Tech policy is being rewritten the world over, and 3rd party developers (like the dinosaurs) are blissfully unaware that their doom is a realistic outcome.
Unfortunately… politics matter.
Politics applied to manage the rules by which countries operate is “policy”. Policy is what the suits in Washington DC and Brussels and Canberra and Ottawa, and all the hundred-some other world capitals spend all day debating and revising. Writing laws, funding, and defunding programs. The results dictate how entire sectors of the economy operate; who profits, and who gets crushed.
Politicians don’t know you, or how your job works. Developer political power is limited because most developers aren’t engaged, loud, or sometimes even aware of what is transpiring in the land of lawmakers. Developers are silent, almost invisible (at least to the political machine), even when decisions are being made that will overturn their lives and ability to make a living.
There are millions of developers, driving enormous amounts of economic activity that touches billions of people globally and yet they are represented by only a handful of people in the world’s capitals. Your voice many times seems small…often even filtered by the very people that value what you do on their behalf; tech firms, a few foundations, internet advocates those that want to give back.
We’re losing based on this model.
For the past few years, I have been honored to be part of the board of directors for the Developers Alliance working alongside companies large and small on advocacy issues that impact all developers. The Alliance doesn’t speak for developers, we amplify your voice. The more voices we can get working together, the louder we can be. Loud enough so that policymakers won’t be able to ignore our message.
If you are interested in amplifying your voice, I invite you to join the newly expanded Developers Alliance Policy Network. This group is built to engage on government and policy topics that directly impact you and your career. You will get opportunities to provide important direction and input not just at a survey level, but also in more active options such as signing opinion letters or speaking directly with policymakers.
The Policy Network is NOT a newsletter mailing list. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to join the Developers Alliance and participate on any level that may interest you. You won’t get spammed or receive an endless chain of questionnaires. If you prefer, you can even choose to be active but hidden (voices and faces are different commitments). What you will get is an honest shot at weighing in on matters impacting the news today which could become the laws of tomorrow…impacting your livelihood.
Scott Burnell, FordDev Team
Photo by Patrick Fore