In November, I participated in my first Django Girls event. At the time, I was learning Ruby on Rails. I remember being astounded by the differences between Rails’ and Django’s design patterns. Although I didn’t get to write much Python that day, I was hooked. In four hours I was able to write and deploy my first Django blog. I decided to write my capstone project for Ada Developers Academy using Django and React.
Since then, I have become more involved in the coding community. I received the PyLadies scholarship to PyCon. At the last monthly PuPPy event, I gave my first lightning talk about my experience at PyCon this year. I have become friends with the fantastic founder of She’s Coding (Nathalie Steinmetz) and have volunteered at the Tech Women Rising and WIT Regatta.
As my five month internship at Tableau winds down, I have been realizing that I’ve been doing and learning a lot this past year. So far, I have moved across the country, graduated from Ada Developers Academy, learned Python and Ruby, dabbled in AWS, started my career in tech, and run my first marathon. That isn’t even all of it.
When I heard that there would be another Django Girls event. I decided that it was time for me to give back. I promptly told Nathalie from She’s Coding that I was interested in volunteering.
I’m here today and I was able to help a woman named Georgia on her coding journey. With my assistance, she was able to complete her first blog in Django. Congratulations, Georgia! We started with some Python shell calculations and learned about data structures. It’s great that I have been able to come full circle and help someone else learn Django.
Learning and teaching Django
You’ve finished the classroom portion of your bootcamp. Maybe you have a luxurious internship. You’ve worked your butt off. Time to sit back and relax… just kidding!
If you’re like me, the reason you got interested in software engineering is that the education on the subject is never ending. There is always something new to learn, some path to go down, or maybe a mountain to climb. The more I learn, the more I know of my Socratic ignorance. In laymen’s terms, I am aware of the lack of my own knowledge. Because of this, I strive to know everything I can about software engineering.
There are many ways to learn. You can learn by listening, doing, seeing, and many more ways. To learn by listening, you can listen to podcasts on your commute. Find something that interests you so that you pay attention. Software Engineering Daily, Code Newbie, and Talk Python to Me are just a few that I listen to on my jog to work. To learn by doing, you can use Coursera, EdX, Udacity, Udemy or even youtube. Coursera and EdX are free, but you can find Udacity and Udemy courses for drastically discounted rates. If you are more accountable when you put money into a course, they are great options. If you’re a visual learner, join some local meetup groups. They often have lightning talks to get you started on a subject, tutorials, and social gatherings. In Seattle, I enjoy the PUPPY(Puget Sound Python Programming group, SeattleRb, She’s Coding Seattle, and Women in Data Science groups. In addition to this, you can decide to go to and speak at conferences. You can usually find a discount for local conferences through meetups or applying for a scholarship. Being a speaker provides some perks (accommodation admission and sometimes more). Another way to garner a free ticket is to volunteer at the conference. The Tech Women Rising conference was extremely fulfilling. I was able to meet astounding women and learn a lot. Because of that I am volunteering at the Women in Tech Regatta. I’m sure It’s going to be just as fantastic. In May, I’ll be attending PyCon in Cleveland.
There are always ways to learn and people that will help. Good luck in your educational journey.