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This document we created some time ago to help us figure out how to interact with each other better.

Breeding Collective Culture

  • Help others. Do it in a way that encourages and empowers them, rather than just taking over their work.
    • Spending five minutes pitching in to save someone an hour of work is almost always worth it.
    • Make time for anyone’s questions -- we all learn from each other.
    • Volunteer to help people out if you're interested in the project and they need a hand.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
    • Be mindful that people may not like being used as worker bees.
    • Soliciting / welcoming ideas from people allows them to contribute at a very core level. It may also gain you enthusiastic supporters for your project.
    • Present problems to the group. If you only present the solutions you've come up with, others are hesitant to come up with alternatives.
      • Everyone can create a different solution to a problem, but at the end of the day, the cook gets to pick the solution.
  • The best way to learn something is to teach it.
  • It’s good that you care a lot about the result, but not at the cost of trampling on anyone’s project experience.
    • Put the learning & teaching experience over the final result.
  • Speak inclusively -- use "We" messages and really mean it.
    • "How do y'all think we should handle the flux capacitor?" is better than "You handle the flux capacitor".
    • Make people feel like their input is important to the project, and that their opinions are respected. Even if you don't go with their suggestion, give it some consideration rather than an brusque dismissal, and thank them for offering it.
  • Collective ownership.
    • Credit and responsibility both belong to everyone.
    • The success of the group is more important than the success of the project.
  • Demeaning and disrespectful behavior have no place here.
  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
    • See something, say something.
      • Don’t get covered in someone else’s blood. It's pretty icky.
  • Collective knowledge is gained by sharing it.
    • Teach it, document it, preach it.
  • Evangelism of culture is important to counter the demise of group cohesion.
  • Build systems which permit others to extend them.
    • Not sharing the product of your labor prohibits group reusability.
  • Everyone is a peer. Treat everyone with equality and respect.
    • Yes, even if you do know better.
    • Thank people for their work and contributions.
    • Leaders are simply louder versions of everyone else.
  • 3rd party mediation is an important skill to resolve conflict; dedicate some time to acquiring it.
    • Conflict happens when people care too much.
    • Allowing people to save face often smooths things over.
    • Apologizing when you've inadvertently upset or offended someone will go a long way.
    • Accepting sincere apologies wholeheartedly and not holding grudges is also important.
    • We all want the same thing here; don't let differences in style get in the way of cooperative effort.
  • Remember that this is a collective space.
    • Other people may be working on projects completely unrelated to what you are working on.
    • They may have no idea what the heck you're working on.
    • Be polite and respectful of others in the space.

5 Responses

  1. Simon Said,

    I'm new to the region.
    I'm from rural Minnesota.
    I've got a limited budget and some experience hacking.
    I'm interested in becoming involved in a regional hacking community.

    I'm posting here, because I liked your Breeding Collective Culture document.

    Point me in the right direction?

    Posted on August 26th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

  2. ejoso Said,

    This is a great post and helpful manifesto - thanks for sharing it!

    Posted on February 24th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

  3. oinfiltrado23 Said,

    wonderful your manifesto above.
    we are from a new Hacker space in Berlin, called the p1r4t3 c4v3, below the meta mate bar. Besides a Pirate Harbour we do lots of mate hacking, from limonades to mopcorn (mate popcorn). One of our ideas but broke trough in main stream, the Pirate Cave Mier (Mate Bier). We hear from you on a text from Bre Pettis at the Hacker Brause Book and wonder if you would be interested to have the Mier over there. Besides being a Bier that makes one awaken it is cc licensed and was developed the taste and content using liquidizer a liquid democracy platform from the south German pirates.
    Looking forward to hear from you,
    Fab) @oinfiltrado23

    Posted on July 19th, 2012 at 7:50 am

  4. matt Said,

    wow, seriously lovely. we're totally doing this mostly by accident. when things go wrong now i have a way to describe it. thanks for publishing/writing this.



    Posted on June 30th, 2014 at 10:45 pm

  5. all star converse danmark Said,

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and superb design.

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 9:12 am

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