I Registered for Hack.Summit() 2016 and 5 Reasons Why You Should Too

The second annual Hack.Summit() 2016 conference coming this February is shaping up to fulfill its goal yet again of being the largest programming conference in history.  Over 64,000 people participated in the conference during its inauguration, and the organizers are hoping to increase that number.  I’ve gotten feedback from others who participated last year that they really enjoyed the speakers’ insight on the industry and specifically learning more about how contribute to the open-source community.  Not wanting to miss it, I registered and hope you all join me.  Here’s 5 reasons why you should:

1.  Some of the creators of the world’s top technology are keynote speakers.  The creators of Ruby on Rails, Drupal, Google Glass, TDD, Sass, and Apache Storm will all be speaking.  Founders such as Joel Spolsky of Trello and Stack Overflow, Brian Fox of GNU Bash Shell, and Orion Henry of Heroku will also lead keynotes and sessions.

2.  The hackathon involves solving real problems for non-profit organizations and companies.  According to one of the event’s main organizers, 30,000 developers from 900+ cities have signed up for it so far.  The winning team prize pool is $150,000.

3.  It’s virtual, so you don’t have to worry about travel and lodging expenses. The conference will be streamed entirely online through Crowdcast, and if you have a ticket code, you can access the videos at a later time once posted.

4.  Can’t afford it? No problem! Tweet or donate to an org to earn a ticket.  The goal is to raise at least $50,000 for great organizations such as Coder Dojo that has established free programming clubs all over America, and Code.org which works to expand computer science education in schools. Tweeting about the conference helps improve participation and visibility, but donate if you can to earn a ticket as well.

5.  The presenters have noted they want to help developers “find their dream job”. Improving mentorship between seasoned and new developers is a goal of the event.  If that means participants will have the chance to connect with potential employers than it’s definitely worth it to attend if you can. Plus there is a *bonus gift* if you register that could help boost your resume skills immensely, but I’ll keep that secret to myself for now 😉

If you stream it, send me a shout out in the chat and I’ll answer back.  I’ll also make my username known on twitter the day of, so follow me @SheThrives11 to keep up. Conference information below.

Hack.Summit() 2016

When: February 22-25, 2016

Where: Online, livestreamed through Crowdcast

Register here and make sure you check the box if you plan to join the hackathon



Free this Saturday Morning? Come Study With Me!

Some of you found out about this blog from being involved with CodeBuddies, an organized community online where people gather to study, learn, and code together via Google Hangouts.  Normally, I study alone or attend an in-person meetup in the city if I want company, but there is something gratifying about being able to have people hold you accountable to your learning goals when you’re online too. I’ve also been fortunate to have met a lot of cool noobs and professional programmers through the Slack channel for the group as well.

This Saturday I’ll be hosting a 2 hour silent study hangout via CodeBuddies. To join me:

  1. Go to CodeBuddies.org and sign up (it’s free)
  2. Once you’re logged in, click here to RSVP to my hangout
  3. Launch the hangout room in your browser

This is a silent hangout, so you’ll be studying by yourself, but we’ll do 5 min check-ins on the hour and I’ll be available through the Hangout video chat if you have questions or just want to say hello.

You may also want to consider creating your own event through CodeBuddies.  If you join, you can schedule your own Hangout on any language, tutorial, or project.  Hangouts can be show-and-tell or silent depending on your preferences.  We’ve had people teach through the platform, take classes together, build apps, and even contribute to the 2.0 edition of the site.

If you can’t make, consider requesting an invite to the Code Buddies Slack channel.  Over 1000 people are there to answer your questions on most popular programming languages and subjects.

Hope to see you then!

What: Code Buddies Saturday Silent Study

When: Saturday, January 9th, 10:00AM -12:00PM Central

Where: Online (feel free to where your PJs!)


Upcoming Events: 3D Printing Workshop and the Chicago’s NEXT Hackathon

Chicago has always been like a second home to me.  It’s one of the 3 cities that a frequently visit for business, cons, and tech meetups (St. Louis and Nashville being the others).  Having once been a resident and a Loyola U alumni, I feel comfortable returning there at least twice a month.  Would I ever move back there permanently? I’m not sure, but I have fun every time I visit nonetheless.

For my upcoming trip this week, I wanted to make sure I filled my schedule with plenty of tech learning events.  I signed up to volunteer and participate in Chicago’s NEXT hackathon event this Saturday.  ChicagosNext is a non-profit organization that brings together technologists — designers, developers — anyone who wants to learn through creating ideas and building projects that help local communities.  Hearing about the mission, I wanted to get involved and contribute to making the hackathon a valuable experience.  In addition, I’m interested in learning more about Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, the software used in the challenge.  It’s great that I can give back, learn, and network simultaneously.

I also registered for a short introductory workshop on 3D printing.  I shamelessly geek over news of 3D printing innovation, and I had been looking for a workshop to attend to learn extensively about the hardware and technology for a while.  I did a random event calendar search and voila! I found a *free* Friday event during lunch hours.

I think both opportunities will also allow me to meet Our Code readers in person.  If you’re a reader in the Chicago area and want to join me, click here to learn how to register to the the hackathon, and here to RSVP for the Friday 3D printing workshop. Be sure to introduce yourself and we’ll chat!

Join Me for Live Show and Tell on Bootstrap Tonight

For those who first joined me 3 weeks ago in taking the Microsoft course on Twitter Bootstrap, you will know that tonight is the final day of the course.  I want to wish best of luck to everyone who is completing the final exam and turning in the last few lab projects to get their certificate today.  To celebrate the end of the course, we’ll do a live show and tell of our projects created with Bootstrap tonight in conjunction with Code Buddies via Google Hangout.

This will be a live hangout, so participants should feel free to showcase their site designs built with Bootstrap as well as labs completed for the course.  To those new to using Google Hangout, there is a screen share option that accompanies the voice and video, and I’ll go over briefly how to use those options before we get started.

The hangout is an hour long and starts at 6:30pm CST // 7:30pm EST // 5:30pm GMT // 4:30pm PT. To RSVP, visit the Code Buddies site here.

I want to personally thank Code Buddies for allowing me to host the course with their platform. It’s been great and I hope to organize more study sessions in the future!

It’s Computer Science Ed Week!

Computer Science Education Week, designed around promoting comp psi curriculum integration in schools, will take place December 8-14th, 2014.  While it does also fall during finals week here in my region, I wanted to showcase some great events and projects you all can get involved in with celebrating:

Hour of Code: Chances are if you read this blog, you are already coding at least an hour a day.  Why not teach a younger student this week? The site for the non-profit event has some amazing teaching materials and resources for those who would like to pair up as a mentor.  Just to get started, Apple retail stores around the country will be hosting free coding sessions as well. Grab a student and go!

Tuts for Beginners: In addition to hosting Hour of Code, Code.org also offers plenty of tutorials (tuts) for those as young as 4 years old to take advantage of.  K-8th grade students can start with tuts that help them to learn javascript, make games, learn about working with robotics through Lego, and plenty more here.

Harvard X CS50: Those who are familiar with my journey know that this course offered through Harvard is what really got me interested in programming.  I went through CS50 last year and have been learning beyond design ever since. Though an intro course, CS50 is no joke and system requirements do apply. The course is self-paced, free (as a MOOC), and offered year round. Visit EdX here to sign up.

Design a Splash Page: Splash pages are like landing pages; they are simple and function to take the user to one’s portfolio or other links.  Even if you are not ready to develop your own site from scratch just yet, this course will help you design your own splash page in an hour complete with a background, bio, social media button links, and an email subscription option.  You can access the course here through Udemy.

Read and Program: I’m a fan of diving in and learning by doing.  However, I realize that computer sci is like cooking: anyone can follow a recipe (code), but few work hard to become master chefs (programmers). That’s why I try to read popular books on CS themes and theory.  Lately, I’ve been getting more into data structures, but everyone’s different.  Find a book that works best for you by browsing through popular CS titles on goodreads.

Peep a Con: Confreaks, a popular Youtube channel that livestreams and shares tech con sessions, has posted videos from RubyConf2014, Django Con 2014, ArrrCamp 2014, and many others. Watch or attend a conference based on the programming language of your choice to stay up to date about workflows and industry trends.

Live Chat with Jack: Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and Square, will be live chatting with others tomorrow, December 9th, 2014 at 12noon PT.  Click here to watch the chat and participate.

Study: It’s finals week for many of us, so study hard and go all out for your computer science classes.

If you know of any events celebrating Comp Sci Week 2014, let me know.  I may spotlight them in another post this week.

Upcoming Event: Code Until Dawn STL

Aspiring game developer @Marque__ hit me up on Twitter during a tech chat to let me know about a group he’s apart of, Code Until Dawn STL. As I mentioned before, I made it a goal to spread word about events in towns and cities that often don’t get recognition, (as opposed to NYC and San Francisco which always have coding events in progress).

On the last Friday of every month, the group meets for a free form hacking session.  All are welcome, but newbies are encouraged to check out a programming language via Codecademy or TeamTreehouse prior to the event. Come and go as you like, the front door will be open with a simple bell ring, and as the group implies, the event will go on all night.

Here are the future dates planned for Code Until Dawn.  The next event will be hosted on December 19th, 2014 at 5:00pm.

January 23rd, 2015, 5pm

February 27th, 2015, 5pm

March 27th, 2015, 5pm

April 24th, 2015, 5pm

May 22nd, 2015, 5pm

June 26th, 2015, 5pm

Each event is hosted at Lab 1500, an entrepreneurial center in St. Louis.  Click here to get more detailed directions at the group’s meetup site.

