Excellent first ever Hamilton Ladies Learning Code workshop
The first ever Hamilton Ladies Learning Code (@llcodedotcom) workshop took place this past Saturday September 21st at Platform 302 (@Platform302). The event took place alongside 9 others happening in Canadian cities from coast to coast as part of National Learn to Code Day. Ladies Learning Code began 2 years ago when founder Heather Payne (@heatherpayne) wrote the following tweet:
“I want to learn to code (a bit) and I want other ladies in #Toronto to join me. Anyone at #swtoronto know any women who might be interested?”
Things snowballed from there, and with a lot of hard work by the founders and some great support from the tech community in Canada, Ladies Learning Code has now become a hugely successful non-profit running regularly occurring workshops in chapters all over Canada aimed at teaching women (and men) how to code.
The day long workshop on Saturday focused on learning enough HTML & CSS for participants to create their first website. Heather herself came to Hamilton to conduct the workshop, and a great group of volunteer mentors from the Hamilton community were on hand to help participants throughout the workshop (Ladies Learning Code events have a 4-1 participant-to-mentor ratio to ensure a helping hand is always close by).
I was lucky enough to be a mentor that day, and I’m happy to report that the event was an overwhelming success!
In fact, it was a success before it even started – the Hamilton event was the first National Learn to Code Day event to sell out in Canada. The room at Platform 302 was packed with about 40-50 participants.
By the end of the day each participant had a nicely designed website they had created themselves in HTML & CSS. A good number of the participants also “kept going” beyond what the workshop outlined and experimented with their own customizations. I really hope the participants continue to learn how to code now that the workshop is over.
It was really fun walking around the room that day and seeing the “Aha!” moments happen, and helping some of those “Aha!” moments to happen. The workshop was well designed, and pretty impressive in terms of how much it covered in a single day.
Every participant that I talked to enjoyed the event thoroughly, as did the volunteer mentors.
I think the best thing about the event was the vibe. It was very fun, social, collaborative, and educational in a hands-on sort of way that felt very different from a classroom. At one point early in the workshop a participant described HTML tags as “hugging” their content. Not only did everyone have a good natured laugh, but I noticed a few participants actually started helping each other using the “hugging” terminology during the workshop, e.g. “the p tags hug a paragraph”.
And hopefully there will be more Ladies Learning Code workshops in Hamilton! If and when they return with more workshops, I’m sure they will appreciate help from the community in terms of volunteer mentors and spreading the word about their events. I really hope Hamilton hosts more Ladies Learning Code events in the future, and I strongly recommend that the community continue to get behind this great initiative!
Check out some pictures from the event below: