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Community

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Why I’m No Longer Joining Free Online Communities

When I first started the SheNomads Slack channel, it was to mentor people who wanted to learn Rails.  Now it’s a thriving community with channels based on tech, travel, and remote work. And I can happily say that some of my online friends have turned into real life ones that I travel with. I’ve also made friends with other community organizers.  We share tips on things like how to enforce a code of conduct, and how to stay organized while managing an online community. Many of us seem to be running into the same problems.  We all help each other out, but every now and then a community that I was really excited to see win has to close. Organizers get burnt out, or their communities fail to grow in an authentic way, or both. Seeing someone put so much love, time, and care into something just to see it…

No, You Can’t Pick My Brain

If you aren’t familiar with SheNomads, it’s an inclusive space for people in tech who want to travel while working remotely. We have a Slack group, a podcast (iTunes & SoundCloud), a remote work and wellness retreat, and a kick ass community of developers, designers, and digital nomads. We offer free remote coding classes, GitHub reviews, book club, an accountability group, and other forms of mentorship. My priority has always been to give support to community members, especially since most of us identify as marginalized people in tech. Once a week, a tech company reaches out to me to let me know something special… they want to pick my brain. Sigh. They think I am building is amazing. They want to get more women into tech. They want to figure out how to get in front of more women in tech so they can hire them. They want to pick…

The Long Game

There has been a lot of talk on Slack about taking jobs just to get out of your current situation (toxic company culture, lack work-life balance, the list goes on), even if those new jobs aren’t a good fit for us. I get it; I’ve done the same. ​ To help us get out of that cycle, I thought we as a community should be talking more about playing the long game. Let’s shift the conversation, from “how can I survive at this company?” to “how can I thrive in the next one?” I want us to talk about long-term goals in #career_talk, #design, and #code_talk. Here five ways you might want to play the long game: Refresh your skill set by joining a study group.  Study groups can be a way to learn in a fun, supportive environment. Learn a new skill that you can show off on GitHub,…

On Joining the SheNomads Book Club

{ This is a guest post by Eriol Fox. If you like it, send Eriol Japanese candy, practice Japanese with Eriol on Slack, and join our book club 🙂 } I love to read. I do it every day without fail. I am also notorious for starting books, not finishing them and moving on to another. I have about 30+ books on the go at any given time. I’d not long joined the busy and supportive community of She Nomads when a book club was organized. I had been looking for a community to join that shared my values, interest in tech and supported other going ‘Digital Nomad’ and She Nomads was this! At first, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the readings and the chapter discussions, but I was determined and excited to have a community of people that wanted to talk about topics…

Compassionate Coding with April Wensel

Compassionate Coding combines the effective practices of agile software development with a focus on empathy and the latest in positive organizational psychology. We were lucky enough to have April Wensel, founder of Compassionate Coding, answer our questions about improving tech culture! Can you please introduce yourself? “My name is April Wensel! I’ve spent the past decade working as a software engineer and leading teams. I’m a generalist full-stack. Only last year did I become a ‘nomad.’ ” “I launched my company Compassionate Coding to bring more empathy to technology (it doesn’t even take a full decade in tech to show you that we need it!) So now I travel around to tech companies and conferences teaching emotional intelligence geared toward engineers.” “I’m of the camp that we should abolish the term “soft skills.” Communication, empathy, etc are vital to the success of software teams. They are essential professional skills!” How…

iOS, Remote Work, and Work-Life Balance with Amy Schmidt

How to Transition to Remote Work “I was looking to move to New York but not really ready to move onto a new company, so I really started out by sharing that with my managers and feeling them out. My manager was open to the idea of me being remote but didn’t want to jump into anything. We made a plan which was that I’d work from home for two weeks, then in the office for two weeks for some time and then I’d move. That  allowed us to figure out the pain points, allowed me to get feedback from my coworkers about my communication skills, and how I could help them work with me remotely.” “My advice for anyone who wants to be remote but has no experience doing it is to over-communicate. I wanted my coworkers and managers to feel comfortable and believe I could be just as…

Tech Talks, and Remote Work with Laura Frank of Codeship

This week’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) was hosted by Laura Frank from Codeship. Laura is  lives in Berlin, and has been coding since middle school! Staying productive while working in a different country than your team “The cool thing about Codeship is that we’re distributed all across the US and EU. There are a couple of engineers in the EU as well, but it’s not often that we work on the same tasks together.” “The #1 thing for successful remote work, especially across time zones, is clear communication. Goals and tasks should be identified and communicated clearly so that you know the expectation of how you should be spending your time.” “Tools like Pivotal and GitHub help a lot with this since you need to write everything down, and then it’s really easy to send a link to a coworker for them to review. Time management is also a big…

UX and Remote Work with Eileen Ruberto of Zapier

This week, UX researcher Eileen Ruberto answered questions about UX, the tech industry, and remote work. Technology and creativity are not mutually exclusive. “I went to school for art instead of computer science, partially because I thought that was all writing 1s and 0s in a dark basement and I thought I wasn’t ‘technical’ enough.” “It kind of bugs me that the dominant narrative is that you can be either creative or technical. I thought the two were mutually exclusive. That’s one thing I would tell past me if I could go back and haunt her as an adult: technology = creative .” Stay consistent when working from home. ​“When you work in an office, there’s a natural rhythm of people streaming in in the morning and filing out at the end of the day. When you’re at home, you don’t get that.” “I try to create a consistent starting…

From Politics to Python with Lorena Mesa

On Wednesdays in the SheNomads Slack channel, we host a series of AMAs (Ask Me Anythings). ​This week, Sprout Social engineer Lorena Mesa dropped knowledge ranging from career choices to speaking at conferences. Read on to find out three things we learned from Lorena. Even in the land of politics, it pays to know how to code. “​Back in 2008, I interned on the Obama for America Latino Vote team. As an undergrad, I double majored in political science and math, so I was always interested in data and using math to solve policy-minded questions. However at OFA (Obama for America) that was the first time I was working with such a vast data set that I simply could not do it eloquently in Excel. I had to pick something else up. OFA was revolutionary in its use of data, namely data science to do predictive modeling for probability of…