined with good intentions", this reality illustrates the gap between the eventual outcome and the original intent. Many people that cause harm began with the best of intentions. I know no better landscape to learn this lesson than in software development. Anyone who has lived the painful exercise of refactoring legacy code, resolving merge conflicts or calling time on doomed refresh and rewrite projects is intimately familiar with how what we deliver can bear little resemblance to what we initially intended. For the last three years, and counting, my day job has focused on recruiting young people from underrepresented groups and training them to be entry-level software developers. While the debate around inclusion has become increasingly polarised, I have realised that the reality is layered and complex. This mission is just as susceptible to the intention-outcome gap we often see in software development. If we want our industry to reflect our best intentions, we cannot afford to shy away from this complexity. We must apply the exact lessons we've learned in the trenches - transparency, incremental delivery, short feedback loops and adaptability. Achieving "inclusion" will require us to engage in a pragmatic retrospective of how our reality is a reflection not just of our environment, but importantly, of how we choose to interact with it. In this talk I'll share insights on our learnings so far and hopefully these can help others in their quest for a more equitable world.
Nyari Samushonga joined WeThinkCode_ as the CEO in February 2019 where her primary responsibility is to gear the organisation up for growth. In her short tenure, she has overseen the expansion of the partnership network, directed the revamp of the technical curriculum and driven a marked increase in the recruitment of women into the WeThinkCode_ programme. A Chartered Accountant with 11 years of public accounting experience, Nyari has operated as a business executive in the private sector. In 2018 she co-founded FoldLeft, a digital consultancy that uses hypothesis-driven models to design and deliver impactful software solutions in large enterprises. Her expertise lies in bridging the divide between business executives and tech innovators to maximize the value of software