Learning away from school

While I have continued to do my AWS class homework (AWS Educate has a ton of helpful resources, and I am officially enamored with the seeming simplicity of Sumerian), the past two weeks have also involved events where the learning was condensed into one day or several hours!

Women Techmakers

Google hosted an International Women’s Day Summit at the Google office in Venice as part of the Women Techmakers program. The speeches were my favorite part. Marzia Polito from Google spoke about her path, and what was most relate-able to me is that she remembered doing crossword puzzles with her grandma (just like mine was always doing crossword puzzles and I was doing word searches) and she drew an arc showing how that early experience was one of the pieces that led her to where she is today. My grandma was an engineer for AT & T, so it seems fitting….

There was a panel that was educational and hilarious. Three female founders espoused very different philosophies in terms of why they ended up starting their companies. The  common thread, however, was the need to solve a problem. One founder relayed how she used Tinder to meet engineers who she hoped would help to build her app (it worked). Another founder built a low-tech version of a solution to a problem, and then with the help of friends built the tech. Inspiring.

The afternoon was amazing too. I attended an Android Things workshop, where we each received an Android Things kit, put it together and started working on a photo recognition project. Android Studio makes it easy to work with, but knowing Java would have made it go a bit faster – but what better way to learn than to have something to work on. The networking was wonderful, and the food was just as expected – delicious!

Learn, Teach, Code – Third Anniversary Party

One of the largest meetups in Los Angeles is Learn, Teach, Code, and there was an amazing third anniversary party. While it did have the things you would expect at a party: food, drinks, games (Devs against Humanity!), there were also 22 lightening talks! I helped with organizing the speakers, so it was rewarding to see people give their talks. Each talk was two minutes, and there was a range speakers, from those speaking for the first time with scant experience to very experienced devs who had spoken at conferences. I can learn from just about anyone!

Write, Speak, Code – Own Your Expertise

Last year I met the neatest people at this event and I learned a ton, so I was eager to return this year. Like last year, there were a lot of exercises to help attendees get at the guts of where they are right now and where they want to be — and why. In the afternoon, I went to an intermediate session on open source. Being around such a talented group of women was motivating and exciting.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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