OddBird is a small company – a shared vision and brand that transforms
seven remote contractors into a Web Software Agency.
2016 was a year of big changes for us. Carl took a job with
Instagram, Sondra came on full-time, and we added David, Stacy,
and Kit to the team. We’re writing more, speaking more, taking on
more clients, re-designing our website and brand in the open,
and contributing to more open source projects.
It was hard to lose one of the founders (and a sibling!) from our daily
work, but we’re glad that he still drops by – an active outside eye when
we need advice. This is the first time our founders have been
outnumbered, but I couldn’t ask for a better team. They all have
impressive skills, but more importantly: they are all kind, empathetic,
thoughtful, and generous. To me, these are not only the most important
qualities in a colleague I see every day, but the most important skills
for any software developer.
We know that our tools have an effect on the lives of the people we work
with, in real and lasting ways. We know that software is never neutral,
and assumptions we make as developers can cause real pain if we aren’t
thoughtful about every aspect of design and development. We have a
responsibility to consider how our products are used by diverse people,
long after we move on. We can’t build for the center; we have to build
for the edges.
OddBird may not be a political organization, but we can’t distance
ourselves from the world we work in, or the lives of our members,
colleagues, and clients. 2016 was a hard year for many us, and the
people we care about. We expect 2017 to continue that trend – with
threats to health insurance, immigrants, people of color, LGBTQAI+
people, muslims, women, native people, and so on.
I don’t have any magic words, but it’s important to all of us here that
OddBird double-down on our commitment to people in all their
diversity, especially when they are pushed to the margins. We know that
we have work to do – that our code of conduct and donations are only
a start. We’re here, we’re listening, and we’re not neutral.