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My Seattle Trip and OSFeels Discount

This October will mark my first time in Seattle and I am also hoping to swing down to Portland to visit my sister and her husband who moved out there earlier this year. I’m taking suggestions of where I need to visit on both of these trips! I fully expect to take advantage of, what I expect, is the best coffee in the country.

I’m super happy to be able to not only attend but speak at Open Source & Feelings 2015! Earlier this year I started a little nebulous thought that outlined what I had learned about founding a local chapter of RailsBridge. This idea had a lot to do with sharing information and confronting the feelings I had about burn out and about holding ourselves to such high standards really hurts us more than just reaching out to other people for suggestions and divide up tasks.

After developing the idea further, I was particularly yearning for just the right venue to give this talk that would be honest about how open source in general can be soul-sucking — mostly because we let it suck our soul. I certainly put pressure on myself to put on a good show at our RailsBridge workshops but often found myself a blithering mess of exhaustion afterwards that can last for days or even weeks. When sharing my experience with others who have either run RailsBridge workshops or similar education events, I get the feeling that this experience is not unusual.

I think you learn a lot about yourself by pushing yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally to deliver something to the world. A lot of your own soul goes into your project and it can be overwhelming if for some reason it doesn’t meet your outlandish expectations or you don’t feel like you were thanked for your contribution. This feeling is magnified by the fact that you aren’t even getting paid — it is all volunteer work! Operating constantly on this setting leaves us drained and pushes us step by step closer to burn out.

Having personally gone through this cycle time and time again through out various projects, I was super excited when I learned about the Open Source & Feelings conference because if there was ever a venue to accept this kind of talk, this would be the place to do it!

I hope to share my learning experiences with the audience and some tips on how you can set your workshop organization up for sustainability and avoid personal burn out. Notoriety is great, but no one wants to hear about how someone burned out and a really awesome gig turn into dust. Do yourself and your community a favor by creating a healthy and growing environment to do great work.

I hope to see you at Open Source & Feelings in October!

If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, use code OSF_<3_15OFF to get $15 off your ticket price. You can register for Open Source and Feelings here: https://ti.to/osfeels/open-source-feelings-2015/

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Interview with Fog Creek

The same day that I did my first live interview with Sass Bites, I had recorded an interview with Fog Creek software titled A Guide to Developer Mentoring!

A couple weeks ago, I had been approached by the company to be featured and chat a bit about my experience mentoring developers through my work with General Assembly, RailsBridge NYC, Turing School, and of course, Paperless Post!

As you’ve probably figured out, I am quite passionate talking about mentoring and about my ever-evolving quest to find my own mentor.

Join me and Gareth Wilson talk about some things I’ve learned working with those just starting out with programming and how it has changed me in the process!

A Guide to Developer Mentoring

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Sass Bites #85 – Road To SassConf

Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of being a guest on the SassBites “Road to SassConf” podcast. This was the very first time ever that I was on a live broadcast being interviewed! Earlier in the day I sent the feed URL to my family who were in Portland visiting my sister so that they could tune-in over lunch time. The reply is available now on YouTube if you are interested in what I have to say.

I was joined by the wonderful Lourdes Montano during the episode. She discussed her introduction to Sass and what she’ll be talking about at the conference in her lightening talk.

Check out the screen cast here!

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Catch Me at Open Source & Feelings in Seattle

Well, this fall is turning out to be quite busy!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be making my first trip EVER to Seattle this fall to speak at Open Source & Feelings.

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Watch Out, Austin! SassConf 2015

This November I will be relishing the chance to finally check out what I am told is the best Barbecue that the South has to offer. Finally, Austin!

My trip is all made possible because I will be speaking at the amazing SassConf!

It will be 4 days of being surrounded by intelligent and creative people who love what they do and LOVE sharing it with others. When I went to the inaugural SassConf in New York City in 2013, I immediately felt the incredible vibe of the community and can’t wait to be back. I was very sad that I had to miss it in 2014, and SUPER psyched that I’ll be able to be a part of it this year!

What makes this experience even more amazing is that we managed to get the entire Front End team at Paperless Post to join me as attendees. We’ve already booked our tickets and we all decided to stay at an AirBnB near the venue. Here’s hoping this doesn’t turn out to be some nerdy version of the Real World!

This means that over the next few months I’ll be preparing for my workshop by mapping out what I would like to cover and trying to fit as much as I can into 3 hours. Whew! I am getting exhausted just imagining it. My course work at General Assembly has prepared me for this as I taught 3-hour classes twice a week, so I know that it can be done! I expect that my workshop will focus on both lecture as well as hands-on examples so that attendees will be able to walk away with a completed example to use as a use case for their own work.

Watch out, Austin! Here I come.

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#ILookLikeAnEngineer

Yesterday, a Twitter hashtag became very popular after an article titled “You May Have Seen My Face on BART” by Isis Wenger gained traction and was shared on social media. In an update to the original article, she included a picture of herself and a call to action to use the tag #ILookLikeAnEngineer paired with a selfie. The purpose was to highlight the many different types of people and the diversity that exists in the tech world.

I don’t usually participate in trending hashtags as I usually feel pretty self-conscious about things like this. However, I made an exception this time as Wenger’s mission really resonated with me. I decided to throw my support behind the hashtag and tweeted this photo at the end of the work day at my desk.

Historically I’ve struggled with what an “engineer” or “developer” is supposed to look like. In college, I dressed down quite a bit and my wardrobe included nerdy t-shirts, a few pairs of jeans, and the obligatory university-branded zippered hoodie, mostly because it kept me from having to make one more decision that day. I will never forget the time someone once made a comment about how I “cleaned up well” on a night out, it made me feel like somehow I didn’t “fit” into some kind of mold.

Lately, I’ve become more comfortable vacillating back and forth between a more feminine or a laid-back look. I think it’s important to try and break people’s perceptions of what it means to typified and “look” like some sort of professional based on some outdated stereotype. Because in reality, your look has nothing to do with how well you do your job.

Check out the #ILookLikeAnEngeer tag on Twitter.