Now that I got a bit of a routine with scheduling weekly wrap ups on Wednesdays I think I’m going to make this a permanent staple of my writing. Wednesdays will be weekly wrap day, seems to work out nicely. It also gives me a way to cheat and now have to think too hard on coming up with a creative topic to talk about. Without further adieu we can get into what all I learned and experienced this last week, it was an active week.
The week really started off with volunteering at the RailsBridge for Women Workshop in Madison, WI. The workshop is designed to get more women into the software development industry which I personally welcome the diversity. Being relatively green to the experience of software development I figured I would be an excellent asset for newcomers since I very recently was a newcomer myself. The event was excellent, I had thought going into it that I wouldn’t be much help but I ended up helping quite a few people even with being relatively green in the industry. I’ll be honest one of the reasons I helped out was so that I could put it on my resume but at the same time I don’t volunteer for anything if I don’t believe that it’s making a net positive impact on the world, RailsBridge definitely does just that. I’m also a big believer of the more you give the more you get and if I can give to newcomers the way people did to me than I can stash that good karma for a rainy day. The event was excellent, I learned a lot, I taught a lot, and I got to me some really great people. It was a great way to kick off what would be an amazing weekend.
Following the RailsBridge event I rushed back to my hotel to get ready for the second ever Firehose Project Lightning Talks. Of course this made me SUPER excited and the turnout was fantastic, we had 7 speakers and at peak time we had 40 people tuning in to watch the talks, which most stuck around for the full 3 hours length. It went a bit longer than we expected but that’s part of the learning experience. Huge props to all the speakers, they all did an amazing job and presented with enthusiasm and excitement. It seemed like people are getting more and more excited about the lightning talks since we’ve already got a handful of people signed up for the next one. Having the lightning talks be sort of my baby it makes me super proud to see them being such a popular thing, it’s a really special feeling. The fact that I was the only alumni to present and the rest of the speakers were students was absolutely fantastic! It’s great to see so many people exploring beyond just the Firehose curriculum. You know they want it when they go above and beyond!
Riding the high from the lightning talks into Friday morning it set the precedence for a truly transformative experience that would be Madison+ Ruby. My whole reason for being in Madison was to attend the Ruby conference, never being to a software development conference I had no idea what I was getting into to and I never expected how impactful it would be. I’ve already wrote much about the experience in my “Open Letter to the Madison+ Ruby Community” post but it was such an amazing core changing experience that I don’t mind writing about it again.
To say the Ruby community is extremely welcoming is an understatement and it’s especially the case when it comes to the folks that showed up to the Madison+ Ruby conference. Everyone that I met was welcoming and willing to talk, you certainly don’t get that everywhere. I was incredibly nervous going into the conference but I was soon put to ease with how incredible everyone was treating me. Between the super thought provoking talks, highly emotional talks, and bittersweet closing ceremony it was truly something special and if you are interested more in hearing all the wonders of the conference please read my open letter. Plus where else would you fill a bar with Ruby developers to capacity to sing karaoke or watch grown-ass adults run on a hamster wheel designed for children? It was simply brilliant and extremely life-changing.
Not wanting to let that high or inspiration from the weekend go to waste I immediately jumped into taking a stab at doing some open source contributions. I took a peruse around Code Triage to find a couple projects that I could possibly tackle some of the issues, I found Exercism and Code Triage to take on the challenge. As of now I have submitted a pull request to Exercism for a documentation update on how to setup the repository in a Vagrant environment, something that I battled with right away. As of last night I believe that my pull request will get merged into master quite soon and for me that’s a big milestone. For Code Triage I am working on a repo search functionality to quickly search and see if the repo you want to contribute to is in the list of repos on the site. Nothing too complicated but a beneficial feature and there is an open issue for it so win/win.
And of course it was my birthday yesterday so there’s that too.
Overall this whole past week was absolutely astonishing! I loved every minute of it and frankly I’m still riding the high from the conference and our lightning talks, it’s been a truly fantastic experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience to wrap up the summer and this weekend is looking to add more to that feeling of accomplishment and success. If anyone has an opportunity to go to a small and intimate Ruby conference like Madison’s definitely do it, you won’t regret it! Just thinking back on the week is getting me amped for this week. I know I’ve said already numerous times to numerous people but thank you everyone who participated in the lightning talks (speaker or observer) and thank you to all the wonderful and amazing people I met at Madison+ Ruby! Until next week, keep on coding!