Woah. So…that whole “I’m going to keep posting, archiving, documenting my dev life” thing sort of, um, fizzled. BUT! I think I have good reasoning and, even better, some takeaways from my past year of pushing my comfort level and diving into the unknown.
I think it all started to ramp up when I decided to attend the GIANT Conference in Charleston, SC. I beefed up my site a bit more to adequately represent my beloved “Stack Dog” name and even tackled a few more client projects to stay fresh. I grabbed my UXing bff, Liz, and we headed off to Charleston for a week of inspiration.
Oh, if we only knew!
GIANT Conference got us so jazzed up to do great errrr, I mean, RAD things! Liz and I were so jacked up on the energy that we were contemplating ways to start our own conference in Rochester to mimic the awesomeness. That is until a pink “GDI” sticker was placed on me during a post-talks hangout session.
Girl Develop It! A nonprofit organization devoted to providing affordable and judgement-free opportunities for women interesting in learning software engineering and web development! </canned statement> No, but really. An organization devoted to teaching fellow women how to get into (and stay in) code? A way to find more like-minded women to share ideas and make cool things here in Rochester? A chance to provide opportunities for others in my city just as they were provided for me? A means of inspiring the next generation by creating role models? ::inhales:: Of course I’m interested! Liz was on board as well, of course, and together we decided we were going to bring a chapter to Rochester. Ready? Word montage!
Submit chapter request to HQ > Interview with HQ > Get chapter packet > Form interest group > Research future audience/members > Hold first interest meeting > Research local venues > CHAPTER APPROVAL! > Plan and host EPIC launch party at RIT > Teach first classes > Meet the founders and 50+ other chapter leaders at GDI Leadership Summit > GET CRAZY INSPIRED > Ramp up more courses and chapter ideas > Media attention / features in the news > Speaking at local events > Start Code & Coffees at local cafes > Rochester Mini Maker Faire (met TONS of new teachers/volunteers/brilliant folks) > New venues for teaching > Slack channels full of experienced and welcoming chapter leaders > Meetings and agreements with local startup groups (as Stack Dog) > New GDI org website in the works > Learned Ruby on Rails with various libraries > Moved from ‘spectator’ to ‘project lead’ for GDI website > Continued freelance projects with Stack Dog > Continuously inspired by my growing network and motivated to learn more each day.
All of that happened within nine months. Aweeeee a career baby!
This by no means justifies my inability to commit to a blog, journal, or diary-type thing whatsoever. [Note: my very first post was a warning.] The majority of my life has been spent getting super excited about new notebooks only to fill the first few pages with good intentions until they faded to doodles. If even. Mainly pre-shredded gum wrappers.
So I have a short attention span. Shoot me. Hey, at least I’m finally finding the right opportunities for my personality; something that I can’t just “fix” and move on. Nope! Girl Develop It and startup projects require some serious patience, staying power, determination, and an open mind. I am convinced that the folks I’ve met this past year will directly shape my future in so many ways and I cannot wait to see what is in store for all of us along the way!
Here’s the takeaway (and my slight justification for not keeping up with this thing): you need to get out of your comfort zone, push your [assumed] limits, and soak up as much as you can! Why is my blog so neglected? I’ve been busy collaborating with brilliant folks, seeing new places, facing big opportunities, getting inspired, being humbled, and ultimately learning how to grow beyond my existing thresholds. Even better! I got to experience the moment when my impostor syndrome slammed into the scene of extremely smart people nodding their heads after words poured out of my face — the type of moment in which you realize that you can offer something original and you do have a voice. Yowza! Having spent the recent years assuming I was too young, too new, too inexperienced, too this or not enough that — this was all so addicting! I’m finding my people and I’m learning how to do meaningful things with them. Yes, I could have tried to settle down in order to articulate my thoughts for the sake of a new post, buuuuut I was too drawn to the idea of throwing it all back up into the air again to see what else could happen. Is there a glitter-throwing emoji? That’d be perfect right now. It’s a “ride the wave” sort of feeling, but I’m in control of how big the wave will be. Now THAT’S empowerment and it all started with a simple “why the hell not?!” So stop reading this, find something you’ve been wanting to do, and just jump in! Don’t worry about whether or not your ready; trust that you’ll figure it out along the way. Create your own wave and ride it! You’ll amaze yourself when you realize how much more you can do. GO!
Oh, and happy coding :)