Monthly Archives: October 2011
Well, it seems like third time really is a charm! Our smoothest running workshop yet, Introduction to Ruby, has come to an end, and what a day it was! 30 learners and 10 instructors, led by the talented Dessy Daskalov from The Working Group, worked together to show Ruby who’s boss.
The jam packed 8 hour day covered everything from making Ruby yell in all caps, what Ruby on Rails is all about, the all popular reverse method that always gets a few giggles (edoc gninrael seidal!), arrays, loopy, chomp and more! We created our own Twitter, sang 99 Bottles of Beer through code and topped it all off with creating a Blackjack game.
Although the learning was intense, the mood was light throughout the day, with lots of fun, laughter and the programming jokes kept coming (it’s just too easy!).
As usual, we had delicious food to feed stomachs while they fed their brains. And coffee. Coffee is key when you are up voluntarily for 9AM on a Saturday.
A GIANT thank you to these amazing volunteers. We could not do this without you. An additional thank you to Xtreme Labs, for loaning us some needed sound equipment to ensure all of our learners could hear us loud and clear AND to BNOTIONS for loaning us a projector and screen so we could see the slides.
Make sure you don’t miss the next workshop
It’s on November 26th, and it’s on WordPress! Tickets go on sale on November 9th at 7PM.
When we reached out to the Developer community a few weeks ago, with a need for 10 Ruby experts to support our October 22nd workshop (Intro to Ruby), the response was just as enthusiastic as ever! The community came forward and helped Ladies Learning Code grow and diversify our network of supporting Developers. Our developer email list continues to grow. This is fundamental to our ability to follow through on our goal of providing our learners with a (collaborative, social learning environment geared toward absolute beginners).
Thank you so much to our volunteer instructors, we couldn’t do it without YOU!
Learn more about these marvellous individuals here…
Lead Instructor: Dessy Daskalvov(@dess_e )
Developer at The Working Group
What are you passionate about? “Building things that make a difference in people’s lives.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I love what I do every day, and I want to make sure others have the same opportunity. Coding shouldn’t be a scary thing, and anyone that has a desire to get involved should be able to, without any fear. I want to see people new to the topic get really excited about it.”
What are you passionate about? “Software development.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I enjoy teaching and sharing my passion with others.”
Researcher at The Working Group
What are you passionate about? “Technology”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “because it’s good to be teaching.”
What are you passionate about? “It changes on an almost daily basis! Common themes include civic engagement, open data, and the mobile web.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “To share my passion for programming with others – while support a great organization.”
Katherine Hague (@KatherineHague | www.katherinehague.com)
Marketing Manager at Ecobee – Its a non technical role, programming is something I decided to learn a bit more about for myself and future projects.
What are you passionate about? “Startups. I want to build my own company.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I’m a “non-technical” person who loves startups. I knew that in order to be involved in the companies and conversations I wanted to be involved with, and to be able to run my own company I would need more than a surface level understanding of programming. I’ve been dabbling in Rails on and off for the past year, despite my job being marketing focused. I spend a lot of time in the rails community and know Dessy from Rails Pub Nite. I’m also friends with Heather.”
What are you passionate about? ”Alternative solutions.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Help spread awareness that programming is not just white characters with a terrible font on a black screen.”
What are you passionate about? “Philosophy, feminism, bicycles, Free and Open-Source Software.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “Software education is broken, let’s fix it! Plus, MINASWAN: Matz is nice, and so we are nice.”
What are you passionate about? “Creating sustainable software through tests.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I like Ruby, and I like being around people who want to learn”.
Dwayne Forde (@dwayneforde )
Software Architect at Xtreme Labs
What are you passionate about? “Coding Creating innovative software that pushes technology past its limits and encourages innovation.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I like teaching people who are willing to learn. I usually take any chance I can get to teach/learn someone something new.”
What are you passionate about? “Learning new things.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “I love coding; it helps you see the world differently and the exhilarating feeling after you solve a hard problem is great. I got involved because I wanted to share that wonderful feeling with others.”
What are you passionate about? “Software, Cycling and Violin.”
Why did you get involved with Ladies Learning Code? “To spread the knowledge.”
What and amazing group of people!!!
How lucky are we? …to be able to provide our learners with such passion, talent and quality…. wow.
Thanks to everyone who came out Thursday night to our launch party at The Spoke Club. You know the story: Ladies Learning Code started with a tweet…and after running a couple of successful workshops, we decided it was time to celebrate! It’s been amazing to see this community come together and we loved having the chance to get dressed up, get away from the computer for a night and enjoy the company of so many awesome people.
We mingled, celebrated, made new friends, rediscovered some old ones and even kicked back with some original Nintendo in The Spoke Club’s screening room. DJ Denise Benson added to the awesome vibe and at the end of the night even when the music was cut, the party just kept going. It’s hard to choose just one highlight from the evening, but definitely making the short list was the Usnaps photo booth. It captured so many fun moments from the evening.
Personally, I loved watching Breanna avoid the stampede as she quizzed the group to give away the GoogleTV device (congratulations Laurie MacDougall Sookraj, a two time Ladies Learning Code instructor on winning). And, of course, there was the candy bar. We’re still thinking of those cake pops and the purple candy corn…
Once again, we want to thank all of the amazing people who support us, and our volunteers. Without you, it would not be possible to pull off events like this party and our workshops. An additional (and huge!) thank you to Denise Benson, Erin Leydon, iSkin and Usnaps.
