Tag Archives: giving back

Ladies Learning Code Presentations

Tutoring Ladies Learning Code

I come from a family of teachers. But I never took up the trade myself. While it may not be the highest paid career in the world many people find it completely rewarding.

Sure I train clients on how to use their website and I’ve worked the odd Happiness Bar at a WordCamp, but I had never actually been in a tutoring role.

Some months ago at a SaturHack I met Meredith Underell who runs the Vancouver Chapter of Ladies Learning Code or for short LLC. I thought it was a totally cool project and friends like Mandi Wise and Christine Rondeau have both volunteered as tutors in the past.

I made one wrong assumption about LLC was their tutors were only women. Nope! male tutors are invited to volunteer as well.

So when I heard that LLC was having a Girls Learning to Code and was in need of some volunteer mentors for a HTML / CSS course. I had some time and I decided to sign up and give it a try.

I was a little nervous as what to expect but was warmly welcomed when showed up. I got myself a name tag and sat down next to a girl who was having a little trouble getting started.

Turns out she wanted to make a photography website. Well did I ever pick the right girl to sit next to. I was a photographer for 7 years before I switched to web design and I have built a few photography websites in my day.

The hot topic of website creation was Minecraft but also cats, grumpy or other wise, dogs, fashion tips and bagels!

Clio ( Legal Case Management Software for Law Firms Tech as a service ) provided the location, bandwidth and a wonderful lunch. ( Along with a couple beers with the fellow tutors after our apt pupils left for the day. )

Just before we broke for lunch one of the tutors overhead a girl saying.

“I don’t want to have lunch, I am still coding”

We’ve all been there. Trust me.

I also met a number of developers from the wider Vancouver Tech Community. Great networking time at lunch and over beers afterwards.

The girls used Mozilla Thimble code editor which gives real time updates of their code.

I’d highly suggest any developer sign up for a Saturday of this. It was fun, lite, easy, rewarding and filled me full of good karma.

The Girls and Tutors. Photo by Florida Elago
The Girls and Tutors. Photo by Florida Elago
WordCamp Seattle Contributor Day

Why you should go to a WordCamp Contributor Day

A WordCamp Contributor Day Logo created by  Jenny Wong
A WordCamp Contributor Day Logo created by Jenny Wong for WordCamp Sheffield

You’re a WordPress developer and you attend WordCamps?

But I ask you? Have you ever attended a Contributor Day?

The reason I ask is many WordCamps now are actually two-day events. First day is the general conference with speakers and the second day is a contributor day. I have attended the contributor days at WordCamp Seattle for two years now and it’s a great place to learn, talk, discuss WordPress core and how you can contribute back to WordPress. (Hence the name)

Have you working with WordPress and said:

  1. I wish I had time to suggest or submit an improvement to WordPress.
  2. I think this is a bug but I am not sure and I am way to busy at work to investigate.
  3. Why doesn’t the codex have updated documentation on this.
  4. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the forums.

These are all great reasons to go to a contributor day and give back to the community!

You’ll also be able to meet and chat with other developer and often their are core contributors or committers to WordPress in attendance that you can converse with.

So if you love WordPress and want to start contributing but don’t know where to start. Then attend a contributor day and find a way to give back.

ps. WordCamp Vancouver 2014 is holding it’s first Contributor Day and you should attend!

This is East Van Website Header

This is East Van

I have entered very few photo contest. I have submitted to even fewer “call’s for submissions”. I’d either disagreed with the terms of the submission or just have a lack of interest in the actual project.

Buskers of Commercial Drive
Buskers on The Drive

This was different…  This is East Vancouver. The neighbourhood I have lived in (abet somewhat part-time at the moment) for almost 3 years. The unique nature of the independent vibe and creative culture I found in East Vancouver and especially Commercial Drive really fed my soul and has given me a lot of food for thought ( It gave me a lot of great coffee as well).

So when I heard about the This is East Van call for submissions it peaked my interest and I checked out the site. My interest was completely captivated when I read it was two creative types (not unlike myself) who live and work in the community and that “with reckless abandonment” had an idea to make a book about a community they live in.

Saturday Morning Coffee at Prado Cafe
Saturday Morning

Well I don’t think I have ever submitted my photos fast then I have to this project. It was everything a community photography project should be and I am lucky enough to have three photos accepted into the book.

Flipping through the book as I wrote this post I see many photos that spark memories of an event or a time of the year. Other images are foreign, a part of the city I have yet to explore.

I think Erin Sinclair and Jason Uglanica have really done an amazing job on this project.

Where can I get this book you say?

Snow day at Salisbury Park in East Van
Snow Day

Also you can order the book online from the This is East Van website and I have been told on good authority that if you live in the community you might get the book hand delivered by either Erin or Jason themselves.

Will leave you with this teaser video from the This is East Van Website.

[vimeo clip_id=”22421674″ width=”600″]