Our first Beginners Meetup went well, with around 50 participants joining us on August 8th at co.up. First up was Bea with a short intro into what OTS is & what we had envisioned for the (still evolving) learn & tell portion of the event.
Paul Nelligan from audiofu & nift.ie told us about his experiences learning coding as an adult, motivated by his desire to create a better platform than what existed at that time as well as the pressure of having to make a career choice. After many years of hard work, Paul will be launching audiofu on September 1st! His tips for learning to code include finding developers to connect with & engaging in the community, asking for help, & finding an internship after having created something on your own to show off. The first steps are choosing a framework for your project, reading plenty of books, & taking advantage of the many online resources for learning that are growing more available by the day. One resource he specifically mentioned is here. Above all, he says, good programmers are determined to invest time & effort in the constant process of learning.
Next up was Duana from SoundCloud with the edutaining talk titled, “Behind the scenes of a web request,” showing us what HTTP is & what happens when we type a web address into a browser. “Anyone can learn to program, but not knowing what actually goes on makes it seem like magic,” explained Duana, breaking down the connection between the human-friendly address we use to reach a website & the computer’s process of fulfilling our request. Like any good teacher, she also had recommendations for easily accessible learning resources: Railscasts & the developer tools in Chrome and Firefox for having a look at a page’s HTML and JS.
After the talks, the big group split into two smaller ones, taking some time to introduce themselves to each other and talk about personal projects. We will be experimenting with this portion of the meetup, but in general everyone seemed pleased with the event, and we look forward to continuing to learn together! The next meetup is scheduled for September 5th. Thanks for joining us, and please watch this space for more information, coming soon.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://blog.opentechschool.org/2012/08/first-ots-beginners-meetup-aug-8th-2012.html