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Instagram Live #3: Maintaining a Workflow while you Travel, Tips on Creating your First Project, and Finding Community

Hello, World! I’m working from Oslo again.  This is the perfect time to speak with you about maintaining a workflow while you travel because I’m doing it now.  I’ll be on Instagram live this Friday, September 8th at 6 am central.  You’ll probably be sleeping, or just getting your Friday started, or just ending your Thursday night.  So, I’ll leave the playback up for 24 hours. Thank you so much to everyone who sent me questions via Instagram and Slack! This is everything I’ll be talking about in the morning: How do you stay connected to your community while traveling? Traveling is fun, but it can disrupt routines and work flow.  How do you maintain your workflow through your travels? Why did you choose to save those 3 programming books? Why did you donate the rest? How do you pick which conferences to speak at? Have you written anything about how…

I’m Hosting a Demo Day for WiT

Inspired by our Slack’s #victory channel and #WiTBragDay, we’re organizing a remote DEMO DAY end of this month! On August 31st 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm EST, practice bragging about your project alongside a supportable community. Sign up is first come first serve in #demos or DM me with your topic @herlifeinpixels. We’re aiming for at least 5 demos. Anyone is welcome to join in to listen and offer feedback. Shoot me your email for an invite to Google Hangouts. WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT OUR WORK & PROCESSES In an ideal world, the quality of a person’s work could speak for itself, but this isn’t the case for underrepresented folks whose experiences are often overlooked and underestimated. One way to show the industry our value is by getting good at framing what we do and being proactive at giving ourselves credit. For a long time in my career, I’ve struggled with talking…

I’m Starting a Mentorship Program for Underrepresented People in Tech

Update: Applications are open! Details on how to apply here. I remember when I made the decision to quit my bartending job and focus on writing code full time. It was 4 am, and I was standing behind the front bar of a busy Wicker Park club, wearing a blue wig.  The theme of the party I was bartending was “Fight or Flight”, so I was dressed like Brittany Spears from the toxic video.  The dance floor was packed with people dressed like pilots, flight attendants, boxers, and ninjas. I felt like I understood some basics of Ruby, Python, and other languages that I’d been teaching myself, but something was missing. I didn’t know how to put it all together to write code like a professional would. I turned around to my friend Shaun who was a software engineer and told him my plan.  To celebrate, he bought a round of shots for everyone…

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…