14: Leading a Developer Community with Kattni Rembor

Harris and Shawn interview firmware developer, hardware designer, technical writer, and community leader, Kattni Rembor from Adafruit Industries and Circuit Python. Kattni shares her insights into how she engages followers and educates her peers.

Overview
In this episode of the Hello Blink Show, Harris and Shawn interview firmware developer, hardware designer, technical writer, and community leader, Kattni Rembor. Kattni shares her insights into how she engages followers and educates her peers. Listeners will hear her advice as she delves into her experience with Adafruit and the process involved with fostering a community on learning CircuitPython. 

Listen after the closing credits for an update on CircuitPython and how people have been integrating it into finished products!

One Powerful Quotation
  • 36:00: “I think it’s a huge part of growing a community is being open to changes and open to possibilities because, if you are rigid about things and you expect everything to fall within a certain scope, you’re either going to drive people away or you’re going to have a really bad day.” 
Key Topics
  • 1:03: Shawn opens the show and asks Kattni about her story with working at Adafruit Industries. She mentions how she became involved writing libraries which led to creating communities for teaching and learning. 
  • 6:00: Kattni shares how she started with no programming/electronics experience and has become a self-taught engineer, developer, and community leader.
  • 7:17: Kattni highlights her inspiration for wanting to work with electronics.
  • 10:43: Kattni responds to Harris’ commentary on the tangible results produced from one’s work. 
  • 11:22: Shawn and Kattni discuss using Circuit Python versus Arduino. The two compare its programming application for educating users. 
  • 17:18: Harris relays a question to Kattni from a listener on her thoughts on the balance between using Circuit Python for education over finished products and how this will change over time. 
  • 20:45: Harris asks another a question to Kattni from a listener on adding support for RISC-V as a prioritized, developer tool for educational consideration on Circuit Python. 
  • 22:14: Shawn and Kattni discuss how Circuit Python supports specific development boards.
  • 23:29: Kattni gives her perspective on what it means to have a developer community for Circuit Python.
  • 26:02: Kattni talks about the forums she uses for collaboration including Discord and GitHub.
  • 27:27: Kattni describes the free form structure of their forums with admins, moderators, and helpers that reinforce positive feedback and build better relationships. 
  • 29:43: Kattni notes that these positions consist of Adafruit employees and members that are active in the public channels. 
  • 31:26: Shawn and Kattni reminisce about old bulletin board forums and how moderation teams were made up of volunteer members based on their posts. Kattni adds the one difference with their community help is the quality of the member’s contribution dictates their position. 
  • 33:10: Harris, Shawn, and Kattni openly talk about planning a community and go about creating an environment that is open, safe, and non-toxic. 
  • 45:11: Kattni answers Shawn’s question on when to restructure your channel setup and curate a community that is adaptable to your audience. 
  • 46:47: Harris and Shawn wrap up the show and ask Kattni how they advertise and recruit members. 
  • 50:19 (Post-Show): Harris, Shawn, and Kattni address the commercialization of products using Circuit Python. 
Guest Information
Kattni works as an embedded software developer, hardware designer, technical writer, and open source community leader contracting with Adafruit. She is proud to be a woman in tech. Her journey creating things began at an early age in her dad’s extensive workshop in the basement. Kattni’s foray into the world of open source, electronics, and programming began in July 2017 — that her desk has become a mess of wires and circuit boards is still unbelievably exciting. In the rest of her life, she is a maker, creator, programmer, photographer, one-time gardener, and loved partner. She is tolerated by two cats who continue to let her live with them.

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License Information
“Hello Blink Show” by Kenny Consulting Group, LLC and Skal Risa, LLC is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Intro and outro song is “Routine” by Amine Maxwell is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Special Guest: Kattni Rembor.

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© Skal Risa, LLC and Kenny Consulting Group, LLC | Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)