So the EMF camp happened and I’m still missing it, therefore I think a post would ease my pain till I get to go again. A few weeks ago on Codebar slack and among emails there was an opportunity to win tickets to the EMF camp so I applied and since I apply basically for everything I also forgot about it. Until I got an email from these lovely people to let me know that I actually won tickets. This is just amazing!!!! I was so happy! After all, EMF is a nerd camp with the best kind of people. I managed to borrow a tent, get a raincoat and sleeping bag for cheap and here I come! I was really excited to go and although I had a few ideas what it will look like and that I will get a really cool microcontroller badge I had no idea about the level of awesome I was about to enter. It’s like if I die I want heaven to be a bit like EMF but you know with proper bathrooms and beds.
So the camp. I arrived on Friday afternoon and after I set up my tent and drank my first wine in my cute little carabiner mug I was ready to go and attend talks and do workshops.
The number of interesting talks and workshops were overwhelming. Just to mention a few there were talks about medical imaging technologies such as MRI, the origin of the badge, the mathematics behind Simpsons, robotics, artificial intelligence, ethics in games and see robots. See the full list here. There were workshops for hacking, security and creative activities. You mostly had to choose between good or better or make a schedule to be everywhere. There was a really cool pub as well with many types of beer, for normal prices and very kind staff who were mostly volunteers. Huge thank you for them!
And the badge. Well, the badge was the highlight of all this. Not only is it the coolest microcontroller using python but it was also part of the tickets so you know, free. It had to be assembled together but after we did that you can start playing with it. It had a mini joystick and some basic built-in functions such as the schedule or app list and of course snake!! One of my favourite workshops was where I actually got to hack my badge and install a torch on it and solder the elements too! So I ended up making a working torch on my badge.
Another thing I must talk about is the lights and colours and installations people set up and brought to EMF. Amazing fairy lights all over the camp, we had 8bit disco with a mesmerizing light show and many more. Anywhere you went you just felt this was a bit like Christmas, but we had more beer and it was sooo hot all day.
This was the grid, it changed its colour from green to red and all in-between. Just beautiful.
This guy made the best double sided lightsaber I’ve ever seen! Well done!
So from workshop to talk and interesting chats we stopped sometimes to collect some freebies or chill and charge in the lounge or just explore the various villages. The weather was beautiful we had WiFi and power everywhere and a cool pub. What else do you need? The camp was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I definitely will go in 2018 again!
For those who are totally bored with the ever updating courses on Codecademy, here is a nice list of hidden courses and projects that you can do.
Make sure to have fun! 🙂
Oh and React.js is on so you can start that too!
I read some useful articles at times and this one on medium (freeCodeCamp) is very important. The article details how to become a better developer, but not the way you think. It is very important to stop sometimes and be structural and organised and not trying to study and know everything. Especially when a girl just started. Read the article to have a better insight what could make you a better developer. You need to know what and when to study, but you also need to keep your focus. Have a nice day and code on!
Last night the kind and helpful Codebar with the collaboration of Lostmy.name provided an awesome 2 hr session on how to tackle common problems when somebody outside/inside of the tech industry plans to get their first graduate/ junior developer role. Apart from how helpful they were and how cool and trendy the whole office is, we learnt a lot (and the pizza and corona!!). Everyone was giving great ideas and I personally loved the individual stories. As myself some ppl came from totally different backgrounds and it felt super encouraging to hear it is possible to make it. Especially when one does not have money for a bootcamp, or struggles to convince ppl that coding is possible without a school:(
- Definitely work on your CV, have some summary, some lines about your projects, list your achievements, use a short but expressive design
- Don’t exceed 2 pages and make sure you have a nice and tailored cover letter
- An interview can take even a day, it has usually 3-4 bigger parts (phone interview, technical test/take home test/ personal interview / spending a few hours with the team etc, whiteboard exercise)
- They want you to communicate, talk through the process
- They don’t want perfect skills but a team player
- Be eager to learn
- Be curious and committed to the company’s goals and philosophy
- Don’t be shy to ask
- Or say you don’t know but you’ll look it up
- Keep trying as it takes a while
- Don’t give up! 🙂
Code First: Girls are amazing. They are not only a great organization to support women to get into tech but also a superb community. I attend a lot of meet ups and workshops organized by them and I cannot say this enough times how thankful I am to have them help me. I finished their beginners course (HTML, CSS, tiny bit of JS, Bootstrap and a bit jQuery) and advanced course in Python (@Twitter oh yeah!), met so many great instructors and students with brilliant ideas and minds. They give you guidance if you feel lost and their workshops are truly amazing. Last time I was with CFG at Thoughtworks, learning about UX design. They have courses for beginners or for people who want to get some insights into Python or Ruby. So if you are planning to get into webdev and write some code, look at their courses and apply!
Recently I started learning Ruby and I struggled to understand some concepts, so I turned to my old friend Google, who rewarded me with Ruby Monk. Another great and free site where you can learn to code and practice the code on the screen, in the console. So if you don’t want to struggle setting it up on your laptop or you cannot, this is a good start. Explains concepts clearly and can be a good addition for a book or other resources. I find it that the more somebody explains the same thing, the better I understand, mainly because every site has a bit different approach and that gives so many perspectives. So go on and try Ruby Monk if you are hooked up on Ruby like me!
I just came home from my weekly (in this case the second this week) Codebar meeting and I just need to write it down, put this into words that how amazing this community is, how great these people and companies are. Every Wednesday in the last two-three months I was at a Codebar meeting, learning loads really, all for free, meeting absolutely amazing and super smart, motivated people. Made so many friends!! On top of how great Codebar tutorials are and how much you can actually pick up based on working with a tutor, the whole thing is just superb. See music down to try to express this vaguely.
For those who never heard of Codebar, this is an interactive and supportive environment in the frame of a weekly workshop, where coaches and students meet and learn together. Every time you can bring your code problem (and laptop!) and a coach will be assigned to you and maybe one other student, who might work on the same issue, and you can ask and ask and learn a lot. Since it is a non-profit organisation, everyone really really appreciates all the efforts, help and support, and people are super nice and keen to help. I once asked a coach, why helping and teaching for free. The answer was because code is cool and it is awesome to talk about it and discuss it, especially when you meet so many keen students.
Codebar in their own words: “Our goal is to enable underrepresented groups to learn programming in a safe and collaborative environment and expand their career opportunities. To achieve this, we run free weekly workshops, regular events and try to create opportunities for our students making technology and coding more accessible.”
So back to the evening that left me so full of happy emotions… The feels of figuring a code out on your own (just started Ruby literally last night so I have a chance to be a Makers student, and already wrote a few useful lines (thanks Conor!) shows how addictive this is.
So, I literally can’t wait till next time!
And to express even more; here is a song I listened to obsessively a few years ago (and I am still in deep love with), there is just something uplifting and absolutely beautiful about these Wednesdays (and Tuesdays!)!
I was looking up reviews about Free Code Camp to give you guys some more prospects, not just the content and what you can learn there, when I found out about the Odin project, where you can learn Web Dev skills, also fro free. (How amazing that is!!)
The website and the program seem well structured, loads of useful information, about the actual jobs and future as well. I find this is very useful as some websites just drop you deep in the water and fill you up with code. Here I had a bit broader picture and got some very interesting information. Since it is free I don’t need to say how amazing this opportunity is.
To be honest, I am teaching myself code since a year now, I finished two smaller courses and I am getting impatient 😀 But my plan is, that in the next few months I chew myself through all the things I do now, Free Code Camp, The Odin Project, Codecademy and my sweet little JS book. I just can’t wait till I finally can get into a startup or open-minded company and start my Front End Dev career. So boots up guys & girls, and keep coding.
You can sing up here:
Here you can find an excessive list of free programming books. Some great materials there! Go, write some code!
I just recently stumbled across this article that describes basic coding terms for beginners. Very simple and clear explanations. Must read for everyone who wants to dive into code. A coding mindset is not something that comes easy but definitely doable and learnable.