Must Have Resources via #CodeNewbies

When I have time, I participate in a twitter chat every Wednesday hosted by  The chat is filled with twitter users like me who are learning code and growing their network along the way.  In last night’s chat, we discussed free online resources for users when one participant was kind enough to pass along two gems of info.

  • Github has been growing a list of free online programming books available here.  This list currently has over 400 people contributing to it and is updated frequently.  There’s about 30 books that have been added to list so far.
  • Described as the “motherload of free coding lists”, reSRC has created a links library of online guides published by other sites.  The list can be viewed here and includes about 40 links that are voted on based on their effectiveness.

When I started Our Code Wiki, I didn’t have much time to search for online freebies, but what I did find, I shared. I’m happy others are doing the same.

I’ll be adding both links to the Wiki and hope you all take full advantage of them. Also, if you have the chance to join us on Wednesday, follow @CodeNewbie to participate in the chat.


New Updates on Our Code Wiki

Just added the following updates to Our Code Wiki which are available now:

Building Web Apps Using Node.js guide

Free jQuery Lightbox plugins link

Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Design

I update the Wiki several times a week, so be sure to check Our Updates page.  If you would like to join as a member of the wiki, subscribe to Our Code blog, or check out instructions here.

Want to Learn More About Tech Cons? Join the #BITTechTalk Discussion Tomorrow

As Reported via Blacks In Technology:

“Diversity issues in technology are nothing new and given the recent diversity reports released by tech giants Google, Facebook and Twitter we all know that there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

Take a look at the average technology conference speaker list and you’ll see much of the same and even worse when it comes to people of color. Take an even closer look at the attendees of tech conferences and….well you get the point.

So what do we do? How can we increase diversity at tech cons?

Join us this Thursday, August 14th 9pm EST/ 6pm PDT as we sit down and discuss how Bryan Smith is tackling the diversity problem at technology conferences as the founder and organizer of the Free and Open Source Software conference, FossetCon.”

When: August 14th, 2014 9pm EST/ 6pm PDT


RSVP now

Diversity in Tech Data and Why It Really Shouldn’t Matter

Hello all,

I would like to give special thanks to Karen Schoellkopf, who recently put together data sets detailing the latest diversity reports from the top U.S. tech companies.  The data sets outline company diversity according to gender and race.  It includes info on Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, and Linkedin.  I published the data sets into a Google doc which can be viewed here.

While studying the data sets, keep in mind that the numbers are broken down into 3 categories: company diversity as a whole, diversity in company tech departments, and diversity in non-tech departments.  It should come at no surprise that there are less WOC working in tech departments than non-tech ones.  While I’m careful to not draw any conclusions about gender bias based on data, I will state the obvious: we need more WOC in tech.  However, I personally don’t believe placing exasperated demands on hiring managers is the solution until we first increase the amount of employable women with actual tech skills.

There are also a few questions that I think we as advocates are ignoring whether unconsciously or not: Do women with tech skills actually want to work at these companies, or are they exploring other options in other parts of the country?  What does the diversity data at other tech companies across the nation look like in comparison?  How many WOC are graduating with CS degrees and choosing not to work in the tech industry?  What is the retention rate of WOC at these companies?  How does stereotype threat and gender bias play into education expectations for girls 6-18 years old?  What are the parental-leave policies like at these companies?  Has the work-life balance become unrealistic for women who work in tech?  I hope to explore these questions in the future and create a strategy plan for Our Code to guide #womenintech advocates.

I have to admit, I didn’t spend more than 6 minutes studying the data because I already know that the tech industry is predominantly made up of White and male employees.  I don’t want to get caught up in the problem, I want to explore solutions.  That’s why Our Code exists: to provide a space for encouragement and sharing resources for disenfranchised women to learn, get connected, and grow.  It doesn’t matter to me how women choose to use their tech skills, nor where they choose to work and for how long.  My main focus is making sure women like me know about tools that will help them learn code and become web developers rather than just consumers.

Basically what I’m saying is don’t worry about those numbers.  It should not affect your journey.  Focus on your learning objectives, goals, and enjoy the process. 

Browse the data set if you have time.  You can also follow Schoellkopf’s work in increasing the amount of women hired in the tech industry here.

 **Update: we now have Apple’s diversity data.

New Updates Added to Our Code Wiki

The transition from moving Our Code Wiki from Wikispaces to Googlesites went smoothly.  As promised, the new wiki went live on Monday and I finished all the site updates this morning.  In addition to moving all our old resources and materials to the new location, I also added a few extras.  Viewers and members can now enjoy brand new courses, toolkits, links, videos, and guides.  The amount of updates I added are many, so to view the complete list, visit the Our Updates page on the wiki.  I will information and resources as I find them every other day, so be sure to bookmark the page.

For those who are new to Our Code, the wiki functions as a free resource library for readers to learn coding.  In the future, I want Our Code Wiki to grow into an open source community of members who all contribute to the site.  If you were a member of the old wiki, I invite you to please join the new site as a member.

Members will be allowed to edit and submit materials for the wiki according to site guidelines.  To become a member, visit Our Site Help page for assistance, or simply email me.  If you want to use the site but have no interest in contributing, consider subscribing to the wiki to get updates sent to your email.  If you subscribe to this blog, you will be sent a personal invitation from me to join the wiki.

Thanks to you all for being patient during the move.  I hope you not only visit the wiki, but join!

Save the Date: Upcoming Ruby on Rails Workshops in Selected Cities

RailsBridge, an advocacy group that hosts seminars throughout the country teaching ruby-on-rails to code newbies, has selected the following locations for 2-day workshops.  RailsBridge has been offering free weekend workshops led by volunteers experienced in ROR, and targets minority women in their outreach.  I wanted to post the upcoming tour schedule for those interested in attending.  Here are the dates and locations for the August and September workshops:

August 20-21st, 2014
Outreach for Women Seminar
Madison, WI @ Madison College

August 22-23rd, 2014
Front-end Workshop
Sunnydale, CA @ GoDaddy HQ

September 5-6th, 2014
RailsBridge Workshop
Cleveland, OH @ Lean Dog HQ

September 5-6th, 2014
RailsBridge Workshop
Boulder, CO @ Galvanize Boulder

September 13th, 2014
Intro to JavaScript
Savannah, CA @ Coastal George Center

September 26th-27th, 2014
RailsBridge Workshop
New York, New York @ Dev Bootcamp

To register at any of the above events, please visit to RSVP.  To the best of my knowledge, all workshops are free unless otherwise stated by the organization.

**P.S. Speaking of ROR workshops, just received a short comment that Rails Girls, another great advocacy group, will be hosting seminars around the world this Fall.  Locations include Italy, Germany, Poland, Japan, Ecuador, and many others.  To learn more about their work and register for one of their events, click here.