Codecademy Partners on ReskillUSA, Offers an Affordable Bootcamp in the Process

Codecademy, a site that offers introduction coding lessons, played a big part in how I transitioned into webdev.  In 2011, I was a freelance copywriter and blogger running my own business providing web content for company sites and blogs.  Feeling the demand to add web design to the list of services I offered, I took to Codecademy to learn basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  Eventually, I learned enough to communicate with clients and contractors about their web needs and even do some basic debugging and site updates for those who paid me an additional fee.  My infatuation with design turned into a hankering for programming, one that still plagues me today (in a good way).  Though I’ve surpassed being a novice and no longer rely on Codecademy for my education, I still support the org and promote it to beginners.

I had a chance to catch up with how Codecademy is developing when I read about the company’s latest partnership with Thinkful, the Flatiron School, and Dev Bootcamp in creating ReSkillUSA.  ReSkillUSA functions to promote both online and offline learning with the mission of “closing the gap between technical education and employment”.  It was less than 2 weeks ago when I led a discussion on the need for more affordable bootcamp-like programs for women learning to code.  Come to find out, Codecademy has been creating labs that offer just that.  Launching as Codecademy Labs under ReskillUSA, the part-time offline program offers 12 week extensive courses covering HTML, CSS, javascript, jQuery, Angular.js, and Ruby on Rails. There are 3 specific reasons why I’m excited about the Labs enough to share info about the program with you all:

1. The cost for the entire 12 week program is just $250.  This is a huge deal considering the fact that most programming bootcamps can cost anywhere from $4000-$20,000 for the same amount of time. In order to keep costs low and the program lean, the tuition will go towards paying for instructors’ salaries and rental space.  Those who want to secure a seat can do so with a $50 deposit upon registration.

2. The program is part-time and meets on Saturdays and Sundays.  For women who work traditional office hours, go to school full-time, or have demanding family obligations, the schedule flexibility is gold.  Most bootcamps are full-time, requiring those who are employed to choose either to quit their jobs in order to learn, or risk losing valuable time off set aside for sick, vacation, or maternity leave.

3.  The program is operating in most major cities with the intention to expand. I found out about Codecademy Labs when I went to the Dev Bootcamp Chicago location for a meetup this past weekend.  In addition to Chicago, the program is also offered in Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York. Since these 5 cities have the most concentrated populations of women of color, I would say the program is situated where it needs to be.

Low cost, flexible, and accessible– all of these meet my checklist for getting an Our Code shoutout!

The next labs cycle starts in early December. To register and secure your spot in the program, click here to go the Codecademy Labs site.


Learn Python in your PJs with PyLadies

The Washington D.C. chapter of PyLadies have been “experimenting” with online education. The result: a Saturday morning Intro to Python class available via Google Hangouts.  There is no cost for the class and all who register will be sent a link to the Hangout to take it online.

Intro To Python

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

9:00AM – 12:30PM

via Google Hangouts

To RSVP, register here on meetup.com. Installation instructions will be sent before the class starts.

Upcoming Hackathon: Fight Ebola with Dev-On this Weekend

Hello all,

If you’re in the Austin, TX or Madison, WI regions, a hackathon being hosted this weekend by Doing Devopment is still seeking participants.  The mobile hackathon will be focusing on combating Ebola this year, a honorable cause considering the recent outbreaks occurring globally.

Doing Development is an organization that uses technology to solve problems around the world.  Click here if you would like to learn more about the org, and see the poster below for how to register for the hackathon on November 7 & 8th.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.43.53 AM

GraceHopper.org Now Has a Resume Database

In less than a month, the Anita Borg Institute will host their annual Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing.  I didn’t get the opportunity to attend in person last year, but watched it on the livestream.  Functioning as a conference event, the celebration is one of the most popular in its category.  Last year, Megan Smith (formerly of Google, presently the Federal CTO) was the keynote.  This year, women of color leaders Arati Prabhakar, Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Lori Mackenzie, Director of Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, will be featured speakers.   Also, Uganda’s own Barbara Birungi will be the 2014 Honoree for her work as a founder and leader of the Women in Technology Uganda organization and CODE GIRLS program.  The outreach of these programs has helped over 100 women find tech jobs and up to 500 girls (so far) learn to code.  Our Code congratulates her!

Now, I won’t be attending in person again this year, due to the price of last minute airfare and hotel arrangements I’m choosing not to stress out about.  However, I will be taking advantage of resume database available at the event’s webpage here.  I encourage you all to place upload a resume in the database as well.  Don’t worry about not having the programming skills yet, think outside the box and apply with the objective of being an intern or apprentice.  Also keep in mind that there is more to tech than just programming.  If you have experience in social media, web design, UX, or project management, you should definitely upload a resume and go for it.  There will be many sponsors for tech companies in attendance, all of which you have a chance to showcase your skills to.

The conference takes place October 8-10th this year in Phoenix, AZ.  Registration is still open and ABI is looking for volunteers who can help throughout the event.  If you would like to register or volunteer, visit GraceHopper.org