Don’t forget our next workshop is on October 22nd on Ruby – the language that powers sites like Twitter and Groupon. It’s sold out, but you can join our mailing list here so that you’ll be first to know when registration opens for our November workshop – we’ll be tackling WordPress with Wes Bos on November 26th!
It sold out in mere hours, and for good reason! Our second workshop, HTML & CSS for Beginners, has come and gone but not without teaching over 60 ladies (and men) the essentials of what they need to know to start a website (yes, even if it’s about horse wrestling).
The jam packed 8 hour day covered everything from domain names to embedded video, font styles, image optimization, page alignment, HTML 5 and that’s just the tip of it! Our brains were busy, and twitter was exploding with all the buzz. So much that we started trending in Canada (and surpassed Bieber, even!).
Of course, when you trend in Canada, people start to add to the hashtag, and let’s just say they were confused by what the #ladieslearningcode trend actually stood for. No, it’s not the ladies code, it’s ladies coding!!
But those who did understand the hashtag, not to mention all the conversations, smiles, and of course, actual websites created throughout the day, reassured us over at Ladies Learning Code that what we are doing is so important to the community, and what a great feeling it was!
We want to thank once again our amazing volunteers without whom it would not be possible. Our amazing workshop leads from BNotions: Mark Reale, Jonathan Levstein, Liane Reale and Aaron Ritchie, and of course all of our volunteer developers who helped make the day exciting and inspirational. An additional thank you to David Wolever, who ensured that our Wi-Fi and projectors were running full steam for the day!
Don’t miss the next workshop!
Our next workshop is on October 22nd, and it’s on Ruby! If you have no idea what that is, then you are perfect for it! But just to give you a hint, websites that are coded in Ruby are ones like Twitter, Shopify, and Groupon.
Ladies Learning Code started on July 16th with a tweet.
It called for women (and men) in Toronto to come together for an evening to think about how a group for women who want to learn programming skills would work. 85 people signed up for the event. That was about 68 more than I was expecting. Clearly, there was a need for a group like this in Toronto.
Getting Ladies Learning Code started this summer has been a blast. But the best part of it all has been the awesome people that I’ve met along the way. About 80 people have attended a Ladies Learning Code workshop so far – that number will be closer to 150 by the end of the year. But, for me, running workshops isn’t enough. When we ask people why they signed up for a Ladies Learning Code workshop, we hear two things. They wanted to learn some programming skills in a comfortable, non-intimidating and collaborative environment. And – interestingly – they were also looking for the chance to connect with other tech-savvy, intelligent women in Toronto.
So, I got the team together and we decided it was time to throw a party. A launch party. And it’s for everyone. It’s for people who have attended our workshops, and want to experience a different type of Ladies Learning Code event. It’s for our incredible developer community, so that we can further connect with them and celebrate their incredible support. It’s for anyone in a core tech job who thinks that Ladies Learning Code is a good idea. It’s for people who haven’t attended workshops yet, but want to. It’s for computer science students, or students studying other things. It’s also for people who are just looking for a good time. Oh, and it’s definitely for both women and men.
Need more? Here are the top 5 reasons to attend the Ladies Learning Code Launch Party:
1. Cool people
Something about Ladies Learning Code attracts really cool people. People who are intelligent, tech-savvy, and interested in learning. Plus, they’re all either beginner coders, or fans of the idea – so our events are a great place to be if you fall into either of those categories. If you’ve come to love the comfortable, non-intimidating, social nature of our workshops, then this party is the place for you.
2. Delicious Food
We’re making a tradition of having great food at Ladies Learning Code events – and this party will be no exception. We’re going to keep it a surprise, so here’s all you need to know: eat dinner, but leave room for dessert. #nomnomnom
3. An Awesome Venue
Ever been to The Spoke Club? It’s an incredible venue. It’s actually a members’ only social club in the heart of downtown Toronto. You have to be a member to get in, or come as someone’s guest. Well, on October 13th, we want you to come check out The Spoke Club as our guest. For photos of the venue, check out this Facebook album.
We love surprises! Don’t you? We may be going a little overboard with surprises for the launch party – but we can’t help it. From the music to the food to the way the event is captured…there will be surprises all along the way. We’re really excited to celebrate the Ladies Learning Code launch with the people who helped get it off the ground, and we’re not skipping a single detail. If you can’t make the party, you’ll want to be following the #ladieslearningcode hashtag all night long.
5. Show Your Support
Let me be honest: I’m excited about how far Ladies Learning Code has come in just four months, and I want to celebrate with people who think it’s a valuable initiative. If you think Ladies Learning Code is adding value to Toronto’s tech community, or if you think it benefits the women and men who attend workshops, or if you think it should definitely continue – then we’d love to have you join us on October 13th.
Capacity is 200 people, and we’re going to sell out. If you’d like to join us to celebrate our launch, please get your tickets now by clicking here. Women and men are equally welcome.
See you on the 13th! Don’t forget – it’s a cocktail party!