Django Girls Philadelphia 2016



When I first heard I was accepted to attend the Django Girls workshop, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard of the Python framework before, but I had no idea why it was necessary. What’s wrong with just using HTML,CSS and a CMS system?, I thought to myself. Like all the other web development events I learned about Django Girls through social media (specifically, Twitter). I hadn’t attended a tech event for a while, and I was itching to get back into the fray.

On Wednesday I got off work, and had my father drive me directly to the train station. I just brought a cute pair of black flats, ready to go. In hindsight I should’ve worn some more comfortable shoes that day as I came back home with a bleeding ankle and a massive blister on my little toe. SEPTA recently had to make a few changes to their schedule due to structural issues, but I never realized the severity of the situation until I walked onto the train about 20 minutes late. In addition, once I arrived at University City, I ended up taking the right bus in the wrong direction. This normally wouldn’t have been an issue, but today the conductors forgot to give me a ticket, which meant I was unable to purchase an independence pass (which allowed me to use any form of public transportation in Philadelphia the entire day). The only thing I had was one bus pass which I wasn’t on the above bus ride. This meant I not only had to walk back to the stop, but also the remainder of journey to Huntsman Hall (where the event was taking place).

Some people might say “why didn’t you take an Uber”? I just don’t feel safe using that method of transportation. I was the words “naive young woman” written all over me. Eventually my tired, aching body made it to Django Girls about 1 hour late. Too late to enough hot pizza, but on time to heard some inspiring lightning talks. For some reason I thought Django Girls was supposed to be a guided tutorial when it was actually self-paced with mentor help. The whole day seemed to go by in a blur. I remember installing Python/Django on my computer, but I couldn’t tell you the minute details of my work process.  The mentors were a life saver as they were able to answer all my questions, no matter how minor and obvious they seemed. I left the two day, twelve hour work with hurting head and I didn’t even finish my blog project, but at least a gained some exposure to a previously unknown technology (plus I gained some more experience with Git/GitHub).

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