Meetups, RailsBridge, and a soaked laptop

It has been an eventful week around here.

We had two meetups this week for the CAHM Facebook group, one online and one in San Francisco. It was so nice to talk to people who understand what it’s like taking care of a baby while learning to code and working at the same time! Talking to them inspired me to get my portfolio together, which I will be working on in a couple of weeks when my Salesforce project winds down (more on that later).

Things were going great until I spilled water on my laptop on Friday afternoon, which is one of my worst nightmares as someone who works from home. I turned it off right away and turned it upside down. The same thing happened to me a few years ago when I happened to live with a Mac tech. He took my laptop apart and we are letting it dry over the weekend.

Of course, it is always a disaster to spill on your computer, but it was especially bad because I was supposed to go to a RailsBridge workshop the next morning! I called around to various repair shops and only one place had laptops to loan, which I found surprising. My sister ended up letting me borrow hers (thanks, sis!), but some Facebook friends offered to let me borrow their laptops as well, including people I rarely talk to. It was so nice to see how many people were willing to help. It gave me something to smile about on a pretty terrible day.

Baby Z and I drove to the Apple Store to see if they would take my laptop apart to dry. They wouldn’t. They will only ship it out to replace the parts. I was pretty mad about this and it was getting late. I ended up calling Mac Advantage in Rohnert Park. The owner, Tam, was so nice and patient with me (I was pretty frustrated by then). He popped the hood and said it didn’t look too bad, but I will have an official prognosis tomorrow. Hopefully St. Jobs is smiling upon my dear little MacBook.

Thanks to my sister, Baby Z and I were able to attend the RailsBridge frontend yesterday at Carbon Five. The office was very cool, with vintage hardwood flooring and lots of standing desks. (I really want a standing desk!) Baby Z was the only kid again, so she had her own personal babysitter. Have I mentioned that the childcare is free? And the food is free? And the workshop is free? Seriously, they are bending over backwards to teach women to code. It’s an amazing opportunity that I wish everyone knew about.

Anyway, I went into the intermediate group, but probably could have gone to advanced. I ended up switching to a quicker intermediate class. We went through setting up a simple HTML site with CSS and then started on Javascript and jQuery. Honestly, the most valuable part of these workshops is learning how the developers talk about what they do. We spent some time talking about what you need to know and do in order to get hired as a junior developer. There really is hope for us newbies! I have met many women who taught themselves to code and are now working as software developers. So, what do you need to do to be hired as a junior developer? Everyone I have spoken to says you need to build something. It can be simple, but it needs to be public. Start pushing to GitHub. Ask and answer questions on Stack Overflow. Go to Meetups. Just get yourself out there. I even heard that some companies prefer to hire people who are not advanced programmers so they can train you the “right” way. If there are any tech recruiters in the readership, please share your thoughts!

This is a long and rambling post, but I feel caught up now. Thanks!



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