Today we have a guest post by Emily, a long-time member of Women Who Hack. Emily has graciously allowed us to repost her original entry from her awesome website:
I took advantage of last Sunday afternoon to squeeze in my monthly quota of socializing at Women Who Hack. It’s laid back and comfortable enough that it’s probably the one event each month I actually make sure not to miss, and I’ve gotten to a place where I can often bookend the time there with friends if I try.
I’ve been thinking about why this particular tech get-together appeals to me. It’s hard to say. I like the informality, I think. There isn’t even the whole “hackathon” pretense going on. You show up with a computer, and you’re golden. I don’t think I’ve ever written a line of code at any of these things. I’d get too distracted, anyway.
What’s the value-add, then? Probably the people I’ve met. I’m pretty lousy at meeting new people, and the framework of this kind of thing gives just enough meaning to the interaction to make it work. There isn’t just the tech grab-bag of people one usually sees, but women who dig tech in some form or another, so there’s a consistent set of narratives we can share and issues we address. It’s sort of wild, the number of conversations I’ve been able to take part in or people I can chat with when I see them out in the world doing their thing.
Are you around in Portland? Come hang out with us sometime. The rest of you, why not start up something like this? Make sure to leave room for talking and get everyone to introduce themselves! And free snacks never hurt.
Thanks again to Simple for hosting our awesome hack yesterday! We had ten attendees, working on a huge variety of things!
All three of Portland’s code schools were represented by current students, and (as one of them!) it was fun to get to compare notes on the pros and cons of each. In case you’re not familiar, the three schools are Portland Code School, Epicodus, and PDX Code Guild. Epicodus has offered Women Who Hack attendees a 5% discount–a prospective student working on her HTML and CSS skills on Codecademy was happy to hear that!
Our data lovers were working on some fun side projects. One is making a visualization using D3 of the space between different recipes based on whether or not they have overlapping ingredients, and the other is making “a markov-chain bot that will generate new Bright Eyes lyrics” based on the frequency of words appearing together. Cool, huh? (Don’t worry, it’s quite over my head as well at this point!)
On the more practical side, several people were working on brushing up their web presence to be more attractive to employers, as well as some housekeeping things like documentation and online course homework.
Besides all the coding, though, we enjoyed animals in dinosaur costumes (link name NSFW), this pug, awesome pumpkin muffins baked by one of our own, and Sizzle Pie pizza, also courtesy of Simple.
All in all, we worked on awesome projects, helped each other find work and school options, and had lots of fun! Hope to see you next time!
Hey there, Women Who Hack!
This month we have a few changes to our regularly scheduled program! Our meeting will be at the lovely offices of Simple at 720 NW Davis, and will start at 1 PM. As usual, Calagator has our complete meeting details.
Please remember, we are open to people of any and every skill level for all types of hacking. We don’t define “hacking,” we leave that to you! Go ahead and fight that impostor syndrome (youtube), and come hang out with some awesome people!
It’s just about that time again, women hackers! Our next meeting will be October 20th at the Mozilla office at 1120 NW Couch St., Suite 320, Portland, Oregon 97209 from noon until five.
Recently, I’ve heard concerns from some women about not being technical enough, or being subjected to some sort of interview for admission to the meetings. I wanted to reassure anyone considering coming that there is no minimum level of proficiency in any kind of skill. We have everyone from senior developers to statisticians to freelancers to people who’ve never touched a line of code in their lives, and that’s how we like it!
Also, there is no pressure to write code while you attend our meetups! Women Who Hack wants to encourage all types of hacking–lifehacking, crafting, hardware hacking, or whatever else you’re working on. We simply want to provide a space for women to get together and do something they are passionate about together, so come join us!
*Full disclosure: I am both a Portland Code School Ruby student, and a Code Scout, so opinions about these organizations are my own.
We’re really getting back into the groove of things here at Women Who Hack! We met earlier this month on September 1, and we’re meeting again this Sunday, September 29. Come check out Mozilla’s awesome new Portland office (including the fanciest refrigerator you’re likely to ever see) while hacking with other great Portland-are women. For all the details, check out our event on Calagator.