Recent Engagements

I am so, so pleased to tell you, readers, that this past Saturday, I was on a panel of women answering attendee questions about their careers during Hyland’s first Women in Tech conference! Here’s the official press release blurb:

“Hyland will host the Women in Tech Conference on Saturday, October 8 at its headquarters in Westlake, Ohio. Working with close partners the Ohio Collaboration of Women in Computing (OCWiC) and We Can Code It, the half-day conference aims to inform women about the career opportunities within computer science and information technology (IT) professions.

Attendees will hear from female software developers, quality assurance (QA) specialists and senior IT managers who will provide insight into their technology backgrounds, what interested them about their chosen fields and the roles and responsibilities for their positions.”

Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/10/prweb13733094.htm

Feedback for the event has been overwhelmingly positive. It was a great day at Hyland for those of us who were speaking, and I’m really glad to hear that it was a great day for our attendees, too! There was a lot of good energy in the room that came from over fifty women in one place with one goal: to represent and increase the presence and visibility of women in technology. The conference opened with a talk by Brenda Kirk, Hyland’s Senior Vice President of Product & Strategry (and my big boss!), followed by a presentation by two of our developers, the Q&A panel where attendees asked us about our career paths and opportunities at Hyland, a talk by my frentor (that’s friend + mentor, for those unaware) Mel McGee of We Can Code IT, and a presentation by volunteers and attendees of the Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC).

For more information on Hyland, We Can Code IT and OCWiC, check out:

I was also asked to speak at a recent We Can Code IT commencement, but that’s its own blog post, and it hasn’t been written yet! I’ve been keeping busy lately and am looking forward to finally being able to give updates on all the projects I have going on, including a new website (here’s a hint: I now own http://www.mylittlecoding.com) and a new meetup group. Stay tuned. 🙂

 

Global Day of Coderetreat CLE 2015

Largely on a whim, some of my classmates and I signed up to attend Global Day of Coderetreat Cleveland last Saturday at LeanDog.  The community outreach director for our bootcamp said it would be a “great educational opportunity,” and the description on the event page was vague enough not to scare us off… so we thought, “why not?”

I found out what I was in for two nights before, when I told a friend what I was doing the following day and he started enthusing about how much I was going to learn because I had signed up for an entire day of pair programming.  No wonder the e-mail calling it a “great educational opportunity” had also closed with, “go forth and be brave!”…

It’s not that I hate other people or anything.  Far from it, I enjoy people.  Really.  It’s just that I am a tremendous introvert and the thought of pairing all day with six different pair partners all of whom are complete strangers and also much more experienced programmers made me kind of not really want to go.  However, I put on my brave pants that morning and drove downtown to the boat… and, thankfully, three of my classmates put on their brave pants too, so I wasn’t being an awkward newbie turtle all by myself.

Global Day of Coderetreat has a fairly simple premise: pairs are given 45 minutes to code up Conway’s Game of Life.  Since this isn’t actually something that is doable in 45 minutes, the goal isn’t to make a working program–rather, it’s to practice coding, pairing, and (in this case, I’m not sure if it is a global thing or not) test-driven development.

TDD was something totally new to my classmates and I.  No big deal, just turning the event from “scary” to “downright terrifying”.  Nevertheless, my intrepid classmate Stephanie and I trio-d up with an experienced test dev named… oh… darnit, I’ve forgotten his name.  I’m terrible with names, I should’ve written it down… anyway, he was absolutely excellent to us and walked us through installing Nunit and got us thinking about how to test the smallest solutions we could think of.  I was feeling pretty good when it was time to switch, and with every pairing, I got just the tiniest bit more confident that I actually knew what I was doing, until I wound up passing a Microsoft Surface back and forth with a guy named Jeremiah and actually writing tests without having to take too much direction.  Yes!

Everyone at the event was super nice and I learned a ton (so, the e-mail was right).  Another classmate, Ray, and I even got to trio up with a Ruby dev to see problem-solving done in a different language.  (Maybe I should learn Ruby.  Everyone is telling me to….) No one made fun of us for being newbs (at least, not to our faces, haha) and I’m even thinking that I might try to code the Game of Life on my own at some point, just to see if I can do it.  The event was definitely worth going to and I’m excited to go to the next Coderetreat in January, or, if I can’t make that, Global Day of Coderetreat next year!

Learn more about Global Day of Coderetreat >> here.