We're starting off with a Bob Ross quote so you know it's been a good day :) If there is something that you are scared of doing, you should just do it (within reason of course). I keep discovering this lesson over and over again and am becoming a stronger person because of it. Your comfort zone is a safe place but nothing ever grows in there. Let me explain...
I wouldn't call myself the most out-going person. I'm far from a social butterfly. I am the type of person that likes to observe and take in my surroundings before jumping in. So although I was EXTREMELY excited to have been chosen as a scholar for Rubyconf 2015, I was also anxious about attending too! But once again, the warm Ruby community has welcomed me with wide open arms. I love this community so so much.
Although today was the first day of conference, I actually arrived yesterday to attend the Opportunity Scholars Social. I checked into a room that I'm sharing with three other random girls I met off of Twitter (true story... thankfully no one is crazy!); we are staying at the same hotel of the conference. Two of them are also scholars, and the other hosted a talk today (more on that later). Shortly after I met my guide, Jay McGarven, author of Head First Ruby, who is seriously such a lovely person. He is also a developer for Team Treehouse, which is one of the first resources I used to start learning code! At the scholar social, I ran into some familiar faces from Rails Camp, and also met some pretty influential people in the community, like Sarah Mei. Pretty much everyone knows (and loves) Sarah; I hope I can make a positive impact on the community as she has.
For Day 1, I attended the following talks: (By the way, all the talks have been recorded so I will be sure to link them once they become available!)
- Keynote: Consequences of Insightful Algorithm by Corina Zona - A very powerful and thought-provoking talk about the ethics of algorithms and the way they may impact others.
- Design Thinking for Rubyists by Louisa Barrett - Louisa spoke about how developers should learn design/design-concepts, in order to better understand the way their products are being received by the user; it makes for a more well-rounded programmer. Quoting Bob Ross, "there's an artist inside all of us."
- The Seven Righteous Fights by Heidi Waterhouse - Heidi spoke about common mistakes developers/companies make. In brief, don't skimp out on best practices from the very beginning of a project. This will avoid ugly consequences later on as a result.
- The Art of Ruby Technical Interviews by Chris Mar - As the title suggests, Chris went over a typical technical interview and provided tons of tips on what to do/what not to do. There were lots of great advice here!
- Birds of a Feather: Teaching/Learning Ruby w/ Jay McGarven - There were talks scheduled at this time, but I opted to meet with my guide instead for a meetup style group. We discussed what it's like to learn Ruby as a beginner + the challenges we face, with people who are passionate about teaching Ruby.
- Moneyball At The Keyboard: Lessons on How To Scout Talented Developers by Adam Jonas - Adam works for Learn-co, the program I'm enrolled in! He spoke about his past experience as a baseball recruiter, but related it in a way that challenged traditional one-dimensional beliefs about what talent is and where it comes from. It was interesting to gain insight from the other side.
There were a bunch of fun events scheduled for this evening, but I opted to get in some Learn-co lessons instead... and blog, like the introvert that I am :) SO far I am having an amazing time. There is one thing that is bothering me though... how come no one else here really looks like me? Why is diversity in tech an issue? How can I change this?