Somehow I’ve got to fit all the awesomeness from that JSConf EU description into a talk. So, while I’m using this weekly post primarily to boost the upcoming workshop and flail about how excited I am to go to Berlin and talk about JS education and community, rather than go through my bullet points that I’ll cover, I’ll tell a little story. [EDIT: not so little apparently]
Earlier this year, I gave a talk about “Code as Craft” (always a fun topic, different for everyone who ascribes to it). I mostly did it to talk about my dad, who was having some health problems at the time, and how I identified my building things on the internet as a form of “making,” something my dad has always gravitated towards. My education activities came up, and in the Q&A, a friend of mine in the crowd asked “You seem to work with women a lot; why do you do that?”
And I totally froze.
I teach and advocate often through women’s events. It’s a very reasonable question. However, I don’t actually visualize myself as a “women in tech” activist — I’d much rather be a people in tech activist. I’m definitely a feminist, and that view is actually an expression of that facet of myself — make things better for everyone.
When I’m asked “Why do you do those things? Why do you care about bringing more people into the fold?“ Here’s the real answer: someone did it for me.
I wouldn’t have been in a college IT honors program if one of their students at the university hadn’t called and pressured me to apply. I wouldn’t have taken computer science if one of their professors hadn’t happened to stuff a postcard into my mailbox. And all that actually probably goes back earlier, to when I was in fifth grade, and my teacher set me aside to do more advanced math work, setting me up to lead in advanced math courses in grade school. Or when my dad first started teaching me to draw on a drafting board, and we took measurements and redesigned my room on a regular basis, you know, just because.
*Note on “free”: $5 fee for “this is to hopefully ensure you will show up and not take anyone who really wants to go’s spot.” If you, or someone you know, finds the $5 a hardship, please let me know and I’ll get them registered. If you, or someone you know, signed up and will bail, please change your/their RSVP, so they don’t take someone’s spot!