Did you know that Girl Develop It is celebrating a huge milestone this month? Over the past five years, we have taught 60,000 students to code across our 50+ chapters. That’s huge!
Here are a few highlights of our upcoming celebration:
#GDIday: Tuesday, January 12th will be the big, fun start to our month-long celebration. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as we share inspiring messages from thought leaders and heroes in the community. Please RT and spread the word!
Thunderclap: Join hundreds of thousands of GDI fans in a collective message about #GDIday. Sign up here before 12pm EST on Tuesday 1/12
Reddit #AskMeAnything (AMA): On GDI Day 1/12 at 12pm EST, Girl Develop It Executive Director, Corinne Warnshuis and Co-founder/Advisor Vanessa Hurst will be on Reddit answering questions about learning to code, our 50+ chapters around the US, and more. We’d love for you to join the conversation.
Follow along and join in!
Tell us: What’s something you’ve built lately? How Girl Develop It has made an impact on your life?
Spending a little time reflecting back on my 2015 felt really positive overall. Some of the numbers surprised me (hi, one entire day spent giving advice/mentoring folks over coffee) and I feel really excited about some others — I spoke at six conferences and visited a ton of cities (in 14 states) this year. Also, celebrated a few happy milestones.
Perfect is the enemy of done. My goal in writing this is to get it done. So, here it is:
2015 in numbers
news results in which my name appeared (via Google News)
conferences I attended, including: NCWIT Summit, WITI Summit, Philadelphia Women in Tech Summit, WordCamp Philly, TechHire Community Action Summit, ELA Conf (more below)
Of 13 total, there were…
conferences at which I had the opportunity to speak. This was definitely my biggest year speaking at conferences, averaging one big event every two months, with plenty of smaller presentations/shout-outs to GDI in between. (I also declined a keynote offer that would have been my largest conference speaking event yet — including this note here, because:impostor syndrome.)
Qualcomm Women’s Collegiate Conference – keynote: Kicked off the year with my first keynote at a conference for ~55 talented young women studying CS, CE and EE from universities across the country and 50 STEM-interested middle school girls from the San Diego area.
Lesbians Who Tech – panel: “Building Powerful Communities in Technology” — This may have been my favorite conference of 2015, maybe ever. So many fantastic, brilliant speakers. Intersectionality was a huge topic here. Met plenty of awesome folks. The programming was top notch. Also :raised_hands: US CTO Megan Smith is the most inspiring. ED I aspire to be more like: Leanne Pittsford.
White House Tech Meetup: Definitely consider this as one of most exciting professional milestones of the year/my life. I. spoke. at. the. White. House! And I was invited to speak by US CTO Megan Smith (again: hero). On top of that, my apparel designer best friend designed and made a dress for me for the occasion, covered in artichokes.
GitHub’s CodeConf: Spoke here about Girl Develop It’s successes with our open source initiatives. Met a ton of awesome people/Githubbers here, and the talks were diverse and all very good. Felt okayyy about my talk, but this made me want to try to work more on my stage presence. I had a 4:30pm time slot, which, admittedly…is a difficult time to hold people’s attention.
Tech Inclusion– panel: “How Bootcamps and Code Schools are Changing the face of Engineering” — GDI is neither of these, but it was a good conversation. Enjoyed this inaugural inclusion and diversity-focused conference and met some great folks.
Dreamforce – Thanks to an invite from the very badass, lovely Mary Scotton, I had the chance to speak (during the first session of the first day)! DF15 wins for the time I felt most comfortable and gave what I think was my best talk yet. (Time slot is key.)
Girl Develop It Leadership Summit:more on this below!
number of events in which I played an organizer or host role. (Down about 150% from 2013/14. :sigh of relief:)
Galentine’s Day: a casual get-together of talented, driven women from various sectors in Philadelphia who are inspiring on February 13th, aka Galentine’s Day. (Thanks, Leslie Knope.)
Ignite Philly 15: We invited Ariell Johnson to speak and she blew us away with her story and ambitious project: building a comic/coffee shop hybrid in Germantown. Colorlines.com recently featured her as one of 15 Remarkable Women of Color who Rocked 2015.
