(mostly)Diverse Conferences 2020

Watch the video on my channel @tiffalwaysfly on YouTube

Conferences are great way to meet others in tech, learn about new things within technologies, meet others, find out about cool companies, etc. I enjoy going to conferences to meet others and learn about coding languages or new findings within a technology.

This year, I plan to visit 5 conferences. I want to talk briefly about each one and maybe even navigate their websites to see what other information we can find out about. 

I am also making an attempt to go to attend more conferences that provide a diverse experience including diverse speakers/panels as well as diverse conference attendees. I plan to document some of my journey at these conferences so be on the lookout for footage and my review of each one.

Black is Tech – Manhattan, NY April- As you know from another video I did about Laracon 2019 (check out the video if you haven’t already), I’m not a fan of NY. However, the tickets were reasonable and plus I can appreciate NY for what it is even though it’s not my favorite 🙂 This conference has black excellence written all over it – Entrepreneurs, engineers, dreamers, etc. I’m excited to meet some people of color that are doing some great things in the tech space.

Video Marketing World – Mainly for business owners trying to market their products better – I signed up to go to this one when I went to the last one last year. The tickets were discounted and I wanted to see if there’d be any value in the talks. 

Women Who Code Connect – April – I may not be going since I’ll be visiting conference back to back but it’s worth a mention if you are in or around the San Francisco area. I went last year, lots of amazing women in tech doing some great things and spreading their knowledge to others.

Codeland – NY – I AM TOO EXCITED about this conference. I saw their speaker line up last year and it was so diverse I couldn’t wait to soak up all the knowledge the speakers had to give. I’m just excited to finally attend. When I first started to learn how to code, I started following the #codeNewbie on Twitter – A great community of learners, excited to share new things they find out about. There’s a Wednesday twitter chat I would sometimes join in. And now they are partnered with Dev.to to provide an even greater conference. I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon at Blacks in Technology a couple years ago and I was just excited to tell her I appreciate what she’s doing for the community. I’m looking forward to meeting some people and perhaps seeing some people from online.

Laracon – ATL – It’s happening. Women Who Code DFW and Tighten have teamed up to help bring some diverse people to Laracon. I was excited to spread the word to my local Women Who Code community. Fortunately, I was able to gather five individuals for this conference. I’m super excited to enjoy this conference with them. Everyone is genuinely excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to hear the talks from the speakers! 

Blacks in Technology – Chicago – I didn’t go last year and I was sad about it so I’m making a point to book everything so that I can go to this conference. I cannot wait to see some familiar faces. There’s always so much great talent lurking within this conference. https://bitcon.tech/

A Year After Coding Bootcamp

Watch the Youtube Video:

It’s hard to believe its been a full year since I graduating Coding Dojo. I remember feeling terrified of leaving my secure corporate job of three years and not knowing what will come about after graduation. I remember applying to multiple jobs and having interviews in hopes that one will give me an opportunity to prove what I already know – That I’m a team player who loves to code and wants to be apart of something that’s bigger than me. I had some set backs along my journey, ran into some interesting people and learned a lot.

If you follow my tech journey at all on Youtube – You’ll know that the first job after graduating the Dojo was not one affiliated with coding at all and therefore did not last long. I later moved into a teaching gig where I taught grade school kids how to code and introduced it to many of them. You can view the full video series here:

Teaching gave me the opportunity to really focus on what I love doing most – coding. Teaching was a part time job – which meant I had some down time which is why I started my Youtube channel. I always wanted to post videos but had a difficult time settling on a topic I’d like my channel to focus on – with my experience teaching code I thought it’d be a great idea to share my story and teach code. I later became a Teaching Assistant at SMU’s Full Stack Coding Bootcamp through a company called Trilogy. I still have to shake myself from reality knowing that individuals reach out to me to help answer their questions – Of course, I don’t know everything and I never claim to but it’s always great when we can research a question and come up with possible solutions together. There’s a great burden and responsibility with helping others – while I’m always up for a challenge, I never forget that others depend on me to always be honest and truthful along the way.

So, here I sit outside my house in a lawn chair enjoying my fourth of July day before starting my very first Web Developer position tomorrow writing down these thoughts to you in hopes that you’re encouraged about your own journey through life. I have to say that although my journey is not like everyone else’s and may not end in some heroic tale of victory – I am proud of how far I’ve come after a year. It’s also important to note that the majority of my decisions I’ve made about my career this past year had nothing to do with code directly – It dealt with people and more often than not, it had much to do with my future.

Although I may not have the most flashy Web Developer position, I know it’s a far cry from where I was a year ago and I know the possibilities that come along with it. The beginning is just starting for me and I’ve a long journey to complete before the ending. If you happen to be looking for work as a developer or any other position where you’ve made a career change – Don’t be afraid to dial back to where you came from to get your start or to take a job that may not be your dream job. What is a dream job anyway? That’s another post for another day 😉

I plan on keeping up with my progress mainly on Youtube that will allow me to make weekly and monthly updates. I do want to add a disclaimer: I’m moving to Full Time employment in the corporate world, still have my TA gig at SMU and plan to still help out when I can with my now former employer with curriculum for students – Needless to say, I’ll be busy but I’ll try to fit in time to record when I can.

Thanks for reading & Keep working on your goals!


Finding Time to Code

Juggling a full time job, possibly school, family and friends is tough as it is but when you add in trying to learn to code – It may seems unrealistic to find the time. Here’s some helpful tips so you continue to learn to code throughout the day and maintain a healthy work/life balance.

  1. Code before work – I know, who wants to wake up that early? However, if you are truly passionate about changing careers into a developer then this may be a good option for you. I recommend gradually waking up a earlier until you fall into a routine. You can get in a good 30mins-1hr coding done in the morning so that when you are actually at work you can focus.
  2. Utilize your lunch break/Work breaks – Even if you only have 30 mins, you can practice if/else statements, algorithms, or read a blog about coding to keep exercising that muscle. I recommend knowing exactly what you wan to focus on before lunch so you can be prepared.
  3. Evenings – This is another tough one for some because after a full days work you just want to relax however, spending about an hour firing up Team Treehouse/CodeCademy/FreeCodeCamp or whatever resource you use for learning will be helpful to keep your mind fixed on coding.
  4. Weekends – This is a great time to really buckle down on your learning! Spend a few hours during the weekend building a website or application or learning a new language. It’s important to note that you may want to get the bulk of your coding done during this time because you have larger chunks of time to finish solving majority of your coding problems 😉

Try out some of these techniques and let me know which works best for you!

Check out the Vid on YouTube: