Pantheon Community

WebOps Wednesday AMA: AmyJune Hineline (volkswagenchick)

I am AmyJune Hineline, and I am the Open Source Community Ambassador at Kanopi Studios. With a dual focus on both open-source community development and inclusivity, I am uniquely positioned to help individuals become more comfortable and confident as they contribute to their communities. I co-organize various open-source camps and conventions throughout North America, empowering individuals to forge deep community connections that benefit the whole. As a self-described non-coder, I help communities discover how they can contribute and belong in more ways than coding.

With five years of open-source community involvement behind me, I’ve had the opportunity to become actively involved in both the Drupal and WordPress communities: working to lower the barrier to entry in tech though my leadership of first-time contributor workshops at the local and regional level.

My ongoing experience as a hospice nurse keeps me in touch with the challenges faced by many end-users. In my continued efforts to make a difference, I help organize A11yTalks, an online meetup where we invite folks on every month to talk about all things accessibility - one of the core components of building an inclusive web.

Outside of mission in the technology community space, I have a deep love for mycology, geocaching, and air-cooled Volkswagens.

And y’ll know the drill: Ask me anything!!

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Hi @amyjune! Like you, I frequently hop between the Drupal and WordPress communities. What are some similarities that you’ve observed with the communities?

My wife absolutely loves old Volkswagens. Have you heard about the prototype e-Beetle electric conversions? We’re hopeful that it could breath some life (and more reliability?) into some really amazing vehicles. :slight_smile:

Hi @david.needham!

Good question about the Drupal and WordPress communities. Giving back to the project (in more ways than code) and being sure everyone feels included is in both spaces and it’s very refreshing. As a self-described non-coder, I feel very welcome in both spaces.

Funny story: In a previous lifetime I was an air-cooled VW mechanic. Oh my, I was such the snob. I only liked models older than 1968, wouldn’t work on engines that had too many modifications. I believed that VW designed engines the right way from the beginning and everything else was heresy…

Until… When I was in my 20s, I acquired a 1968 beetle that had been converted to electric. It was clunky and wasn’t very reliable, but hey, electric!! The new prototypes look great. I am glad they went back to the older body style.

My most favorite VWs I have ever owned were a 1957 Beetle and a 1962 Transporter.
Please excuse the flood of VW pics. I have so many cool ones to share!!

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 8.21.44 AM

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Hi @amyjune :wave:

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us! I also work in the community space! I may be biased but I am pretty sure we have the best job out there–am I right? :clap:

As a self-described non-coder, I help communities discover how they can contribute and belong in more ways than coding.

:point_up_2: This really caught my attention! I see you used to work as a Hospice nurse. When did you shift gears to working in the open source space and what inspired that shift!? I am also not technical by trade but have been working in community for the last 3+ years. This is my first taste at open source & I love it. :palms_up_together: As someone with tons of experience in the Wordpress & Drupal community space, what do you find is most important when engaging with this audience?

One last thing–LOVE YOUR VW!! :blue_car: Also a big fan!

Hey there @McKennaR,

We absolutely have the best jobs. Getting paid to give back?? Wow.

I am still a practicing Hospice Nurse. It’s a difficult job for some, but I equate it to being a midwife. Just in reverse…we are delivering souls to their next destination, wherever that may be.

I made the shift to working full time in tech in 2016. While I love nursing, I was finding it hard to work long night shifts with teenagers at home and thought it would be best to find a gig where I could be at home more, so remote life it became.
Now that the kids are older and (more) self-sufficient I have expanded my role in tech to include more travel and I LOVE IT.

Being inclusive is super important when interacting with our community… and I love everyone! Saying hello to new people really helps folks feel included. They are more likely to keep coming to events when they have a warm smile greet them at their first event.

And being inclusive means everyone. Making sure our venues meet ADA requirements, ensuring our website copy is accessible and excludes gendered and ableist language, things like that.

And yes, those older VWs are rad.

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:wave: I also float between communities, and both communities seem to be working really hard to be more inclusive. What are some ways that long time members like myself can help?

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Hi @doug_pantheon,
It was nice seeing you again this last weekend at Florida Drupal Camp.

Not making assumptions is super important for inclusion. We shouldn’t assume pronouns, political stance, abilities, socio-economic class, etc.

But to be more specific, as presenters, we can be sure our slide decks are accessible.

  • Be aware of certain fonts and color contrast
  • Using bullet points or breaking up our content into easy to digest chucks
  • Leaving room at the bottom of our slides to include space for captions when captioning is added later
  • Limiting the use of slide transitions and animations to reduce the risk of motion-induced sickness
  • Making sure everyone can hear and use a microphone if one is available
  • Describing images in case there are folks that can’t see them

Thanks for the great question!

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AmyJune! Thank you so much for participating today. I love that our jobs let us bump into each other a little more frequently these days. <3

I’d love to hear about mycology! I’m an absolute amateur where mushrooms are concerned but I love finding them. How did you get started in mycology? Any tips for a beginner? :mushroom:

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Hey @sparklingrobots -

I am definitely glad both of our roles have changed and morphed so we can collaborate together.

Mushrooms are tricky…my recommendation is to not eat any even if you are 12092% sure you can ID them…hahaha. Unless you grow them on your counter. You can purchase “blocks” from your local health food store or feed store.

I grew up in rural Northern California a few miles from Armstong grove which hosts some of the largest redwood trees on the planet. The terrain is moist with lots of groundcover, a regular haven for mushrooms. It’s funny. The hardest part is spotting the first mushroom of the day, after that, it’s like your eyes just gravitate to them.

We have mushroom faires in Santa Cruz and up and down the bay area. These are great places to meet others and usually, there is a group people can join that hosts forays and classes for the community.

New Mexico has a great group https://nmms.wildapricot.org/… and they have meetings every month.

My favorite find

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Ooooh thank you for the link!!

And that field of mushrooms is positively magical. :heart_eyes:

That is amazing! What a fulfilling role to say the least. I admire your heart for doing that! I myself used to study medicine in college & interned at a Hospice. It was incredibly hard for me to process death, so I had to step away but it absolutely left an imprint on my heart forever. :heart: With that being said, thank you for what you do!

+1 to inclusivity! I have to agree that building an inclusive community is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. We will definitely have to keep in touch–would love to collaborate & pick your brain on some things!

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