Mogulette & GDI Philly gathering: bringing together women of color entrepreneurs and coding students
Girl Develop It’s annual Leadership Summit
This event was huge for connecting our leaders — to each other, to our mission and vision of change for the world. I have unlimited gratitude for the invaluable guidance and mentorship of our cofounder, Vanessa Hurst, in helping making this event amazing…and of course for her year-round support. Huge thank you to Gretchen Kastetter, Jen Myers, Cara Jo Miller, Kristen Curtze, Sylvia Pellicore, Brenda Jin, and LeeAnn Kinney and all of the leaders who spoke at the Summit.
Here’s a great recap of our wonderful annual summit, courtesy the very awesome Paul Searle:
Ignite Philly 16
states I visited, including: AZ, CA, DC, DE, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN. First time in Tennessee! We loved Nashville and had a chance to spend some time on an 18th century farm 45 minutes south of the city, near Franklin.
Rad Girls: Published a Rad Girls profile of Margherita Urbani, an incredibly talented Philadelphia-based illustrator. This was sadly my only Rad Girls interview in 2015 (down from half a dozen interviews in 2014!). Hope to find more time this year to interview women who inspire me (and will inspire you). Know of someone I should interview? Let me know!
Bold is Beautiful campaign:partnered on a large-scale fundraising campaign with Benefit Cosmetics called Bold is Beautiful. For Girl Develop It, this partnership was our largest to date and one I am very proud of. We worked with them on a number of events, calling on participation from chapter leaders in multiple cities and requiring an incredible amount of coordination. All so worth it. Grab a tissue and watch the campaign video for highlights of the four amazing orgs (GDI, Step Up Women’s Network, Girls Inc. and Dress for Success) that benefited from the proceeds of the campaign
Got really into biking. Started doing 20+ mile rides on weekends on the lovely Schuylkill River Trail. Went on an epic bike-camping trip to French Creek State Park, logging by far my longest ride ever: over 120 miles in two days with some badass gals, Cat, Laura and LeeAnn.
On the final day of 2013, Happy Cog developer, Girl Develop It Philly instructor —also longtime friend—Cat Farman and I got together and finished up our OSCON speaker proposal: Lessons from Girl Develop It: Getting More Women Involved in Open Source. We recorded our required video and shipped off our packet.
In March, we were notified that our talk was accepted and that we’d be heading to the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, OR this July. Ecstatic, we started building out the plan for the Summer of Open Source Fellowship as a pilot program to engage local members more deeply in open source.
We launched the program at the end of May and have been meeting up regularly to work on our proposal. Really excited to share what we’ve learned with a broader audience.
Read the description and find out more about our talk here.
Going to OSCON this year? Stop by our office hour after our talk and say hello!
Are you a Girl Develop It student or TA who’s on the fence about speaking or teaching?
WordCamp Philly, happening this year June 7-8th, is one of the best points of entry for those interested in getting into speaking or leading workshops at conferences.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should participate as a speaker:
It’s local: you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd!
It’s a friendly audience: WordPress community is generally very supportive and welcoming. (Think of GDI’s WP teacher, owner of Yikes, Inc. and WordCamp organizer, Tracy Levesque – she’s like the nicest person around!)
There’s a whole track for beginners: a huge audience of beginners attend WordCamp looking to learn the basics. Therefore, there’s a big need for speakers who can lead sessions on getting started. If you’re not super advanced yet, don’t let that stop you – start simple!
The sessions are only 45 minutes: That’s not a lot of time to fill! If you get nervous, it’ll be over soon.
Organizers want to see new faces speak. They have specifically reached out to Girl Develop It for our help in finding first-time speakers.
There are a ton of topics to choose from! Many are tried-and-true. Some are brand new. Take a look at some of the topics we brainstormed around at our GDI Philly presentation brainstorming session that would be great to see first-timers take on:
Best practices for client-project workflow
Accessibility on WordPress
Creating a good User Interface
The website owner’s guide to working with designers (Best practices)
WordPress for Education
How to maintain your WordPress.com/WordPress.org site
Legal and copyright, ethics workshop
I’ve got a blog…now what? Growing your audience
Keeping up with Updates
Technical blogging: How to share technical tips on your WordPress blog
How to Navigate the WordPress documentation and get the most out of it
How to choose themes, plugins and widgets
Definitions and Decryption – decoding all the WP terms and lingo
Fun with Fonts
How to get more involved in the WordPress community locally
Deadline to apply to speak is Friday, May 16th – that’s THIS Friday. Find more info and apply here.
Here are some great resources to help you find your perfect presentation idea: