Going into Django Girls KC I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know I wanted to learn something new, meet new people, and have fun no matter what I’m doing. Mission accomplished!
The weekend of June 24-June 26, 2016 is one I will not soon forget. Part of being a developer is knowing how to solve problems using the computer, or how to be a hacker. Friday night at the install party I learned my first lesson in problem-solving: how to find the table I’m assigned to. Luckily for me, I made my first friend when I noticed someone just as lost as I was. With a little teamwork, we found our table, met the ladies we would be spending the weekend with and of course, our awesome mentor. It became clear right away teamwork would be one of the biggest themes of the workshop.
From getting Python installed to working through the Django Girls tutorial to socializing and networking with women in the IT field, it all comes down to how willing you are to ask for and accept help when you run into problems. While working through the tutorial, you need a lot of patience and it’s like what one of our mentors said, “You will get error messages, but you have the most fun when you find a new error message.”
I found it’s quite satisfying when you get a “It worked!” message. While I did not complete the whole tutorial on Saturday, I’m glad it’s available online and I can complete it at any time. The best part was making new friends and knowing this is only an introduction and I would not become a developer overnight. On top of that, as I listened to what each mentor had to say about volunteering at this workshop, I started to see not only do we need more women in this field, but also empowering women extends beyond this field into any field that may typically be dominated by men. It’s empowering to realize that yes, maybe as women we are built physically different from men, but there is no limit to what field we can go into. What this weekend taught me is you never know until you try. Why should we let men have all the fun?
I am so grateful to all the ladies and gents who lent their time to help me throughout this first-time coding experience. Who knows what step of the tutorial I would still be stuck on without them! And at the end of the day, it’s nice to go out to an arcade bar to put “work hard, play hard” into practice. 🙂