Last Wednesday it was finally time for another Meetup! This time it was at the ANWB. And that wasn’t really a coincidence, ’cause it’s where I got my first job as a full stack developer after being retrained as one last December. To be fair, it took a little nudging to apply for the job back then, ’cause why would you want to program at the company of the ANWB-stelletjes with their unisex raincoats? Well, in the end I’m really glad I did, ’cause we’re with more than a 100 developers here, building around 150 web applications and 30 apps. And we’re as free as can be to use the modern techs and tools we like. So that’s pretty awesome. What’s also pretty awesome is that the people who hired me were really interested in Girl Code and wanted to support our cause by hosting one and hopefully in this way also get in contact with more Girl Coders and help to raise the number of women in code.
When I started to work here I met Hanny and I was really impressed by her work and story. So after helping her with VHTO’s Girlsday at the ANWB, I asked if she also wanted to organize a Girl Code with me at the ANWB. And if it was up to me if she would also give a talk at this event herself! Even though she never did it before and was a little nervous about it, she accepted the challenge! So we started to look for a second speaker and we soon found out, which didn’t surprise me, we had a lot of other brilliant women ANWB’ers for the second talk and helping us out with the rest of the organization. Thanks, Anne, Xiaolin, Sabine, Marjon, Chantal and Lisa! With an open call for a speaker we completed the program with Chantal (S)!
In programming you can choose sides. You can choose the front or back end and if you really can’t choose you can always still be Switzerland and choose full stack.
For this meetup at the ANWB we sided with the front end and we had three Girl Coders who led us through some different tech and aspects of front end coding. Despite the autumn storm outside we had a filled up room and an awesome night. Hanny, Anne and Chantal rocked the stage and we had some great conversations after during the drinks. So thank you all for coming and making this night another successful Girl Code event!
Hanny talked about the connection between front end and UX, Anne about Elm and how it compares to AngularJS and Chantal about Bootstrap. You can take another look at all the slides below.
PS Keep an eye out on our Meetup page, ’cause the next one is already in progress! If you like the topic of artificial intelligence, I would make sure to block Wednesday night December 6 ;-) Just a tip.
June 9th enters history as the day Girl Code
got her 600th member on Meetup! A day of celebration. A tradition (that started at Girl Coder number 400) is to interview the lucky new member, introduce you to another inspiring woman on here and celebrate YOU. Unfortunately, after several tries we couldn’t reach the Girl Coder in question (long story short: turn on your Meetup messages if you don’t want to miss out on things like these! ;-) ), so we decided to let random.org decide who we would interview to celebrate our 600 members milestone out of the then 614 Girl Coders! ‘Cause we are very lucky to have you all! Random.org chose wisely for one tough cookie, a.k.a. @oneToughCooki22 on Twitter and a.k.a. Bahareh Amali irl. Another awesome example of a truly inspiring Girl Coder! So let the interview begin!
What is it that you like about code?
That it empowers to build on your ideas attracts me to it. When I have a cool idea, I want to make it. I see programming as a very powerful means of expression.
For starting Girl Coders who wonder: which online courses did you use?
Woo, that’s a commitment! How did you stay disciplined?
I’ve read many books on time management and learned different tactics on how to get things done. At first I tried to stick to the 9 to 5 schedule but slowly I’ve learned to manage my time better and instead of staring at my laptop for 8 hours straight, I cut down the problem into very small pieces and work on them throughout short sprints using Pomodoro clock. Now I work about 4 focused hours everyday including weekends.
What do you do for fun besides coding?
I like to dance and listen to live music and Amsterdam is a great place for that. Once in awhile I go to festivals to enjoy the beats, socialize and practice my Dutch with locals. I am also learning bass, which is great mental exercise.
Any advice for other girls thinking of changing their career to programming?
I would say just take your time and although dipping into different languages may be tempting at first, try sticking to one. Learn it well, get good at it and then move on to the more complicated languages. I would also say join coding groups, Meetups, hackathons and basically immerse yourself in the tech community as much as possible. And remember as Kathy Sierra says: “It takes 200 times of repetition to learn and master a new task”, so don’t get discouraged if you didn’t get it with the first few attempts. We learn most from our failures.
One last random thing you still want to share?
I tweet my ongoing saga, and share programming related books and resources on Twitter. If you are interested you can follow me @oneToughCooki22!
So, as Bahareh advices immerse yourself in the tech community and come to our next meetup ;-) You might run into this inspiring coder and get to meet her yourself! Also, if you’re looking for an awesome front ender to hire, you know where to tweet this One Tough Cookie!
Hope to see you at one of our next events, Bahareh. And thanks again for letting us interview you!
Now at 631, on to the 700th!
Last week Girl Code decided to shake things up a little. Instead of your regular talks only meetup; Ineke, Katja and Kristin organised a hands-on meetup to take place at our HQ in The Hague. After some noodles and a quick intro everybody went on to code their very own game of Tic Tac Toe in MeteorJS. All levels were welcome.
Because MeteorJS is so accessible, it is just the right framework for a workshop suited for all levels. With the right tutorial someone who hasn’t ever coded before can code their first Tic Tac Toe quite easily and get a taste of how much fun programming is. While at the same time, professional developers can easily go deeper and get more familiar with Meteor and code an advanced Tic Tac Toe.
We had a full house and the workshop proved to be so much fun even the first time programmers were behaving like proper nerd developers: everyone was buried in their screen, coding the ultimate Tic Tac Toe and forgot to take care of themselves. The amount of candy bars and drinks we’ve got left is proof of that, lol. Girl Coders at the meetup told us this hands-on meetup was a welcome and a cool alternative to the regular talks-only-meetups. So this is one to get a rerun.
A rerun like on tv and as good as any good old Friends rerun. We want to offer a second chance to everybody who couldn’t make the first Girl Code meets Meteor because it was in The Hague. So this night will be at our Amsterdam office and we hope you all join us there. We also would like to re-invite everybody who did come already and just want to do the workshop again or want to go on with their Tic Tac Toe they’ve coded last week. Whilst enjoying the good company of other Girl Coders and Meteor tutors of course. You can RSVP here: Girl Code meets Meteor Rerun at Q42 Amsterdam.
Learning to code
If you’re just starting out learning to code it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we made this list with tools and websites which offer ways to learn how to code at home:
Thanks to all the Girl Coders who joined us: you made this night a real success!
Update March 18 2016:
Meanwhile, Girl Code meets Meteor Rerun at Q42 Amsterdam is also behind us. And wow! What a turnout. 50(!) of you joined us for a night of coding. And we have pictures to prove it :-D Thank you all for coming!
You can finish or start the Girl Code meets Meteor Tic Tac Toe tutorial here.